Mark Hass is out.

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Once upon a time, Washington County was impossible territory for Democrats. Today, there are only three Republicans out of ten seats that include portions of Washington County (district map).

If Democrats are going to build toward a majority, holding those seats is a crucial task in 2006. But, as suggested in WW's Murmurs column last week, State Representative Mark Hass has declined to run for reelection in HD 27. From his announcement:

Representative Mark Hass (D-Raleigh Hills) announced Monday that he will not seek a fourth term in the Oregon House of Representatives. ... Hass, 48, first won election to the House in 2000. The time has come for him to return to private life and focus on his family, he said. “My daughter, Isabelle, is seven years old and in no time at all she’ll be seventeen. I don’t want to miss that.” ...

Hass recently joined the Cappelli Miles Wiltz Kelly firm in Portland. The 25-year-old Portland-based firm is a brand-development and advertising agency with offices in Eugene and Denver. Hass is director of marketing and public relations.

Rumors out of Washington County are aplenty that a strong Democratic candidate will file for the seat later this week.

Comments

  • Larry Galizio (unverified)
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    With Mark Hass's announcement that he'll be leaving the legislature, Oregon will be losing a public servant who is thoughtful, principled, and by far the most effective speechmaker on the House floor. We're also losing a legislator with important institutional memory, and one with an exceptional command of the myriad issues confronting House & Senate Revenue.

    Not to take away anything from Mark's eventual successor, but the 2007 Oregon House will sorely miss this first-rate Representative.

  • Rep Chip Shields (unverified)
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    I agree, Larry. Mark will leave a big hole in the the institution. Hass is a man of great integrity, knowledge and wisdom. Mark, you will be missed.

  • (Show?)

    Mark Hass is a public servant and lawmaker with enormous capacity to understand the implications of tax policy and the key revenue issues facing the State of Oregon. His speeches on the House floor this year were masterful, making clear the strength of the Democratic position on the issues he has been instrumental in developing during his time in the House.

    We will miss him.

  • (Show?)

    Wow.

    Three state representatives get the first three comments in on a BlueOregon post.

    If anyone has any doubt that Oregon's leadership (at least on the Blue side) is paying attention to what's happening here, doubt no more.

  • (Show?)

    Kari--

    I know, I'm impressed.

  • Rep. Peter Buckley (unverified)
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    Well--

    Make it four our of six. Mark Hass is a treasure--great mind, great heart and a great sense of humor. We're going to miss him hugely. Oregon's lost an outstanding legislator, but I hope Mark's new job works out well for him and his family.

  • (Show?)

    Waaahhhh! He's my Rep. and I can cry if I want to! Dang!

    I thought Mark would be running again and I could spend all my copious spare time in my neighboring HD 35 fighting the good fight for Larry G. But I wake up and find out Mark is not going to run. WWaaaahhh! What a class guy -- we constituents will really miss Mark a lot and we wish him ALL THE BEST!!

    Rumors out of Washington County are aplenty that a strong Democratic candidate will file for the seat later this week.

    It better not be me! We must not lose this HD and I will fight like tunket for this rumored strong Dem. who will retain this seat and become my rep. next fall. Looking forward to meeting you --- are you a Blue O reader? I invite you to announce your candidacy at http://www.blogfororegon.com. The rumors better be true because I do not want to get that call in the night...!

  • Randy Leonard (unverified)
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    I never enjoyed serving with anyone more than I did Mark Hass. He is smart, insightful and, a quality that is in great demand in the Oregon Legislature these days, he has a wicked sense of humor. All that combined with him never taking himself too seriously made Mark Hass the kind of legislator that Oregon needs more of.

    Mark will do well at whatever he sets his sights on. Lets all hope that includes a return to public office.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    Years ago, Mark Hass was the Legislative reporter for KATU-TV. After hours, Mark would regale us assignment editors with story after story about how he was going to go to Salem someday and "change things" and do so much better than those... insert your own adjectives.

