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Monday, September 26, 2011

Oil slick behind Jefferson Smith widening

Portland mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith has quite a track record. Driving while suspended, founder of a political action committee with chronic campaign finance violations, didn't vote in presidential elections for a decade... what else could there be?

How about suspended from the state bar multiple times for nonpayment of dues? Even his pals at Willy Week volunteered that one (albeit at 2:30 on a Friday afternoon).

No doubt there will be more. Here's a tidbit -- might be something, might be nothing. He's got a consulting company going named Boy Ranger Consulting LLC. And guess what? The company is chronically delinquent in filing annual reports and paying fees to the state -- administratively dissolved twice for that reason, including last fall.

Comments (37)

3 times?? Jeez, that's pathetic.

The bar does a pretty good job of reminding you that you owe them money. I dont know many lawyers who have been suspended for forgetting.

Many attorneys who are not practicing law end up overlooking these fees. It is very common. Jeff missed two Presidential races when he was living away from Oregon and in college. He actually sent a ballot for one of those races but it failed to reach the Elections Division in time. These experiences defined informed his advocacy for voter participation. He saw firsthand how easily voters could overlook critical races and devoted himself to righting the ship. These are minor issues that are dwarfed by his extraordinary contributions to civic life.

The really interesting yet understated part of this story is that Jefferson Smith has a separate LLC to absorb all of that "contract" money from the Bus Project, et al. Digging a little more there would probably turn up loads of interesting information.

Faced with all of these issues of impropriety, the Bus Project (in all of its many forms) and Jefferson Smith (and all of his many forms) should turn over all of their financial documents to the media. Presidential candidates do it to assuage any conflict of interest concerns. Faced with some very serious legitimate concerns, the Bus Project and Jefferson should do the same immediately.

Once we learn what the "Boy Ranger Consulting" thing is all about, he just might prove to be a prefect replacement for Sam.

Re: "These experiences defined informed his advocacy for voter participation."

Mr Vetter,

"[I]nformed" is a much more ambiguous lexical item than "defined," hence the preferred choice in this context. But you must choose.

Usually a flack proofs prior to submitting an opinion for publication.

So what's your point?

Sounds like he'll fit right at in at City Hall.

All he seems to lack for credentials is a teen-ager and a public restroom.

Vetter - If you really are his friend, you'd do well to put the shovel down because all your comments dig the hole deeper.

Im not buying the odd excuse that "many attorneys" end up overlooking these fees. Like I said, the OSB does pester you and it is a hard thing to miss, particularly after you are suspended once for it.

You can look up how many lawyers have been suspended for failure to pay bar fees. I will bet that the number who have been suspended 3 times or more is pretty low.

"These are minor issues that are dwarfed by his extraordinary contributions to civic life."

We had to destroy the village in order to save it...

Sorry, but process is very important.

and- "extraordinary contributions to civic life" does not equal building up a base of young voters from which to exploit for your own political career.

Boy Ranger? Well at least he didn't name it Boy Wonder. Mr. Smith seems very vested in being Boy Cool.

At what age are people supposed to be "grown up" now?

In isolation, none of this would seem like a big deal, but overall, he seems a little too Sam- and Vera-like for the city's good: too much ambition, too little substance.

"The wheels on the bus go round and fall off...."

Are we there, yet?

Vetter, have you been vetted? I'm thinking you're on the payroll.

About 3 or 4 years ago I was late in submitting something to the bar--I think it was my CLE report. After missing the initial deadline, I remember there was grace period of at least a month. They followed up with numerous mailing, registered letters, and finally multiple phone calls. They seemed to be trying very hard to avoid my suspension, and it worked. It would have been just plain difficult to ignore all this and let myself get suspended.

I don't know about anyone else, but I definitely got a tingle up my leg reading this this vacuous pabulum.

What "wonderful people", what tentacles, what a crock.

Is the Christopher Vetter the same as the editor of Inside Portland - a web-based publication, with the home page a story about Barack Obama's visit here in March of 2008? Sounds like Mr. Vetter is as time-challenged as Mr. Smith. He also apparently has his own web site.

Oh, and... this in Lents?

Google Mr. Vetter, very interesting findings that help explain his postings, and why Mr. Smith's campaign is off track. Very similar backgrounds.

