Monday, May 15, 2006

2006 May Primary: How I'll Vote

I'm giving-up my own right to privacy and disclosing my voters' ballot:

US REPRESENTATIVE, OREGON 1ST DISTRICT (DEM): David Wu I'll vote for the incumbent. All of the Democratic opponents appear to be fringe or use the voters' guide for their own personal publicity. 05/16/2006@8:51P UPDATE: David Wu predicted winner 86% (54% counted)

OR GOVERNOR (DEM): Ted Kulongoski Although I think he pissed-away his term as governor, I'll reluctantly support his re-election. No alternative candidate really catches my attention. Unfortunately, Kulongoski's best attribute is that he is a placeholder candidate who can block a Mannix or Saxton Republican governorship. 05/16/2006@11:13P UPDATE: Kulongoski predicted winner 55% (74% counted) A good finish for the incumbent Governor. On the Republican side, Ron Saxton upset Kevin Mannix for the nomination. Saxton will be a tougher candidate for Kulongoski to beat. Mannix and the other Republican candidate, Atkinson, are making a point to unite and support Mannix. Will Democratic challengers Jim Hill and Pete Sorenson swallow their words and campaign for Kulongoski for the sake of the party and the state? (

OR REPRESENTATIVE (DEM): Mary Nolan Incumbent running unopposed for Democratic nomination.

OR LABOR COMMISSIONER: Dan Gardner Incumbent running unopposed.

OR SUPERINTENDENT: Susan Castillo Incumbent opposed only by obscure candidate, Deborah Andrews. 05/16/2006@8:51P UPDATE: Susan Castillo predicted winner 60% (42% counted) (

OR SUPREME COURT POSITION 6: Virginia L. Linder Endorsed by Willamette Week(1), Portland Mercury(2), and Basic Right Oregon PAC(3). Opponent Jack Roberts is a Republican and the other opponent, Pendleton trial lawyer Gene Hallman, seems obscure. WW's main argument in favor of Linder is that she is a woman and the all-male Supreme needs diversity. 05/16/2006@11:43P UPDATE: Jack Roberts leading at 41% (76% counted) Linder in 2nd at 39%. Roberts and Linder will run-off in November.(

OR CIRCUIT COURT, 4TH DISTRICT (MULTNOMAH), POSITION 31: Trung D. Tu He would be a relatively young judge and as an Asian-American from Vietnam will bring diversity to the courts. He also has been endorsed(4) by two OR Supreme Court Justices, Portland Commissioner Sam Adams, and Multnomah County Commissioners Maria Rojo de Steffey and Serena Cruz Walsh. WW endorsed(1) Julia Philbrook, but their reasoning didn't really persuade me. Portland Mayor Tom Potter also endorsed Philbook so it seems like she should be a good candidate(5). 05/16/2006@11:00P UPDATE: Kathleen Payne leading at 25% (70% counted) Trung Tu in 4th at 18% (Multnomah County Elections) 05/17/2006@4:38A UPDATE: Kathleen Payne leads with 23% Trung Tu in 4th at 18% Payne will run against Cheryl Albrecht in November (right?) (Multnomah County Elections, Unofficial Result)

ALL OTHER OR COURTS POSITIONS: I voted for the incumbents who were all unopposed.

METRO AUDITOR: Suzanne Flynn The term-limited Multnomah County auditor wants to stay in the local government auditing business by moving to Metro. The Merc(2), The Portland Tribune(7), and The O(8) all endorsed her. The 11-year incumbent, Alexis Dow, was endorsed by WW, but the Trib cites criticism about her moonlighting (which is against Metro's charter) and allegations about her expense account usage. I can't find Dow's campaign website and it wasn't listed in the official voters guide, so it seems that even she isn't interested in her own re-election. 05/16/2006@11:44P UPDATE: Suzanne Flynn leading at 58% (58% counted) (

MULTNOMAH COUNTY CHAIR: Ted Wheeler See my prior post. 05/16/2006@11:50P UPDATE: Ted Wheeler predicted winner 71% (75% counted) ( 05/17/2006@4:38A UPDATE: Ted Wheeler wins with 70% (Multnomah County Elections Final Unofficial Result)

MULTNOMAH COUNTY AUDITOR: LaVonne Griffin-Valade WW(1), Merc(2), and The Oregonian(6) endorsed her and BRO PAC green lighted her. She is the second-in-command at in the County Auditor's office and seems to be well-qualified for the position. According to WW, her opponent, OR Representative Steve March(D), hasn't worked as an auditor in 10 years. March was also green lighted BRO PAC -- although I'm not sure how much the County Auditor is involved with GLBT civil rights. 05/16/2006@11:44P UPDATE: LaVonne Griffin-Valade leading at 56% (75% counted) ( 05/17/2006@4:38A UPDATE: Griffin-Valade wins with 56% (Multnomah County Elections Final Unofficial Result)

MULTNOMAH COUNTY SHERIFF: Paul Van Orden (write-in candidate) WW recruited Van Orden to shake-up unopposed incumbent Bernie Giusto who refuses to fix the Sheriff's office overtime problem and has used his position to conduct an intervention on his girlfriend's husband (huh?)(1).

