Multnomah County Chair: Wheeler vs. Linn

Today, Willamette Week endorsed Ted Wheeler for Multnomah County Chair - in the same issue that Queer Window columnist Byron Beck announced his support for re-electing Diane Linn.

First, the pro-Wheeler position:

Linn's blunders are legendary... Linn may very well be the most unfit elected official in Multnomah County since Bible-thumping, gay-baiting Commissioner Gordon Shadburne. Fortunately, Wheeler is more than a warm body to fill Linn's seat. He's a brainy, hard-working wonk... Wheeler strikes us as honest and as someone who will work collaboratively with others, unlike Linn.

And then, the pro-Linn position:

I can't help myself. I'm going to vote for the worst candidate, the person who least deserves to be re-elected, the poster child of bad governance. ... The reason is that Linn has been an avid supporter of gays and has led the political pack when it comes to championing the rights of queer folk to get married in the state of Oregon. ... As far as I can tell, from conversations with people like [Human Rights Campaign's co-founder Terry] Bean, getting Linn re-elected is seen as an important national step in the queer-rights movement—almost as huge as the whole gay marriage thing itself.

Discuss.

Comments

  • ses (unverified)
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    Well, I am going to kick this off by relating a small story. At a recent candidate event that I attended I watched very carefully how Ted Wheeler reacted to an all out attack by Diane Linn. Before the event, I was going to vote for Ms. Linn, my mind has definitely changed. Mr. Wheeler showed great restraint and stayed on the high road after the assault. As this was not the first event I had attended, being a campaign aid to a local candidate, this control under direct fire was a deal breaker for me. Diane had my vote for the courage it took to stand up on the issue of gay marriage despite the squabbling on the council caused by her mismanagement, but that has changed. I know how important to the community the step taken by Multnomah County Government was, but the out of control person that I saw was not someone I personally want in such an important position. The County needs to get back on track to serve all the communities not be driven by one.

  • madonna of the wasps (unverified)
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    byron! come on! sure, diane's behind gay marriage rights...but she's already made that stand, and after her myriad blunders, no one wants to work with her. don't make the mistake of according her demigoddess status - she's no gavin newsom. and ted wheeler may be the scion of a bunch of timber-choppin' republicans, but he's driven by social conscience to use his money for good, not evil...as opposed to using other people's money for dubious purposes and then cooking the books.

    remember what dan savage said when he attended the republican national convention: don't be a single-issue voter. it may be important to recognise diane's contributions, but that doesn't mean we have to elect her. especially when she no longer has the cred to lead anything or anyone.

  • BT (unverified)
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    If the best hope for the queer rights movement is the election of an incompetent, ethically challenged Diane Linn, the movement is in trouble, and Terry Bean is picking the wrong battles. Poster children for successful movements aren’t inept and corrupt. Terry Bean is also a big Gordon Smith fan, so let’s keep his sterling judgment in perspective. Diane Linn is held up as a crusader now, but let’s remember when the gay marriage action happened – three commissioners talked about it in terms of civil rights; in contrast, Diane Linn claimed that County Attorney Agnes Sowles made her do it. From the Portland Tribune of March 23, 2004 (find at Di’s Day on www.bojack.org. Thanks for finding it bojack):

    Linn says the law offered her no alternatives. "I was either going to allow it, or prevent it and be sued," she says. "It was that simple. I don't have a public debate over whether this government has to follow the law."

    She didn’t proudly, staunchly defend her decisions – she said basically that the lawyer made her do it. She wanted to avoid a lawsuit, not deliver civil rights, consequences be damned. She tried to have it both ways – make the GLBT community happy, but do it reluctantly so as not to offend anyone. It was only when it was clear that being wishy-washy was impossible that she became a crusader. A cynical political decision based on her needs for supporters, and a realization that with this issue, she was going to own it in the public’s mind whether she liked it or not. It’s a little like a career criminal serving a life sentence “finding God” after no one else in society will go near them. She had no where else to go, so she belatedly turned herself into the GLBT cause celebre’. She had a key part in an important action, no doubt (setting aside the contribution of that act to Measure 36 passage and the whole national backlash, which is debatable). Bet let’s not delude ourselves into christening her the second coming of Harvey Milk.
    Remember when Governor Ted lambasted the County for the decision – only Cruz, Naito, and DeSteffey stood up to him publicly and called him out. Linn didn’t. Same-sex marriage is a long overdue civil right.
    Diane Linn is not part of the equation for achieving that goal, and only damages the cause. And from what I’ve read, her opponent is pro- gay marriage, pro-GLBT rights. So he’s Ritchie Rich; what do I lose by tossing Linn to the curb?

