The Oregon Capitol Watch Foundation (OCWF) is a nonprofit organization that intends to educate Oregonians about state and local governments spending. To this end, OCWF researches, documents, and publicizes how government spends tax dollars. The Oregon Capitol Watch Foundation also promotes efficient government by developing policy proposals that encourage sound fiscal policies. 1
The Oregon Capitol Watch Foundation makes budget reports, citizen surveys, and state compensation comparisons available to the public. 3 In a 2017 statewide survey performed by live phone interviews in Oregon, 56.6% of those interviewed disapproved of then-President Donald Trump’s job performance, 77.8% were concerned with the deficit of the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS), which was then underfunded by an estimated $25 billion, and 54.1% would vote yes on Ballot Measure 101, which would approve a tax increase to fund health coverage for lower-income Oregonians under expanded Medicaid. The survey also showed 46.9% of those interviewed would reelect then-Governor Kate Brown (D), despite the survey pointing out that Brown received nearly $2 million in campaign contributions from public employee unions over the course of her career, signed a bill that reduced sentences for certain repeat criminals, and will receive the highest level of PERS benefits upon her retirement. 4
The Oregon Capitol Watch Foundation encourages individuals to become grassroots activists and pay attention to happenings in the state legislature. OCWF provides a guide for becoming a “budget detective,” in order to make government budgets easier to read and understand for a layperson. A citizen budget detective would then be able to find fraud and waste in public budgets, in an effort to encourage government to be more accountable regarding tax dollar spending. 5
In 2013, the Oregon Capitol Watch Foundation filed a legal action against the Internal Revenue Service for delaying the approval of OCWF’s nonprofit tax-exempt application, calling the delay unfair and unconstitutional targeting. OCWF was one of 40 plaintiffs represented by the American Center for Law and Justice, all claiming that each organizations’ constitutional rights were violated due to their political beliefs. 6
The Oregon Capitol Watch Foundation is funded by donations from individuals, foundations, and businesses. While OCWF does not disclose its donors, tax filings confirm donations from the Franklin News Network ($250,000 in 2014), 7 DonorsTrust ($225,000 in 2017), 8 and the State Policy Network ($200,000 in 2012). 9
Jeff Kropf is the executive director of the Oregon Capitol Watch Foundation and a former Republican Oregon state Representative. Kropf formerly worked as executive director of the Northwest Renewable Fuels Association, state director of the Oregon Chapter of Americans for Prosperity, and chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. 10
Rodney Stubbs is the president of the board of OCWF and formerly worked as managing director of the now defunct Pacific Freedom Foundation. 11
Tom Hammer is the secretary of the board and a member of the National Federation of Independent Business. 12
- “About Us.” Oregon Capitol Watch Foundation. Accessed May 9, 2023. https://www.ocwf.org/events.
- “Directory.” State Policy Network. Archived from the original April 28, 2015. Accessed May 9, 2023. http://web.archive.org/web/20150428103132/http://www.spn.org/directory/char.O/organizations.asp.
- “Reports.” Oregon Capitol Watch Foundation. Accessed May 15, 2023. https://www.ocwf.org/reports.
- “2017 Oregon Statewide Survey.” Oregon Capitol Watch Foundation, November 2017. Accessed May 15, 2023. https://www.ocwf.org/_files/ugd/2be652_b58f5839b2254322b5bdb32ba201f041.pdf.
- “Resources.” Oregon Capitol Watch Foundation. Accessed May 15, 2023. https://www.ocwf.org/resources.
- “Press.” Oregon Capitol Watch Foundation. Accessed May 15, 2023. https://www.ocwf.org/press.
- Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2014, Schedule I, Part II.
- DonorsTrust, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017, Schedule I, Part II.
- State Policy Network, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2012, Schedule I, Part II.
- “Honorable Jeff Kropf.” Americans for Prosperity. Archived from the original March 26, 2009. Accessed May 15, 2023. http://web.archive.org/web/20090326190949/http://www.americansforprosperity.org/about/staff/jeff-kropf.
- “Rodney R. Stubbs.” LinkedIn. Accessed May 15, 2023. https://www.linkedin.com/in/rodney-r-stubbs-a956b748/
- Hammer, Tom. “An Oregon Farmer’s Opinion on House Bill 2358.” Yamhill Advocate, February 2, 2022. Accessed May 15, 2023. https://www.yamhilladvocate.com/2022/02/an-oregon-farmers-opinion-on-house-bill-2358/.