Elsewhere on this website today, you’ll find a solid discussion of our County Commission candidates by a Portland-based progressive group. Now a national magazine is weighing in.
Mother Jones is a progressive publication based in Washington, D.C. It is not concerned with the challenges Jim Bernard and Paul Savas face, rather the curious deep pockets supporting Monica Wehby’s primary campaign against Jason Conger, a conservative legislator from Bend. Wehby, who lives in Lake Oswego and practices at a Portland hospital, has been found lacking on-the-ground and interview political smarts of a credible candidate. Conger is just the opposite. He’s savvy. Except he doesn’t have the money Wehby is drawing from some of the same old-same old gang we’ve come to know and dislike.
The concern is that if these big money types succeed in helping Wehby win the primary, they’ll be ready to round up some colossal donations to take out Democrat Jeff Merkley in November. Unless Merkley can find some big Democratic money.
Always nice to see how others see us and gain a new perspective, especially when some of these characters are actually willing to talk.
By Peter Toll
While the Big Money Goons have already made their ugly mark in Clackamas County, their newest target is an incumbent Republican legislator who represents a chunk of the southern end of our county.
Forty percent of Rep. Vic Gilliam’s House District 18 is in Clackamas County. The Silverton resident is also chair of the Marion County Republican Party. Those tea party-dominated Marion Repubs chose not to endorse him for re-election. Too liberal. Continue reading
“Show me the money!” was a line made famous in a film about sports agents, but it also applies to local political races. In this case, incumbent Clackamas County Commissioners Jim Bernard and Paul Savas are gathering a lot more money than their challengers in the May primary.
As expected, Savas’ opponent, Karen Bowerman, picked up a cute little $5,000 check from Andrew Miller, the same guy — a sawmill/timberland owner who lives in Portland — who bankrolled Commissioners John Ludlow and Tootie Smith into office in 2012.
Other than philosophical wackos like Miller, who else cares enough to donate thousands of dollars to county commission candidates? Answer: real estate developers and wannabe developers like the Maletis Brothers, who own Langdon Farms golf course in Wilsonville and want to turn it into a truck-based industrial park and make a ton of money. (A notion with 95 percent opposition from their neighboring property owners.)
Certain folks born into money, like Hank Swigert, grandson of the founder of ESCO Corp., are also involved, writing $250 checks to righties Bowerman and Steve Bates of Damascus, the gent running against Bernard.
Lots of interesting tidbits in this report from the big city newspaper.
Clackamas County Congressman Kurt Schrader, a Democratic middle-of-the-roader, drew a tea party opponent this week, and Oregon’s Greg Walden, the only Republican in the state’s federal delegation and a major player on the John Boehner federal GOP team, also drew a tea party opponent. Walden’s fight will be in the primary election next year. This reflects the major philosophical divide in the Republican Party — the moderates versus the arch-conservatives.
This split is also evidenced in the usual phalanx of pro-business Republican check-writers who bankroll most GOP campaigns. Many moderate-leaning Republicans feel recent Congressional shenanigans are not in the best interests of the country nor of business. They’re having second thoughts as to giving more money for more foolishness. And the right-leaning Koch Brothers and Oregon’s Andrew Miller, to name a few, are giddy at the prospects that their money could actually help make a strong anti-government statement.
Al Jazeera America, a new news voice in the U.S., defined the players and their views in a thought-provoking piece. It should give Walden, chair of the GOP group responsible for maintaining a Republican majority in the Congress, serious pause.
Lawrence Lessig, law professor, political activist, and advocate for reduced copyright restrictions — he helped found Creative Commons, which we frequently use here at ClackamasDems.org — recently delivered a fascinating and compelling TED Talk on our broken political system and some possible solutions. You can watch it below.