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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Vicki vs. Ted

A couple of interesting stories in yesterday's O. First and foremost, State Sen. Vicki Walker, Democrat from Eugene, my favorite public figure of 2004, has taken out an internet domain (walkerforgovernor.org -- nothing there yet) that indicates she's thinking of running for governor.

I could get behind that. Walker has forthrightly called into question the appearance (at least) of corruption in a number of shady quarters of state government, including SAIF, the lottery, the Oregon Investment Council, and several other places where the Goldschmidt taint lingers. And if it were not for her courage to come forward with what she had on old Neil, he'd still likely be calling all the shots in Oregon, and Nigel Jaquiss wouldn't be making room on his mantel for the Pulitzer.

Walker's candidacy for governor would be an extreme longshot, of course. I'm sure the Good Old Boys of the Democratic Party are ready to paint her as a hippie chick from Eugene without the experience needed to provide leadership, blah blah blah. But they'd have to talk me out of supporting her, and I wouldn't give up without a fight.

Especially given our incumbent Democratic governor. I don't think I'll be resurrecting the clothespin I clamped on my nose the last time I voted for him.

Which brings us to the other intriguing O story from Tuesday. Governor Ted has done something wonderful "for the children." Yes, he's put former Portland city commissioner and frustrated mayoral bidder Jim Francesconi back on the public payroll. He'll make $42,000 (for now) as some sort of consultant on how to bring social service agencies and the schools together to work more efficiently, blah blah blah. I guess the state superintendent of public instruction is incapable of getting that job done. Better get the Scone back on the pad; he's been working a legit job for more than three months now.

The no-bid deal was made last week after a seven-day notice period quietly slipped by. The very next business day, The Oregonian was right on the story. No Pulitzer there.

Ted amazes with his appointments. Francesconi. Matt Hennessee, one of Neil's minions on the PDC, whom Ted placed on the SAIF board. Dale Penn, the crusading D.A. who "solved" the murder of Michael Francke (at least to his own satisfaction), appointed by Ted to keep the lottery clean. And for the Tri-Met board, he picks Sheriff Bernie Giusto, who as a cop was driving Goldschmidt around (and allegedly getting it on with Mrs. G.) while the Gov was trying to hush up his own statutory rape. (Hey, the guy's perfect for Tri-Met, he knows about driving under tough conditions.)

Sorry, but I'm not voting for a day more of that.

And then, to add to the surrealism, yesterday's O quotes Bill Scott -- one of the inner, inner, inner Neil G. circle -- on the merits of the Scone's appointment. Cluck, cluck, just another lovely day in the Beaver State.

I remember the day Goldschmidt was outed. He tried to get away with retiring from his unofficial role as political boss, saying he needed to cope with heart problems and "spend more time with the family." A few hours later, the Willamette Week let loose with the real story. But in the interim, Ted and then-Portland Mayor Vera Katz released gushy statements expressing concern and love for Neil, Neil, the Great Visionary Whose Heart Condition Has Deprived Us All of the One True Path to Greatness. I'm sure the two of them quickly pulled those statements from anywhere you could find them now, but they indicated to those of us who caught them that these two were deep, deep into the Neil network.

Later on, when KGW had the nerve to ask Ted, "Did you know Neil had had sex with a 14-year-old when you named him to head the state's higher education board?" his response was a comedy classic. No, said the governor, he had never heard that. The only thing he heard about was that maybe Neil had had an illegitimate child. Oh.

The juxtaposition of the two stories in yesterday's paper also called to mind the connection that was recently made between Walker and Francesconi. As reported in the Willamette Week:

On Jan. 24, [2004,] Walker traveled to Portland for the NARAL dinner, which brought together progressive pols from all over the state. "I remember meeting [mayoral candidate] Jim Francesconi," she says. "He said, 'Take it easy on Goldschmidt--he's done a lot for this city and the state.'"

Go get 'em, Vicki.

Comments (26)

Iím glad the rest of the state is finally seeing what good Vicki could do for our state, being from Eugene I have know of Vicki for some time and have meet on different occasions, I think she is great and would be a great a Gov. A side note to her, it may have been the last time she was being interviewed by lars and I called her state office in Salem and asked one of her staffers what the heck she was doing. The response was great, she said everyone in her office was telling her donít go on that clowns show. In my opinion what she was doing was brand naming her self in the more populated areas of the state and good for her, like jack said go get Ďem, Vicki.

Hey, at least she is willing to talk to Lars instead of Ted's duck-and-cover. I am really getting tired of the listening politely without response and then doing what they want politicians we have.

You/I may not like Lars or his methods, but he does represent part of the population.

