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place, politics and power in oregon

Breaking: Mark Hass Appointed to Oregon Senate November 20, 2007

Filed under: Multnomah County,Oregon Senate,Washington County — taoiseach @ 4:12 pm

Breaking News

Mark HassThe Boards of Commissioners from Multnomah and Washington Counties, meeting jointly, have just appointed former representative Mark Hass to represent District 14 in the Oregon Senate. Hass will serve out the remaining term of former senator Ryan Deckert, who is now president of the centrist Oregon Business Association. Hass has also filed his candidacy for the Oregon Senate in the 2008 primary election.

Hass and 3 other candidates for the seat had been nominated by a Democratic Party convention representing area Democrats. The other candidates were Mike Bohan, Beaverton City Councilor Betty Bode, and Shantu Shah.

No word yet on how close the vote was to appoint Hass over the other three.

UPDATE: Kathleen Gorman of the Oregonian has a detailed rundown of the selection process, including the vote count:

Eight of the 10 commissioners voted for Hass during a 2 1/2-hour meeting at Beaverton City Hall. Washington County Commissioner Desari Strader abstained, citing her displeasure with the Legislature usurping local control on various issues. Multnomah County Commissioner Lonnie Roberts was absent.

[. . .]

“I think you have the experience and that experience is going to speak volumes in the state,” Washington County Commissioner Roy Rogers told Hass.

“In this particular case, experience matters,” Multnomah County Chairman Ted Wheeler said by conference call before casting his vote.

For more background, see these previous Boundary posts:


Commissioners Will Pick New Senator Nov. 20 November 2, 2007

Filed under: Multnomah County,Oregon Senate,Washington County — taoiseach @ 12:54 pm

This just in from the Washington County bureau of the Boundary:

Washington County and Multnomah County commissioners will hold a joint meeting in the afternoon of November 20 to appoint the successor to former Sen. Ryan Deckert, who resigned Oct. 28 to serve full-time as President of the Oregon Business Association. The two Boards of Commissioners will meet jointly at 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM in the Beaverton City Council Chamber, inside City Hall.

The commissioners have five options of the table. Four of them are the individuals nominated by the Democrats of Senate District 14. Here are their names, followed by the number and share of the vote each received at the Democratic nominating convention on Monday:Senate Dist 14

Mark Hass 12,905 (51.2%)

Mike Bohan 6,746 (26.8%)

Betty Bode 4,662 (18.5%)

Shantu Shah 839 (3.3%)

Click the link above to learn more about each of the nominees.

The fifth option available to the Boards of Commissioners under Oregon vacancy law is the refusal to appoint from the list of candidates. Should the Boards refuse to pick any of the above-named nominees to fill Sen. Deckert’s seat by November 27 (30 days after the nominating convention), then Governor Kulongoski may appoint any qualified Democrat to serve.

That last option is unlikely, as the Boards will have four candidates from which to pick instead of the three, which is normally the number of nominees selected by a political party for a vacancy. What’s more, since Mark Hass has already filed for the seat in 2008, the Commissioners will be hard-pressed to pick someone who will only serve out the remainder of Deckert’s term should they find Hass lacking for whatever reason. The Democrats on either Commission (Commissioners Desari Strader and Dick Schouten from Washington, and all Multnomah Commissioners except for Ted Wheeler) may well want to avoid a high-profile primary contest in a district likely to be targeted by the GOP in the 2008 general election. And, because today marks the 200 days before the primary election, such a primary race would have to start almost immediately.

So, if you need pre-holiday wonkiness to hold you over for the season, clear your calendars for the afternoon of Nov. 20th. You get your fill of multiple levels of government in one meeting: it’s on city turf with county officials, including a former state representative and three others seeking a state senate seat. And if Congressman Wu or Senator Wyden show up, the feds will be there as well!

Beaverton City Hall is located at 4755 SW Griffith Dr., Beaverton 97005.


For Democrats, Hass Top Pick To Replace Deckert October 29, 2007

Filed under: Multnomah County,Oregon Senate,Washington County — taoiseach @ 9:15 pm

Tonight, the Democratic precinct committeepersons (PCPs) from Oregon’s Senate District 14 convened in Aloha to nominate a slate of Democrats for the vacancy created by Sen. Ryan Deckert’s resignation yesterday. As you may have read here before, Senate District 14 mostly consists of central eastern Washington County, stretching from SW 209th Ave in Aloha through South Beaverton and into Portland’s West Hills.Hass

Of the 25,204 registered Democrats in SD 14, 23,867 reside in Washington County, with the remaining 1,337 over the border in Multnomah County. The voting members divided up each county’s share of Democrats by the number of PCPs attending from their respective county. With 51 PCPs from the Washington County part of SD 14, each voting member from Washington County at the convention had 467 total votes to cast. Multnomah County’s portion of SD 14 only had one voting member at the convention, which means that he was allocated the full 1,337 vote share of his county.

