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Monday, September 24, 2012


We try to keep an eye on all the government debt that's being taken on in the Portland metro area. One site that tracks a lot of it is called i-Deal Prospectus. When we went there over the weekend here to take a look, here were the 10 most recent Oregon public bond offerings shown:

Do you know what all of these borrowings have in common? In every single one, the bond counsel was the law firm of Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP. That means firm partner Harvey Rogers, the prime aider and abetter of the recent Clackamas County rogue light rail bond measure. Regardless of what one thinks of Rogers's theory enabling that dark episode, we've got to wonder whether it's healthy to have one law firm riding herd over every government bond issue in the state. People who hold monopolies are often tempted to overcharge.

Comments (9)

Any business person knows, that it's easier to get the order when your firm designs the specs.

A $19 million bond from Clackamas County. Hmmm.

And a .64 Billion bond from the state.

Sheesh! That's roughly a billion dollars in the last three months! Very impressive for a bond lawyer in Oregon.

Nothing like some good old fashion fraud, waste and abuse...
In my line of work if I see someone using the same vendor over and over I start to think there might just be some considerations flowing back the other way...

I've found just because you get a Credit Card offer in the mail, it's not a good reason to sign the application and return it.

But then I have to repay MY credit card bill when it's due.

I'm with Tankfixer. A single vendor raises a huge red flag. Follow the money (and the smell).

Check out the attorney profiles for Rogers' colleagues in the Portland office.


Ann Sherman: " represents the majority of school and special districts in the state of Oregon and is bond counsel to the League of Oregon Cities pooled Local Oregon Capital Asset Program, Special Districts Association of Oregon’s pooled FlexLease and FlexTRAN programs and the Oregon School Boards Association’s pooled tax anticipation note program, lease program and pension bond program. Ms. Sherman is lead counsel to many cities throughout Oregon. She has been active in shaping public finance legislation and is a frequent writer and speaker on tax-exempt financing."

Carol McCoog: "works with a wide range of cities, counties, school districts, fire districts, urban renewal agencies and Oregon state agencies. Ms. McCoog serves as primary bond counsel for a number of issuers...She also works as underwriter's counsel on a variety of public financings.

Ms. McCoog was appointed by Governor Kulongoski to serve as the Chair of the Oregon Municipal Debt Advisory Commission and reappointed by Governor Kitzhaber."

Talk about the fox guarding the henhouse. No wonder MDAC took it's sweet time with Jack's request.

Hawkins Delafield & Wood "developed a unique expertise in stabilizing distressed governmental operations". So having helped the shopaholics run up their credit cards, they'll also work on the bailouts. What nice folks.


"People who hold monopolies are often tempted to overcharge."

Of course, that doesn't matter when all his clients are monopolies too. It's not their money, so why not pay top dollar for legal services.

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