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Thursday, September 15, 2011

You've also been poked by Jeff

Yesterday we noted that Willy Week was giving Brad Avakian, Oregon labor commissioner and candidate for David Wu's vacated congressional seat, a hard time over his bad personal credit rating. Not to be outdone, before the day was over Oregonian political columnist Jeff Mapes jumped in with an even nastier criticism: Avakian is spending around 70% of his working day campaigning for Congress rather than tending to the state's business as secretary of state labor commissioner.

If we're not mistaken, that's a major, major no-no with Oregon voters.

And to make matters worse, Avakian's supporters are popping up around the web and saying, "Come on -- he's only making $72,000 a year in the state job. He's entitled to work only part-time." When you're in a hole, peeps, by all means, stop digging!

One of most dangerous ethical fallacies is "I've got it coming to me." It's right up there with "Everybody's doing it," "Nobody has to know," and "It doesn't hurt anyone." Great words to go to jail by.

Avakian had better hope he gets elected to Congress. Because he could have a difficult time getting re-elected as labor commissioner.

Comments (11)

Kate Brown is Secretary of State. She spends 70% of her day helping Democratic candidates get elected.

Jack, their are at least two dozen women that can lay claim to that statement.
"Poked By Jeff" in the Portland Metro area, back in the good old days of the early 1980's.

Isn't Avakian the Labor Commish? Still, he shouldn't be collecting a salary for that while not doing the job, or the job should be part time.

Yes, I don't think Avakian is being paid at all for the Secretary of State gig.

Avakian is the Labor Commissioner, not Secretary of State.

Actually, Avakian and BOLI doing less would be a good thing. The guy is still a phony and a hypocrite for it, though.

"he's only making $72,000 a year in the state job. He's entitled to work only part-time."

Sorry, folks that only applies if you're a Mult County commissioner working 20hr/week.

The low salary in question is not the Labor Commissioner's $72,000, but the part-time wages of less than $22,000 that he earned during the six years (2002- 2008) he served in the Oregon State Legislature. It’s ridiculous to keep state legislators on poverty wages. This invites them either going into debt or finding some deep pockets to dip from. Avakian went into debt (and not even big debt).

We’re a grown-up state now. We need a full-time annual legislature, and legislators should be paid enough money to keep them solvent and- if they have it in them-- honest.

As for his approaching lobbyists for jobs-- he says he sent out resumes to EVERYONE. He was not soliciting a specific agency, nor for a specific job. I see no ethical breach there.

As to the complaints that he is spending many of his daytime hours campaigning-- I will take them seriously when he has been shown to be derelict in specific duties as Labor Commissioner. He says he’s been working double-time. I see no reason to disbelieve him.

If they are currently a politician they get ruled out as a viable candidate...

Oh geez. Here we go again with the "poverty wages" for our poor state legislators b.s.

Besides the fact that what they have IS a part-time job (especially when you factor out the time they spend running for re-election), let's not forget all the perks and benefits that come with the position and should count as compensation: untaxed per diems, mileage expenses, PERS, family health ins, nepotism, phone and office expenses, etc.

Not the least of which is being able to double-dip into their campaign coffers for things for which they already are being reimbursed by taxpayers.

"We need a full-time annual legislature"

Why? What the heck do they do during the regular sessions? They won't even address the budget until stuff blows up.

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