This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 15, 2012 10:44 AM. The previous post in this blog was More breaking news: Portland cops get away with murder. The next post in this blog is More internet scrubbing in Miss Oregon eligibility flap. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Miss Oregon has Seaside connections

The ongoing discussion of whether the new Miss Oregon, Rachel L. Berry, really is eligible to hold that title turns up an interesting name. Connie Benson, a California attorney and the executive director of the City of Orange pageant that Berry won in 2010, is a native of Seaside, Oregon, and a member of the Seaside High Class of '89. Benson was also apparently the Regatta Queen in Astoria in 1989, and reportedly is about to enter the Seaside High Hall of Fame. Like Berry, Benson is a Chapman University grad, a dancer, and a runner.

Here are Berry and Benson, pictured together at the 2010 Miss California pageant. Reportedly they are still in touch. Perhaps Benson can shed some light on whether Berry actually resided in Oregon as of last October; if she did not reside here by then, Berry wasn't eligible to run for Miss Oregon.

Connie Benson is apparently related to Lynda Benson, who lives in or near Prineville and is a Berry Facebook friend. It's possible that, as some have suggested, Berry lived in Prineville or vicinity with Lynda Benson in the fall. Then again, maybe Berry couldn't tell you where Prineville is; she never mentioned that town or any place near it in her many Tweets from that period (which we read a couple of weeks ago, but which have since been made private).

The Bensons' connection to Seaside is doubly interesting, in that the Miss Oregon pageant is based there. Dana Phillips, the executive director of the state pageant, lists a Seaside address on the organization's registration in Salem. It's the same address as the Phillips candy shop. The other two officers shown on the pageant group's IRS filing, Sue Pickell and Karen Murray, are also listed as having Seaside addresses. As is Nancy McCune, the organization's secretary, on filings with the State of Oregon.

Anyway, now we know that Berry at least has had one or more Oregon people around her for quite a while. And her supporters continue to theorize on chat boards about how she could have been eligible to compete in Oregon under the pageant rules. But the key questions are where she actually lived and when. And there is still no public statement about that from Miss Oregon herself; instead, she has been busy this past week blocking access to her internet pages, which had previously been open to public view. Between that and what appears to have been a false statement in her first appearance on Portland TV, the situation doesn't look good.

UPDATE, 9:56 p.m.: More here.

Comments (3)

The wife used to do pageants and I can tell you this sort of stuff goes on all the time. It's not even unusual for someone to be handed a title for an area they've never even visited at the lower levels. That's done to fill their roster for higher levels.

From what I've seen, every pageant out there is corrupt from top to bottom. No amount of protesting from officals will convince me otherwise, just seen to much from the inside.

Maybe she lives with Ron Wyden?

Darrin, at the Mrs level ladies are to represent an area because there are no locals. At the Miss Level there are specific rules to residency, so don't confuse the two. All we want is a statement and proof that she was eligible to compete in the first place. Not all pageants run themselves this way and avoid answers. When I ran mine you could have an answer in less then an hour! I had a contestant enter and win then moved to Washington. She was in Oregon at the time she entered then moved to Washington to live in a family condo after her husband lost his job and they lost their home. But she lived IN Oregon at the time of entry as required.

This is a disappointment for everyone concerned. Not to mention the 100s of families that put money into a program for their daughter to have a fair chance at the title. Nobody seems to feels sorry for them!

Clicky Web Analytics