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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 6, 2011 9:49 AM. The previous post in this blog was From Salem, the sound of crickets. The next post in this blog is More car hater propaganda from Portland City Hall. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Eileen's green -- clean?

Beth Slovic of the O calls Portland mayoral candidate Eileen Brady out on a $10,000 contribution she just took from an outfit with a keen interest in matters before a state board on which she's sitting. Well, that's kind of slimy-looking, now, isn't it?

But then again, has Slovic taken a gander at the contributor list of Brady's rival, Jeffer-Sam Smith, or that of City Council candidate Mary Nolan? Those two sit in the legislature and have held influence over far more political decisions than Brady ever has. Are any of their campaign gifts a quid pro quo for past favors? Don't expect an answer to that question -- or even for that question to be asked -- any time soon.

Comments (5)

You missed the best one from another Beth article (be kind she is about the only one at the O who actually asks questions):

"Brady never planned to get the $35,000 contribution.

As her husband -- Brian Rohter, former CEO of New Seasons Market -- tells it, the money was "lost money that no one knew existed," from his mother's estate following her death in 1998. Two months ago, Rohter's sibling found the paperwork leading to the unknown account with exactly $35,508.40 in it. "

Lost money that no one knew existed? Sounds like Sam's finance plan for more bike paths.

Oregon seriously needs a citizen initiative for either legislation, or a state constitutional amendment, doing away with the current quaint "conflicts rule " (in Oregon, voting as a member of the legislature, or a board, commission or local governmental body on a issue in which you have a pecuniary interest is okay, so long as you "declare" the conflict publicaly) to a system where there is an outright and automatic disqualification from participating in any decision on an issue in which one has a pecuniary interest.

And, though it will doubtless fall afoul of Buckley v. Vallejo and the even more absurd Oregon state constitutional "free speech" provision ( Article I, Section 8, IIRC), Oregon needs a state constitutional amendment barring contributions to any political candidate from any entity having an interest in legislation/ ordinance / admin rule making, etc., before any body on which the intended donee serves.

Not true for Planning Commissions - per ORS 244.135:

Method of handling conflicts by planning commission members

(1) A member of a city or county planning commission shall not participate in any commission proceeding or action in which any of the following has a direct or substantial financial interest:

(a) The member or the spouse, brother, sister, child, parent, father-in-law, mother-in-law of the member;

(b) Any business in which the member is then serving or has served within the previous two years; or

(c) Any business with which the member is negotiating for or has an arrangement or understanding concerning prospective partnership or employment.

(2) Any actual or potential interest shall be disclosed at the meeting of the commission where the action is being taken. [Formerly 215.035 and 227.035]

Rettig, it would make sense that ORS 255.135 could be extended to a City Council.

Many times decisions of a Planning Commission are considered by a City Council. And sometimes City Council decisions on planning issues are forwarded back to a Planning Commission. It makes logical sense that the conflict of interest issues should apply to both parties.

...it would make sense that ORS 255.135 [244.135, I believe you mean] could be extended to a City Council.

The real question here is how things got to be this way - where a higher standard applies to the volunteer on a planning commission that recommends a course of action, than to the elected official that actually makes the decision. I don't know the history of this statute, but could only speculate that planning commissions might at one time have typically had more of their members involved in real estate development.

Many times decisions of a Planning Commission are considered by a City Council.

That's the way it's supposed to work, anyway.


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