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Friday, July 13, 2012

KATU picks up Miss Oregon residency story

You read it on this blog first, but now the mainstream media's asking questions, which makes the story a lot more interesting. Channel 2 is wondering aloud if the new Miss Oregon, Rachel Berry of Aloha, met the Oregon pageant's residency rules. From all appearances, Berry lied on camera last week about the length of her residency in Oregon, and now KATU has got reporter Anna Canzano going all Geraldo Rivera on her. The latest development is that an upset Miss O. is telling Canzano that the pageant has instructed her not to talk with Canzano about it.

As we wrote the morning after the Miss Oregon contest, Berry was Miss Orange County 2011 and was Tweeting from California in December. Contest rules required that she be an Oregon resident by late October. Interestingly, after we wrote about, and linked to, Berry's Tweets, she changed her Twitter account from public to "protected."

Pageant queen carpetbagging, or "state hopping" as it's known in that business, is not unheard of, and in this case it's pretty evident that the residency rules weren't taken all that seriously. In that sense, if Miss Oregon gets dethroned over this, it won't be entirely fair to her. She's not an evil person; no doubt she's done a ton of charity work in southern Cal.

The people who run the pageant show in Oregon, however, ought to have their heads knocked together for letting this happen. Dana Phillips, the executive director of the state contest, got the Channel 2 camera and mike in her face yesterday, and she will likely be answering more questions in the days ahead. So far her position can be summed up with this sound bite: "It's a non-issue with me. I don't understand it." Maybe her organization's legal counsel will eventually help her grasp the problem.

Berry won a $10,000 scholarship at the Seaside pageant on June 30. The first runner-up, winning $3,500, was Nichole Mead of Newport, Miss Three Rivers. Mead has been competing in local pageants in Oregon since she was a teenager. Both she and Berry are 24 now, which means that neither of them will have another chance to compete in the Miss America tournament. Given the big problem she currently has, Berry's chances of winning the national crown seem slim indeed. She seems like such a nice young woman; it's really a shame that she's in this spot.

Meanwhile, KATU credits multiple viewers' tips with starting its investigation. Hmmmm... Several reporters from that station follow this blog on Twitter... As the girls in California say, whatever.

UPDATE, 7/16, 2:12 a.m.: More here, here, and here.

Comments (20)

like whatever

Will she be running for Mayor of Portland next?

Or will she settle for Skamania County Commissioner?

This is an outrage.

Here we have a pageant winner who is "ready to change the world with HOPE" and you're acting like she might be running some sort of con game on the people of Oregon.

Then she tweets that she is "Living for God, not me!" Jack, are you suggesting for a second that God didn't tell her to come to Oregon? Who knows? Maybe she didn't hear the call in time to meet the residency requirement, but are you questioning the work of God?

I think it's pretty bad when the forces of cynicism rise up to crush a dream.

Rachel, on behalf of Oregonians everywhere, I apologize to you and the pageant in Orange County, California. Be strong, be brave, and never let others tell you, you can't be free and stuff.

She's going to state hop again and seek the City Council seat in the 'Couv that Jeannie Harris will soon be losing.

“I personally believe that Oregonians are unable to understand because, uhmmm, some people out there in Oregon don't have maps and uh, I believe that our, I, education like such as, uh, Portland, and uh, the PPS, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uhhh, our education over here in Portlandia should help the U.S., uh, should help South Africa, it should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for us.”

Residency appears to have as much to do with Miss America as Charles does with Wales. Like a lot of things in this world, there's a whole sub-culture out there that doesn't want to be seen.

Is it any wonder the pageant has been buried on cable for five of the last six years?

I can't help but think that if Ms. Berry were from Idaho, no one would care as much.

But from California?!?! OH, HELL NO!

I question your use of the phrase, "no one would care as much."

Sad that they can't compete after 24. I know plenty of very attractive women in their 30s.

This could be your Watergate Moment, Jack.

Apparently, to be a success in Oregon, you have to:

1. Not declare Oregon residency,

2. Not originally be from Oregon. (Californians preferred, especially those from the Bay Area)

3. Choose not to live in Oregon, but endlessly profess your love for Oregon. (If you left Oregon because you are unhappy with state regulation, you cannot apply)

4. Repeatedly shrill about how you'll move back to Oregon because it's so great,

5. Dodge any and all questions as to why you don't live in Oregon.

Meanwhile, for those of us who are native Oregonians whose parents are also native Oregonians (OK, my mother was born in Lewiston, Idaho, but still a lot closer to Oregon than Santa Ana is - there is actually a road that connects Lewiston with Oregon, the Enterprise-Lewiston Highway), we cannot possibly understand what is so great about Oregon. You know, actually living here our whole lives...

She should ask Charlie Hales, as he'll definitely say that you can be a resident of two states at the same time.

She should ask Ron Wyden's office for help.

I question your use of the phrase, "no one would care as much."

Just commenting on Oregon's longstanding distaste for California. ...and it's Friday, and I'm trying to find anything to keep me from actually working.

If she was hot, we could let this stuff slide.

But did she stick one of those "Oregon heart" bumper stickers on her car? Because that is the sign that a recent transplant really really likes Oregon.

In all seriousness, if the point is to find someone who truly represents a state, the residency requirement should be more like three or four years at least.

How can someone who moved here six months ago in order to enter beauty pageants be said to represent Oregon in any way?

I liked it better when Miss America was Katie Harman - born and raised in Gresham. I bet this Miss Oregon couldn't find Gresham if she was standing in it.

if Miss Oregon gets dethroned over this, it won't be entirely fair to her.

I disagree. She had to know what she was doing. She cheated, and got caught.

At least she wasn't born in Kenya.

Tom +1

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