The convention decided to send all four nominees to the joint Boards of Commissioners of Washington and Multnomah Counties, but with a weighted ranking according to the number of votes each candidate received.  Democratic National Committeeman Wayne Kinney advised the convention that usually such conventions narrow the field of candidates down to three.  But, either in the interest of time or of giving the joint Boards more choice, the convention elected to send all four but advise the joint Boards of its preference by ranking them according to number of votes received.

The candidates standing for nomination at the convention:

-Betty Bode, Beaverton City Councilor

-Mike Bohan, high-tech sector veteran and math/science teacher

-Mark Hass, former state representative (2001-2007) and journalist

-Shantu Shah, electrical engineer and former candidate for the Democratic nomination to U.S. Congress (2006)

After each candidate gave a speech, the convention went into question-and-answer mode, involving questions relating to health care, Measure 49 andeven what kind of tree each would like to be. (Mark Hass’s answer: a Douglas Fir, of course).

The result of the weighted vote:

Mark Hass 12,905 (51.2%)

Mike Bohan 6,746 (26.8%)

Betty Bode 4,662 (18.5%)

Shantu Shah 839 (3.3%)

Because the convention elected to send all four candidates to the joint Boards of Commissioners with an advisory ranking, the result of this vote is non-binding. The joint Boards of Commissioners may pick any of these four candidates to serve as the next Senator for SD 14, or they may choose not to pick any and let Governor Kulongoski appoint a willing Democrat from the district. Of course, the allocation of votes to the members of the joint Boards will be similar to that of the convention, except that the Washington County share will be split 5 ways instead of 51 ways, and the much smaller Multnomah County share will likewise be split 5 ways between each commissioner, rather than having just one person with that share.

The joint Boards have not yet picked a date at which to choose from the four nominees.

For context on this story, see earlier articles at beaver boundary:

Date Set for Democrats to Replace Deckert

SD 14: Return of the Hass, or a New Hope?


Future Ballot: Filings as of October 2007 October 24, 2007

The filing deadline for running in the 2008 election cycle isn’t until March, but many candidates have gotten an early start with the paperwork. The list below is not unlike a ballot of the future, except no one citizen would be able to vote in all 60 state representative contests. The list below contains mostly incumbents and primary fights in open seats. You’ll rarely find an incumbent and a challenger in any of these contests–the challengers are probably counting on some element of surprise. Or, perhaps in the Republicans’ case, they just can’t find anybody to run!

The Boundary will try to post this list every month or so to show progress on the filings and evolution in the contests.

Here’s the actual filings as of noon today (October 24, 2007):

United States Senator

David Loera (D), Roger Obrist (D), Pavel Goberman (D), Candy Neville (D)

Representative in Congress – First District

Mark Welyczko (D)

Attorney General

Greg Macpherson (D)^, John Kroger (D)^

Secretary of State

Vicki Walker (D), Brad Avakian (D)^, Kate Brown (D)^

State Treasurer

Ben Westlund (D)^

State Senator – Fifth District

Joanne Verger (D), incumbent

State Senator – Ninth District

Sarah Arcune (R), Bob McDonald (D)

State Senator – Fourteenth Districtballot

Mark Hass (D)

State Senator – Nineteenth District

Richard Devlin (D)^, incumbent

State Senator – Twenty-First District

Diane Rosenbaum (D)

State Senator – Twenty-Third District

Jackie Dingfelder (D)

State Senator – Twenty-Fifth District

Laurie Monnes Anderson (D), incumbent

State Senator – Twenty-Seventh District

Chris Telfer (R)^

State Senator, Twenty-Eighth District

Doug Whitsett (R), incumbent

State Representative – First District

Wayne Krieger (R), incumbent

State Representative – Second District

Tim J. Freeman (R), Mike Ward (D)

State Representative – Third District

Ron Maurer (R), incumbent

State Representative – Fourth District

Ronald Schultz (R), Dennis Richardson (R), incumbent

State Representative – Seventh District

Bruce Hanna (R), incumbent

State Representative – Eighth District

Paul Holvey (D), incumbent

State Representative – Ninth District

Arnie Roblan (D), incumbent

State Representative – Tenth District

Jean Cowan (D), incumbent

State Representative – Twelfth District

E. Terry Beyer (D), incumbent

State Representative – Fifteenth District

Andy Olson (R), incumbent

State Representative – Seventeenth District

Fred Girod (R), incumbent, Dan Thackaberry (D), Steven H. Frank (D)