  • Frontal lobotomy (unverified)
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    Chair Linn's demonstrated incompetence (and inability to get along with the mean girls) versus a (former) Republican policy wonk with limited relevant experience.

    Mmmmmmm. Tough call for the progressive ideologue. I bet this race will be settled in November.

  • jami (unverified)
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    doing what's right in the face of opposition makes a great leader in my book. screw the details. a lot of people probably tried to take down civil rights supporters in the fifties and sixties by pointing out minor mistakes in judgement. linn's opposition seems like a bunch of petty b.s. she offered millions to schools -- SCHOOLS! -- and people came down on her like a pack of hungry animals. the things good leaders like diane linn get right are much more important than stirring up a ruckus so people pick up the next willamette week.

    wheeler's comments on the gay marriage thing suggest he'd have used the excluded commissioner as an excuse to do nothing to make things better, just like much of the rest of america. that's not the portland i know.

  • BT (unverified)
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    No one in this City fought longer or harder for schools than Vera Katz. Vera Katz worked side by side with Linn. Vera Katz supports civil rights. Vera Katz is supporting Wheeler. I'm not a Vera fan (I voted for Jake in her last race) but this says a lot.

  • IlikeDiane (unverified)
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    Give me a break. Who gives a crap if the woman couldn't pronounce the name of the new Blazer's coach. The only reason people mention these "blunders" is because somewhere deep down inside, they're uncomfortable with the concept of gay marriage. You can dress it up and call in whatever you want.

  • Benkay (unverified)
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    IANASIV

    I am not a single issue voter.

  • Harry (unverified)
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    Yep. That is the only reason. To vote against Linn is to vote against gay marriage. Nothing less. You can dress it up, but you can't hide your homophobia, all you Wheeler-ites.

  • Michael M. (unverified)
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    I can understand Beck's support for Linn despite her problems, in the face of the overwhelming lack of support for gay issues in the Democratic Party at large. BT, you're right ... the movement is in trouble, because the movement has pinned all its hopes and opportunities on a party that is so spineless and wishy-washy that it won't stand up to the bigotry that characterizes the opposition. Howard Dean just fired the gay Outreach Advisor to the DNC, Donald Hitchcock, because Hitchcock's partner actually had the nerve to call the Democrat "leadership" on their wimpy response in an open letter to gay Democrats. Senator Clinton is opposed to gay marriage, as is anyone else in the party who might have a shot at the nomination. At this point, Rudy Guiliani is looking like the best potential presidential candidate for gays. The Democrats seem only to want gay campaign contributions without any obligation actually to stand up for equal rights for gays.

    So Linn's willingness to stand up to her own party's shamelessness is pretty hard to pass by, even if Wheeler seems overall to be a better candidate. She at least has a proven track record of not buckling to the national party's message to gays: "Put up and shut up."

  • madonna of the wasps (unverified)
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    saying 'to vote against linn is to vote against gay marriage' is as incorrect as saying 'a vote for nader is a vote for bush.'
    then again, maybe you bought that lie too?

  • ilikeDiane (unverified)
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    Of course a vote for Nader was a vote for Bush, silly. You're goofy.

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    Dean abolished all outreach director positions late last year. They were replaced with the American Majority Partnership, which integrates efforts to address the concerns of minorities into all of the DNC’s departments and offices.

    Donald Hitchcock was hired in September as director of the DNC’s Gay & Lesbian Leadership Council, which raises money for the party from gay donors. He does do some advising in that role, but he's not an "outreach director."

    From Washingtonblade.com:

    DNC spokesperson Karen Finney said Hitchcock organized a meeting on April 26 between Dean and other high-level DNC staff members and officials of national gay rights groups to discuss strategy for addressing anti-gay ballot measures. Among those attending, Finney said, were officials from the Human Rights Campaign and the National Stonewall Democrats, which represents gay Democratic clubs located throughout the country. "It was a very good meeting," said Finney, who declined to disclose what was discussed on grounds that the party doesn’t publicly reveal its election-related strategy.