Today more of Goldschmidt work emerges as the Port Commission, including Neil's partner Tom Imesen as a member, will give away more in the Shipyard sale. Foti who was ultimately paid millions to take our 57 acre shipyards and dry-docks off our hands five years ago has only made one payment. The Port's response today will be to extend the term 6 years, lower the interest and give Foti a $50,000 credit for each quarterly payment made on time.
As a prop the Port will get one of the remaining Dry-docks as security. A mere $5 million security for a $12 million debt but better than the non-secured credit allowed in the purchase.
The Oregonian hardly covered the travesty sale five years ago and now barley mentions the new deal. The Tribune did it justice yesterday. http://www.portlandtribune.com/archview.cgi?id=29326

Nigel Jaquiss, at Willamette Week did stellar work back during the sale.
Nigel probably derailed Neil's friend Mike Thorne's (former Port Director) run for Governor. Thank you Nigel.
Perhaps we'll get an update from him.

Bottom line is Foti has realized a tremendous windfall of many millions. That gain continues to grow as new deals emerge and the Shipyard property, we used to own, is converted to other uses.

I read about Francesconi's deal, he meets 2x a month with some other policy wonk for a year and gets $42K. These consulting gigs are precious!

OKI read about Francesconi's deal, he meets 2x a month with some other policy wonk for a year and gets $42K. These consulting gigs are precious!

OK

I have met and spoke briefly with Vicki Walker and she was very friendly and seemed genuinely passionate about this state. I for one am glad she was not afraid to speak her mind. She has had a huge impact in a very short time. If I were Teddy K, I'd be very nervous.

I only take issue with her non-support for Les AuCoin. Word has it she didn't approve of his luke-warm support of Goldschmidt rather than his qualifications to serve on the Timber Board. While her steadfast conviction is refreshing, the evident lack of solidarity this showed within the Senate Demos is likely to come back to bite them.

But if this is the only thing I have against her, then she can count on my vote.

p.s. why won't Scone just go away. He needs to go back to the Shire in Middle Earth whence he came.

On the bright side, Moyer can give him all the money he wants now and won't have to funnel it through his secretary and daughter.

Vicki Walker for Governor?

Can you say:

"Governor KEVIN MANNIX!?"

I knew you could ...

Before you get too far down the "I'm for Vicki" trail, you might want to read this:

http://www.hartwilliams.com/ava/ava0113.htm

(& part 2 as well.)

I wouldn't be too sure about that Gordo.

I will likely vote for any Republican nominee running against Kulongoski, but I would strongly consider Vicki Phillips over Kevin Mannix.

Mannix has demonstrated that he doesn't really stand for anything (certainly not smaller government). He's just an opportunist with a lousy track record in statewide races.

A lot of R's believe Mannix has used up his 15 minutes of fame. Mannix only won the nomination last time because he cornered 35% with the pro-life vote and gleefully watched as the two moderates (Saxton and Roberts) split the majority down the middle.

I'm not saying that Mannix won't be the nominee this time around, just that he needs the right dynamic of opponents in the primary to make it happen.

As a Republican primary voter, I will not be voting for Mannix.

The question is whether my party puts up anyone else remotely palatable. I voted for Saxton last time - but from what I hear he's pretty well tied in to the Goldschmidt gang too.

Ditto the comments vis a vis Mannix. I already told Senator Walker that, even though I can't vote for her in the primary, I will be voting for her in the general if it is her or Mannix.

Mike-

always willing to give equal time to another persective, i just spent (read: wasted) the last few minutes reading the article you have referred to.

i was impressed that the writer was able to rant about Sen Walker's irrational crusade against a crib design that led to a child's death and wired glass that proved dangerous to children and explain how neil's 'relationship' with the 14 year old was ok because sex with 14 year olds is allowed in so many parts of the world at the same time.

if this is the type of guy who is against Sen. Walker, then i'm really for her now.

I like what I've seen of Jason Atkinson (Sen. from S. Oregon) over the years (and he's Goldschmidt-free, as far as I know).

If he doesn't throw his hat in the ring for '06, Saxton appears to be the next best choice.

Gordo's comment on the Saxton/Goldschmidt relationship is interesting. Mannix has decided to run that one up the flagpole to get the Larson-wing of the party in a tizzy and will gladly paint any opponent with that brush. All it will take to shut him up, of course, is a trip down to the state archives to find a piece of paper with both Neil's and Kevin's name on it. Dare I dream signatures? One exists. You can count on it. And of course Kevin's own financial dealings with Republican powerbrokers (as chronicled by Mr. Duin) should provide plenty of primary red meat for opponents. Let's hope Roberts and Saxton don't have similar lists.

Unfortunately you didn't get anywhere in Oregon for the last thirty years without having some sort of relationship (pardon the pun) with Goldschmidt. Saxton is no different. I *hope* the 2006 election is about the next thirty years, and not the last.

Mike -
I second Doug's note - I read the first part of the article you referred us to, and for the life of me I can't see what you think is in there that is so damaging to Ms. Walker's credibility.

The writer (Mr. Hart Williams) is so insanely biased that it's tough to take anything he writes seriously. And when he says that the word "rape" in "statutory rape" is as revelent as is the word "lighting" in "lighting bug"??

