By Stephen Kafoury of Portland, Oregon. Kafoury is a lobbyist and activist, and once served as a member of the Oregon Legislature and the Portland School Board.
Oregon has lost a giant.
Portland Democrat Ted Hallock served in the Oregon senate for 20 years, beginning in the late 60s. He is best known for his co-sponsorship of SB 100, Oregon's pioneering land use legislation. In fact, he was an environmental champion with particular expertise in energy issues.
Possessed of a brilliant, restless mind, he was always creating new ideas -- even when serving under Republicans who gave him little opportunities. Fearless and full of energy, he had a sign that said "Windmill Tilter" on his office door. A partner of Tom McCall, although these bigger-than-life men were not close, he introduced a bill giving the state power to regulate industries that polluted Oregon waterways.
Scarily bright and quick-minded, he was often profane, and had little patience for fools or ideologues. Testifying before his committees could be an ordeal if one weren't prepared.
Ted tempered this side with an outrageous sense of humor that often had the whole Senate in stitches. He wrote and performed hilarious skits at the now defunct "Goodby Party" that the lobby and legislators threw at the end of the session.
From his experiences navigating a B-17 in World War II, (winning several medals including the Purple Heart) he brought a ferocious hatred for anti-Semites and those who would trade away civil liberties for temporary security. He knew what he had fought for.
A Renaissance man, Ted wrote jazz reviews for Downbeat magazine in the 1950s, and had his own band. He did his own voice work for his clients' advertising at his ad agency. Ted also had a world-class stamp collection, which centered around stamps from Asian communist countries when these were contraband - a rebellious spirit, for sure!
Ted was also hugely loyal to his friends, many of whom served across the aisle in those benighted times, and he will be terribly missed.
[Editor's note: The Oregonian story on Ted Hallock's life is here.]