    In doing searches, I couldn't find anything that mentioned Hitchcock being let go or fired. Not on any news site, not on any of the sites that focus on GLBT news, not anywhere. All I could find were items on him being hired, the fact that his partner had said some things that didn't make the DNC happy, that he's been doing a good job and needs support, etc. Maybe it's just not hit the web anywhere, but I couldn't find anything.

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    OK, no more Howard Dean talk. This is a Multnomah County chair discussion.

  • frank carper (unverified)
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    The only reason people mention these "blunders" is because somewhere deep down inside, they're uncomfortable with the concept of gay marriage.

    AND: To vote against Linn is to vote against gay marriage. Nothing less. You can dress it up, but you can't hide your homophobia, all you Wheeler-ites.

    ....

    i support gay marriage, and i supported what diane and the mean girls did to legalize it, temporarily. but here's why i don't support diane linn - snow days, library director, library security, dave boyer, and now the calendar scandal. it's just too much. she's no longer an effective advocate for gay marriage. i don't know if ted wheeler will be - but i'm sure that lisa naito, serena cruz, and maria rojo de steffey still are.

  • ilikeDiane (unverified)
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    Oh yeah! I forgot about those snow days! Now THERE'S a good reason not to vote for someone! Does Laura Bridges (the Republican) think the "calendar scandal" makes herself look good?

    These "blunders" are repeatedly mentioned by people who are uncomfortable with gay marriage and the rest of us have bought into their nonsense.

  • Brian (unverified)
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    Diane's supporters in this thread have been dismissing the multitude of failures of leadership and discretion of Diane Linn.

    OK, let's grant you those. I don't necessarily agree, but I can see the sense in dismissing the Diane Linn Calendar Bake-Off, or the snow days, as being a minor point. I'll concede that.

    But here's a question I'd like to see a supporter address, especially one whose sole or primary reason to support Chair Linn is her previous visibility on gay marriage, a question that I've pondered myself, and one that others in this thread have raised:

    Do you seriously think that any other political leader will work with Diane on gay marriage or any other issue in the future?

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    Ayup. Terry Bean is not the only gay man in the Democratic Party--just one of the richest ones.

    Dianne Linn is not the only elected official that support gay rights--just one of the dumbest ones.

    <hr/>

    She was politically incompetent when she willfully violated open meeting laws for a quick pander to to "her base". No concept of how this would smell to people who favor fair play, but are not single issue voters.

    The effectiveness of the wedge for actual homophobes is compounded by a general sense of incompetence every time she opens her mouth.

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    Regardless of BRO or Bean, this woman hurts rather than helps the efforts of gays fighting for the legal parity that they deserve.

    Dump Linn now.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    ilikeDiane wrote:

    "Give me a break. Who gives a crap if the woman couldn't pronounce the name of the new Blazer's coach. The only reason people mention these "blunders" is because somewhere deep down inside, they're uncomfortable with the concept of gay marriage. You can dress it up and call in whatever you want. "

    You are presumptuous and incorrect. I love gay marriage. I even like Diane, but she sure has messed up a lot. There's no getting around that.

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    It's too bad we don't have another big Democrat running. I'm sure someone else would have if all this stuff would've come out before the filing deadline. People are just hesitant about taking on an incumbent unless they're either doing it to get a message out or don't mind losing (although there are exceptions-- I know I've done it).

    Many of us don't want to vote for Wheeler, but Linn hasn't exactly shown she should get our vote either.

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    Then vote for Frederick Smyth, the Fred Meyer produce guy. At least you get to send an itty-bitty message to whoever wins this wretched race.

  • John Mulvey (unverified)
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    "[email protected]" and "[email protected]": How DARE you? It's not up to you to anonymously pronounce ME a homophobe. YOU are in fact the homophobes, because you seem to believe that gay rights and integrity can't coexist.

    I'm voting for Ted Wheeler because Diane Linn is incompetent. She's been directly responsible for making Multnomah County government less-responsive to the public and less effective. If your best campaign strategy is to throw hateful, ignorant names at people like me, Diane must really be in trouble.

    John Mulvey

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    I'm talking about a real candidate we could vote for and could win.

    For various reasons there are many in the county who don't want Wheeler to be chair. Yet with everything that's happened, they're not all that happy voting for Linn either. They'll probably end up voting who they think is the lesser of two evils.

    Personally, I have to look at who I think is going to push and vote for the issues, programs, etc. that I agree with. And if that means I end up voting for someone who has made some mistakes, so be it.

