Friday, April 30, 2010

2010 Primary: OR Governor (Dem)

May 18, 2010, Oregon Primary Election
Democratic Party
Oregon Governor
Four-year term, $93k salary

[_] Roger Obrist
  • Yikes: No statement in the official Oregon voters' guide.
  • Unlikely: "I would support legislation 'Eliminating property Taxes' as a way of raising revenue. Finding an alternative such as a sales tax."
  • "...a retired construction worker from Damascus, is also in the race, but not running a serious campaign."
[X] John Kitzhaber
  • Jobs For Oregon plan
  • Making Americans Healthier plan
  • Education plan
  • Energy and Environment plan
  • Wow. I forgot about that: "In 1994, he displayed a level of aggressiveness and naked ambition unusual in Oregon politics. Democrat Barbara Roberts was finishing her first term as governor and planning to run for a second. Kitzhaber decided to take her on and forced her out of the race."
  • "..The good news is Kitzhaber seems interested in more than a farewell tour. His brain is filled with ideas—about how to cut healthcare costs by putting a brake on ineffective procedures; about combining K-12, community colleges and higher ed into one K-20 entity; about budgeting in a different way."
  • "..told the OEA to improve teacher performance if the union wants more money. He told enviros that before agreeing to their desires on LNG, he’d need to figure out a way to avoid short-changing employers and low-income ratepayers..."
[_] Bill Bradbury
  • America's Green State plan
  • The Bank of Oregon plan
  • LGBTQA plan
  • Quality Education plan
  • "...improved Oregon’s dreadful campaign-finance reporting mechanism, creating a new system that allows real-time reporting, easy searching and far greater transparency."
  • "... exhibited little leadership...ignored abuses in Oregon’s initiative system, such as signature fraud...excessively partisan when he oversaw a post-census legislative redistricting in 2001...did nothing about the fact Oregon is one of only five states that places no limits on political contributions..."
  • "...has also been shameless in his pandering to interest groups...promised the state’s most powerful labor additional $2 billion for education...[although] projected $2.5 billion budget deficit...pledged to shut down the state’s largest coal-fired power plant without proposing another source of juice...opposition to liquefied natural gas...proposing no viable alternative...create a “Bank of Oregon.”...prohibited by the state constitution...."

In the other races, I complained about the lack of specific plans from the other candidates. However, Kitzhaber's and Bradbury's similar campaign websites are overwhelming in their plans. Admittedly, I relied on Willamette Week's analysis more than reading through each website.

As our former governor, I automatically favored Kitzhaber. Although his health plan didn't really work out, he at least tried. Also, his efforts were largely hampered by a hostile Republican legislature. So, hopefully, he will have better luck with a friendlier legislature.

Even before the race and Willamette Week's brutal critique, I was not impressed with Bradbury. I was disappointed with his half-ass 2002 senate race that gave Gordon Smith another six years (although Kitzhaber's own indecision to run also didn't help). Bradbury seems to be part of the Democrat elite that panders to the base, gradually works their way up, and quietly expects to ascend to office by default.

There is also the electability factor in the general election. Although his last stint as governor may not have been stellar, Kitzhaber still is the impressive Oregon governor candidate: former ER doctor, jean-wearing outdoors man, and independent non-panderer. To me Bradbury seems to be a stereotypical Democrat candidate that may struggle against a strong Republican candidate.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

2010 Primary: Metro President

May 18, 2010, Oregon Primary Election
Metro Council President
Four-year term, $114k salary (PDF)

