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Sources Say: Even on guns, we're true blue

Oregon U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden originally sought the Obama Administration's justification for use of drones to kill Americans abroad, but was shoved out of the public spotlight.This is no surprise, but Oregon is still Obama country, even on two controversial issues that became the president’s priorities after he was re-elected, gun control and immigration reform.

According to a new survey by DHM Research, most Oregonians agree with President Barack Obama on the issues. Like him, they support stricter gun control laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School and Clackamas Town Center shootings. And, after Latinos and other minorities helped Obama win re-election, most Oregonians consider immigration reform to be an urgent issue.

The most support for Obama’s positions comes from Democrats, women and Willamette Valley residents. The least support comes from Republicans, men and residents in the rest of the state.

The online survey of 365 Oregonians was conducted Jan. 25 to 28.

Wilsonville tries to spruce up its economic base

The May 21 special election already has received so much press attention, it’s easy to miss that a regionally important vote will take place in Wilsonville on March 12.

Wilsonville voters are being asked to designate six underutilized warehouses as special urban renewal areas to attract new employers. Most of the property tax increases on the warehouses would be rebated to the employers that occupy them, provided they meet certain conditions, such as paying higher-than-average wages.

The City Council put the measure on the ballot in response to some residents who had complained that urban renewal measures were being created without a public vote.

Meanwhile, the May 21 ballot is filling up with high-profile measures in other areas. Portland voters will decide whether to fluoridate the city’s water supply. Metro is seeking $50 million to help maintain its parks and natural lands. And the Clackamas County Commission may put a number of items related to the Portland-to-Milwaukie light-rail project on the ballot, even as TriMet objects to the decision.

Wyden needs to target a new PR agency

For years, Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden has been pushing the Obama Administration to release its legal rationale for killing American terror suspects abroad. After repeatedly fighting the demands, the White House suddenly relented last week and released a briefing paper summarizing the arguments. The paper wasn’t exactly what Wyden has been seeking, but it sparked a wave of consternation on Capitol Hill and a flood of feverish press coverage.

Except Wyden didn’t receive very much of the attention. Instead, California U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein seized the limelight by proposing the creation of a special court to review those Americans targeted for extermination. Most legal scholars questioned whether the idea was workable, but it quickly became a hot talking point among commentators and editorial writers.

Meanwhile, Wyden was hardly mentioned in most follow-up stories.