    I can't compare Wheeler's mistakes as chair and Linn's mistakes as chair because only one has been there. However, I can compare their positions and what they stand for.

  • Wonkism (unverified)
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    WW's endorsement of Wheeler calls him a wonk and yet Wheelers own lit says he isn't Wonky? I'm so confused that my head is spinning? Who to trust? Who to believe? And why must we use that damn word "wonk"?

  • ilikeDiane (unverified)
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    Someone goes out on a limb like that, that someone deserves waaayyy more support than she's recieved. Just my humble opinion. I don't even know the woman. And yes, I really do think the haters need to take a long hard look at why they're really not voting for her. Wasn't Wheeler a republican up until a couple years ago?

  • ambivalent (unverified)
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    Linn has done good things but her administrative style and choices of administrators has been so offputting that I wonder whether it is prudent to saddle the community with her for another 4 years. Do her adminstrators, who tend toward the authoritarian, reflect her values or does she just make poor choices? Linn succeeded Stein in the midst of the mental health redesign and after the killing of a mental health patient at a local mental hospital. Heads started to roll. Partly because the Mejia shooting took place on his watch, Lolenzo Poe was removed as a department director and other mental health administrators found themselves out of work, demoted, retired, or transferred. But their replacements weren't much better, if not worse, showing that Linn has a hard time recognizing competence when she sees it. For example, she went through several mental health administrators in a short period of time and ended up with Dr. Peter Davidson, who was later disgraced for making racially bigoted remarks such as calling an African-American subordinate a "mud baby." Initially, Linn defended him, and then sidelined him, and then brought him back as a contractor before he finally left for a state job. In a recent article in the Oregonian, she still defended Davidson as a "change agent." She seems to show poor judgement with advisors and administrators, preferring a top down, authoritarian, us vs. them management style. I hate to show her a lack of gratitude for supporting gay marriage but I question Linn's administrative judgement.

  • Behind the Scenes (unverified)
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    Who cares? Does anyone take the Willamette Week seriously? If they do, they should stop right now. Their judgements are all based on entertainment value. Oregon is still suffering from their endorsement of Measure 5 which would not have passed if it hadn't been for Willamette Week's promotion of it as a wakeup call to the legislature. The state is still waiting for the alarm to go off 15 years later.

    I just hope Liz Kaufmann knows what she is doing. Ted Wheeler has gone from Republican serving on a family foundation giving money to Lon Mabon and Bill Sizemore, to a liberal champion. And it only took him four years. What changes will happen in his life in the next four years? He seems like a good and earnest fellow and that should go a long way at the county where employees and citizens have been constantly caught in the middle of the commissioner's petty bickering for at least the last four years.

    Having worked at the county, not for anyone reporting to the chair, the petty bickering and problems with cooperation have a whole lot more to do with Serena Cruz Walsh than Diane Linn. You notice how she adopted the anglo name now that she isn't running for office as a woman of color? The real danger here is people forget just how badly Serena failed as a county commissioner when she resumes her political career as Serena Walsh. Any fingers pointed at Diane Linn ought not give Serena a pass just because she isn't on the ballot. Diane has more been the target of venom at the county, not its instigator. The question is how much of that venom was well-deserved. Unlike the other two commissioner's displeasure with the chair, Serena's venom just splattered out all over the place.

    She was politically incompetent when she willfully violated open meeting laws for a quick pander to to "her base".

    There was no open meeting law violation. The decision on gay marriage was an administrative decision based on the county attorney's legal opinion and entirely up to the chair. There should have been a public debate, but the decision was the chair's alone.Part of the venom directed at Diane is caused by how she used the other three for political cover when she made the decision and then tried to distance herself from the blowback by personally apologizing for the lack of public process.

    There is no doubt Dianne Linn losing will be held up by anti-gay activists as proof that support for gay marriage is political suicide. Whethet that is a good enough reason to vote for her is a different question. It ought to be a good enough reason for the gay community to support her.

  • Duke Shepard (unverified)
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    Hey, "Ilikediane", use your real name if you're going to call everyone who isn't voting for Diane a homophobe. I presume your last name is spelled B-R-U-N-E-R, but correct me if I'm wrong. Full disclosure, Laura Bridges is my wife. And I too had the "pleasure" of working for the esteemed chair.