As far as "Many attorneys" missing due deadlines, that is hilarious. Our State licensing boards for engineers and architects don't seem to have that "many" problem professionals, nor are they as forgiving and sending out three to four courses of warning letters. What? The State doesn't have equal, fair enforcement of Board regs??

It's being reported that Smith has a.d.h.d and a history. Of inattention to detail.are you sure Smith is what you really want portlanders?

Well, this political and legal and accounting stuff can be very demanding and...uh...hey, wanna go ride bikes?

Jefferson Smith for Portland Mayor
Political Organization industry
September 2011 – Present (1 month) Portland, Oregon Area

Advised Portland Mayoral Candidate Jefferson Smith

Dang. Who'd have ever thunk it?

From Vetter's LinkedIn entry.

CC That house on 21st is his father's and stepmother's home. Portland Maps has a 'Smith, R.P.Joe...' as the owner. And it is a duplex. nice shack!

It is listed at the principal location of Boy Ranger Consulting...but in comments following a 9/21/11 WW article, Jefferson Smith himself says his house is "modest"

His comments about his personal and professional troubles come across to me as rather flippant. That said, overall his writing is WAY too conversational and full of parenthetical remarks for me. In my mind, these pubic comments sealed the deal for me that he is another man-child that thinks Mayor would be another chance to make mistakes and learn "A TON".

Do we really need to throw personal attacks at Vetter? It's clear just from a surface reading of his comment that he's at the very least an advocate for Smith, maybe even an insider, and a gander at his website confirms both. He isn't trying to hide who he is. We should welcome his commentary. Maybe he can enlighten us about Smith, if he can move beyond the window dressing and PR spin.

As for Smith, take away the Harvard law degree, he's nothing. Is there anything else to him? (As an aside, take a look at Smith's Wikipedia entry. "Smith went on to earn a law degree from Harvard Law School, where he finished in the top five percent in his class." I wonder who put that top 5% factoid in there. Seems awfully self-serving). I had a deja vu feeling wash over me. Guy goes to Harvard Law School. Upon graduation, has offers and opportunities, but eschews Big Law. Instead becomes grass roots (community) organizer for disaffected populations. Builds a self-styled political machine. Gets himself elected to the state legislature, then tries to springboard to a more prominent political office. Who are we talking about here? Is this a template of some kind?

The top student in my first year law (national law school but not quite like Harvard for name) section regularly snorted coke (on premises). Somehow knowing that classmate makes being in the upper echelons rather of a joke to me. Most of the law review at the law school from my time were big drug heads. Made me kind of wonder about the faculty there. That is not meant to reflect on any other institution.

O.K. this guy is officially on my "Not Even If Hell Freezes Over" (NEIHFO) list as someone I would vote for. He uses the ADHD ploy as an excuse for his slovenly behavior, yet throws out the "Top 5%" at Harvard Law in the next breath. Assuming he truly has ADHD, he is capable of managing it pretty well to have succeeded so brilliantly in a tremendously challenging academic environment. So, when he wants to function on a high level, he apparently is (or was) capable of doing so. I would never exclude someone with a true disability as a candidate for office, but when they use it as an excuse for poor performance then I think it points to a major character flaw.

ADHD is now a sympathy card like the race card, gay card, and gender card when one is under public scrutiny?

Wow, I missed that memo and I have a follow-up question:

On days when I am constipated I tend to get moody to the point where I exhibit tourette syndrome symptoms of just unloading with the most foul language on those who do not deserve.

Because of my constipation leading to a tourettes-esque foul mouth, am I completely blameless for my actions?

AdvisEr? Really? This is like watching a bus wreck in slow motion. Won't they please just stop and let us all off?

At what age are people supposed to be "grown up" now?

I think George W. Bush established that that age is 40.

This Portland Mayor election is rather lame....

Can't we just find somebody, anybody, who has done something for real in his/her life (public sector, private sector, whatever), and then wants to give back to the community and clean up P-town civic life? Come on, for just 4 yrs?

You don't have to be a mini-version of Bloomberg or Guiliani (sp). Just somebody who is not a poser, has already done something for 15 yrs, semi-successfully, and does not boink teenagers and drive around with his/her pants unzipped.

Is there not anybody who could qualify on the 4 points above and wants to donate 4 yrs to the cause?

Vetter posts on his website that he is Jefferson's "Adviser". He should make that disclaimer as Kari Chisholm, of Blue Oregon fame, does for all his candidate adviser roles and paid positions on issues.

