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Chris Henry (IND)

Occupation:  Union Truck Driver, YRC Freight


The bankers and hedge fund operators of Wall Street are ripping us off to the tune of $1 billion per year.

The State of Oregon has over $110 billion of investment funds but has placed much of it with world-wide vulture capitalists, corporate raiders, leveraged buyout artists, and hedge funds. These Wall Street operators charge Oregon huge fees (not fully disclosed), likely over $500 million per year. And they invest nearly all of the money in enterprises outside of Oregon.

The State of Oregon and its counties, cities, and districts also pay huge fees to Wall Street firms in order to float bonds to pay for public works.

The typical fee is 3-5%. Local governments have been issuing an average of $4 billion in bonds per year since 2015. That means $120-$200 million in Wall Street fees. The State of Oregon itself issues nearly $1 billion in new bonds per year, generating more fees.

So Wall Street gets paid to take our money and then gets paid again to loan it back to us.  Let's cut out the middle men.


Oregon should use its investment funds for public works (transportation, bridges, water systems), housing, and small business opportunities in Oregon, with emphasis on projects that reduce climate change. Local governments should borrow funds from the State of Oregon and avoid huge Wall Street fees and high interest rates.  Invest in Oregon, not Wall Street sharks!

Q:  Why are Oregon's housing opportunities so limited, when the State of Oregon could provide low-interest loans through local credit unions and community banks for renovation and weatherization of existing homes?

Q:  Why do Oregon's small businesses and start-up lack capital and have to sell their ideas and enterprises to vulture capitalists in order to start production, when the State of Oregon could provide start-up loans?


A: Because Wall Street makes huge money by:

  1. charging the Oregon billions of dollars to invest Oregon's $110 billion outside of the state and

  2. charging Oregon counties, cities, districts, businesses and residents additional billions for borrowing money.


Small businesses are the organs of Oregon's economy, and community banks and credit unions are its lifeblood.


A State Bank of Oregon could provide capital at lower cost, enabling them to lower the interest on loans, increase lending capacity, and help entrepreneurs and farmers access the funds they need to grow our economy.

All fees on investments by Oregon governments should be fully disclosed, along with the now-secret annual audit reports on these investments.

People, not Profits

If you want to know who will be the Independent voice for you in Salem, just follow the money. My intention isn't to become a Wall Street bigwig, and I don't have favors to fulfill to the investor class. With the stock market in such turbulent chaos, I think that the most sustainable investment is right here in Oregon. That's why my plan is to create and Oregon State Bank, based on the Bank of North Dakota.

I was born the ninth of twelve children. That is greatly significant in my world perspective. Being working class, I can most identify with working people and the struggles people face. Leveraging the independent pioneering spirit of Oregonians and the 98%, I think that we can pull together to bring Oregon's finances home and put the funds to use in our communities.

If you want to continue investing in the unpredictable highs and lows of the stock market, the other two not-independent candidates are on the ballot also.


The Tobias Read campaign is funded mostly by law firms that seek and receive lucrative representation contracts with the State Treasurer. See the Oregon Public Broadcasting Report: Pay To Play? Out-Of-State Law Firms Reap Rewards Of Oregon Campaign Contributions, which states:

As of early December, more than 40% of the money the treasurer reported raising in 2019 came from big-time firms headquartered in places like New York City, Washington, D.C., and Wilmington, Delaware.

That in itself is notable, but the donations come with a further wrinkle: Nearly all are being made by lawyers who seek work from the state of Oregon work that Read's office can help provide. A 12-year-old state law gave firms a chance to make millions of dollars if they are picked to work one of the potentially lucrative lawsuits that Oregon files against powerful corporations.

The result is a torrent of outside money to state candidates, much of it solicited by Oregon treasurers and attorneys general--the same elected officials whose offices decide which firms get the work.

Legal experts and campaign finance watchdogs say this is a system that smacks of self-dealing, giving influential politicians a stable of moneyed and motivated campaign supporters while law firms get a shot at making millions.

"It has a terrible odor, doesn't it?" said James Cox, a professor at Duke University School of Law who has studied the issue extensively and helped bring changes in North Carolina.

The main difference between me and my two major party challengers? I'm not on the take. I don't take corporate or special interest money. Because I'm NOT beholden to special interests, I will work in the public interest. The two major party candidates aren't limiting their contributions, but I am complying with the limits passed by Oregon voters in 2006 (Measure 47). Every Democratic Party administration has resisted the whole or even partial implementation of Measure 47. I am also the only candidate in this race that supports the legislative ballot measure referral that amends the Oregon Constitution to allow campaign finance limits.


I believe very strongly that I am the Independent choice in this race and that, together, We are the people we've been waiting for to create a better Oregon that other states will want to model.

The 2020 Primary has started. 



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