  • Harry (unverified)
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    John Mulvey writes: ""[email protected]" and "[email protected]": How DARE you? It's not up to you to anonymously pronounce ME a homophobe. YOU are in fact the homophobes, because you seem to believe that gay rights and integrity can't coexist."

    <hr/>

    I was using sarcasm in my response to ilikediane's post. I actually think that people who don't support Diane, might actually not support her because of all the goofs she made. Also, there might actually be voters out there that are not purely 'single issue' voters, but multi-dimensional.

    Not to make assumptions, but I don't think that ilikediane is using sarcasm. I think that she is being serious.

  • whatever (unverified)
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    So Mr. Bridges. Any reaction to the comments by "Ambivalent" and "Behind the Scenes"? Since you've seen her operate up close you might have more insight.

  • Duke Shepard (unverified)
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    Whatever: Since I will likely be pulled into any AG investigation as a former staffer, I won't comment on anything related to those posts or my employment at Linn central. Please note that unlike you, my name is clear on this blog, and it's spelled Shepard, not Bridges. I'm not a big blogger, but I find being called a homophobe incredibly insulting and had to post something in response.
    BTW, I'm not voting for Wheeler or Linn, I'm doing a write-in. If you want to see a photcopy of my ballot, let me know. Just identify yourself so I know who to send it to.

  • whatever (unverified)
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    Mr. Shepherd. Admire your willingness to identify yourself (and others?!) by name. But you've given me even more reason to stay anonymous because by calling out "IlikeDiane" as "B-r-u-n-e-r" you must mean that you believe that Thomas Bruner of Diane Linn's staff called you a homophobe? o boy

  • Duke Shepard (unverified)
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    Whatever: It's not an unreasonable guess, though I do hope I'm wrong. I just find it fascinating that individuals with such strong opinions about other peoples' beliefs, motivations, and basic morality are intent on sharing those opinions - especially in an attacking form - on this blog, yet they lack the conviction to be identified with those insults and assertions. Standing up for what you believe is admirable; hurling insults of bigotry on this blog without the guts to own those insults is indefensible.

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    All this "Ted Wheeler is a Republican in disguise" talk is either misinformed, or cynical beyond reason.

    Wheeler has jumped on every opportunity to respond to that allegation—not sought to avoid it. At Candidates Gone Wild, he described growing up in a family that held progressive Republicans like Tom McCall and Theodore Roosevelt in high regard, and expressed contempt for the direction the party has taken in recent history. He has gone out of his way to profess support for common Democratic values like gay rights and robust social services. He was not involved with the decision for his family's (father's) foundation to give to certain right-wing interests, but has stated emphatically that he and his father differ in their politics.

    I have seen enough of Diane Linn to know that I would like her as a person. Her personality is engaging, and her unwavering support of gay marriage is admirable. I'm sure she has a bright future, but I am convinced that bright future will not come to be in the County Chair office. Regardless of whether or not she wins.

    For anyone who doubts Wheeler's motives, keep in mind that he has a solid history with the kind of social service non-profits the county should be supporting. I have heard enough stories from that sector about bad policy changes and dwindling resources since Linn has been chair. Of course the county has ever-less money to spend, but that's all the more reason to spend it wisely, and build ties to the nonprofits that will be left holding the bill when the county can't pay. We need a proven consensus builder in this job, and Linn does not fit that need.

    If anyone missed their City Club debate, you can listen to it here. This hour-long program goes into a fair amount of detail on these and other issues.

    -Pete

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    There was no open meeting law violation

    Former Oregon Supreme Court justice and current governor Ted Kulongoski is only one of many that disagree with you.

  • BT (unverified)
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    Linn's boyfriend was or is a lobbyist for the Portland Business Alliance. Linn's chief of staff is a Republican. Linn's communications director held the same job in 2002 for KEVIN MANNIX. I repeat: KEVIN MANNIX, the scion of progressivity. Not when he was a Democrat; when he ran for governor in 2002. Remember what a progresive campaign that was, the great Democratic ideal put forth by Mannix? And Wheeler is somehow the equivalent of GW Bush because he was one of the last of the moderate Republicans in this state? Seriously? Having a Mannix flack on staff: OK; having politics like Norma Paulus or Dave Frohnmayer: not OK? That's amazing, even for blueoregon.