    Almost ten years later, nothing has changed. Nada. Zippo.

    Schools still have little or no money, big businesses like WallyMart and Intel are about to get another few billion back in the kooky kicker and Mark's gonna consult for really large money. Good for him.

    As my old pal, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson once said about our former biz:

    "The TV business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs."

    Better luck next time, Mark.

    You tried.

  • Eric Schmidt (unverified)
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    With all due respect to my old friend Sid, Mark Hass did make a difference. As one of his constituents, I can say without hesitation that Rep. Haas did one fine job in taking our concerns to a legislative body with little or no regard to our concerns. For several years, I went up against Mark Haas from time to time when we worked at different TV stations and I knew I'd get my butt handed to me every time. This past session I had the opportunity to watch how Rep. Haas handed timid legislators their butts, in a very respectful way, especially when it came to tax credits and how state government is supposed to work. Good Luck Mark. I'm not sure the high pressure world of PR will be any easier on your soul, but at least you will have time for your family and that, in the end, is far more important.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    Good to see my old friend, Eric here. I produced him and Kim Sherwood on KOIN's Noon Show back in the day. A little news, a little cooking and some weather, as we used to say.

    Eric is a strong newsman, studio or live, hard news or feature, and if he's giving it up to Mark as a reporter, I must agree. Mark and Chuck Dimond were the two best Salem TV reporters of the past 20 years. Eric Mason was strong too, until he became "entangled" with his sources, as someone once said.

    Mark is honest and hard working and a good family man. True.

    But, as a lawmaker, name ONE thing he did. Kill the personal kicker? Kill the corporate kicker? Re-do our school funding? Get kids more money so they can learn something? Go to annual lawmaking sessions? Change our inexcusable $10 minimum corporate tax -- the lowest such tax in the entire world? None of the above.

    Mark tried, like so many others. And Mark failed, IMHO, because he has offered no solutions... to our big problems... that passed. Passed. But I'll keep Googling!

  • (Show?)

    Is it okay for a Republican to chime in here? I didn't serve with Mark in the legislature but I was labor commissioner when he was first elected and I want to echo all the positive comments from his colleagues. Mark was always a real pro and a real gentleman--both as a reporter and as a legislator.

    Uh oh, I caught myself referring to Mark in the past tense. I can also attest to the fact that there is life after public office (and, who knows, maybe future public office after a hiatus). I'm also pleased to see he is joining a great advertising and PR firm that got its start down here in Eugene.

  • LT (unverified)
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    2 things: 1) I think it is wrong to blame a member of the minority party for not accomplishing wonders--better to blame the people in the minority caucus who never found a way to elect a majority. I'm guessing Mark Hass as a committee chair would be {would have been} a sight to see.

    2) Fond as I have been of Mark for all the years I have known him, and perhaps stretching the time frame a little bit, if there is going to be a discussion of all time great capitol reporters the name Paul Hanson deserves to be mentioned.

  • (Show?)

    Unfortunately, Hass won't be running against Wu for his congressional seat.

    I'm incredibly unhappy with Wu..and have been for awhile. I'd certainly work to fundraise and canvass for a candidate that will actually represent the citizens of OR-1 appropriately.

    It's frustrating.

  • Bailie (unverified)
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    Sid (or anyone),

    This is only a question (and off topic, but since you mentioned it). I have never understood the rationale for changing the $10 minimum corporate tax.

    You say, "Change our inexcusable $10 minimum corporate tax -- the lowest such tax in the entire world?"

    The $10 minimum is only for the corporations that have zero income, or those with a loss. Why would/should corporations with no income be required to pay taxes? Forget the PGE/Enron situation, that is an aberration. I can understand changing the accounting methods perhaps, but why the tax change?

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    The state of Oregon imposed that laughable tax 80 years ago, when ten dollars meant something.

