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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 9, 2004 4:02 AM. The previous post in this blog was Freshened up a bit. The next post in this blog is A vote for Nader is a vote for Kerry. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Another one gone

The next session of the Oregon Legislature will be without the familiar right-wing drone of Rep. Randy Miller (R-West Linn), who's calling it quits after 20 years of lawmaking, for all of us. The Nattering Nabob of GOP Negativism has decided to spend more time with his family. Now that he'll be around the house more, I hope they can all pass a random drug test.

Sources reveal that Miller plans to spend much of his new free time driving 70 miles an hour on the freeways, and driving back and forth to Camas to pump his own gas.

A lot of the old timers down in Salem are packing it in this time around, it seems, as are a few young Turks who were just hitting their stride. I wish the new breed would not repeat their predecessors' mistakes, but the outlook for backbiting and gridlock seems worse than ever with some of the cooler and more experienced hands refusing to go back.

In any event, today's the filing deadline for the upcoming races, and so by tonight Oregonians should have a better sense of their choices in May.

Meanwhile, here in Portland, my internet buddy Randy Leonard gained six -- count 'em, six -- new opponents yesterday in his bid for re-election to the City Council. At least five of them are "neighborhood activists" who are in a snit about Leonard's recent major upset of the neighborhood bureaucracy apple cart. Their apparent strategy is to throw enough alternatives on the ballot to force a runoff, but at this point it's hard to see a single one of them standing a ghost of a chance in a head-to-head general election. You never know, but I think they're acting out their anger in an expensive way.

Comments (4)

I left PDX last year and miss some of the news while afar. Can someone fill me in on something?

I can see the old-timers in the gov't leaving, we all get tired. But why are the youngsters leaving? It seems now would be a great time to simply stay put and gain seniority (and a greater voice) just by...well staying put.

Why the mass exodus?

You might not be so glib if you had been one of the people who were forced out of their jobs in the "recent major upset neighbourhood bureaucracy apple cart". What Randy Leonard did to the Crime Prevention Specialists was really, really shitty. They were laid off from their jobs, told that they had to acquire new skills (which they weren't allowed to learn on the job). Then, surprise, surprise! some people were re-hired but were stationed in other neighbourhoods and others weren't re-hired (interestingly enough, the two forced out of their jobs were vocal union representatives). There was no input allowed from the neighbourhoods who actually use those services and who relied on the in-depth nowledge the CPS staff possessed. The whole thing was a modern day witch hunt. Leonard doesn't give a whit about public process, arrogantly assuming he knows what's best for us. I voted for Leonard last year, but believe me, I won't be voting for him this election. I really believed his "I'm for the common man" routine. Quite frankly, I'm surprised to see that you're so gullbile, Jack. The guy voted for the Iraq War, for Christ's sake.

P.S. I happen to be aquainted wih two of those "neighbourhood activists", and they each have more integrity in their respective little fingers than Randy Leonard. Both Paul Leistner and Bonny McKnight have spent years fighting advocating for their communities.

Hi, Lily. No disrespect intended on my part toward "neighborhood activists." I myself have still got a few old picket signs collecting dust out in my shed, and an active graffiti cleanup bucket.

I know Leonard has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way on the issue you discuss. I warned him as far back as last October that he was showing contempt for the public process.

So I welcome your point of view here.

But I do think the greater enemies of the neighborhoods are politicians who fall into the pockets of the West Hills powers-that-be. Of the five we have on the Council, Leonard has the fewest problems in that department, which is more important to me than the bruises (obviously very deep and real) from the bureaucratic reshuffle he imposed.

As for the Iraq War, I don't care what the city commissioners say about issues on which they have no influence. It's like Mayor Katz standing up for gay marriage. Nice sentiment, but it's not under her jurisdiction at all. It's like saying, "He even likes limberger cheese." My dentist is a Republican. Who cares?

Following up on Jack's point, if all five commissioners vote 5-0 on everything, then we don't really need four of them. If they vote 4-1 a lot, then if the person voting no explains why and at least gets the issues on the table, s/he is doing a public service. Just for example, the Civic Stadium debacle wasn't the result of a debate in Council.


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