Thank you!

Thank you to all the volunteers and voters who made my election to the Oregon State Senate possible. Because of you, we won handily Tuesday night and now I have the honor to serve the citizens of Central Oregon once again. As I've said before, I think the voters clearly wanted no more politics as usual, no more politics of division, no more class-warfare. The people want their state back, and they want more private sector jobs. We should not stop until everyone who wants a job has an opportunity to get a good job, and that is what I intend to do.

Please Stay in Touch

In the next couple of months I'll be preparing to hit the ground running during the 2013 Legislative Session. Moving forward, I want to continue to hear from my constituents first and most often. I look forward to hearing your ideas about how to get Oregon back to work.

You can always send me an email or give me a call at 541-389-7008. You'll also find updates here on my website and on Facebook.

I'm looking forward to serving you.

All my best,


Tim Knopp Your State Senator

Telephone Town Hall Was a Success!

Thank you to everyone who joined our live telephone town hall!  The event was sponsored by the Oregon Health Care Association and focused on issues specifically important to seniors.  We were able to talk with 3,000 people and took many good questions from listeners.

Click here if you'd like to listen to a recording of the telephone town hall.

We asked a survey question of our listeners on the call.  The results are below!

The Bulletin Editorial: Knopp for state Senate

The Bulletin Oregon’s lawmakers will have more than enough to keep them busy next year. They must balance the state’s budget and work to relieve government of the terrible and growing burden imposed by the state’s public employees retirement plan. And, topping this region’s list of critical issues is the bonding authority necessary to allow OSU-Cascades to expand to a four-year college.

Tim Knopp, the Republican candidate for state Senate District 27, has hands-on experience with all those problems. His opponent, Geri Hauser, does not.

Knopp was the state representative who crafted much of the last serious round of Public Employees Retirement System reforms back in 2003. Some of what was approved then was later overturned by the courts, but his knowledge of the system will be invaluable next year. Moreover, he has concrete suggestions for reform that will, he believes, pass judicial muster.

Hauser has neither.

Knopp also knows the challenge that comes with balancing the state’s budget during tough economic times. The 2003 PERS reforms were prompted in part by a sluggish economy, and balancing the state’s budget in the 2001-03 biennium required five special sessions. It also required across-the-aisle cooperation, of which Knopp was a part.

Hauser has never worked on a state budget.

Finally, Knopp was an early and forceful advocate for what became the OSU-Cascades branch campus, joining the late Ben Westlund’s effort to assure that economic uncertainty did not bring an end to what was, at the time, an experiment in something new. Between them, they bought the campus time to establish itself as a vital part of Oregon higher education.

Hauser supports the campus, though she has no experience in getting the finances it needs to thrive.

Knopp is the only candidate in the Senate District 27 race with the experience to accomplish what must be accomplished next year. That’s a sound reason to send him to Salem.

10-12-12 Editorial Small (website)

Events in the Community

A Momentous Achievement for Oregon State Univ. - Cascades

I was fortunate enough to be present at a ribbon-cutting ceremony that celebrated the opening of the new Oregon State University-Cascades Graduate & Research Center near downtown Bend.

As someone who was involved with Oregon State’s expansion to eastern Oregon, I am incredibly proud of the strides the University has made here in the last ten-plus years. Not only will this new facility allow students and faculty to expand their research capabilities but it also paves the way for Oregon State - Cascades to eventually have a four-year campus in this part of the state.  Continued growth in this direction will be a great thing for the University as well as our community here in Bend.

Breaking Ground for Transitional Care in Bend

While we are achieving significant new things for younger people in Bend, we are also seeing great advancements for those in older generations.

I recently witnessed the groundbreaking ceremony for a new Bend transitional care facility, the Harmony House. This will be a substantial facility that will cater to the needs of many of those in our community to improve their way of life by way of skilled nursing and rehabilitation service and support.

Issue Focus: Family Economic Stability Sinks

I wanted to share a recent article from The Oregonian that highlights a study conducted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which shows that Oregon now sits among the bottom 10 states nationally in regard to economic stability of families. Since the last study, Oregon has worsened in all four measurements of government data. 

What Oregonians primarily need are more long-lasting, private sector jobs.  It's time the State Legislature makes this the priority again.

Knopp Pushing To End "Death Tax"

From the News Radio Central Oregon KBNW BEND, OR -- Recently elected Republican state senate nominee Tim Knopp is push for a phase out of what he calls Oregon’s Death Tax.  Knopp said Oregon one of three western states that still has an estate tax on books.  The other two states are Washington and Hawaii.  Knopp said to make Oregon attractive to businesses and retirees, the Death Tax should be eliminated.  He added this shouldn’t be a partisan issue.