Even the Merc is joining WW in endorsing Van Orden who has been Portland noise complaint officer for 10 years. I don't really agree with Van Orden's plan to somehow turn the Sheriff's position into a recruited, professional staff position like the City of Portland's Police Chief, but I think Giusto should have to fight for his job. 05/16/2006@11:44P UPDATE: Bernie Guisto predicted winner at 69% (75% counted) ( 05/17/2006@4:38A UPDATE: Giusto wins with 62%, Donald DuPay in 2nd with 28%. Write-Ins had 10% (Multnomah County Elections Final Unofficial Result)

PORTLAND CITY COMMISSIONER, POSITION 2: Dave Lister Although I like the incumbent, Erik Sten, I think there is room for improvement. What really irks me about Sten is that he created the embarrassingly flawed Voter Owned Elections system which gives away $150K of taxpayer cash to unaccountable candidates (i.e. Emilie Boyles) and then used the same flawed system to finance his own re-election. I'm sure Sten was sincere in his intentions (which is why I'm sure he will continue to be supported by voters), but in what other city could a politician be allowed to create a ordinance that forces taxpayers to finance their own re-election. Since Sten's VOE is suppose to allow outsiders into the political process, I think the longest serving Commissioner should face a real challenge from an an outsider.

I think the City Council would benefit from diversity. What's more different than an eastside Republican (besides a woman or a person of color)? Dave Lister is endorsed by L&C Tax Professor and blogger Jack Bogdanski(9). Unfortunately, Lister's website doesn't list his endorsers, so who know who else endorses this guy.

Interestingly, WW's recent article(10) about Lister's campaign says that he disagrees with Sten, but admires him and talks about what he will do if he loses. Lister's website doesn't list the WW article -- probably because it makes Lister appear to be a novice. Maybe WW was trying to influence the campaign in it's last issue before the ballot due date.

The other major candidate, OR Representative Ginny Burdick has received so much bad press from her questionable campaign tactics (push polling) and allegiance to her corporate employer that I would be surprised she hasn't dropped out already. 05/16/2006@11:43P UPDATE: Erik Sten predicted winner at 44% (77% counted). Will probably have run-off against Ginny Burdick who's in 2nd at 30% ( 05/17/2006@4:38A UPDATE: Sten wins with 50.52%. Write-Ins had 10% and Ginny Burdick is in 2nd with 27.30% Lister in 3rd with 13.41% Sten may not face run-off with Burdick if he wins more than 50%.(Multnomah County Elections Final Unofficial Result)

PORTLAND CITY COMMISSIONER, POSITION 3: Amanda Fritz My main motive in voting for Fritz is that I don't think the incumbent, Dan Saltzman, should be given a free ride to another term. The OHSU Tram, South Waterfront, and Water Billing screw-ups should have consequences. Also, I think it is embarrassing that the Council does not have a woman or racial minority. At least Fritz would bring another perspective. I'm not sure I would vote for her in the November election, but I she should be given a chance to fight for the position. 05/16/2006@11:43P UPDATE: Dan Saltzman predicted winner at 59% (77% counted). No run-off required ( 05/17/2006@4:38A UPDATE: Saltzman wins with 58%. Fritz in 2nd with 25% Saltzman will not face run-off.(Multnomah County Elections Final Unofficial Result)

PORTLAND CITY AUDITOR: Gary Blackmer Apparently, Blackmer is unopposed or at least his opponents have not filed statements in the voters' guide. I think he was involved in creating the flawed VOE, but there appears to be no alternative.

(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

2006 May Primary: MultCo Chair

Ted Wheeler |

PROs Endorsements: Willamette Week Portland Mercury The Oregonian Portland Tribune former Portland Mayor Bud Clark former Portland Mayor Vera Katz PPS Board Member Dan Ryan Has Some Management Experience: "He's successfully managed companies that have far higher cash rolls than the county..."(2) Has County Human Services Vendor Experience: "... he's worked with nonprofits like the ones the county contracts with for human services." (2)

CONs No Government Experience:Leading the state's third largest government seems to be a big job for someone with no prior government experience. No Public Track Record: Would Wheeler be such an attractive alternative to the incumbant if he had a public record that could be analyzed?

Diane Linn |

PROs Endorsements: Basic Rights Oregon Equality PAC Just Out former OR Governor Barbara Roberts OR Attorney General Hardy Myers OR Labor Commissioner Dan Gardner OR Senator Margaret Carter Portland Commissioner Randy Leonard former OR Supreme Court Justice Betty Roberts Terry Bean Junki Yoshida Thomas Lauderdale Rev. Glenna T. Shepherd Led Effort to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

CONs Has not been able to lead board Made controversial same-sex marriage decision in secret Has not been able to open $60M Wapato Jail(1) Promised High Salary to New Library Director Paid Employees for Snow Day Former Finance Director accuses her of asking him to misrepresent facts(1)

After reading the various newspaper endorsements, I'll probably vote for Wheeler and hope for the best. Admittedly, the County faced enourmous challenges during Linn's term and I understand difficult decisions had to be made. However, it seems job of County Chair could be done better and that it's time for a change. The fact that her fellow commissioners with similar social/political views are also supporting Wheeler tilt me in his favor.

BRO PAC's and Just Out's arguments that GLBT voters owe Linn our vote due to her courageous leadership in the same-sex marriage debate really bother me. Although civil rights are important, they are only one relatively small part of what the County does. More importantly, the County is responsible for caring for some of the most vulnerable members of society while also having to find ways to keep criminals off the street. I don't think GLBT voters should be reduced to single-issue voters.

I'm also disappointed and offended by BRO PAC's effort to undermine Wheeler's campaign by not "green lighting" him while specifically endorsing Linn. BRO PAC seems to be putting politics before doing what is in the best interest of GLBT citizens.

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