Tag Archives: Oregon

FTC and State AGs Sue to Block Kroger-Albertsons ‘Mega Merger’

“By suing to block the Kroger-Albertsons merger, the FTC is keeping grocery bills down and workers in their jobs,” said one anti-monopoly campaigner.

By Jake Johnson. Published 2-26-2024 by Common Dreams

The Federal Trade Commission Building, Washington, DC. Photo: Adam Fagen/flickr/CC

The Federal Trade Commission and a bipartisan group of state attorneys general joined forces Monday on a lawsuit aimed at blocking the supermarket giant Kroger from buying up the Albertsons grocery chain, warning the merger would hamper competition, further drive up food prices, and harm workers.

If completed, the $24.6 billion deal would mark the largest supermarket merger in U.S. history at a time when grocery chains are facing growing scrutiny for driving up prices to pad their bottom lines. A Kroger-Albertsons grocery behemoth would control more than 5,000 stores and 4,000 retail pharmacies across the country, according to the FTC.

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Oregon Supreme Court Bans From Ballot GOP State Lawmakers Who Staged Walkout

“Oregonians deserve legislators who will show up and do their jobs—and when they don’t, there must be consequences,” said one advocacy group.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 2–1-2024 by Common Dreams

This photo shows the empty floor of the Oregon State Senate. (Photo: Cacophony/Wikimedia Commons)

Oregon’s Supreme Court on Thursday disqualified 10 state senators from reelection for participating in last year’s Republican-led walkout that paralyzed the Legislature for six weeks, delaying key Democratic bills on abortion, healthcare, and gun control.

The ruling upholds last year’s decision by Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade, a Democrat, barring the 10 lawmakers—nine Republicans and 1 Independent—from the 2024 ballot because they had accumulated more than 10 unexcused absences in violation of Measure 113, a state constitutional amendment approved by 68% of voters in 2022 following a series of Republican walkouts.

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Kidnapping Charges for Idaho Teen and Mother Seen as Test Case for ‘Abortion Trafficking’ Law

“Prosecutors seeking to test out laws like this are likely to go after people who won’t garner much sympathy from the public,” wrote one author and abortion rights activist.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 10-31-2023 by Common Dreams

An Idaho teenager and his mother are facing kidnapping and other charges for alleged crimes including kidnapping after they took a 15-year-old girl to Oregon for an abortion. Photo: Zach/flickr/CC

An Idaho teenager and his mother who allegedly took a 15-year-old girl to neighboring Oregon for an abortion without parental knowledge or consent are facing felony kidnapping and other charges in a prosecution viewed as a test case for the state’s “abortion trafficking” statute.

In April, Idaho became the first state in the nation to pass a so-called “abortion trafficking” law, criminalizing the transportation of pregnant minors within the state for the purpose of obtaining an abortion or abortion medication. While 18-year-old Kadyn Swainston and his 42-year-old mother Rachael Swainston of Pocatello were not charged under the law—perhaps because it is being challenged in court—author and activist Jessica Valenti noted that “prosecutors used the exact language of the trafficking law in the kidnapping charge.”

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60% of US Oil and Gas Infrastructure Now Protected by Anti-Protest Laws: Greenpeace

Fossil fuel companies have contributed millions of dollars to legislators who sponsored such laws, according to a new report.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 10-25-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: Joe Brusky/Overpass Light Brigade/flickr/cc

In the seven years since the massive protests against the Dakota Access pipeline at Standing Rock, the fossil fuel industry and their allies in politics and law enforcement have been hard at work to prevent a repeat: Around 60% of oil and gas infrastructure in the U.S. is now shielded by anti-protest laws that make direct action much riskier for activists and frontline communities who want to protect their local and global home from dangerous pollution, a new Greenpeace report has found.

The report, Dollars vs. Democracy 2023: Inside the Fossil Fuel Industry’s Playbook to Suppress Protest and Dissent in the United States, reveals that fossil fuel companies made up nine of the 10 most determined lobbyists for anti-protest measures since 2017 and that 25 oil, gas, coal, and energy companies contributed more than $5 million to legislators who sponsored these laws.

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Trump’s Last-Minute Attack on Old-Growth Trees Was Illegal, Judge Rules

The federal judge said that the “highly uncertain effects of this project, when considered in light of its massive scope and setting, raise substantial questions about whether this project will have a significant effect on the environment.”

By Olivia Rosane. Published 9-1-2023 by Common Dreams

Large trees are proposed for logging in one of Oregon’s wildest landscapes as part of the Morgan Nesbitt “Restoration” project. (Photo: Oregon Wild)

Two days before he left office, a political appointee for President Donald Trump removed protections from old-growth trees in Oregon and Washington. On Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Hallman ruled that decision was illegal.

