It's Wednesday! New numbers show the heavy toll that budget cuts have taken on educators, who've faced massive layoffs. PolitiFact Oregon had to reverse a ruling from True to False on a claim made by the Oregon GOP about Rob Cornilles, which is featured in a Blue Oregon post by Our Oregon's Scott Moore.
Legislators and advocates are preparing for the upcoming legislative session, which begins next week. Willamette Week has a rundown of marijuana-related initiative petitions aiming for the November ballot.
And in case you missed it, President Obama used last night's State of the Union speech to call for steps to be made to shrink the widening gap between the rich and the poor.
BLOG: Trivial Pursuit: That's some Har-ible reporting
"If I was the editor of the national PolitiFact enterprise, I’d be alarmed at the amount of damage its Oregon branch has been doing to the brand for many months, even violating PolitiFact’s own stated principles. The recent output from PolitiFact Oregon and its chief Oregonian reporter, Janie Har, should make it clear that they’ve ditched the fact-checking mission in favor of an embarrassing obsession with selectively focusing on political items that amplify Har's apparent personal bias. Late yesterday, that obsession blew up in their face, when Har had to reverse a 'ruling' on a claim that was meaningless to begin with."
POLITIFACT RULING CHANGE: Has Rob Cornilles locked up endorsements from Independent, Democratic and Republican mayors?
"Rated FALSE: PolitiFact Oregon has the great dishonor of reversing a ruling today. We freely admit we have egg on our face. If we were a cat, our ears would be lowered and our head down. If we were a dog, we’d be looking up at you with sad dog eyes. You get the picture. Last week we ruled True a statement by the Oregon Republican Party that Republican Rob Cornilles had the endorsements of a variety of local mayors, including Democrat, Republican and Independent. The upper case 'I' means he had the backing of a registered member of the Independent Party of Oregon, which is a third party group."
Obama challenges: Shrink gap between rich, poor
Associated Press via Register Guard
"Declaring the American dream under siege, President Barack Obama delivered a populist challenge Tuesday night to shrink the gap between rich and poor, promising to tax the wealthy more and help jobless Americans get work and hang onto their homes. Seeking re-election and needing results, the president invited Republicans to join him but warned, 'I intend to fight.' In an emphatic State of the Union address, Obama said ensuring a fair shot for all Americans is 'the defining issue of our time.' He said the economy is finally recovering from a deep and painful recession and he will fight any effort to return to policies that brought it low."
Budget and economy
Budget debate looms in Salem
"Gov. John Kitzhaber and legislative leaders expect the upcoming four-week session in February to center on balancing Oregon’s budget, despite myriad controversial policy questions — including the next steps in the governor’s proposed sweeping reforms in health care and education — that also will be raised. Projected state revenues have shrunk by more than $300 million since last summer, and the upcoming revenue forecast is expected to show another loss, perhaps in the range of $50 million to $80 million, lawmakers said Tuesday at a series of press meetings."