beaver boundary

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?


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…)


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.


A Triumph of the Middling? Derrick Kitts ponders Mayoral Race October 10, 2007

Filed under: 2008 General,Roundup,Washington County — taoiseach @ 6:17 pm

Former state Representative Derrick Kitts of Hillsboro, who in 2006 lost an unspectacular race for Congress against Rep. David Wu, is considering a run for Mayor. This after he nixed his initial inkling to move to Wilsonville and run for the seat held by retiring Rep. Jerry Krummel (R).

Kitts, whose 2006 campaign relied heavily on the presence of RVs and American flags and the absence of just about everything else, says he’d be a good fit as Hillsboro’s Mayor because he’s “Joe Average”. Even more interestingly, Kitts thinks he ran a pretty good race in 2006, despite doing virtually no actual campaigning and eventually losing by 30 points. kitts stand

But then again, this is the same Derrick Kitts who twice won a state legislative race in Greater Hillsboro’s House District 30. Though that district does contain a big chunk of territory outside of Hillsboro city limits, it’s probably fair to say that Kitts represented at least half of Hillsboro’s population in the Oregon House. Unless you consider the quality of Kitts’ legislative service, that’s a political advantage.

But the Boundary is not so sure that high-tech Hillsboro is the right place for a ‘Joe Average’ campaign anymore. No, this city, home to Intel, TriQuint Semiconductor, Lattice, FEI and many other successful corporations needs a business-savvy leader to champion economic development. This can’t be done by just any normal guy off the streets, or someone who pretends to be one.

But if he wants to provide his name as an alternative to the already-declared candidacy of Jerry Willey for the sake of competition, who’s to stop him? No one cried when he left Salem to be the name opposite Wu on the ballot for Congress–in fact, that move helped deliver House Democrats the majority for 2007. And look at all the good things that happened there.

Perhaps only good can come out of Kitts’ ambition, though not in the ways he would intend.


R1W, R1E: The Geographic Grid’s Center September 24, 2007

Filed under: Geography,Multnomah County,Washington County — taoiseach @ 6:12 pm

 The dividing lines of Oregon come in a few different forms:  county boundaries, city boundaries, longitude and latitude, or east or west of the river, and so on.  Baselines and meridians, which are the guiding lines for geographic division in geology, urban planning, and even political districts, are perhaps the most powerful of them all.  West of the Cascades, Oregon and Washington rely on the Willamette Meridian and its perpendicular baseline to help determine county boundaries, street trajectories and even land claims.  The intersection of the two occurs at the Willamette Stone in the West Hills of Portland, nearby the Mount Cavalry Catholic Cemetery.

Naturally, the Boundary had to check it out.  According to Wikipedia, the stone dates back to pioneer times: it was originally an obelisk that served as the central point for a grid system of townships and ranges under the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850.  The replacement stone is quite small–about four or five inches in diameter–and marks the point’s original date:  June 4, 1851.  The first marker was not actually a stone, but a redcedar stake.

Meridian Stone

The Willamette Meridian overlays NW and SW 65th Avenue in Portland, and Stafford Road in Clackamas County.  It also serves as the easternmost boundary of Washington County, which itself is a political boundary for the First and Fifth Congressional Districts as well as the 27th, 34th, 35th and 36th districts in the State House.  The Meridian is 65 streets west of the Willamette River at Burnside because the original location was to be west of Vancouver Lake.  The Willamette baseline is perhaps better known at some points as Portland’s Stark Street, Hillsboro’s Baseline Road, and the Baseline Road of Hood River, Gilliam and Morrow counties.  Take that, 45th Parallel!

Willamette Meridian

You can find the Willamette Stone Heritage Area on W Skyline Blvd., just west of the intersection with W Burnside Road.   See it before all the state’s sesquicentennial fun starts.