Prominent Oregonians Sign News Ads to Preserve Federal Estate Tax

Media Advisory from United for a Fair Economy
For immediate release
Contact Michael Davoli, United for a Fair Economy, 503-381-8158
June 27, 2005

Prominent Oregonians Sign Newspaper Ads to Preserve the Federal Estate Tax

Ads Highlight Need to Keep "Fairest Tax of All"

SALEM, Ore.-Local supporters of the federal estate tax will redouble their efforts this week and next, as the U.S. Senate prepares to vote on full repeal of the estate tax before the July 4th recess.


50 influential Oregonians have signed their names to newspaper ads to appear in four papers across the state, urging Senator Ron Wyden to preserve the estate tax. They are available to do interviews on the topic. Supporters of the estate tax will also deliver a letter to Senator Wyden asking for a meeting, along with a Call to Preserve the Estate Tax signed by 100 prominent Oregonians. The ad is available at print ads.pdf.


The ads will run Monday, June 27 through Friday, July 1. Selected signers will be available for media interviews the week of June 27.


The Oregonian (June 27)
The Medford Mail Tribune (6/28)
The Bend Bulletin (6/30)
The Jewish Review (7/1)


Prominent Oregonians (please see list of spokespeople below)


The news from Washington, D.C., is that the U. S. Senate is likely to vote on the estate tax in the next several weeks. Senator Wyden is still undecided on how he will vote.

Will the GOP majority hold out for full repeal? Or will a bi-partisan reform measure emerge? Whatever the outcome, it will have an impact on Oregonians as well as Americans overall. Estate tax repeal would mean adding another $1 trillion to the national debt over the next 20 years. Estate tax reform, if it is reasonable, would mean affirming a progressive tax that would help solve our nation's fiscal woes.

Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan's predecessor at the Federal Reserve, and Bill Gates, Sr., father of Microsoft's founder, have called the estate tax the fairest tax of all, because it affects only multimillionaires well able to pay the tax--1% of the American population. This important debate is entering its final stages, and Senator Wyden's undecided vote means Oregon has an important role to play.


United for a Fair Economy (UFE) is a national, nonpartisan, non-profit organization raising awareness that concentrated wealth and power undermine the economy, corrupt democracy, deepen the racial divide, and tear communities apart. For more information, see

Selected spokespeople for the Estate Tax in Oregon

Please contact Michael Davoli of United for a Fair Economy at 503-381-8158 to schedule interviews.

Richard & Molly Kohnstamm, Operators, Timberline Lodge
As chairman of the board of the family's management business, RLK and Company, Richard Kohnstamm, along with his wife Molly and their family, has run Timberline Lodge in Mt. Hood, Oregon--which became a National Historic Landmark in 1978--for 50 years. Molly now sits on the Timberline Lodge Board of Directors, while their son Jeff is the president and area operator.

Jim Davis, United Seniors of Oregon, Oregon Association for Retired Citizens, Gray Panthers
Jim Davis, a well-known spokesperson on behalf of senior issues in Oregon, has been a leader in the fight to preserve Social Security as well as numerous other senior citizen issues in the Oregon Legislature. He is a strong supporter of the estate tax and believes in its role in American society.

Tim Nesbitt, President, Oregon AFL-CIO
Tim Nesbitt was elected President of the Oregon AFL-CIO in September 1999, and was unanimously re-elected to a second term in September 2003. Before becoming Oregon AFL-CIO director, Tim was the executive director of the Oregon State Council of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). He is also a member of the state's Board of Higher Education, for which he serves as co-chair of the Access and Affordability Work Group. He is also a member of Oregon's College Savings Board and serves on the state's Employment Dept. Advisory Council.

John Russell, Russell Development Inc. and Former Chairperson, Portland Development Commission
In addition to serving on the PDC Board and founding Russell Development Inc., John Russell is a member of the Oregon Transportation Commission, the Mayor's Business Roundtable and the Portland Business Alliance (formerly known as the Association for Portland Progress). John has also served on the Portland City Planning Commission and the Portland Historic Landmark Commission.

Robert Stoll, Founder, Stoll Stoll Berne Lokting & Shlachter
Robert Stoll is an attorney and founder of the Portland law firm Stoll Stoll Berne Lokting & Shlachter, concentrating on securities, business and environmental litigation. He has served on numerous non-profit boards, and is presently on the boards of a nonprofit venture capital firm he formed, and of the National Lawyers' Committee For Civil Rights Under Law.

Jay C. Bloom, CEO, Morrison Child and Family Services
Jay C. Bloom is the President/CEO of Morrison Child and Family Services, one of the largest children's services organizations in Oregon. Jay is a board member of Children First and the United Way of the Columbia Willamette. He currently serves as a chair of the Life By Design project in Portland.

Barbara Dudley, Partner, Bethel Heights Vineyards and Adjunct Professor at Portland State University.
Barbara Dudley is a partner at Bethel Heights Vineyards outside Salem in the Willamette Valley along with her sister. She is also an adjunct professor at the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University.

Bill Dickey, Vice-president, Witham & Dickey Inc.
Bill Dickey, a politically-minded businessman, is one of the most well-known Democratic business leaders in Oregon. Before co-founding Witham & Dickey Inc.-the leading political print company in Oregon-- Bill owned BDC Printing Solutions, which specialized in political and nonprofit direct mail.

Chuck Sheketoff, Executive Director, Oregon Center For Public Policy
Chuck Sheketoff is an attorney and a founder of the Oregon Center for Public Policy, located in Silverton. Prior to coming to the OCPP, Chuck lobbied the Oregon State Legislature on behalf of legal aid clients and the Oregon Law Center. He has also been a leader in the effort to make changes to Oregon's tax system.

Gretchen Kafoury, Former State Representative
Gretchen Kafoury is a former Portland City Commissioner and state representative. A longtime leader in the Oregon Democratic Party, Gretchen has established herself as one of the leading Democratic voices in Oregon for the past twenty years.

Harriet Denison, Manager, Ralph Smith Foundation
Harriet Denison, a very well-known community leader in Oregon, is a third generation timber inheritor and founder of the Ralph Smith Foundation.

Mike Roach and Kim Osgood, Owners, Paloma Clothing
Kim Osgood, a leading NW artist, and Mike Roach, a well-known community activist and leader, are co-owners and operators of Paloma Clothing, located in the Hillsdale Shopping Center. Paloma Clothing has been in business at this same Portland location for 30 years.

Kenneth Lewis, Former President, Port of Portland, and retired President of Lasco Shipping Co.
Kenneth Lewis was President of Lasco Shipping Co., from 1979 until his retirement in 1994. He served on the Board of Directors of two international marine insurance organizations and previously served on the Presidential Commission on U.S.-Pacific Trade and Investment Policy (appointed by President William J. Clinton in 1996). He is past president of the Port of Portland Commission to which he was appointed by both Republican and Democratic governors.

Jody Wiser, Coalition to Preserve the Estate Tax
Jody Wiser is a former farm owner, educator and now founder of a small non-profit which brings in over $5 million a year to Oregon. She is the leader of several citizen tax reform groups in Oregon working on state and federal tax policy.

Sandy Polishuk, Author and Chair, Portland Chapter of the Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
Sandy Polishuk taught oral history at Portland State University. Her writing has appeared in both scholarly and literary publications. She is also chair of the Portland chapter of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom/Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace. She is a former member of the board of the Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media and of KBOO community radio.

...and 35 other signers (see the ad at