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Slant: RG layoffs and Mercer Money

• Rumor has it that The Register-Guard is laying off another 20 employees. The toll this time includes reporter Lillian Schrock, who was let go Friday, and newsroom veteran Diane Dietz, who got laid off on Tuesday. Dietz has bulldogged the leadership chaos and financial shenanigans at the University of Oregon for years. In a gracious Facebook post about her departure, she writes: “We must do all we can to bolster and to comfort the young reporters who — while caught in the squeeze of news economics — must nonetheless provide us with the fruits of their work, the facts that we so desperately need.” She’s right. America needs aggressive, independent journalism now more than ever.

Blankets, parkas, sweaters, socks, towels, bags of used but still useful stuff have nearly blocked the Weekly’s reception space at 1251 Lincoln Street over the past few months. We have been running a small ad in the paper every week and you readers really have been responding. Richard Hunt, our circulation manager, has hauled five pickup truck loads over to White Bird, where they hand out every item to people in need. We all thank you and hope you will keep caring and contributing.

• Right-wing money from creepy billionaire Robert Mercer is once again slouching into an Oregon political race. Mercer — who helped found the alt-right’s Breitbart news site with a $10 million investment — has poured as much as $1.7 million over the last four congressional elections into Oregon pseudoscientist (remember the urine samples and dumping nuclear waste in the oceans?) Art Robinson’s unsuccessful bid to unseat long-time Fourth District Rep. Peter DeFazio. Mercer is back again, DeFazio says in a email to supporters: “2018 will be their greatest offensive to date, but I know we’ve got what it takes to beat them fair and square.”