  • BT (unverified)
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    addendum to last post: I did a google search and found something else...Mike Beard also worked for Saxton in the 2002 primary before switching to Mannix at some point. He worked for the anti-choice, gay bashing Mannix AND the anti-immigrant Goldschmidt pal Saxton. What a guy! Diane Linn is obviously the progressive purist just by the company she is keeping.
    After Linn loses, where will this Beard go next? Karen Minnis? Back to Mannix? Charles Starr? Oregon Freedomworks? The Christian Coalition? I'll bet BRO ain't on his list.

  • Behind the Scenes (unverified)
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    he described growing up in a family that held progressive Republicans like Tom McCall and Theodore Roosevelt in high regard,

    How does that jibe with a family foundation that contributed to Lon Mabon and Bill Sizemore? These are not progressive Republican causes. I am not a big booster of Diane's or a critic of Ted's, but the questions about his Republican background are neither "misinformed" nor "cynical". You can be satisfied or dissatisfied with his explanations, but they are legitimate questions.

    Former Oregon Supreme Court justice and current governor Ted Kulongoski is only one of many that disagree with you.

    Except that link to an Oregonian editorial doesn't actually say that. I suggest you reread it. Kulongoski has never claimed there was a violation of the open meeting law and neither has any other responsible legal authority. Because there wasn't.

  • Not Working for Dianne's Campaign (unverified)
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    Wheeler is a Republican cross dressing as a Democrat.

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    How does that jibe with a family foundation that contributed to Lon Mabon and Bill Sizemore? These are not progressive Republican causes. I am not a big booster of Diane's or a critic of Ted's, but the questions about his Republican background are neither "misinformed" nor "cynical". You can be satisfied or dissatisfied with his explanations, but they are legitimate questions.

    BtS: First, I agree that it's a legitimate question. My critique is not of those who ask it, but of those who leap to what looks to me like an opportunistic conclusion.

    As for the apparent contradiction...I don't see it. In the first case, he spoke of what he valued in his upbringing. His family is Republican. I can relate to and admire a young man looking for good qualities within the party one is raised to respect, and finding his identity within that context.

    In the second case, his father's foundation gave money to some undesirable types within that party. Sure, Ted was working for the foundation at the time...but not in a capacity where he determined where its money went. Ted did not make those calls, and has denounced them. (Listen to the City Club debate.)

    To me, this really doesn't add up to anything contradictory or shady...rather, a very believable, normal, somewhat complex juxtaposition of family and politics.

    The County Commission is composed of nonpartisan seats. This seems appropriate to me: the county should be in the business of providing services to a diverse population. We should welcome candidates who do not put their partisan affiliation at the center of their campaign, but who can account for their partisan beliefs in a way that does not undermine their role. A hard line, cut-all-services neo-Republican would worry me in that role, but not somebody who can relate to conservative ideals. I'd call that a qualification, not a problem.

    My personal bottom line: strong consensus-building skills, and nuts-and-bolts executive skills, make for a good county commissioner. Political debates don't belong on the county commission, there's too much work to be done. I like Linn's politics, but I like Wheeler's basic approach better. I believe he has essentially the same politics as her. But a much clearer vision of how to get stuff done.

  • Gil Johnson (unverified)
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    Wheeler's past Republicanism doesn't bother me--after all, a decade or two ago, we had some pretty decent Republicans. But he strikes me as the type of character who would show up in a Dilbert cartoon, and not in a flattering depiction. "This is Ted, who is going to tell you how to run your department."

    All that talk about "best practices" and other management speak. It makes me think he's been attending too many Tom Peterson seminars. The Whiz Kid's gonna get a big shock when he actually tries to run a county government.

  • Michael M. (unverified)
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    Jenni: From today's Washington Blade: http://www.washingtonblade.com/thelatest/thelatest.cfm?blog_id=6536

    Dean fires Dems' gay outreach chief Shakeup follows criticism by partner; Bond named replacement By LOU CHIBBARO JR. | May 3, 12:31 AM

    "Democratic Party Chair Howard Dean on May 2 fired the party's gay outreach advisor Donald Hitchcock less than a week after Hitchcock's domestic partner, Paul Yandura, a longtime party activist, accused Dean of failing to take stronger action to defend gays."