Hallman vacated the U.S. Forest Service’s finding that the change would have no impact, and ordered the agency to carry out a full environmental impact statement of the proposal, as The Associated Press reported.

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Critics Slam Amazon’s Billion-Dollar ‘Corporate Welfare’ for Oregon Data Centers

“No other retailer in U.S. history has come anywhere close to such enrichment at public expense,” asserted one opponent of the nine-figure subsidy.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 5-19-2023 by Common Dreams

One of Amazon’s data centers in eastern Oregon is seen here from the air in an company photo. (Photo: Amazon.com)

Opponents of a contentious $1 billion subsidy for online retail behemoth Amazon’s data centers in Oregon on Friday decried what one critic called “corporate welfare” for a company that raked in more than a half a trillion dollars in revenue last year.

Amazon already has four data centers in Morrow County, Oregon and plans on building six more Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud-computing facilities there. Earlier this month, Port of Morrow commissioners approved tax breaks for Amazon with an estimated value of $1 billion.

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Democratic AGs Fight Back Against GOP Attacks on Abortion Pill Access

“In a time when reproductive healthcare is under attack, our group of 23 attorneys general strongly believe we should be encouraging companies and providers to offer easily accessible, safe, and confidential healthcare as broadly as possible.”

By Julia Conley.  Published 2-16-2023 by Common Dreams

Mifepristone The pill is one of two used in medication abortions. Photo: Robin Marty/flickr/CC

Warning that Republican-led states have launched an effort to keep millions of people from accessing lifesaving medications, 23 Democratic state attorneys general on Thursday sent a letter to officials at CVS and Walgreens to assure the pharmacies that they can legally dispense and mail mifepristone and misoprostol, the pills used in medication abortions.

The attorneys general of Oregon, California, and Washington spearheaded the letter two weeks after their Republican counterparts in 20 states told the pharmacies that they could be in violation of the Comstock Act, dating back to the 1870s, if they deliver the pills to patients by mail. Continue reading

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As Temps Soar, State AGs Urge OSHA to Implement Heat Protections for Worker Safety

“As our summers grow hotter and more deadly, OSHA must heed the call of these seven AGs and issue an emergency heat standard to protect workers,” said one public health advocate.

By Kenny Stancil.  Published 2-9-2023 by Common Dreams

Migrant workers carefully choose and cutoff yellow squash at Kirby Farms in Mechanicsville, VA Photo: USDA/flickr/CC

Attorneys general from seven U.S. states on Thursday called for swift federal action to shield workers nationwide from the deadly effects of extreme heat, which is being made worse by the fossil fuel-driven climate crisis.

In a petition to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the state AGs of California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania urged the agency to issue an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to protect workers who are exposed to dangerously high temperatures by May 1, before the start of summer. Continue reading

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Despite US Opposition, UN Passes Resolution Condemning Death Penalty

“Joe Biden ran for president as an abolitionist… It is time for him to put this country on record as committed to ending the death penalty.”

By Julia Conley  Published 12-16-2022 by Common Dreams

Vigil for Corey Johnson at the Supreme Court on January 14, 2021. Photo: Felton Davis/flickr.CC

President Joe Biden’s stated opposition to the death penalty did not stop the United States from joining Saudi Arabia, Iran, and North Korea in voting against a United Nations resolution supporting a worldwide moratorium on the practice on Thursday, leading critics to question once again whether the president will make good on his campaign pledge to eliminate capital punishment in his own country.

The resolution passed in a vote of 125-37 with 22 abstensions, but as it has in the past when a proposed death penalty moratorium has come up for a vote at the U.N., the U.S. delegation did not aid its passage. Continue reading

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International Support Grows for Mexico’s Lawsuit Against US Gun-Makers

“I feel very encouraged because this means that what we are doing as a government is worth doing,” a Mexican official said. “We are confirming that the missing link in this whole equation of illicit trafficking is the gun companies.”

By Brett Wilkins.  Published 2-1-2022 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: WFXB

In a big boost to the Mexican government’s historic federal lawsuit against American gun-makers, 13 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, two countries, a coalition of attorneys general, and numerous advocacy groups on Monday filed or joined amicus briefs supporting Mexico’s litigation, which seeks to hold weapons manufacturers accountable for the violence they facilitate.

Law.com reports attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Oregon joined an amicus brief filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey urging a federal court in Boston to deny the gun-makers’ motions to dismiss the suit. Continue reading

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