[X] Bob Stacey
  • Good: "...I have recommended—and will continue to recommend—a “restart” of the CRC process, with new aims of repairing the existing bridge as inexpensively as possible, adding non-highway transportation choices to the crossing, and achieving regional greenhouse gas reduction goals..."
  • Good: "We can allow new development to pave over those farm fields we depend on to grow those foods. Or we can permanently protect this close-in farmland. I want new development to contribute to a fund to ensure that permanent protection."
[_] Rex Burkholder
  • Ugh. Currently on Metro board and seems to be one of the least critical voices regarding the Vancouver SUV Bridge. Considering Vancouver/Clark County oppose everything that Metro stands for, it's odd he is so willing to go along with their bridge project.
[_] Tom Hughes
  • Ugh. Campaign website oddly nonspecific.
  • Ugh. Troubling endorsements from Commercial Association of Realtors, Portland Business Alliance, and suburbs -- all of whom would seem the least supportive of the Urban Growth Boundary and Metro.
  • Poor reasoning. "...we'll be voting for Hughes, if for no other reason than being tired of the wasteful, juvenile 'planning' mafia that's quickly running our local government into bankruptcy...." It's like saying you don't like police wasting resources on policing. Planning is what Metro does.

It may merely be 'change' rhetoric, but Bob Stacey seems to get what Metro is about. Most importantly, Stacey is critical of Metro's current support of the Columbia River Crossing (AKA Vancouver SUV bridge). The I-5 bridge primarily benefits non-Metro residents: job-stealing, SUV-driving Vancouver and Washington residents. For generations, Metro residents have made significant sacrifices to live within the Urban Growth Boundary. Meanwhile, our Washington neighbors continue to sprawl, vote against bus and light rail, and refuse to even carpool over the bridge.

Current Metro Commissioner Burkholder seems too willing to bargain away Metro residents' interests in favor of the bridge for Washingtonians. Former suburban mayor Hughes touts employers he supposedly attracted to his city, but I'm not sure how that really relates to Metro as it focuses on long-term land use planning (although Stacey has also been campaigning on job creation).

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2010 Primary: US Senator (OR Dem)

May 18, 2010, Oregon Primary Election
Democratic Party
US Senator, Oregon
6-year term, $174k salary

[_] Pavel Goberman
[_] Loren Hooker
  • Like Goberman, Hooker's campaign website seems to be a conservative wish list.
[X] Ron Wyden

-- League of Women Voters (PDF)

No reason not to support our senator.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

2010 Primary: MultCo Chair

May 18, 2010, Oregon Primary Election
Chair of the Board of Multnomah County Commissioners
Four-year term, $136k salary

[_] Wes Soderback
  • So? "...His family has lived here for more than 100 years..."
  • Uh-oh: Did not respond to League of Women Voters timely. --LWV
  • Yikes: "...Resent tax increases will help but, as the recovery money dries up we could be in for another budgit crisis. ..." (sic) MultCo Voters' Guide
[X] Jeff Cogen
  • Interesting: "In Multnomah County poverty has been moving east for at least a decade. We need to insure services follow the people who need them..." (LWV PDF)
  • Annoying: Only "Possibly" supports sheriff charter reform proposal. (LWV PDF)
  • Good, but not that relevant: Supports marriage equality ( Great gesture, but not the top priority for the county.
[_] Mike Darger
  • Uh-oh: Did not respond to League of Women Voters timely.
  • Ugh: " to have been affiliated with the national conservative group Americans for Prosperity..."

No reason not to support the incumbent Jeff Cogen -- although I wish his campaign had a few more details. The other two candidates seem a bit fringe.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

2010 Primary: MultCo Sheriff

May 18, 2010, Oregon Primary Election
Multnomah County Sheriff (term through Dec. 2010)

[X] Dan Staton
  • Ugh: "...We have developed a marketing strategy team designed to build narrative, graphic and pictorial accounts of each aspect of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office..."
  • Interesting, but vague: How is administering a training facility a top priority?: ...Staton said he'd like to see the county consider turning the jail [Wapato] into a regional corrections training facility...
[_] Muhammad Ra'oof
  • Huh?: " progressive leadership will accommodate a cordial working relationship..."
  • Good luck with that: "...As a progressive Sheriff, I will support progressive immigration laws..."
  • Meh: "...Community outreach involvement will be a centerpiece of my term as a progressive Sheriff..."
  • Need more: Not much else mentioned besides being "progressive". It would be nice to hear what progressive jail management/policing is and how it would be implemented with limited funds.