My wife who recently missed by one day having her yearly occupation therapist license info in to her Board due to health issues was fined $50 dollars. And no exception. Why is the Bar Board so forgiving? Is it because they are afraid of being sued by their own membership?

Harry, you're right. You'd think there are a few with common sense, private sector experience that would step up for our local openings. The opportunity, more than ever, is there. Just put a D behind your name and have a record of voting for awhile and you are certainly in.

Depending on whether Bar reinstatement is applied for in less than 6 mos., or more than six months, the fee is $250/$500. It's no small matter, either.

What's disturbing about Jeffy's background across the board is he a chronic rule and lawbreaker on a petty scale and it indicates an imperiousness and unfitness for elective office, especially Mayor, and especially with the legacy of scofflaws, goofballs & felons that have preceded him on that desecrated office.

He should stick to his Bus thingy, and try to get that and his driver's license straightened out first. That could take him forever at his current pace.

Feel the hate. Gosh, it feels like Dorchester Conference = being surrounded by rightwingy FOX-fed grumpy rumps.
As Harry said, 'hey, why doesn't some filthy rich or vice-veteran Republican just come out of their palace or scrub their trail of tricks and, hey, contest for votes of decent people, to get a thankless low-pay high-duty 4-year sidetrack job, in the undignified glare of the envious, the sad sacks, the unschooled and unwashed, the clueless and the losers sniping spitballs? Huh, why dontcha?'
Oh, gee, I don't know ... maybe rightwingers are antisocial, or verging on sociopathic (as, above, the joking(?) mentally-challenged Tourette's 'victim'), and they simply don't like people, straggle apart haunted by an inferiority complex, hide from public engagement (in concrete bunkers behind a propaganda agitating microphone, trigger-happy on the Caller Dump button if reality gets too close), and plain don't give a dam about civics, civility, or community good-bad-or-ugly ... and never developed the managerial skill set and personable decency to DO the job's responsibilities if it was handed to them on an engraved plaque. Maybe.

The frenzy (and slight fury) slob-mobbing here for slinging hate-a-liberal enmity at this guy -- all the sour grapes from the GOP griper gallery -- sure makes me think he must be pretty good at public service. Judging by his enemies. I mean I can identify with him, he seems sorta normal; one of my peeps right down to the spotty record of tardy filings, vagrancies, fines, misdemeanors, felonies and probations.

I like his manner. He's approachable. (Tell him your beefs and bellyaching to his face.)

He stands for elected office, a stand-up guy. In today's Republican-sewage politics of corruption, he dares to stand up and commit, "I'll do the job."

Portland can figure he's a good guy if Lars Larson would puh-leeeze get all unrighteously indignant, bothered and disturbed, and endorse his opponent.
Please please please, Lars, kiss-kiss and jinx his opponent.

And Jefferson, if you're listening, when mayor would you please appoint Jack Bog in the City Auditor dept., a deputy position somehow for special assignments?
He talks tax tricks, ya' know.

someone's projecting again

or still

This isn't a R vs D thing at all, nor conservative vs liberal, since it is, after all, a non-partisan race. We are going to get a liberal person as mayor. That's who Portlanders will elect. The issue is getting the best and best qualified, most honest, most capable person.

Best not to disturb Tensk, he doesn't realize that 2/3 of posters here are demos....if you like labels.

"A good guy." That's it. We just need "a good guy". Maybe even a good guy who maybe benefited from some stimulants for his condition. Many of us could graduate at the top of some law school class with enough Adderal for our ADD.

Ya know, ADHD and ADD are important adaptive traits and they served Da Vinci and others very, very well. There were some sad moments. Da Vinci cried on his deathbed, saying he wished he had done more art. Which would have meant less streaming out on the endless yarns of his creative scientific mind. He probably would have done more art, if he hadn't been on the run from the Inquisition and holing up at the mercy of the King of France. I sat in the garden of his last house in Amboise in 2001 and cried a little bit for him, and for everyone who perished in the grip of religious power. A week later, 9/11 happened.

But I think the next mayor of Portland needs to be the opposite of ADHD. Sorry, Leonardo. Linear, focused, mathematical, collaborative. A builder of successful ant colonies. Never, please, any hint of hyperactivity, lest this be associated with corruption, incompetence, or excess libido.

Not to be confused with the name of the current occupant's consulting firm, which replaces the r with a b.


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