    My point about Beck's support for Linn is that it is in this context of the incredible and bald-faced betrayal of gay & lesbian Americans by the DNC that Beck's support should be judged. Many here -- and I wouldn't call anyone a homophobe for thinking this -- feel that Linn is no longer effective on any issue because of her actions and her mismanagement. But at this point gays and lesbians are grasping at straws, people. Linn is one of the few who stuck her neck out. Does anyone honestly believe Wheeler would do even half that?

  • Wesley Charles (unverified)
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    Behind the Scenes wrote:

    The decision on gay marriage was an administrative decision based on the county attorney's legal opinion and entirely up to the chair.

    That's true. In most Oregon counties, the county clerk is the official who is charged with issuing marriage licenses. But there is no clerk in Multnomah County. The clerk's functions are rolled into the chair's position and today marriage licenses are issued from a section of the Division of Taxation (that irony is hilarious). So Diane Linn was the sole county official responsible for the issuance of those 3,000+ licenses.

    Meanwhile, for budget wonks and unemployed day time slackers, tomorrow's cable-televised Board meeting could be the setting for more fireworks. According to the county's website, Diane Linn is supposed to release her 2006-2007 budget publicly on Thursday.

    Rumor is that Boyer, the disgruntled budget guru, is going to rip Linn's budget for being exactly the deceptive and dishonest sham that he predicted it would be when he abruptly "retired" after being pressured by Rob Fussell to fudge the numbers.

    Let's see if Wheeler is quick enough to sort through Linn's budget to find the fraud. After all, if he's the chair-elect on May 17, he (and the new replacement for Cruz) will inherit this budget at the half-way mark on January 1, 2007.

    Can anyone imagine what the rest of 2006 has in store with lame duck Serena pecking at a defeated and lamer duck Diane?

    • Wes
  • Behind the Scenes (unverified)
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    his father's foundation gave money to some undesirable types within that party.

    I don't want to make too much of this, but where I see the contradiction is describing oneself as having grown up in a family of progressive Republicans and then having the father in that family donate money to Lon Mabon. As someone who grew up in a family of moderately conservative Republicans, I can't imagine any of them donating to Mabon or Sizemore. I had an uncle who would have, but no one described him as a moderate, muchless progressive.

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    BtS:

    Ted Wheeler never (that I've heard) described his family as "moderate." He said they held some moderate R's in high regard, and that was the context he used to explain his own former Republican affiliation.

    I guess if you look hard enough you can find some sort of contradiction anywhere. But can't we move on to something more substantial?

    -Pete

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    Michael--

    Thanks. When I was looking around earlier I was unable to find anything.

  • ambivalent (unverified)
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    That Wheeler may be suppressing his Republican genes long enough to be elected and then might return to form seems relevant. Everyone knows what they're getting with Linn, "for better or for worse." What will they get with Wheeler? There is no track record by which to predict.

    By many accounts, Linn was changed by this office into a different person from what she was as a commissioner. Will the office have a similar effect on Wheeler? What is his dark side? We already know the poison that can come with Linn. What is the poison we don't know with Wheeler?

    Some say that Linn has difficulty listening to criticism or contrary views, that those "speaking truth to power" are not the voices she wants to hear. However, being no doubt pampered by his wealth, can Wheeler's ego handle dissent?

    And he has to learn everything from the ground up. Since he doesn't have the experience of having been a Commissioner or City Council member before going for the chief executive position, he has no organizational memory as far as what programs and administrators have come and gone and why. Tabula rasa is good as far as a lack of baggage but a handicap when you need to know what has already been tried and failed. Will he always need advisors whispering in his ear "Sir. Been there, done that..."?

  • Wesley Charles (unverified)
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    With Serena Cruz destined to be replaced by one of four males, a Wheeler victory will ensure the end of the Reign of the Mean Girls . . .

    . . . and Lonnie Roberts will join his fellow fellows and usher in the Reign of the Bad Boys . . .

    "what'cha gonna do when they come for you . . ."

    • Wes
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    ambivelant:

    When you put it like that, yes, I agree that it's relevant. A controversial topic, yes; a contradiction, not so much. (Especially considering his employment history and endorsements, which to my mind do constitute a track record.)

    I disagree with you, but I can respect your position (far more than those stated before on this topic.) Since this is one of the very few races I've actually made up my mind on, I'm gonna turn my attention elsewhere...I gots me some votin to do.