State Representative – Eighteenth District

Vic Gilliam (R), incumbent

State Representative – Nineteenth District

Kevin Cameron (R), incumbent

State Representative, Twenty-Second District

Betty Komp (D), incumbent

State Representative, Twenty-Fourth District

Jim Weidner (R)

State Representative, Twenty-Fifth District

Kim Thatcher (R), incumbent

State Representative, Twenty-Sixth District

Matt Wingard (R)

State Representative, Twenty-Seventh District

Tobias Read (D), incumbent

State Representative, Twenty-Eighth District

Jeff Barker (D), incumbent

State Representative, Twenty-Ninth District

Chuck Riley (D), incumbent

State Representative, Thirtieth District

David Edwards (D), incumbent

State Representative, Thirty-First District

Brad Witt (D), incumbent

State Representative, Thirty-Second District

Deborah Boone (D), incumbent

State Representative, Thirty-Third District

Mitch Greenlick (D), incumbent

State Representative, Thirty-Fourth District

Suzanne Bonamici (D), incumbent

State Representative, Thirty-Fifth District

Larry Galizio (D), incumbent

State Representative, Thirty-Seventh District

Scott Bruun (R), incumbent

State Representative, Thirty-Eighth District

Linda Brown (D)

State Representative, Forty-First District

Carolyn Tomei (D), incumbent

State Representative, Forty-Second District

Regan Gray (D), Gordon Hillesland (D), Teddy Keizer (D), Albert Kaufman (D)^, Jules Kopel Bailey (D)^

State Representative, Forty-Third District

Chip Shields (D), incumbent

State Representative, Forty-Fifth District

Jon Coney (D), Michael Dembrow (D), Cyreena Boston (D)

State Representative, Forty-Sixth District

Ben Cannon (D), incumbent

State Representative, Forty-Seventh District

Jefferson Smith (D)^

State Representative, Forty-Eighth District

Mike Schaufler (D), incumbent

State Representative, Forty-Ninth District

Nick Kahl (D), Barbara Kyle (D)

State Representative, Fiftieth District

Bob Sherwin (D)

State Representative, Fifty-First District

Allen Taylor (D)^, Brett Barton (D)^

State Representative, Fifty-Third District

Gene Whisnant (R), incumbent

State Representative, Fifty-Fourth District

Chuck Burley (R), incumbent

State Representative, Fifty-Fifth District

George Gilman (R), incumbent

State Representative, Fifty-Sixth District

Bill Garrard (R), incumbent

State Representative, Fifty-Eighth District

Bob Jenson (R), incumbent

State Representative, Fifty-Ninth District

John Huffman (R), incumbent

State Representative, Sixtieth District

Cliff Bentz (R), Tim K. Smith (R), Dean Strommer (R)

^indicates candidate who has formed 2008 candidate committee for fundraising purposes but has not yet filed formal candidacy with the Secretary of State.


Date Set for Democrats to Replace Deckert October 18, 2007

Filed under: Multnomah County,Oregon Senate,Primary 2008,Washington County — taoiseach @ 5:21 pm

The Washington County Democrats have sent out a press release indicating that Monday, October 29, will be the date of the convention to pick nominees for Senate District 14, which Sen. Ryan Deckert is vacating to serve as the Oregon Business Association President.

According to the Washington County Democrats website, Sen. Ryan Deckert intends to tender his resignation, which will become effective October 28, 2007. The website also stipulates the general process for the convention:

All current Senate District 14 Precinct Committee persons are eligible to cast nominating votes [. . .] You must be physically present to cast your votes and may not designate a substitute.

For a more in-depth look at the process, look here.
As referenced in the Boundary’s first substantive post way back in August, there is already a group of local Democrats actively seeking appointment to Sen. Deckert’s seat. According to sources in and close to Washington County politics, the following are likely to jump into the nominating contest on Oct. 29:Senate Dist 14

  • Betty Bode, current City of Beaverton councilor and health/human rights advocate
  • Mike Bohan, former candidate for the Democratic nomination in House District 27
  • Mark Hass, former state representative in House District 27
  • Jennifer Warren, former county party officer

If those four are the only nomination-seekers at the convention, it’s possible that the precinct committee people of Senate District 14, which also includes a small chunk of Multnomah County, will all receive a nomination. Oregon election law allows the party nominating convention to pick between 3 and 5 nominees. The Boards of Commissioners for Washington and Multnomah County will select the replacement from among those nominated by the party, and proportionate to population of the district, the Washington County commissioners (3 Republicans, 2 Democrats) will have a lot more weight than their Multnomah County counterparts (4 Democrats, 1 non-affiliated).

