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Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in Oregon Politics: Kate Brown, Allen Alley, Amanda Fritz

Friday, June 05, 2015


Governor Kate Brown

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


Governor Kate Brown

What a week for the Governor. She publicly stated that Michael Rodgers should not be charged criminally and the next day the Marion County DAs agreed with her (coincidence?). The ethics bills that she proposed are winding through the legislature and close to becoming law and she pledged her support for the redevelopment of the Willamette Falls area. She even found time to testify in support of naming part of the Capitol after the much respected former lobbyist Dave Barrows.  And a poll out this week has her approval rating at 55%. Given her approach to the job of Governor, it would be very surprising to ever see her in the Not Column (Kate, you can skip last week's column. There wasn't anything interesting in it anyway.)

Allen Alley

In order for Republicans to win a state-wide race, they need to find a candidate that will appeal to moderate voters. More Chris Dudley and less Dennis Richardson. That is why, as rumor has it, Allen Alley's phone has been ringing off the hook. The Oregon GOP are the Washington Generals of Oregon politics and they are desperate for a win. The question is, does he want it? This is a guy who lost the race for state treasurer in 2008 and didn't even get out of the primary in the governor's race in 2010. 

Does he want to subject himself to the rigors of another high-profile race? How much does he have left in his tank? And even if he wants it, is the party base willing to support a moderate? Oh, who are we kidding. The next Governor will be <insert name of Democratic Party Nominee here>.

Socially Aware Naked People

Are you torn? Do you want to spend your free time protesting against our dependency on oil, but you also want time to show your support for cyclist rights. Well, now you can do both at the same time. Dust off your fixie and get your kit off and meet down at Colonel Summers Park on June 27th for the 2015 World Naked Bike Ride. Over 10,000 cycling buffs participated in this event last year and this year is expected to top that. If you are a prudish reader, please keep in mind that most of these riders will not be completely naked. They will be wearing helmets. Better?


Amanda Fritz

Proving the idiom 'no good deed goes unpunished', Commissioner Fritz got denied this week when the City, once again, caved to developers. Fritz, who oversees the Bureau of Development Services,  ordered her staff to apply more scrutiny to the builders of 'skinny homes', the tall narrow homes that can fit two side by side in a normal lot. So much for trying to work for the people of this city who are tired of seeing their neighborhoods ruined. Everyone knows you don't go against developers. They run this town. So after threatening litigation, the Bureau reversed the few denials of permits it had already made and promised not to make things any more difficult in the future. Thanks for trying though.

Alan Pearson

When somebody, in the future, tells you that they didn't vote because their vote does not matter, you can tell them the story of Alan Pearson. Mr. Pearson had a dream.  A dream to one day be on the City Council of the sleepy hamlet of Sherwood, Oregon. Well, those dreams were crushed when he lost the race to Renee Brouse by 13 votes, 1001 to 988. So close, yet so far. What makes this so painful is that there are over 10,000 registered voters in the city. That is frustrating considering all the hard work that goes into running a campaign. To make matters worse, Pearson will have to pay for the recount out of his own pocket which could run up to $320. Talk about kicking a man when he is down.

Beau Breedlove

Surprising pretty much everybody who thought his 15 minutes were up years ago, Mr. Breedlove, the former intern and central figure in the Sam Adams scandal, surfaced this week to announce that he has written his autobiography. Why he thought this was necessary we will never know. Unless we buy this book, which we won't.  This self-published book will be for sale on Amazon.com. Likely in the "Who The Hell Cares' Section.


Related Slideshow: Timeline of Sam Adams’ Political Career

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Adams & Peter DeFazio

Sam Adams began his political career in 1986 working as a staffer for Peter DeFazio's campaign for the House of Representatives in Oregon's 4th district. DeFazio won and still holds the position today. 

Photo: Peter DeFazio via Wikimedia CC. 

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Adams & Vera Katz

Adams went on to work for Vera Katz's mayoral campaign. After Katz won and was elected mayor, he served as her chief of staff for 11 years. 

Photo: Vera Katz via Wikimedia CC. 

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Adams Defeats Nick Fish

In 2004 Adams ran against city commissioner Nick Fish for a seat on the Portland City Council. Although Adams received significantly fewer votes than Fish in the primary election, he ultimately defeated Fish in the general election. 

Photo: Nick Fish via Wikimedia CC. 

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Adams Runs for Mayor

In Oct. 2007 Adams announced his plans to run for Portland Mayor. His main opponent was Sho Dozono, a civic leader and businessman.

In the primary election, Adams received 58 percent of the vote and was elected without the need for a run-off. Dozono received 34 percent of the vote.

Photo by Byron Beck 

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First Openly Gay Mayor

When Adams took office on Jan. 1, 2009, Portland became the largest U.S. city to have ever elected an openly gay mayor.

During his inaugural speech he announced his top three priorities as mayor: creating more family-wage jobs, reducing the high school dropout rate, and making Portland more sustainable.

Photo: Sam Adams via Wikimedia CC. 

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Beau Breedlove Scandal

In 2005, Adams met Beau Breedlove, a 17-year-old interning for Oregon State Representative Kim Thatcher. 

In September 2007, Adams denied rumors of a sexual relationship between the two, but in January 2009, after being confronted publicly with the allegations, Adams admitted that he lied about the nature of their sexual relationship to avoid allegations and the disruption of his mayoral campaign.

A criminal investigation on Adams ensued but by June 2009, Attorney General John Kroger announced that no charges would be filed and that there was "no credible evidence" that Adams had inappropriate sexual contact with Breedlove before the age of consent.

Photo: Sam Adams and Beau Breedlove by Byron Beck 

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Achievements as Mayor

As mayor, Adams had a number of achievements:

  • Established curbside composting.
  • Banned single-use plastic bags.
  • Adopted a transgender-inclusive health plan for city employees.
  • Invested $340 million in the city's infrastructure, including a lead City investment to replace the Sellwood Bridge.
  • Recruited several TV and movie companies to do business and spend about $100 million on production in Portland.
  • Established a $2.1 million seed fund to help start-up businesses in Portland.
  • Cracked down on gangs with a 14-month police undercover operation that resulted in the arrests of 31 gang members.

Photo by Byron Beck 

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Adams Goes to City Club

Just 16 days after the end of his term as mayor of Portland, Sam Adams was hired as executive director of the City Club of Portland, a non-profit organization best known as the host of public civic policy meetings.

Adams was selected from a pool of 80 applicants for the position.

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Adams' TV Roles

Adams has had a recurring role on the IFC show Portlandia as assistant to Portland's fictional mayor, played by Kyle MacLachlan. He also appeared as himself in "The Hour of Death", a 2012 episode of the Portland-based NBC show GRIMM.

When asked what he thinks should happen with his role on the show he said he thinks it's time to kill off his character. 

"I think a funny but fatal accident should kill off the mayor's assistant or maybe he should be abducted by aliens and taken to a secret base in Vancouver, Washington." 

Photo: Adams (top left) on Portlandia via tvguide.com

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New Job in D.C.

Former Portland Mayor Sam Adams plans to leave his position as the executive director of the City Club of Portland for a new job based in Washington, D.C.  

Adams has been hired as director of U.S. Climate Initiatives at the World Resources Institute, a global nonprofit dedicated to environmental sustainability. 


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