Tag Archives: Jim Bernard

Tootie’s outright Trumpish lies and deceit are beyond shameful

By Peter Toll

Consider your national political party leader got elected and sustains his power through all-out lying, intimidating and being an ignorant bully. If you’re running for office as a loyal supporter of Donald Trump, why not follow his example? Hey, it’s a squalid but proven model.  

That requires lying, cheating, making stuff up, attacking peoples’ basic sense of decency and blaming others for your own failings, all the while playing to a gullible electorate who thinks you’re draining the swamp, when in fact, you’re doing exactly the opposite.

Enter Tootie Smith. Yes, the same person who lost her election four years ago to a newcomer to county politics. She tried to get re-elected Clackamas County Commissioner in 2016, and this brand-new player, who had never been on an Oregon ballot, thumped her and sent her packing.  

What has Tootie been doing since then? She spent more than $3,000 from her political action committee for personal use. That’s flat out illegal.  Creating a slush fund to enhance your personal situation is bad enough, but she was already out of office when she did it!

Fully documented charges have been included in a complaint filed with the Secretary of State by a Happy Valley election integrity expert. The complaint factually accuses Tootie of breaking the law at least five times as she tried to remake herself into a motivational speaker.  

That’s when she wasn’t cooking up the phony “Timber Unity” group staging clumsy log truck demonstrations in Salem. It’s difficult to determine which behavior was worse: abusing log truck drivers or condemning future generations to poverty by doubling or tripling the cost of climate change mitigation by preventing action today. Tootie’s stock in trade has always been based on misleading charges and emotions. It’s about her, not them.

Now she’s running against Jim Bernard, the County Chair. She wants his job and has launched a savage, lie-ridden mail and television campaign. If Bernard weren’t a public figure, he could haul her to court for all the slanderous and untrue allegations.

Here’s a typical example. In a recent mailer she charged that Bernard’s wife, Danielle Cowan, got her job as a department head with the county because Bernard pulled strings. Impossible, says Cowan, citing truthful facts: Cowan was hired in January, 2008, when Bernard was Mayor of Milwaukie. Pulling county strings as a mayor? No way. In fact, he didn’t get elected to the commission until November, fully 10 months after Tootie says he swung a job her way. 

Tootie’s bald-faced lies don’t stop there. She accuses Bernard of making the county pay the bulk of his legal bills to defend himself in an action where no charges were levied. Totally false. In fact, Bernard paid the entire $25,000 legal fee with his own money. No fines, no charges, although he did receive a “letter of education” regarding paperwork requirements.

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Around The County

They’re Lining Up for Clackamas 2020 Elections

By Peter Toll

Our primary elections are not until May, 2020, but the troops are amassing their forces in hopes of election, unseating incumbents, and otherwise bringing some action to the local side of the ballot.

Before then, in November of this year, several special elections will occur in Happy Valley, West Linn, and West Linn-Wilsonville Schools, among others.  Too, Metro, which covers about half our county, has an election to extend its natural resources/park bond, a proposal which will extend but not increase bond revenues.  Little controversy is expected in this election.

At the federal level:

Both of Clackamas County’s incumbent Democratic Members of Congress, Earl Blumenauer in the 3rd District and Kurt Schrader of the 5th District, have primary opponents.  

Blumenauer is being challenged by Albert Lee, of Portland, a newcomer to the political scene, while Schrader has drawn Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba.  Lee is a very long shot but Gamba, who has a serious following, will put up more of a fight.  Raising money will be the key issue for both challengers.

At the county level:

County Chair Jim Bernard has filed for re-election.  And former legislator Tootie Smith, who lost her own commission re-election bid four years ago, has filed against him.  This will be a donnybrook.

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Around the County – 4/26/17

We Wind Up Paying Bigger Bills When GOP Shirks Responsibility

By Peter Toll

One of the problems with Republicans is the first thing they do is start dismantling stuff in an effort to “get government off our backs” and, at the same time, lower taxes. Republicans now controlling all branches of the federal government remind us of their short-sighted propensities daily.

The best local examples of this foolishness in office are John Ludlow and Tootie Smith, recently unelected Clackamas County Commissioners. They almost literally fiddled while the county’s roads and infrastructure all but collapsed around them over the past four years. Continue reading

An Important Letter from Four Clackamas County Mayors


l-r: Mayors Axelrod (West Linn), Gamba (Milwaukie), Holladay (Oregon City), and Knapp (Wilsonville)

Voters of Clackamas County:

The last four years have been hard on Clackamas County. Working relationships with other area governments have suffered. Positive forward progress has largely stopped. Lawsuits, acrimony and conflict have flourished. County staff morale appears at an all time low. A citizen itemized $3.4 million of public money has been unnecessarily wasted by Clackamas County actions. Continue reading

County Commission Races Offer Serious Choices

By Peter Toll


Jim Bernard

ken portrait.small

Ken Humberston


Martha Schrader

Hardworking Clackamas County Democrats can share the credit for success in key local non-partisan primary election races as they gear up for the fall. Here’s a brief look at the results and some key campaign issues. Continue reading