This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 25, 2012 10:47 AM. The previous post in this blog was Even worse news at 22nd and Broadway. The next post in this blog is Pro hoops down to Final Five. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cogen to constituent: Go away

Lainie Wilker is an involved mom who's been agitating to improve funding for Portland public schools. Lately she's been pushing to have the school district postpone asking voters for more money for buildings before it fixes some of the operational problems created by its recent rounds of budget cuts. This morning she sent around a lengthy e-mail missive to about 70 decision makers and pundits, including us, with a plea on that subject. We'll bet she didn't expect this response from the chair of the Multnomah County commission:

Too busy for the delete button or an e-mail filter, that he has to say that to a voter, and an activist at that? Wow. Just wow. At the very least, he ought to look into the difference between "Reply" and "Reply all."

Comments (30)

What a d*ck!

How does one determine whether or not Lord Cogen has blessed them with the ability to send him unsolicited emails?

What a sad comment on the state of local American politics, and society in general. The people who actually become informed enough on the issues to be able to advocate intelligently on public policy, are given the finger, while the morass of voters who wouldn't or couldn't bother to find out much about anything! continue to vote in these incompetents, thinking they are doing their duty and society a favor, by turning in their ballots.

It is draining to contemplate the fact that there are excellent reasons why people withdraw from politics altogether.

I guess he's never heard of the First Amendment:

"Congress shall make no law respecting ... the right of the people ... to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

They can do a full body search of you and your kids at the airport, take your property to give to someone else without any compensation, jack up your taxes (but not their taxes), and now they can even keep you from sending them an email to bitch about it.

This representative democracy thing would be much easier if voters would just pay their taxes and leave the politicians alone.

An old fashioned spam attack is the only answer.

Yes I agree with Wow! just Wow! Cogen's very email address ending in ".us" says his position and his email account belongs to the taxpayers. When is this guy up for re-election? I suggest when that time comes and his election propaganda comes in the mail just place it in a #10 envelope with a forever stamp, send it back to him along with his own quote: "...stop sending me unsolicited..." (insert your own 4-letter word here).

As Richard Ellmeyer says at the bottom of all his screeds:

The First amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America not only guarantees American citizens free speech but also the right "to petition the government for redress of grievances." This means that elected officials are not required to respond to or even read, listen or view citizen communications. But it does mean that elected officials cannot preemptively stop citizens from contacting them by any means, be it by visit, phone, package, letter, email or marching in front of their offices.

"stop citizens from contacting them by any means, be it by visit, phone, package, letter, email or marching in front of their offices."

Until they get a "protection order" or set up those free speech zones. Or a protest/march permit, or a permit to collect donations.

This isn't a Constitutional issue. Nobody's denying this woman the right "to petition the government for redress of grievances." Cogen asked her not to send him emails; he didn't use the government to stop her. So while he is indeed a dick and he ought to be thanking constituents for sharing their concerns instead of discouraging them from doing so, he's not violating anyone's First Amendment rights.

Jeff Cogen needs to GO!
Who the hell does he think he is anyway?! Certainly not a "man of the people"!
I like the spam attack idea...

I have an easier solution, remove his ability to receive those emails by firing him

Just looked up Jeffy's bio...he's from Florida! originally, and he was chief of staff for "The Legend" Danny Boy Saltzman.
I guess he's good for the 99% these days.

oooh since we all can see his email address there-should we all email him and tell him what we think of his behavior?

Ok, JeCog -- everybody will now remove you from their lists, starting with the list of who to ever vote for. You're obviously in the wrong line of work. Go jump off a bridge, and take your smart*ss phone with you. You petulant little snot.

I thought he was one that wouldn't succumb to the sleazy political undertow around here. Fooled me.

Offensive, but no surprise.

Just another indicator of how rotten Oregon politics are.

At the very least, he owes Ms. Wilker an apology.

Thanks for sharing, Jack.
What's interesting is Jeff Cogen co-chairs the PPS Facilities Committee. PPS is currently soliciting public comment on proposed bond alternatives.
So, Lainie's e-mail was solicited.

When did Jeff Cogen move to Portland?

I am still upset with his laying back, on Multnomah County Health issues.
Does this guy look into depth on these matters?

1.The garbage and every other week pickup, the food waste thrown in with yard debris.
How safe is this and what is going to happen this summer? Has he made any statements of concern about this or is he just going along with the agenda?
2.Our open reservoirs which keep our water healthy for the community and helps to keep radon out of our homes, workplaces, schools. He should know about this critical matter, but appears to be silent along with so many of the others. Or, is it that some know how to campaign or are somehow connected as Cogen was coming out of Saltzman's office, but once in, their minds are still geared towards the next election and what they need to do to stay in?

What about other health matters that the head of our Multnomah County ought to be pro-active about?

Another pooplet from the Saltzman Empire - need you know more?

btw> school funding is easy- remove all Urban Renewal money from our property tax and reassign it to schools.

You're only a true constituent if you agree with the politicians and planners. If not, you're just a crank who isn't with the program.

They'll still take your taxes though, they just won't give a rip what you say.

I'll do all I can to make Cogan's election to any office of his dreams fail.

After his stupid math to get $19 Million for the Collaborative Building in the new Education URA while giving up $69 Million (not counting property value inflation) in Co. property tax revenue for 25 years, and now this "shut up" email, he's not fit to be a leader.

The County is even sharing some of the $19 Million with PSU, but it is conveniently hidden in the Agreement-some of CoP's typical mixing of monies.

All this won't be forgotten.

Thanks Jack. Jeff's email was so easy to read I couldn't help but stop and take the time to send him an email telling him I agree with the unsolicited email. I hope the 23 people who posted here did the same.

He did say, "Thank you."

emailed to Jeff Cogan

We agree with Lainie Wilker and many others to do the standard and obvious business strategy to develop a strategic plan before encumbering your constituents with more mindless debt.

Proceed smart!
Proceed long range and big picture!


PS: As an aside, we were shocked and disappointed in your unprofessional and surprisingly cavalier behavior ordering Lainie Wilker, your constituent, to stop sending emails to your government, taxpayer email address meant to serve your constituents.
That is inappropriate and concerning.
We suggest you reconsider,
1. offer an apology,
2. and more important, sit down and work with her and the many others with the same concerns, and create a win win for both.

I wrote a similar message this morning and received this response:

Thanks for your email Jim.
I am happy to respond to emails from constituents and to meet with any constituent that requests a meeting, including Lanie who I have met with. However, her mass emails which are in fact unsolicited are spam and I don't like being spammed. You are, of course, entitled to disagree with my position.
That said in making facility choices I hope PPS considers all perspectives and positions. By the way, I am not co-chAir of anything related to facilities for PPS. Last year I co-chaired the levy and bond campaign.
Have a nice weekend

Jeff Cogen forgot that he works for Multnomah County - not TriMet, where Board Meetings are often preceded by "We don't have to do this, but we're nice so we'll give you your three minutes of speaking time so we can all feel good, and then we'll summarily ignore you and vote for OUR own best interests."

Or, maybe he's vying to be the next TriMet Board President.

Jeff Cogen: "You are, of course, entitled to disagree with my position."

"My" position? Isn't he an elected official who is supposed to represent his Constituents? Or are we supposed to bow down to "my (his) position"?

Just another Cog-en the Machine. Brought to you by Legend Dan, the ultimate cypher in local government.

I emailed Cogen and told him I'd email him as often as I liked. I also suggested that perhaps he needs to get a real job.

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