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And Now, Back to the (non)Partisan Racetrack! November 7, 2007

Filed under: 2008 General,City of Portland,Multnomah County,Primary 2008 — taoiseach @ 8:23 pm

With the 2007 special election over, it’s time to put full political energy into the candidate races coming up in May 2008. Yes, that means less out-of-state money coming in to outspend and upend the progressive agenda that Oregon voters gave a mandate in 2006. But it also means that we can renew that mandate and build on all of the successes of the 2007 session and Measure 49, and come back for failed efforts like Paid Family Leave and Healthy Kids.

The brunt of May 2008 will be borne at the local level in Portland and Multnomah County. These governments use a non-partisan primary to narrow the field of candidates to 2 for the November general election. That is, unless a candidate in an election garners over 50% of the vote outright, in which case she wins the post without a November electoral duel.

And it’s already crowded.

There’s three races for the City of Portland offices this May: Commissioner 1 (Public Utilities), Commissioner 4 (Public Safety) and Mayor. Of the three, only Randy Leonard is staying put and running again for Commissioner 4, while Commissioner Sam Adams is running for the mayor post, which incumbent Tom Potter is vacating after one term.

The open Commissioner seat (Number 1) has generated the most formalized interest, with the following individuals already jumping in to the race:

  • Jeff Bissonnette,
  • John Branam
  • Amanda Fritz
  • Charles Lewis
  • Chris Smith

All of these candidates are attempting to qualify for Portland’s public campaign financing system, which requires 1,000 $5 checks/cash from eligible Portland voters.

Strangely, the open seat has generated no bizarre outsider candidates in comparison to the contest for Commissioner 4, for which Randy Leonard is seeking re-election. That race so far has drawn the interest of Rev. Jerry Edward Kill, who prefers to have his name appear as just “Ed” on the ballot.

Also running is Emily S. Ryan, an employee of the Chinese Classical Gardens with experience on Portland’s Charter Review Commission and the Multnomah County Commissions on Poverty and Children/Families.

Emily Ryan is participating in Portland’s unique public campaign financing system; Leonard and Rev. Kill are not.

The Mayoral race is looking pretty crowded, albeit largely with unknowns aside from the high-profile Adams. Here’s the listing as of today:

  • Sam Adams
  • Kyle Burris
  • Craig Grier
  • Lew Humble
  • James B. Lee
  • Beryl McNair
  • Nick Popenuk
  • Jeff Taylor

Of that field, besides the juggernaut Adams campaign, Nick Popenuk is an interesting candidate. He’s a 23-year-old U of O graduate who’s worked for Metro and was recently hired by ECONorthwest, a firm which also employs State House candidate Jules Kopel-Bailey (who’s running in the crowded HD 42 primary). Who knows what kind of campaign he intends to run, but those with a municipal political inclination can find his website here.

The Multnomah County races are a little less interesting ever since Karen Minnis decided against vying for a seat on the Commission. Three seats are opening up, as incumbents Maria Rojo de Steffey, Lisa Naito and Lonnie Roberts have decided against running again or are barred from another term. It’s a little harder to find out who’s filed to run for these seats, so this information is from ORESTAR.

For district 1 (west Multnomah County):

  • Deborah Kafoury, former state representative
  • Wesley Soderback

Rojo de Steffey’s former Chief of Staff, Shelli Romero, had also been mentioned as a possible contender for seat one.
Here’s what the Willamette Week had to say about this race in September:

Soderback, a retired deck officer with the U.S. Merchant Marine, is a relative unknown compared to Kafoury, who has one of Portland politics’ more well-known last names. He previously made an unsuccessful bid for the District 3 state Senate seat in 1988, when he was soundly defeated in the Democratic primary by Bob Shoemaker.

For district 3 (Mid-County south of I-84):

  • Roy Burkett, Intel Manufacturing Technician
  • Mike Delman, public affairs manager with Portland Habilitation Center
  • Rob Milesnick, public relations association with ODS Plans
  • Judy Shiprack, former state representative and director of Local Public Safety Coordinating Council

For district 4 (‘East County’):

  • Diane McKeel, director of West Columbia Gorge Chamber of Commerce
  • Carla Piluso, Gresham Police Chief

According to the Oregonian, former state house candidate Rob Brading may also seek this seat, as might Fairview Mayor Mike Weatherby and Troutdale City Councilor Jim Kite.
The Boundary will make an effort to cover these nonpartisan races as they develop, hopefully with assistance of the local-savvy bloggers over at Witigonen (they’re way ahead on their coverage).


