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Friday, April 29, 2005

Wu Wu Wu Wu Wu

Congressman David Wu has jumped into the Cascade Locks casino fray. He's asked the Secretary of the Interior to nix the deal that Governor Ted has struck with the Warm Springs tribes to put their gaming palace in the Columbia Gorge. The Gorge isn't in Wu's district, of course, but his constituents include the Grand Ronde tribe, whose competing casino would take a major hit if the Warm Springs deal goes through; and the West Hills guardians of the Gorge environment. Although Wu's move won't be warmly received at Mahonia Hall, it makes perfect political sense.

I wonder if there will be a public debate between Wu and Len Bergstein, the p.r. guru who's fronting for the Warm Springs tribe. If so, I'll be in the front row -- not!

Now that Goli Ameri's out of the picture, there are few celebrities in the Rose City who are more annoying than Wu. Bergstein, however, is a contender for that crown.

Comments (12)


The makers of Photoshop should join Marqui as a financial contributor to your site.

I wish he had been this active in defense of the Pioneer Courthouse, which IS in his district.

Wu has got me in an uproar, but not about the casino, though that does promise to land him even higher on my "politicians i dislike" list.
i recently contacted him about his vote on the bankruptcy bill passed in the house. I had heard it was not such a great bill. Wu wrote and told me that the bill is great for low-income folk, that it establishes a means test (pegged on state median income) and that anyone above that level would have to set up a payment plan. he also stated that even people above the state median could file if the bankruptcy could be shown to be directly linked to medical costs. he said the bill eliminates the "mansion loophole" and that it is stricter on credit card companies. all in all he makes it sound like a great thing for low-income oregonians. i want to write him a letter back, so i'd like to know what people think of his response.

I had the same thought as the other Chris. Wasn't Wu the one who told Earl to mind his own district's business when it came to Pioneer Courthouse? Perhaps Walden should remind him.

Yak, sounds like Wu was blowing smoke.

The bill was great for low-income folks because it's tougher on higher-income folks? Did he provide any examples of anything that actually improves the position of low-income folks?

I'd be curious too about the elimination of the "mansion loophole" and being tougher on credit card companies. From what I've heard, those were things that had been proposed amendments (to balance somewhat the bill's effect) but were defeated.

In particular, the amendment to restrict the interest rates that CC companies could charge was not part of the final bill.

So CC companies can charge essentially unlimited interest rates, to theoretically cover their "risks". Yet now those risks have been legally mitigated without any corresponding reduction in interest rates. Pretty sweet deal for creditors if you ask me...

The CC companies knew the (now old) rules when they extended credit to questionable applicants (at high rates). And then they had the gall to complain when those high-risk debtors defaulted on their credit. What about those high interest rates that were supposed to protect the companies against these losses? That's your market-based risk mitigation, there was no need to change the bankruptcy law.

I'm disgusted with my Congressman right now...

i too am totally disgusted with Wu.

i wish i could post his response letter in its entirety. later, i will type and post some of the relevant sections of his response (it was 3 pages).

the thing that got me most was his smugness. in my letter to him i voiced concern that the bill was a windfall for credit card compaines because it makes it harder to file for bankruptcy and eliminate credit card debt. his response is amazing in its arrogance:

"There has been much said that the nefarious practices of the credit card industries has resulted in the surmounting consumer debt and increased bankruptcy filings. I share these concerns." now get this..."That is why I am pleased that the legislation addressed some of these credit card practices by requiring billing statments for open-ended credit card plans, such as credit cards to include an example of the time it would take to repay the balance at a specific interest rate. It would also require credit card companies to post warnings about the possible consequences of paying only the minimum payment, and the requirement to provide specific information having to do with the consumers account and additional disclosures regarding introductory interest rates on credit cards."

it continues much in the same fawning manner, saying how great the bill was and how he is looking out for the little guy. how much truth is there in this?

ah what the heck, here's the part about the "mansion loophole" too:

"The legislation brings to an end other abuses that occur under the current bankruptcy system. For example it closes the 'mansion loophole' which allows opportunistic debtors to avoid paying their creditors by buying a house in a state with an unlimited or extremelu generous homestead exemption, and then declaring bankruptcy. The provision states that if a debtor purchased their home within 42 months (nearly 4 years! - that's me) of filing for bankruptcy, then only $125,000 of the home's equity will be protected." it goes on to say that those in the home more than 42 months will be exempt from this.

well, sounds great to me! shall i rethink my positon on the bankruptcy bill?

Jack, it's interesting that you are unhappy with Len Bergstein for lobbying for the Warm Springs tribe. Would you feel better if you knew that, during the 2002 gubernatorial primary, when the Grand Ronde tribe endorsed Ted Kulongoski, Len Bergstein was lobbying for . . . (drum roll please) . . . the Grand Ronde tribe?

I didn't think so.

I went to a Wu Town Hall meeting in Newburg to directly question Wu about his support of the bankruptsy bill. He pulled the "I'm a lawyer" card out and smuggly told the crowd that he knew better than us about the internal details of the bankruptsy bill. He also spoke at length about credit card abuse. It was claear his mind was made up long before the actual vote.

Doesn't he realize he is regarded as the weakest member of the Oregon congressional delegation? The Oregon Democratic Party should consider running someone against Wu next time around. He is way out of touch.

I wonder how many people that dislike Wu actually showed it by voting for his opponent.

That is one of my biggest gripes about the dems. They like to complain that their folks are not liberal enough yet are not brave enough to oppose them.

Gotta hand it to the hard core right though. They have taught a number of lessons to Republican candidates.

i sure didnt vote for wu. didnt vote for ameri either. i'll let you guess. hard core right or hard core left in your eminent estimation? third party baaaaaad, right?

huh?... "third party bad??"

yak, I got a very similar letter from Wu about the horrible bankruptcy bill. he totally sold out his constituency on that, and i agree with Jack, is one of the most irritating political presences in Portland. so annoyed by him am i that i seriously contemplated a vote for Goli Ameri. we need a serious Democrat with a big D to challenge him...

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