One interesting factor in this race is Mark Hass’s candidacy in the May 2008 primary for this very seat. He is seeking to hold the seat both by interim appointment and by popular election. It seems that if for some reason former Representative Hass is not selected by the commissioners, he will run for the seat anyway, presumably against whoever else is selected. According to Washington County sources, it seems that it’s a possibility that Hass might not get the nod, though he’s by no means the underdog. That he has filed his candidacy for the office in 2008 is proof of this enough–but it does seem a shrewd move on Hass’s part to get the commissioners to acknowledge his name recognition and popularity among his former constituents.

The nominating convention itself probably won’t generate much excitement if the only contenders are those four above. If that’s the case, then look to the joint meeting of the commissioners as a rare moment in local politics: for one of the few times so far in Oregon’s history, Washington County’s decision will significantly outweigh that of Multnomah County.


One More Nail in the ‘Oregon-is-Tax-Hell’ Coffin October 10, 2007

Filed under: Coverage,Oregon House 2008,Oregon Senate,Revenue — taoiseach @ 5:14 pm

Just when you thought the anti-tax crowd over at Oregon Catalyst couldn’t look more out of touch with mainstream politics, and reality in general, there goes the Tax Foundation saying that Oregon’s tax burden on businesses is pretty damn low.

OPB’s Kristian Foden-Vencil bears the bad news to Jason Williams, et al:

The ‘Tax Foundation,’ a nonprofit, D.C. think tank, has been monitoring state and local taxes since 1937.

Each year it ranks states on how much corporate tax they levy. Oregon came in 10th, with Wyoming, South Dakota and Nevada in the top three places.

Chuck Sheketoff of the Oregon Center for Public Policy, agrees that the state has low taxes, but says it’s wrong to suggest low taxes are good for the business climate.

Chuck Sheketoff: “What Oregon businesses need are good investments and public structures to thrive. They need the courts open five days a week, they need good transporation systems, bridges that don’t collapse.”

He says businesses also need good schools and healthy social services. The four states with the highest business taxes were Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York and California.

This might be a good time to raise that corporate minimum tax substantially.  Also, citations like this might help a more permanent diversion of the corporate kicker into a rainy day fund.

With news like this, and state Senator Ryan Deckert officially taking the helm of the Oregon Business Association this month, a change in Oregon’s revenue structure might be on the table very shortly.   That makes even more sense when you consider that Deckert expects to resign from the Senate this month and that Mark Hass is a leading candidate to replace him.  Hass, as you’ll recall, became the Democrats’ go-to-guy for revenue matters in the Oregon House, and says he’s getting back in the game so that he can reduce the volatility of the current tax system.

We’ll just have to wait and see whether the House and Senate leadership puts this on the table for the February session.


Let Westlund be Westlund August 23, 2007

Filed under: Executive 2008,Oregon Senate — taoiseach @ 5:16 pm

Oregon State Senator Ben Westlund has undergone many status transformations during the past year. It wasn’t until February 14, 2006–which he’s quick to remind you is Oregon’s birthday–that he threw in his GOP registration to ‘declare his independence’ as a non-affiliated voter. Now, after withdrawing from a gubernatorial bid, a switch to the Democratic Party, and passage of his landmark health care reform bill (SB 329), he’s considering another transition.westlund_headshot_b-w.jpg

No, he won’t be the fifth Democratic Senator to express interest or announce for the Secretary of State post. He’s looking at the State Treasurer job, if he hasn’t decided to go for it already. But there’s one little thing holding him back: campaign debt.BWestlund


But before I can launch another campaign, for my Senate seat or State Treasurer, I must wrap up the last one and reduce the debt left when I withdrew from the Governor’s race so as not to be a spoiler.

He’s going to need the money either way. Senate District 27, which comprises almost all of Deschutes County, is growing increasingly moderate due to the ever-growing city of Bend, but the Republican Party still has a strong presence in this area. The two House members incorporated under SD 27, Rep. Gene Whisnant and Rep. Chuck Burley, are both entrenched Republicans. Even though Burley and Whisnant are both likely seeking re-election to the House, Westlund would face a difficult race in a district that last time elected him as a Republican.

The State Treasurer job doesn’t look like a clear path to victory, either. Though the two other most commonly mentioned candidates for the job, Senators Ryan Deckert and Richard Devlin, have now settled into other positions, there is still a good deal of interest in the Treasurer job from the Democratic side. The current office-holder, Randall Edwards, faces the inevitable term-limit.

But before Westlund can be Westlund again, taking on another political transformation, he’s looking for some help. He can only hope that no one else officially enters before he does.