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Oregon Politics: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not

Friday, September 19, 2014


Every Friday, GoLocalPDX breaks down who's rising and who's falling in the world of Oregon politics.

"Elizabeth Warren--Official 113th Congressional Portrait--" by United States Senate - [live look] Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons (image cropped) 

Check out who made the lists this week. 


Elizabeth Warren: The U.S. senator from Massachusetts is hot right now, and she’s bringing the heat to Oregon. Warren is scheduled to appear at a Merkley campaign rally on Oct. 6 in Eugene. In a prepared statement, Merkley spokeswoman Lindsey O’Brien said that “Jeff and Elizabeth see the world very differently than Monica Wehby, who has staked her campaign on the anti-middle class agenda she shares with the oil billionaire Koch brothers who are funding her campaign.” 

Fourth Gubernatorial Debate: It’s been confirmed: Gov. John Kitzhaber and Rep. Dennis Richardson are scheduled to hold their fourth debate on Oct. 10 at the City Club of Portland. The debate will be held a day before Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is scheduled to host a fundraiser dinner party for Richardson in Lake Oswego. Rick Perry may be too far right for Oregon, but maybe his name recognition will give Richardson the boost he needs. 

Susan McLain: The competitive campaign for state representative in Oregon’s 29th district is heating up, and Democratic candidate Susan McLain is running with confidence. According to her campaign manager, “Susan has already raised almost $100,000 and secured endorsements from 30 organizations and more than 50 individuals in her community.”

McLain, an educator and parent from Forest Grove, told GoLocal regarding her supporters, “They have given me the energy I need to win this race, and I can’t wait to go to Salem to fight for their priorities.”

GMO Right to Know: Oregon’s Yes on 92 ballot initiative is raking in the dough. According to secretary of state filings, the campaign received $550,000 each from Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps and Mercola.com Health Resources, and $200,000 from Presence Marketing Inc., just this past week. If passed, the measure would require labeling of genetically modified foods. The campaign has raised over $1.8 million so far. 

Rick Steves: America’s most respected travel authority is getting political, and he’s doing it right here in Oregon on behalf of marijuana legalization. In an email to supporters, Oregon’s marijuana legalization campaign Yes on 91 announced the launch of Rick Steves’s six-day, 10-city tour across the state, during which Steves plans to talk about “travel and the need for marijuana reform.”


Washington County Chair Andy Duyck and Commissioner Bob Terry: Perhaps the most obvious and basic duty of any public official is to serve and protect the public. That duty appears to be out of scope for Andy Duyck and Bob Terry, two Washington County officials. As GoLocal reports, recent deaths at Hagg Lake may have been avoided had public officials not neglected to properly post warning signs around a dangerous swimming area.

One local resident even went so far as to make his own signage, but was later arrested for doing so.

"USACE Fremont Bridge Portland" by Bob Heims, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Digital Visual Library #Sce0373. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - [live look] (image cropped)

Oracle Lawsuit: Just when you thought the Cover Oregon debacle couldn’t get more acerbic, Oracle America—the company initially contracted to administer Oregon’s health exchange website—recently amended its lawsuit against the state by adding an allegation of copyright infringement. Just before filing the amended complaint, the company filed for protections from the U.S. Copyright Office.  

Monica Wehby: BuzzFeed recently asked whether the Republican candidate’s campaign for U.S. Senate plagiarized a health-care plan from a survey by Karl Rove’s Crossroads USA on health care reform. In response, a Wehby campaign spokesman told BuzzFeed “the suggestion that a pediatric neurosurgeon needs to copy a health care plan from American Crossroads is absurd.” 

$15: The new minimum wage that activists are pushing for in Portland has yet to make any progress in City Hall. Oregon's minimum wage however, will increase 15 cents to $9.25 an hour next year. 

Willamette River: As KGW reports, the Oregon Health Authority stated Tuesday that “Water monitoring is underway to determine the species and amount of blue-green algae cells present in the [Willamette] river.” Officials are asking folks to stay out of the water and to avoid drinking it.

This certainly doesn’t help efforts to change Portlanders’ unsanitary perception of the city’s river. 

Gus Wendel is a writer, organizer, and musician. Originally from Eastern Oregon, he now resides in Portland. 


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