Tax Court upholds tribe in lawsuit against Tri-Met

Portland, Oregon (AP) 6-08

The Oregon Tax Court has ruled in favor of a California tribe in an free-speech lawsuit against the Portland-area transit agency Tri-Met.

The Karuk Tribe proposed an ad showing salmon blocked by an underwater wall of electrical outlets and saying: “Salmon shouldn’t run up your electric bill. They should run up the Klamath River.”

The ads referred to the struggle over fish and dams in the Klamath River.

Tri-Met said its ads focus on selling goods and services, and the Karuk’s ad was too controversial.

The tax court said Tri-Met does not have to carry opinions of others, but if it does, it can’t discriminate between political and commerical content.

The suit was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.