“Paying the tax isn’t by party.  When you die, they taken your money if you raised to a certain threshold, and these days, the threshold is $1 million.  And honestly, over a lifetime, if you think about your parents or your grandparents and what they accumulated, there are a lot of people who end up over that limit.”

Knopp added the current estate tax hurts small businesses, especially farms and ranches, the hardest.

“The opponents will say, ‘We’ve never had a documented case of a farm being sold or going under because of this tax’.  No, what [the farmer’s family] has to do is spend tens of thousands of dollars trying to figure out how to avoid this thing, and in many cases, they just sell out to their neighbors.”

Knopp is supporting a petition that, if approved by voters, would phase out the state’s estate tax by:

  • 25% in 2013
  • 50% in 2014
  • 75% in 2015
  • And on January 1, 2016, the tax is zero

To learn more about the estate tax, and Knopp’s efforts, visit End Oregon Death Tax's Website.

Independence Remembered

Independence Day is just around the corner.  It is, among many things, a time to reflect on and celebrate the hard fought, fundamental values on which we stand.

Before you fire up the old BBQ, think about the fact that the carefully planned government created by our founding fathers was not only designed to protect our independence but gives us the responsibility to work for change when there is a need.

I believe we should take every opportunity we can to preserve freedom in America and in Oregon.  I am running for State Senate because I believe there are many areas in our state government that need to change.

Freedom from the Death Tax

I am pleased to say that supporters of the initiative to end Oregon's death tax have collected the minimum number of signatures for the petition to be placed on the November 2012 ballot.  However, it is important to continue to collect signatures because, if history is any guide, the Secretary of State could throw out quite a number of them by the time all the counting is done.

For this reason, if you have not signed the petition yet, please go to  Download the petition, sign it, ask your friends and family to sign it, and mail it in (address is found with the petition information).

Today is the last day to mail in petitions! If you cannot get your petition in the mail today, you may drop it off on Thursday by 3 PM at the Central Oregon Builders Association:

1051 NE 4th St Bend, OR 97701 (541) 389-1058

PERS Reform: the Time to Act is Now

Recently I saw an article in the Oregonian that talked about how our schools will continue to suffer as the costs associated with the Public Employee Retirement System (or PERS) rise.

This is a serious problem that is getting out of hand.  It is up to the Legislature to make substantial reforms to PERS. We cannot continue to ignore a crisis that is becoming detrimental to our educational system.

As your State Senator, I will push the right type of reforms to mend this injured system just as I did in 2003 as chair of the House PERS Committee.

Knopp Far Outpaces Telfer in $$$ Battle

From BEND, Ore. -- Bend State senate candidate Tim Knopp is no stranger to being outspent in past campaigns. He says what you really need is enough money to get your message out.

Knopp estimates it takes between $150,000 and $200,000 to beat an incumbent.

Right now, with two weeks before ballots are counted, he's on the track to doing just that.

Knopp has been busy going to door to door with his family.

"The only expense there really is the brochures that you are handing out, so that's the small part of the budget," Knopp said.

Most of his campaign money goes to ads on television and radio, or in the newspaper and direct mail, as well as billboards and lawn signs.

Knopp has had enough to do all of it, and the numbers speak for themselves.

According to the secretary of state's website, ORESTAR, Knopp has raised more than $136,000 and already has spent $123,000 of that.

His challenger, Senator Chris Telfer, on the other hand, has raised $48,000 and has spent $44,000.

"I've been in the community a long time and know a lot of people, and I know a lot of organizations ,and they've been just very supportive in the past," Knopp said.

"Tim Knopp has raised a great deal of money in just a very short time," said Laurie Gould, Deschutes County Democrats chairwoman, who has been following the race closely.

"Chris seems to have more of a bankroll than Tim does, it doesn't mean Tim doesn't raise some money at the last minute toward more media buys and getting his message out," Gould said.

According to the Website, Knopp has only $12,000 left to spend, while Telfer, who had a previous balance of $20,000 from last year, has $24,000 to spend in the remaining 12 days.

"It gives you an idea of their different campaign strategies," Gould said. "They look at peoples' voting patterns and who votes early in that two-week period when you have your ballot at home and who's going to vote later."

"The people clearly have responded to my running," Knopp said. "Obviously I hope that translates to people who are going to support me in the election when they vote for me."

Telfer declined to comment for this story.

Gould worked on Democrat Judy Stiegler's successful campaign against Republican incumbent Chuck Burley for the House District 54 seat in 2008. That was considered the most expensive race in Oregon history for an Oregon House seat.