Collusion or Coincidence? A Mutuality of Interests Between Steve Novick and OR GOP November 1, 2007

Filed under: Primary 2008,U.S. Senate — taoiseach @ 2:18 pm

Democratic Senate candidate Steve Novick has already been taken to task for his use of Republican talking points in smearing rival candidate Jeff Merkley on the war in Iraq. Apparently, the withering criticism of Novick’s negative campaign method by Representatives Mitch Greenlick and Mary Nolan hasn’t deterred the Novick campaign from its smear strategy. And that strategy has at least the appearance of collusion with the Oregon Republican Party, as both have the objective of stopping the growth of Jeff Merkley’s grassroots candidacy against Gordon Smith.

The perpetuation of the perceived collusion is nowhere more clear than in David Steves’ latest blog entry about Jeff Merkley’s criticism of Gordon Smith’s vote to approve far-right judicial nominee Leslie Southwick. In it, Steves notes that both the OR GOP and the Novick campaign sent him(and presumably most local media) a post by Stu Rothenberg that takes Merkley to task for a ‘partisan attack’ on Smith.

From Steves’ post:

The upbraiding of Merkley by an old D.C. hand was welcomed news both to the Oregon Republican Party and the campaign of Merkley’s Democratic rival, activist and former attorney Steve Novick; both camps emailed the punditry to Oregon political reporters before 9 a.m.

Oh? The Novick Campaign wants media to know that it thinks Rothenberg’s post about Merkley is being ‘too partisan’ is interesting? If Novick doesn’t agree with Merkley that Gordon Smith’s vote to confirm Leslie Southwick is “one more example of how [Smith is] out of step with the people he’s supposed to be representing”, then perhaps he does have a mutuality of interests with the OR GOP that transcends electoral politics. But that’s unlikely.

Most likely, Novick doesn’t disagree with Merkley on Smith’s vote for Southwick. But he does have a mutuality of interests with the OR GOP when it comes to stopping Jeff Merkley. And whether or not Novick designed this situation, it sure appears that the Novick campaign and the OR GOP are using the same strategy to attack Jeff Merkley.

It’s intellectually dishonest for Novick to promote a criticism of Merkley when they ostensibly share the same position on the issue in question. Memo to the Novick campaign: You’re running in the Democratic primary. Stop playing nice with the Oregon Republican Party–they’re the opponent, remember?


Jeff Merkley at Washington County Democrats, Oct. 24 October 25, 2007

U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Merkley spent part of his birthday last night addressing a big group of Washington County Democrats in Aloha. He was on the stump, and the Washington County crowd was visibly excited as he talked about his leadership in the state legislature and his commitment to making health care for all a priority in the U.S. Senate. Of course, he didn’t waste any time saying that his first priority in the Senate would be to end the war in Iraq.

There’s a video up at and at the Washington County Democrats’ site.

Cut to the picture after the jump. (Having problems with wordpress…will post more pictures later). (more…)


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.


Novick Follows Up Pirate Talk with Lebowski Reference October 22, 2007

Filed under: Primary 2008,U.S. Senate — taoiseach @ 5:21 pm

Senator Chris Dodd has taken center spotlight recently for his one-man crusade to preserve the constitution and civil liberties by placing a hold on the FISA bill in the Senate. As you probably know, the current version of the bill contains sections that grant telecommunications companies immunity for colluding with the NSA to spy on Americans. Senator Dodd deserves the accolades he’s receiving from the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, but the one he just got from Senate candidate Steve Novick seems highly on the non-sequitur bowling

The Men of Witigonen, a fine new blog about Oregon politics and zeppelins, among other things, caught Novick’s blog entry before the Boundary. A tip of the hat to them. From

As an opponent of warrantless wiretapping and a fan of The Big Lebowski, all I can say is that Dodd’s the Dude! I appreciate his hard work to protect our civil liberties and stand up to the Bush Administration and I look forward to working with him, either as a colleague in the Senate or as our next president.