    It has not changed since, meaning it costs the state of Oregon more money to process the litty-bitty-teeny-tiny tax returns than it cost businesses to pay it.

    Reason Number Two -- my local grocer -- a guy named Lee -- games his balance sheet every year so that one month before tax time -- oops -- he has to buy a new $75,000 Hummer (for business) -- and there goes his profit. Poor guy.

    Full disclosure: I ran a small business called Buffalo Records for many years in Chicago and my we gamed the taxes too. Not proud of that, but that's the way the "family" worked.

  • Bailie (unverified)
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    Sid (or anyone),

    I still don't understand your explanation. You are talking accounting rules and enforcement, not taxes. Using your logic we would need to charge an income tax for individuals who don't have income (or have a loss), just because some game the system. How many people claim itemized deductions for contributions/gifts that are overinflated (or nonexistent)? Or give their beat up car to a non-profit for a tax deduction, etc.

    There are many start up corporations that don't show income for several years. Why would you suggest that they pay taxes on no income?

    Your suggestion of "gaming" taxes is fine for any corporation or individual, if it is legal. But that has nothing to do with the $10 minimum corporate tax.

  • LT (unverified)
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    So, we finally learn what Bailie is about. Teachers earn too much, corporations pay too much in taxes, and it is OK to be off topic.

    Or I suppose that it is OK for a major corporation (like Enron)to pay a small tax? Was Bailie not paying attention in 2003 when some intelligent Republicans were talking about major tax reform and how the individual income tax affects some entrepreneurs? Are their startups always corporations?

    We need serious discussion about tax reform in this state, but it should be done on another topic, not this one.

    Or maybe Bailie couldn't resist spoiling a topic saying nice things about a Democratic legislator?

  • Rep. Peter Buckley (unverified)
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    LT--

    Actually, I bet Mark Hass would be happy to have a discussion of tax reform anyplace he could get it.

    But to finally give a very direct answer to Bailie's continuous diatribes against teachers, let me just say this: I'm VERY GLAD that our compensation packages rate amongst the best in the country. We should be proud of it, and I am. Now we need to take the next step and increase funding to make sure our teachers have the class sizes and the resources they need to fully succeed with our kids.

    We're half way there. If we can move from 31st in the naiton in per capita per pupil spending to something around 20th, we will not only have the compensation levels that will continue to attract the best in the field, but we will also have the consistent resources available for the work to be its most effective.

    Bailie, if all you want to do is move backwards with public education by cutting compensation, please move to another state, or at least take your rants to another blog. Oregon is going forward.

    And to take this back to Mark, seeking to take us forward is what he did every day he was in Salem. I agree with the post that speculated that Hass as a committee chair would have been a sight to behold, and that is a major reason I mourn his loss to our caucus. When we take the majority next year, his loss will be even more keenly felt.

  • Bailie (unverified)
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    Rep. Buckley,

    This is amazing. I mention absolutely nothing about K-12 funding, and it comes out of the woodwork with the accusation of being "off topic".

    Rep. Buckley, obviously you haven't paid attention to what I have stated. Never have I wanted "to move backwards with public education by cutting compensation". Where did that come from?

    You say, "I'm VERY GLAD that our compensation packages rate amongst the best in the country. We should be proud of it, and I am."

    Oregon is laying off teachers, curtailing programs, enduring large class sizes and mediocre graduation rates all at the expense of having among the highest individually compensated K-12 employees in the U.S. At the same time we have very average academic results. The high individual compensation is starving K-12 in Oregon. We need 5,000 more K-3 teachers, full programs and the resulting higher academic achievement. Oregon is a poor state (ranked 36th in "per capita income"). We can't afford the 8th highest compensated K-12 employees without sacrificing the ability to hire more teachers. It is that simple. We are one recession away from disaster in K-12 and you are suggesting that this situation is just fine.