Both sides in that race raised about $500,000 each.

Deschutes County GOP Candidates Speak

From BEND, Ore. -- Deschutes County Republican candidates in the May primary wanted to get their messages out to the public, so the candidates spoke at the Awbrey Glen Golf Club in Bend Sunday afternoon.

Every county GOP candidate in the May primary was there.

If you haven't received your ballot in the mail yet, you should receive it by Tuesday (or contact your county clerks' office).

But before you vote, the candidates wanted to make sure you were voting for the right candidate -- themselves.

One of the most-watched races in the state this primary season is for the state senate 27th District seat, between incumbent Chris Telfer and challenger Tim Knopp -- a rare challenger to an incumbent legislator.

"The unemployment rate is not just statistics on a page," Knopp told the audience. "It's not numbers on a page. It's 7,000 people who have names and faces, many of which I know I have seen and have suffered. I think we can do better, and I think we can turn this thing around."

"I have been able to bring thousands of jobs to this area, millions of dollars and numerous economic opportunities -- and yes, I think those will have an impact on unemployment," Telfer said.

Whoever ends up winning the primary will face off against Democrat Geri Hauser in November.

The other contested race is for circuit court judge, the seat for Andrew Sullivan. It's a non-partisan position, but all four candidates were on hand Sunday: Thomas Spear, Aaron Brenneman, Andrew Balyeat and Beth Bagley.

Also speaking at Sunday's forum were the two Republican candidates for Deschutes County Commissioner Position 2, Tom Greene and Phillip Henderson. The winner of that contest will face Democratic incumbent Allan Unger this fall.

State Reps. Jason Conger and Gene Whisnant are running for re-election, but don't have a Republican challenger. Conger will face Democrat Nathan Hovenkamp in November; Whisnant also has not drawn a Democratic foe.

Two candidates for Bend City Council also were there, though their races will be on the November general election ballot. Ed Barbeau plans to run for Mayor Jeff Eager's seat (he has announced he won't seek another term and Victor Chudowsky is running for Greene's seat.

The Republican candidate for secretary of state, Knute Buehler of Bend, spoke at the end of Sunday's forum.

Column: Differences between Telfer and Knopp

By — John Costa / The Bulletin Published: April 22. 2012 4:00AM PST

At the risk of appearing painfully obvious, Chris Telfer is not Tim Knopp.

And Tim Knopp is not Chris Telfer.

That simplistic distinction is important because these two very competent and experienced politicians are running against each other in the May primary.

It’s fair to say that few, if any, learned political observers predicted that former legislator Knopp, now the executive vice president of the Central Oregon Builders Association, would challenge Telfer, the incumbent Republican senator from Central Oregon.

Or that Knopp’s challenge, which could impact the political calculus in the state Legislature, would draw the support of two Republican representatives: Mike McLane of Powell Butte and Jason Conger of Bend.

Why, after all, would a political party jeopardize incumbency, not to mention spending a lot of money knocking off a sitting senator — unless there is some profound political division between the two?

So far, the accusations and claims of the two are not very informative.

Knopp says Telfer committed the cardinal sin of supporting a statewide vote challenging the permanence of the state’s tax kicker.

Telfer’s supporters say that’s an interesting accusation coming from the one-time prince of referenda.

Telfer’s camp suggests Knopp is a shill for the building industry. Knopp’s fans say Telfer was once a real Democrat and is now a virtual one.

This back and forth ranges across redistricting, job creation, support for the Oregon State University’s expansion in Central Oregon, etc., etc.

In the end, each candidate comes to represent the sum of all pejoratives. And voters are expected to sift through the slings and cast a vote.

That’s not fair to the voters, and it is not fair to the candidates.

Turning the discussion toward what each believes is the role of government elicits a better sense of what each holds to be true. It’s apparent that there are differences. Some are matters of degree, but others are more profound.

Telfer sees the role of government as “enabler.” Whether it is through tax structure, education or protection of citizens, she believes government’s role is to “enable people to be self sufficient.”

It’s a positive view of government.

Perhaps it’s just a matter of tone, but Knopp’s view of the role of government is more restrictive.

Government, he said, “should only be doing that which the private sector can’t do efficiently.”

Telfer does not argue that the government should do everything any more than Knopp is arguing that it should do nothing. Both agree that the government has a role in critical services for, in Knopp’s words, “people who don’t have the means,” or, in Telfer’s words, “people who are disabled.”

But they have different priorities.

To Telfer, the most important function of government is public education, “pre-k through college.” However, she supports extensive reforms. “We have a long way to go,” she adds.

