Welcome! Login | Register

2019 NCAA Tournament – How To Set Your March Madness Bracket Around Pac-12 Teams—2019 NCAA Tournament – How To Set Your…

March Madness 2019 – Can The Oregon Ducks Get Back To The Elite Eight?—March Madness 2019 – Can The Oregon Ducks…

I Have 3 Months To Train For The Wild Rogue Relay—I Have 3 Months To Train For The…

20 Ways To Increase Circulation—20 Ways To Increase Circulation

Trail Blazers Weekly Preview – Sabonis 2.0, Dirk’s Rip City Swan Song, Blake Of House Piston Invades—Trail Blazers Weekly Preview – Sabonis 2.0, Dirk’s…

VIDEO: ‘Surf Rock’ Creator Dick Dale Dead at 81—VIDEO: 'Surf Rock' Creator Dick Dale Dead at…

The Presidential Primary Parade Marches On - Sunday Political Brunch March 17, 2019—The Presidential Primary Parade Marches On - Sunday…

Predicting The Seattle Seahawks’ 2019 Draft—Predicting The Seattle Seahawks’ 2019 Draft

49 Killed in Mass Multi-Mosque Shooting in Christchurch, NZ, Shooter Livestreamed Massacre—49 Killed in Mass Multi-Mosque Shooting in Christchurch,…

I’m Ready To Become A Fan Of Hockey In Seattle—I’m Ready To Become A Fan Of Hockey…


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

Friday, November 14, 2014


Photo Credit: iStock

Every Friday, GoLocalPDX breaks down who's rising and who's falling in the world of Oregon politics. Check out who made the lists this week.


Chuck Riley: The Democratic challenger to incumbent state Senator Bruce Starr has widened his lead in the only legislative race that has yet to be called. Last week it looked as though Starr would hold onto his small lead, but by Sunday Riley appeared to have a 221-vote lead. A win for Riley would send Senate Democrats to Salem with an 18 to 12 advantage over Senate Republicans.

Mark Nelson: Referred to by Willamette Week as “one of the most feared lobbyists in Salem,” Mark Nelson is definitely someone to keep an eye on this coming legislative session. Representing clients such as Anheuser-Busch, R.J. Reynolds, General Motors and Koch Industries, Nelson has been a controversial yet increasingly powerful figure in Oregon politics. Interestingly, Nelson worked for a Democratic attorney general earlier in his career, and had close connections to labor unions. The Oregonian reported in March that Nelson is selling his lobbying business to J.L. Wilson, but he’ll still be around for at least another year. 

Top 7: With midterm elections wrapped up, politicos are already speculating who might be the next political powerhouses in 2016. GoLocalPDX breaks down the “top seven” new power players in Oregon politics. Among them includes Speaker of the House Tina Kotek, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, Oregon Senator Peter Courtney, U.S. Congressman Greg Walden, Oregon Representative Susan McLain, former Portland Mayor and current City Club Executive Director Sam Adams, and Secretary of State Kate Brown. 

Elections Division: The names of the owners of the estimated 13,000 ballots that went uncounted due to signature problems are now public. New laws in Oregon allow anyone to look up and call folks with ballot errors (though they cannot unduly influence how they vote). This past election cycle will be the first time the Secretary of State’s Election Division releases such a list. Voters have until Tuesday, Nov. 18 to correct any problems with their ballot. 

Eugene: There is a housing affordability crisis in Oregon and across the country. Housing advocates in Eugene are taking action by building “tiny houses” in the small community called Opportunity Village, which now houses 34 formerly homeless individuals on a one-acre lot. The Atlantic’s CityLab blog referred to the approach as a “radical solution to homelessness” that, while not a complete solution to the problem, might provide inspiration to other cities. 

Oregon Voter Turnout: Voter turnout is typically low during midterm elections, but Oregon can at least proud of having the highest voter turnout in the nation this past election. The Bend Bulletin reviewed each state’s voter turnout rate and found that Oregon’s, at 69.5 percent, is probably the highest. The state’s unique vote-by-mail system and ambitious get-out-the-vote efforts are largely credited for Oregon’s success.


John Kitzhaber: The governor surprised some by handily winning reelection, but it should surprise no one that the drama affecting the last days of his campaign will accompany him well into his fourth term. GoLocalPDX reports that continuing investigations into Cover Oregon and a state probe into possible ethics violations are just some of the baggage that will characterize the governor’s leadership over the next several months.

Emilie Boyles: After violating elections laws in the 2006 primary, Emilie Boyles—a one-time city council candidate—has finally paid off her $140,000 debt to the city of Portland. Willamette Week first reported Boyles’s conspicuous expenditures, including paying her 16-year-old daughter $15,000 for “Internet marketing help”. At that time, qualified candidates could receive up to $145,000 from the city run a campaign. Voters ended that practice in 2010. 

Portland Street Fund: Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick announced Monday their new $46 million plan to fund street maintenance and repairs. The Oregonian reports this new “street fund” (as opposed to the earlier “street fee” that was tabled in June) will create an income tax for residents and a separate tax for businesses. Paul Romain, a lobbyist representing the Portland Fuels Association, is gearing up to fight the new tax. 

Weather: The weather is definitely not hot, but is it really THAT cold? While temperatures barely reached the freezing point yesterday, several schools districts nonetheless canceled classes in anticipation of potentially up to 6 inches of snow. Better to be safe than sorry I guess. Check out this new website: isitsnowinginPDX.com

Arco: The deadline to file a claim for a payment from Arco is Dec. 31st. According to the Oregonian, a Multnomah County jury decided in January that PB West Coast Products, which owns Arco, wrongly charged 35 cents extra to costumers who used debit cards to pay for gas. As a result over 2 million Oregon drivers who fueled up at Arco stations using debit cards may qualify for a $200 payment. BP will appeal the verdict.

U.S. state’s marijuana legalization: Advocates for marijuana legalization celebrated victories in Oregon, Alaska, and Washington DC this last election, joining Washington state and Colorado, the first two states to legalize recreational weed in 2012. According to the U.N. anti-narcotics chief, these moves are not in line with international drugs conventions. Reuters reports that Yury Fedotov, exectutive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime told reports Wednesday that he didn’t see how the new laws could be compatible with existing conventions. While the Obama administration is allowing individual states to determine their own recreational-use statues, Marijuana remains classified as and illegal narcotic under federal law. 

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


Related Articles


Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Delivered Free Every
Day to Your Inbox