Is this another example of Novick’s convoluted political logic? People say he’s wickedly smart–perhaps Novick understands cultural references on an entirely different level. But the Boundary is an avid Lebowski fan, so let’s challenge this comparison and see if there’s any value in it.

Clearly, The Big Lebowski is a fine cult classic. But The Dude, aka Jeffrey Lebowski, is not exactly a statesman. Sure, he says he helped author the Port Huron Statement (the original, mind you, not the compromised second draft) and that he was a member of the anti-Vietnam War group called the Seattle Seven. And The Dude did spend time ‘occupying various administration buildings’, for whatever reason. But that’s the extent of The Dude’s politics: a sketchy haze of failed leadership in the New Left social movements of the 1960s, followed by a lifetime of slacking with thai stick and the occasional acid flashback. Certainly not a ‘Profile in Courage’.

Senator Dodd, on the other hand, is a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserves during Vietnam and chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. And instead of occupying various administration buildings, he was president of the student association at the University of Louisville. In fact, Senator Dodd is what the Big Lebowski might call an ‘Acheiver’.

Senator Dodd is not The Dude. Far from it.

So, if there’s no substantive connection between The Dude and Senator Chris Dodd, is Novick just pandering to college students and fans of cult classics? Or if the Lebowski reference isn’t political, then does it symbolize another instance in the pattern of pure whimsy at the Novick campaign, which started with references to college mascots and most recently culminated in ‘Talk Like a Pirate Novick’?

It makes one wonder how seriously he takes this race. And, if Novick values Dude-like qualities in a Senator, does that mean he’ll spend his recesses bowling?


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.


Oregon AG: Alice Dale is Out October 17, 2007

Filed under: Executive 2008,Primary 2008 — taoiseach @ 11:13 am

Apparently the Boundary missed a beat, because two of Oregon’s major newspapers have scooped it on the Alice Dale rumor. Since her potential candidacy was posted here earlier, so, too, shall it die here.

From the Salem Statesman-Journal‘s Steve Law:

Former state-workers leader Alice Dale has decided against running for OregonAliceDale attorney general.

Dale cited personal reasons, noting that a rigorous statewide campaign would leave too little time with her 12-year-old son.

“You have to be in all parts of the state on a regular basis,” Dale said. “While I was exploring it, I went through a period of 10 days where I was home just one evening.”

Of course, family reasons are a mitigating factor in allowing one to run for office. It’s also a factor for current elected officials choosing to resign retire, including Rep. Wayne Scott, who, thanks to the power of his family will soon stop his reign of terror on Oregon.

As stated earlier at the Boundary, Dale’s candidacy seemed like a reaction to Rep. Greg Macpherson’s entry into the race. Dale, the former leader of SEIU 503 and current leader of SEIU 49, had apparently been recruited by union leaders upset with Macpherson’s role in the 2003 reform of Oregon’s Public Employee Retirement System (PERS).

Steve Law caught on to this too:

Fellow labor leaders had urged Dale to run, she said. Some of them still are angry at Macpherson for promoting Public Employee Retirement System reforms in the 2003 legislative session.

Dale is the former executive director of Local 503 of Service Employees International Union, the largest state-workers union.

She currently is president of SEIU Local 49, a smaller affiliate in the Portland area that represents health systems and property services workers.

This may make Macpherson’s opponent, law professor John Kroger, ripe for union endorsements in the primary. And those endorsements could very well tip the scales in what promises to be a close race. The Oregon Political Staffer straw poll at this month’s Oregon Summit showed Macpherson with a narrow 76 to 73 lead over Kroger. But one should not go as far as to say that Kroger has the labor movement all sewn up–Macpherson, aside from the 2003 PERS legislation, had a pretty solid legislative record. He earned the AFSCME endorsement for 2006 and an A/B+ rating from SEIU 503 for the 2005 session.

While the Secretary of State race might turn out to be a dull primary, what with Sen. Kate Brown’s huge advantage in money and endorsements, the Attorney General’s race could be a real barnburner.