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Readers Respond to Real Estate Sales by the RB Pamplin Corp. – Willamette Week

Last week, WW published the results of a three-month investigation into real estate sales by the R.B. Pamplin Corp. Several companies long owned by the family of Robert Pamplin Jr. sold properties to the pension fund for former employees. Experts say those deals could violate federal labor law and threaten the pensions of 2,400 people who worked for the Pamplin family empire. Here’s what our readers had to say:

flogblorgle, via Reddit: “Whoa. A lot of huge red flags here. Failure to deposit payroll withholding? Self-dealing transactions with the pension fund to free up cash? Unwillingness to disclose environmental testing reports when marketing CRE? Liens and missed payments to third parties? This is really, really, really bad.”

Dubious, via “Trump has shown us how easy it is to misrepresent the value of real property to meet your financial needs. “Why is no one holding him accountable or limiting what WW claims is unlawful behavior? If I got caught stealing a six-pack from Fred Meyer I’d probably be in jail now, but as we see, in America, the larger the crime the smaller the consequence.”

suddenlyturgid, via Reddit: “Another spendthrift Oregon billionaire industrialist biting the dust and taking down thousands of exploited workers along with him. Hopefully the people who made his family rich get some recompense, but I doubt it.”

Kurt Chapman, via “Shirt-sleeves to shirt-sleeves in three generations appears to be an apt saying here. Maybe this will end similar to another (in)famous Oregon company. Evergreen Aviation, owned and run by Del Smith, met a similar string of unpaid bills, tax liens and issue before bankruptcy and complete shutdown of the entire conglomerate 2013-2014.”

Jonathan Howell, via Facebook: “In the ‘legacy’ media and social media today, anyone can allege anything about anyone. [The U.S. Department of Labor] has a field office in Seattle, they have responsibility to investigate allegations of violations of fiduciary duty, and they can certainly have at this one whenever they want.…The only persons who have standing to complain are the plan’s vested participants. I think you’re a ‘stakeholder’ in your own political beliefs and what you find most offensive is Dr. Pamplin’s religious and political beliefs. Prejudice of every color and flavor is an offense against us all; somehow people have decided that prejudice against the beliefs of others is acceptable when in opposition to their own.”

Skeptic (D), via “Bitter irony that Andrew Wiederhorn and the Robert Pamplins are in the news at virtually the same time.”

pdxsean, via Reddit: “Those buildings in Shaniko weathering into dust aren’t going to pay for themselves!”

LETTERS to the editor must include the author’s street address and phone number for verification. Letters must be 250 or fewer words. Submit to: PO Box 10770, Portland, OR 97296 Email:

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