    -Pete

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    People who support Dems no matter what may actually be doing their party damage. When someone has made as many high-profile blunders as Diane Linn (who in person and politics we may admire), it has a halo effect to other campaigns. The Portland City Council and Multnomah Commission is regarded--quite wrongly--as a pack of ideological morons who put pet issues in front of good governance. Diane Linn now has a reputation like Bob Whitsett, and it's difficult to imagine that no amount of good governance will ever change people's perceptions. Meanwhile, people are developing the same relationship to regional government that they did to the Blazers.

  • Ross Williams (unverified)
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    Jeff -

    "The Portland City Council and Multnomah Commission is regarded--quite wrongly--as a pack of ideological morons who put pet issues in front of good governance."

    This is an absurd statement. The Portland City Council and Multnomah Commission are elected by the voters. You must live in a media created fantasy world where the opinions of Oregonian editors, Lars Larson and TV talking heads determine public sentiment. Because in the real world the majority out there are electing these "ideological morons".

  • Garlynn (unverified)
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    ilikediane said:

    "Wasn't Wheeler a republican up until a couple years ago?"

    Now, I haven't yet made up my mind who I'm going to vote for.

    However, I'd like to point out that Bud Clark was also a Republican prior to his dropping that party affiliation and running for mayor.

    Also, Tom McCall was a Republican.

    Perhaps Wheeler's past Republican-ness isn't so much of an issue as, well, where he stands on the issues?

    And where he'd like to take the county?

    You know, that "vision" thing?

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    I'm voting for Wheeler. Linn has not demonstrated the requisite leadership skills to be reelected.

    I don't particularly mind that Wheeler has some Republican roots. He doesn't strike me as anything like Lon Mabon by a long shot.

    Perhaps it's heresy to say on this blog, but I think Multnomah County and the CoP could benefit from some party competition.

  • BT (unverified)
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    Isn't Linn a client of Gard and Gerber too? How does the blue oregon crowd reconcile that with their hatred of Burdick for that same association?

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    BT, if you're voting for Wheeler, great.

    But there's no pro-Diane or pro-Ted conspiracy here, just a bunch of folks who each have their own opinions on this and other races. It's worth pointing out that pro-Linn folks are also criticizing the 'blue oregon crowd' for not taking on Wheeler. "Blue Oregon crowd" is really a misnomer.

    There are a lot of contributors here, and people write about what's interesting them. Also, I have been somewhat outspoken against both Burdick and Gard + Gerber, but "hatred" has nothing to do with it. I really have nothing against her personally, and have never met Brian Gard in my life.

    I don't like the raw power play Burdick's campaign represents -- but I've worked to draw legitimate distinctions between the candidates, not personal attacks. I have a lot of respect and appreciation for anyone who goes into public life -- Ted, Diane, Ginny, whoever -- to try to make a difference.

  • (Show?)

    BT, if you're voting for Wheeler, great.

    But there's no pro-Diane or pro-Ted conspiracy here, just a bunch of folks who each have their own opinions on this and other races. It's worth pointing out that pro-Linn folks are also criticizing the 'blue oregon crowd' for not taking on Wheeler. "Blue Oregon crowd" is really a misnomer.

    There are a lot of contributors here, and people write about what's interesting them. Also, I have been somewhat outspoken against both Burdick and Gard + Gerber, but "hatred" has nothing to do with it. I really have nothing against her personally, and have never met Brian Gard in my life.

    I don't like the raw power play Burdick's campaign represents -- but I've worked to draw legitimate distinctions between the candidates, not personal attacks. I have a lot of respect and appreciation for anyone who goes into public life -- Ted, Diane, Ginny, whoever -- to try to make a difference.

  • (Show?)

    BT, if you're voting for Wheeler, great.

    But there's no pro-Diane or pro-Ted conspiracy here, just a bunch of folks who each have their own opinions on this and other races. It's worth pointing out that pro-Linn folks are also criticizing the 'blue oregon crowd' for not taking on Wheeler. "Blue Oregon crowd" is really a misnomer.

    There are a lot of contributors here, and people write about what's interesting them. Also, I have been somewhat outspoken against both Burdick and Gard + Gerber, but "hatred" has nothing to do with it. I really have nothing against her personally, and have never met Brian Gard in my life.

    <h2>I don't like the raw power play Burdick's campaign represents -- but I've worked to draw legitimate distinctions between the candidates, not personal attacks. I have a lot of respect and appreciation for anyone who goes into public life -- Ted, Diane, Ginny, whoever -- to try to make a difference.</h2>
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