“Public safety,” she believes, “is doing the best it can with the budget it has.”

Knopp believes the top priority of government is public safety. He refers positively to public education but also believes in “options,” such as “private schools, home schools, secular or religious.”

A supporter of charter schools, he believes parents should have more choice. They both think government should be friendlier to business, and they both prefer a more limited role for government in health care and social services.

All the campaign attacks aside, they are both good candidates with similar instincts but different emphasis.

Taxation may be the clearest portal through which to view these two good pubic servants. Knopp sees profligacy; Telfer sees inefficiency. Telfer would comb the budget to make sure every dime the government gets is used well. Knopp would prefer fewer dimes.

At least that is my impression. Hope it helps.

— John Costa is editor-in-chief of The Bulletin. Contact: 541-383-0337,

Telfer Continues to Misrepresent Her Voting Record

Attacks Knopp to distract voters from the Truth (Bend, OR.)—Only one of the candidates in the Central Oregon race for State Senate, District 27 is misleading voters about their record, and it’s none other than Senator Chris Telfer. Telfer is trying to distract voters by attacking Knopp, but the real truth is Telfer made false claims about her own accomplishments trying to make her record look better than the reality.

Telfer sent out a press release after the 2012 session claiming that one of her accomplishments was “…a fiscally responsible budget agreement that controls state spending.” The problem is Telfer voted no on the budget bills that rebalanced the budget leaving her no legitimate way to take credit for it. Telfer said on the Senate floor before the vote, “Just letting everybody know that I will be no on all the budget bills.” Then Telfer followed through and voted no on the budget bills. Just days later in a media release she listed the 2012 rebalance as an accomplishment.

In fact her statements are so outlandish they caught the attention of The Oregonian and Politifact, an independent group that rates claims made by politicians. After reviewing Telfer’s claims regarding her so called accomplishments they said “Telfer didn’t negotiate, or help negotiate, that agreement. Not only that, she voted against the bills that authorize operating money for state government. Her statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim. We rule the statement Pants on Fire.”

Most people when caught publicly making false and misleading statements would simply apologize, not Chris Telfer. Telfer said she stands by her statement.

After being caught making these false statements Telfer is now attacking Tim Knopp saying he is misrepresenting her record. Knopp responded today by saying, “I think it’s sad that Chris Telfer is misrepresenting her accomplishments. She has attacked me because we have exposed her liberal votes supporting bigger government and higher taxes. Since Chris Telfer is attacking me I will make sure and send out the supporting documents to Republican voters and let them decide who’s telling the truth. Once voters read it in black and white I have no doubt they will conclude what I’m saying is the truth.”

Tim Knopp stated, I’ve said Telfer supported one of the largest gas tax increases in Oregon history, trading her vote for earmarks and that’s true. I’ve said Telfer was a Democrat and turned Republican before she ran for the State Senate and that’s true. I’ve said Telfer sponsored a bill with liberal Portland Democrats to take HALF of the people’s Kicker Tax refunds and give it to the government and that’s true. I’ve said that Telfer’s redistricting plan gave a much bigger advantage to Democrat’s in House District 54, which is also absolutely True.

“Unlike my opponent I would never knowingly make false statements about my record or my opponent’s record,” Knopp said.

Knopp flexes fundraising muscle

Even his rival, Sen. Chris Telfer, has benefited from two of his PACs By Lauren Dake / The Bulletin Published: April 22. 2012 4:00AM PST

Complete coverage at

Sen. Chris Telfer

SALEM — Former lawmaker Tim Knopp has attacked the record of his opponent, Sen. Chris Telfer, in the state’s upper chamber, but that didn’t stop him from contributing $7,000 over the years to her efforts.

Knopp has a reputation for being a fundraising powerhouse. His own personal political action committee, with the goal of unseating Telfer this May, has raised more than $100,000 since the start of last month. Telfer, by comparison, has raised about $33,400. But two of Knopp’s political action committees, or PACs, have long wielded influence in state and local politics.

When Rep. Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, and Rep. Jason Conger, R-Bend, both announced they were endorsing Knopp, each cited the fact that Knopp helped them in their election efforts. And those two PACs have also infused Telfer’s campaign with contributions.

Knopp pointed out that he was not the sole decision maker when it came to campaign contributions, and most checks are cut for candidates who abide by certain principles.

Campaign records show that over the years, notable politicians across the state and locally, including Tony DeBone and Tammy Baney, have also benefited from Knopp’s fundraising.

Now that he’s running for office again, Knopp said, he’s distanced himself from the two PACs, called the Reagan PAC and Central Oregonianns for Affordable Housing PAC, and focused efforts on the PAC aimed solely at electing him state senator.