May 18, 2010, Oregon Primary Election
Multnomah County Sheriff (term from Jan. 2011)
Four-year term, $135k salary

[X] Dan Staton (See above)
[_] Muhammad Ra'oof (See above)

--League of Women Voters of Portland (PDF),

According to an article, Multnomah County's Sheriff Department is far different than most other sheriff's departments in the state:

...Multnomah County runs the second-largest corrections operation in Oregon behind only the state prison system, with two jails that house about 1,300 inmates. No other sheriff's office devotes such a large proportion of its operations to running jails, according to the Oregon State Sheriffs' Association. Where the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office at one time provided policing for 200,000 residents, it now does so for about 17,000. Yet even as the duties have shifted, the elected sheriffs come from a law enforcement -- not corrections -- background....

Before he was appointed to state treasurer, former County Commissioner Ted Wheeler proposed changing the county charter to make the jails independent from the sheriff. It's a sensible proposal -- especially considering the current dysfunctional system. As I understand it, currently an unqualified patrolman is expected to administer a large jail system, but is not accountable to efficiently manage its budget as the county board is responsible for the finances.

It's easy to point out how the current sheriff management system has failed:

  • "...The $58 million Wapato Jail has sat empty since its completion in 2004 and has drained already-stretched county coffers of $300,000 a year to maintain...." (02/10/2010
  • Meanwhile: "...the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office reported this week they were once again forced to release prisoners because local jails were full..." (06/19/2009

While both candidates recognize Wapato as an embarrassment, neither have specific plans to resolve it or admit to the department's larger systematic failings. Not surprisingly, they both oppose removing the jails from the sheriff's office.

I'm tempted to cast a protest vote for underdog candidate Muhammad Ra'oof, but I can't find his specific ideas nor does he seem interested in campaigning on real reforms such as removing the jails, reforming overtime abuse, or bringing professional management to the department. He mainly says he is a progressive candidate and that's about it.

Incumbent Dan Staton doesn't even bother making a statement in the voters' guide and merely cites his experience and endorsements. In other words, 'trust me, I'm the status quo'. More disturbingly, Staton's response to the League of Women Voter's (PDF) concern about public confidence in the sheriff is "marketing" as opposed to acknowledging the department's numerous leadership scandals, incompetence, and mismanagement.

Unless another option is provided, I'll reluctantly vote for Staton and hope the charter reform follows.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

2010 Primary: US Rep (OR-3rd Dem)

May 18, 2010, Oregon Primary Election
Democratic Party
US Representative, Oregon 3rd District
Two-year term, $174k salary

[_] John Sweeney
  • Ugh. Not a serious candidate: Didn't file a statement in the voters pamphlet. No campaign website.
  • Meh. Somehow managed to respond to League of Women Voters' questions: "Top 3 things I want to do if I win.
    • Yikes. Insane. Jobs; lower the Social Security Retirement age to 60. Make room for the young. Wrong. Retirement age needs to be raised or Carousel implemented. :)
    • Unlikely strategy: National Health Care is a matter of National Security.
    • Silly and wrong: Reinstate the long range missile systems, we need them to protect us from the asteroids & coments, that can destroy the Earth."
[X] Earl Blumenauer
  • League of Women Voters' questions: "Top 3 things I want to do if I win."
    • "Create Jobs" 2010 campaign phrase that replaced 2004's 'fight terrorism'
    • "Reform Healthcare" Brave, but good answer.
    • "Protect the Planet" What no space missiles?

--Oregon Voters' Pamphlet, League of Women Voters of Oregon: Easy Voters' Guide

No reason not to re-elect our long-time congressman.

Friday, April 16, 2010

2010 Primary: Metro Auditor

May 18, 2010, Oregon Primary Election
Metro Auditor
4-year term, $92k salary

[X] Suzanne Flynn

-- League of Women Voters (PDF)

Flynn's campaign website touts an Oregonian article about one of her Metro audits. It sounds to me that Metro is unable to actually show that all of the costs the region spends on land use and transportation is worth it.