  • Chris McMullen (unverified)
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    Peter Buckley,

    Why is it your opinion that pouring more money into a flawed and inefficient system is somehow "moving forward." Teachers and administrators are compensated very well for they work they do and the general public is tired of their incessant "we need more money" mantra. There's a scant few in the public sector who enjoy the pensions, perks and health benefits teachers and most public employees receive.

    There are local charter schools that are able to fund education at less than half of our current public school system. Have you looked into how they're able to be so efficient? Or do you really only care about placating the OEA and public employee unions?

    Furthermore, I expect more out of an elected official than to tell a fellow Oregonian to "move to another state." That's the kind of logic conservatives use against war protesters.

  • Bailie (unverified)
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    LT,

    To answer your comment, corporate tax rate has nothing to do with the $10 minimum tax rate that is levied against corporations which have no income (or a loss). If you feel the need to discuss higher corporate tax rates, that is a completely different discussion. Someplace you picked up a talking point that you don't understand.

    I think it is a great move for Mark Hass. He will be able to come back at a later date if he desires and move to a more desirable position.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Thank you Peter for your remarks. Loved your suggestion to Bailie.

    I think education funding and tax reform are worthy of lengthy debates and committee hearings, and never thought they would be solved on a blog. It would be great to see Bailie in such a hearing answering questions from informed people--esp. in a venue like the capitol where many of us could come and watch. Of course, in such settings, the people speaking give their full names AND any group they represent.

    I am just an ordinary citizen who has heard intelligent discussions of these topics over the years and doesn't see the need to accept NEA or Chalkboard or any other set of statistics as Gospel just because a blog poster believes in them.

  • LT (unverified)
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    To answer your comment, corporate tax rate has nothing to do with the $10 minimum tax rate that is levied against corporations which have no income (or a loss).

    Do companies like Enron have NO income, or just clever accountants?

  • Bailie (unverified)
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    LT, You ask, "Do companies like Enron have NO income?"

    I don't know what you mean by "companies like Enron", but specifically, Enron had losses in the $Billions. No income. Bankrupt. Stock value, zero. Their accounting firm Arthur Anderson, was forced out of business.

    And yes, Mark Hass was a good Representative. I'll miss him at the Capitol.

  • Sharon (unverified)
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    LT wrote "It would be great to see Bailie in such a hearing answering questions from informed people-"

    I've been to hearings. Who would be the "informed people" that would be great to see? Just give me one full name.

  • (Show?)

    OK, everybody, knock it off.

    This is not a thread about tax reform, teacher compensation, or Enron.

    This is a thread about Mark Hass and Washington County politics.

    If you can't stand the topics here, start your own blog. It's easy, it's free, and we'll even link to you once in a while. (Yes, even you, Bailie.)

  • (Show?)

    Back to Representative Mark Hass...

    Jack Roberts is right, there is life after public service and there is continued service I think (hope) in Mark Hass's future. He is a good legislator who helped prevent bad things from happening and made some good ones happen as well.

    I, and my boss, Superintendent Susan Castillo will miss you in the House.

    Thank you for your support of our education system pk-20 and for your advocacy for full day kindergarten (we have 60% more of them in the state then we had when you started asking for it).

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    Bailie is the "canary in the coal mine" of local blogs -- once she pops up -- threads start dying.

    Back to Mr. Hass. The story is of a bright, energetic, talented, funny guy who covered Salem for years and finally decided to go down there and do something. But, what happened? Not much. Full-day kindergarten mandate with NO MONEY. That's a good idea?

    I have known Mark for 20 years now and Mark is a writer, first and foremost. HIs desk at KATU was covered in writing books. I always liked that.

    But, what happened. One writer said PUBS run Salem and Dems don't have a chance. So, why vote? Why run? Why breath?

    I'd like to wish Mark well and challenge him, on the way out the door, to write a column about what really happened and why he is really leaving. Anyone who thinks the PR business is family-friendly has never worked in that industry.