Are you kidding me?

So he's okay with a middle-aged man with great prestige and influence having sex with a 14 year old? And that's not rape because said girl obviously has the decision-making skills and fully developed set of morals to properly consent to that activity?

And yet he rails against the mom who's mad because her daughter went on a trip where adults encouraged a wet t-shirt contest amongst her classmates. She's the "angry mom" who's always looking for new "enemies".

The writer needs to be hung by his toes.

Larry

There is some interesting commentary on this subject over at blueoregon.com also....

Walker has the potential to shake things up the way no Republican could. Much like only Nixon could go to China, only a Democrat can successfully dismantle the Goldschmidt power structures. Sure a Republican could attempt it, but the Ds and the Goldschmidties would automatically oppose the move. A Democrat, however, would get support of most Rs and many Ds. The Rs of course would be hoping that power structure would be vulnerable to Republican takeover (Silly rabbits! Political machines are for the charismatic!), while the Ds know that even though lots of powerful heads would roll, the replacements owe their new-found power to Walker and the other Ds.


The big problem: can Walker successfully campaign as a reformer when the Ds have held the statehouse for 20 years? The Republican's natural campaign would be "Hey, if you REALLY want change, vote for me!" and that'll be tough for Walker to counter.

I'm gonna pretend to vote for Jack Roberts. And if he runs, I'll send him a campaign contribution from 100 miles north of the border ... with love.

Unfortunately you didn't get anywhere in Oregon for the last thirty years without having some sort of relationship (pardon the pun) with Goldschmidt. Saxton is no different. I *hope* the 2006 election is about the next thirty years, and not the last.

Yes, for the next 30 years, I don't want any more policy decisions being made based primarily on what's in the best interests of Goldschmidt, Imeson, Carter, and Bergstein's paying clients. And for that reason, I would never vote for Saxton, and never again Teddy. We need people like Jack Roberts and Vicki Walker, who aren't beholden to that greedy crowd.

The PDC, TriMet, OHSU and Port of Portland Boards are all stacked with Goldschmidt pals operating as usual and with Kulongoski and Saxton approval.

So what's new for Oregon's future? Besides more tax breaks and public subsidies for Goldschmidt clients and friends?

Why is it that it keeps getting repeated that Vicki broke the story. Phil Stanford was working on the story. He shares info with Vicki. She can't find anything, so she contacts Willy Week. They have some of the missing puzzle pieces, and the story unfolds.

Why Nigel does not share his prize with Phil is a mystery to me.

Vicki may have helped to break the the story, but also shafted Phil at the same time. I am sure Phil has Vicki on his Christmas card list.

Why Bernie Guisto also still has a job in Oregon is amazing, after what he knew.

I am not bent out of shape with Ted's connections to Neil, I just feel he is an enigma. What has he done for us? Paved the way to have a casino closer to Portland. If Kevin wins the R nomination is the only way I vote for Ted again.

Phil took it as far as he could, which was, not into print. He just couldn't get it done, and knew he couldn't ever, and so the prize goes to WW. I don't think Phil's bitter about that at all.

And WW says they couldn't have done it without Vicki. Good enough for me. Thanks, Vicki.

I know from discussions with him that Phil is not bitter about Nigel breaking the Goldschmidt story or winning the Pulitzer. He was glad to see the story get in print after his paper refused to go with what he had.

I think people tend to forget what a risk Willamette Week ran in publishing the story without confirmation from the victim. It paid off and they deserve tons of credit, but if Goldschmidt had decided to stonewall rather than confess to the Oregonian, it could have gotten awful messy for them.

Also, I would note that Willamette Week was far more gracious and honest about giving Phil credit for the work he did than the Oregonian was with Willamette Week for scooping them on the story.

We should be thankful for reporters with the class and professionalism of both Nigel and Phil, and for a newspaper with the guts of Willamette Week.

Vicki has guts. She took on Goldschmidt before the sex scandal, over the SAIF consulting. Kulongoski tried to intercede, but couldn't get her to back down. She was unafraid of all the good old boys, and insisted on accountability for the taxpayers. I'm sure, between that time and the time the sex scandal broke, she was shunned by her colleagues. Brainstorm magazine did a great interview with her about those meetings... I think you can find it on their archives.

Well, Jack, who are you going to vote for when that November, 2004 ballot shows up and the "D" candidate is named Kulongoski and the "R" candidate is named Mannix?

Spoil your ballot?

I couldn't bring myself to darken either of those two circles. I'd write in Extremo the Clown.

I think Vicki could win a democratic primary-even the election-if the Oregonian would cover the campaigns fairly. Moderate republicans like her. But it won't. It is too entangled with the Goldschmidt crowd. If the problem of the O could be solved, many others would be easier to tackle. I never vote for a machine politician or judge and have often written in my cats; they at least look noble and intelligent.




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