Knopp founded the Reagan PAC in 2010. The goal, he said, was to unite people around President Ronald Reagan’s principles of “limited government and expanded freedom.”

After watching small businesses come “under attack in 2009,” he started the PAC to help more Republicans get elected. Since then, the PAC has contributed about $200,000 to a slew of candidates.

It contributed more than $16,000 to Conger. It gave more than $1,000 to both Reps. Gene Whisnant, R-Sunriver, and McLane, and since its creation more than $3,000 to Telfer. Knopp credits his fundraising success to simply being willing to ask for donations.

“You have to talk to a lot of people, and I think my success has come down to calling people and talking to them face to face,” he said.

It’s also easier to ask for donations for a PAC than for a specific candidate, he said. With both the Reagan PAC and the Central Oregonians for Affordable Housing PAC, it’s easier to raise money for a “cause” than it is for his personal PAC, geared toward the sole purpose of getting him elected. The Central Oregonians for Affordable Housing PAC has similar goals of the Reagan PAC and is affiliated with the Central Oregon Builders Association, where Knopp is the executive vice president.

The Central Oregonians for Affordable Housing PAC has contributed about $75,000 to candidates since 2010.

Since then, it’s doled out $8,000 to Whisnant, $5,000 to McLane, $3,700 to Telfer and $1,000 to Conger.

Knopp said that since he’s decided to run for election, he’s distanced himself from the two PACs and is no longer the one who signs the checks.

That duty falls to his longtime friend and colleague at COBA, Andy High.

Knopp discredits the idea that by maintaining the PACs he’s kept his hand in the political game, all but ensuring support if he were to run again. “I really didn’t make a decision until late February of this year to run and had to file on the deadline of March 6,” he said.

He said that when people asked months before if he had plans to run for office, he would have answered no.

“That’s how quickly things change in the political process,” he said.

Political action committees have long been part of the machine. But it’s much more common now for people to raise money in an effort to help members in their party get elected, rather than simply raising it to get yourself elected, said Oregon State University political science professor and political analyst Bill Lunch.

The power to raise funds quickly also helps a member “gain influence within their caucus,” and that’s increased over the years, Lunch said.

The other big change was the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case that ruled corporations and unions are persons under the Constitution and can therefore contribute any amount to political campaigns. But in Oregon politics, it’s long been the case that there are no limits on campaign contributions or expenditures, as in other states.

Lunch said the evidence is thin that campaign contributions equal political sway when it comes to casting votes on legislation.

“Lots of people have a suspicion that under the table, there must be a quid pro quo for large contributions,” he said. “It’s not unreasonable to think that because it does happen, but most of the time it’s not the case. (But) it’s exceedingly difficult ... to know.”

Tim Knopp for State Senate Reports Raising Over $100,000 in Four Weeks

To: All MediaDate: April 10, 2012 Contact: Tim Knopp Phone: 541-408-5164

(Bend, OR.)—Tim Knopp, Former Oregon House Majority Leader and three-term State Representative, is running for state Senate, District 27. Knopp announced today he’s received cash, pledges and in-kind contributions of over $100,000 in just four weeks for his state senate campaign. “It’s a great start and I look forward to getting my message of jobs, freedom and limited government out to voters in Senate District 27,”said Knopp.

Tim Knopp said, “I’m honored to have the contributions and support from so many individuals and small business associations in such a short period of time. It’s clear voters want to have a choice in this primary.  The support I’ve received so far has been incredible. Republican voters want to vote for conservatives they can trust and my candidacy gives them that choice.”

Knopp stated, “My top priority is helping small businesses create more private sector jobs to get Central Oregon’s struggling economy moving again. We need leadership on job creation. I will maintain my focus and leadership on jobs until all Central Oregonians that want a job have job.”

Knopp has a track record in the legislature of supporting small business, reforming PERS, and opposing unnecessary regulation and tax increases. He led the effort 10 years ago to insure liberal politicians couldn’t get their hands on taxpayer’s Kicker refunds.

Bend State Senate Race Pits Former House Majority Leader Against Incumbent

By David NoguerasFrom

When Republican Chris Telfer lost the race for State Treasurer, the Senate’s only Certified Public Accountant carried on with her work in the State Legislature. Telfer is up for reelection this year, but as David Nogueras reports, this time she faces a challenge from a fellow Republican.

The race between Telfer and former House majority leader Tim Knopp has been raising eyebrows in political circles since Knopp first announced his intention to run this March. But a random sampling of the crowd at the Breakfast Club restaurant in Bend suggests many here are only just becoming aware of the race.

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