The other Oregonian article her campaign cites was her audit of the zoo's construction project. Her audit questions the ability of the zoo to handle the $125M bond that I voted against in 2008.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gordon in total bliss

Gordon in total bliss

When she isn't dramatically meowing at us for attention or ignoring us, Gordon loves to rest her head either on our left shoulder (never the right shoulder) or our laps often making a loud sigh when she finally settles down.

2010 Primary: Portland Auditor

May 18, 2010, Oregon Primary Election
City of Portland Auditor
4-year term, $102k salary

[X] LaVonne Griffin-Valade
PRO: Says she will strengthen Independent Police Review Division.

-- League of Women Voters (PDF)

I voted for her in 2006 for Multnomah County auditor, so I suppose there is no reason why I wouldn't vote for her again.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm

Scott's photos:

tulipallee, originally uploaded by sweber4507.

Scott's photo of ma and my enormous head:

Norm&JoyceInField2 (1), originally uploaded by sweber4507.

Scott, ma, and I returned to Wooden Shoe Farm last weekend. Our hopes dimmed of having a nice walk through a rural farm when we found the Woodburn I-5 exit backed-up and a heavy traffic along the highway. Like our past visits, the farm was very crowded with a tacky carnival area at the front of the farm. However, once we actually got to the tulip fields, I was once again amazed by the colors. The trip was very much worth it.

2010 Primary: MultCo Auditor

May 18, 2010, Oregon Primary Election
Multnomah County Auditor
4 year term, $88k salary

[X] Steve March

--League of Women Voters (PDF)

Although Steve March narrowly lost the election for this position back in 2006, he apparently was appointed to the position since then. I recall back then that there seemed to be a glut of auditor candidates.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

2010 Primary: OR Rep 42nd (Dem)

I'll start my traditional online analysis of the upcoming primary election ballot. It's still a little early. I'll work my way through the ballot beginning with the unopposed candidates.

I have no idea what's going on in the Oregon House. The Democrats are currently the majority. My quick review of the candidates show 34 Democrat incumbents and 23 Republican incumbents are re-running for their office, but I doubt incumbency means much.

Oregon House of Representatives
Quorum = 40 House Rules (PDF)
Majority Caucus
05 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 16 21 22 27 28 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 38 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 52 54 29 51
Republican Caucus
01 02 04 06 07 15 17 18 19 20 23 24 25 26 39 53 56 57 58 59 60 03 37 55

May 18, 2010, Oregon Primary Election
Democratic Party
Oregon State Representative, 42nd District

[X] Jules Kopel Bailey
Endorsements: Significant contributions to Friends of Jules:
  • $24.7k Oregon Climate PAC
  • $7.2k Oregon League of Conservation Voters PAC
  • $3.7k Oregon League of Conservation Voters PAC
  • $6k Brian Wannamaker/Real estate developer
  • $2.5k Brian G. Wannamaker/Real estate developer
  • $5.3 Oregon Nurse PAC
  • $5k Eric Hennings, Seattle, WA
  • $4k Future PAC, House Builders
  • $4k Donald Washburn, Private Investigator
  • $2.5k Credit Union Legislative Action Fund


  • Oregon Education Association
  • Basic Rights Oregon PAC
  • The Oregon Nurses Association
  • Oregon AFL-CIO
  • Planned Parenthood of Oregon
  • NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon
  • SEIU local 503
  • Oregon Building Trades Council
  • Oregon Council of Police Associations
  • Portland Association of Teachers/TVIP
  • Oregon League of Conservation Voters
  • Joint Council of Teamsters No. 37
  • CWA 7901
  • Oregon State Council for Retired Citizens Political Action Committee, (PDF)

Having just moved to SE Portland last year, I don't know know anything about Bailey -- not that I really track what goes on in the legislature. I'll, of course, support the guy running unopposed.