    Good luck, Mark, but I think you owe all of your citizens and contributors some answers, and I am sure you will provide them at some time in a very entertaining way.

    p.s. We'll leave Mark (and all of us) missing the biggest story of our lives (Neil G and the girl) for another time.

  • Lupita Maurer, WCDCC Chair (unverified)
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    Mark Hass will be greatly missed. He is an honorable, honest, brilliant man.

    On behalf of the Washington County Democrats, I wish him all the luck in his future endeavors.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    Full-day Kindergarten is a great idea.

    Too bad all Hass (and company) had in their pockets to pay for it was some lint and a half-roll of Lifesavers.

    Ideas + money = solutions.

    Ideas + No money = blah, blah,blah.

    But, we teachers are planning to rock Salem's world real soon... so hang on folks!

  • rick metsger (unverified)
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    I understood for some time that Mark would likely hang it up. As someone who has shared many of the same thoughts, I can thoroughly understand Mark's position.

    I remember working at recruiting Mark in the 2000 election -first for senator against Eileen Qutub when then Rep. Ryan Deckert was wavering on whether he would run and later urging Mark to join the House. At some point you look at the time away from home and your dwindling bank balance and you realize you can't expect your spouse to support the entire family forever.

    Mark will be missed-for his intelligence, strategic competence, and his wry humor. I really respect what Jeff Merkley as done as minority leader the past 18 months but I cannot help but wonder where the House D's might be if they had elected Mark Hass to lead the charge up ther hill. I hope he will continue to add his voice to the battle for Oregon's future.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    Hi Rick! Good to see you here too. Like old home week here at blueoregon.

    You say Mark's legislative career cost him money. With that "house in the hills" and that million-dollar view? Don't think so.

    Most lawmakers leave Salem and "move on" to extremely lucrative lobbyist/PR (same thing) jobs that pay double or triple my humble public school teacher's salary.

    And don't retiring Oregon lawmakers get to keep all the money in their campaign chest?

    Please don't cry poor, Rick, no one forced you or Mark (who was a wealthy guy before going to Salem) to run for office. We do it because we love it and wanna make a difference, right?

    Right.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    Hi Rick! Good to see you here too. Like old home week here at blueoregon.

    You say Mark's legislative career cost him money. With that "house in the hills" and that million-dollar view? Don't think so.

    Most lawmakers leave Salem and "move on" to extremely lucrative lobbyist/PR (same thing) jobs that pay double or triple my humble public school teacher's salary.

    And don't retiring Oregon lawmakers get to keep all the money in their campaign chest?

    Please don't cry poor, Rick, no one forced you or Mark (who was a wealthy guy before going to Salem) to run for office. We do it because we love it and wanna make a difference, right?

    Right.

  • (Show?)

    Okay, this is my new blog name from now on. Until we win back the Oregon House and re-re-defeat the Bush crime syndicate. The flames are only grow higher and will not be tamped out until we take our country back.

    So...all you political brainiacs have taught me a lot about all kinds of topics here (until Kari came in and lashed the whip), and I know a lot more about Mark's great abilities and character. But I still need to know who is going to be my rep? (tapping foot)

  • Aaron (unverified)
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    Ginny,

    Get your feet on the street; find and talk to Democrats that are in the district that are willing to step up. Please no foot tapping.

  • Anonymous (unverified)
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    No, TTBOMK candidates (retiring or not) do NOT get to convert campaign dollars to personal use under any circumstances.

    I've heard many a good thing about Haas before I came here and read the obituary and subsequent wake. But who would willingly take a $14,000 a year job with a long commute? It's a lot to ask.

    I'd set their salary at a dollar per constituent per year, whatever that worked out to. Maybe more good candidates would step forward.

  • LT (unverified)
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    There needs to be a reform in per diem--no pay for rolling recesses, Kropf moonlighting at KXL, unexcused absences.

    And there will always be those who say most Senators earned their salary in 2005, but few House members (Hass being among the notable exceptions).

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