The Coronation of Matt Wingard

Carla Axtman

[Update: 8.21.08, 4:25PM--I've been indundated with email requests to alert folks to Jessica Adamson, Wingard's Democratic opponent in House District 26. Everything I've heard about Adamson is excellent. Toss some scratch her way if you can.]

Yesterday, I attended and live-blogged the joint-meeting of the Clackamas and Washington County Commissioners. The meeting was held for the purposes of appointing a short-term replacement for retiring GOP Rep. Jerry Krummel out of House District 26. I've had some time to digest the process and proceedings in the almost 24 hours since it went down.

Honestly, this is one of those incidents that can really jade a person to politics, if they aren't already. Under the law, the Precinct Committee is supposed to nominate at least three but not more than five individuals who intend to serve as a State Representative. It was absolutely clear from the outset of the meeting that this was not a process to choose someone. The choice had been made well in advance to appoint Matt Wingard. We were all there just to make sure nobody could later contest the process because they hadn't actually gone through the motion of looking like the rules were being followed.

I don't know how much taxpayer money it cost to bring all of these Commissioners together in a public building--but every cent of it was a complete and total waste, in my opinion. This thing was a total sham.

Besides Wingard, two of his very ardent supporters showed up to pretend they were interested in the job--gotta cover asses, don'tcha know. The first on the pretend chopping block was Scott Haynes, a staffer from Wingard's campaign who had an email sent on his behalf last Thursday, effectively trying to drop out of the process:
Wingardhaynesdoc001

Apparently someone told Scott that if he didn't at least show up and pretend to give a shit, they'd have to bail on the meeting and start all over, jeopardizing Wingard's ability to claim incumbency during the campaign.

The other pretender to the throne was Ivonne Pflaum, whose statement of interest in the position was essentially a letter of recommendation for Wingard.

Wingardpflaumedoc001


During the voting, I was pleased to see that two of the Commissioners (Strader and Schouten) from Washington County (where I live) decided that the whole thing was BS and abstained. Strader was especially strong on this yesterday--articulating that she was appalled at the ridiculous party antics that had happened with the process. So at least I didn't walk away completely disgusted with EVERYBODY...just most of them.

Washington County Commissioner Andy Duyck was a cypher throughout the question and answer period. He didn't ask a single question of anyone. Duyck did manage in the end to almost call the whole thing a sham...but just couldn't quite get past his devotion to the Republican Party (Duyck is running against incumbent Democrat Rep. David Edwards for the seat in House District 30) to actually abstain, it seems. That's an interesting bellweather for Duyck's potential legislative positionings--not much on active participation and not so much on the buck the caucus thing.

This is the first (and maybe the last) time I've attended one of these appointment meetings. It seems like it would be more efficient to cut out the middle man and burn our tax money on Wingard's front porch.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    Well, and Clackamas County Commissioners Martha Schrader and Lynn Peterson called their bluff and voted for Pflaum.

    Full disclosure: They have both been clients of my firm's, but I speak only for myself.

  • Don (unverified)
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    This is a particularly obvious one but they've always been like that to an extent. When Deckert quit, everyone knew Hass was going to be the pick for example...

  • AJ526 (unverified)
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    I still don't see why we needed to appoint anyone since they won't be voting anyway.

  • (Show?)

    First of all, there are interim committees that legislators participate in when they are not in session. Secondly, it gives someone for the residents of that district to contact regarding issues in the district. Third, you never know when an emergency session could be called.

  • SMC (unverified)
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    Reminds me a bit of the appointment of Kevin Cameron (R-Salem) to replace the outgoing felon, Republican Dan Doyle, in District 19. Now if we can just elect him out of office this year.

  • Steve (unverified)
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    "Well, and Clackamas County Commissioners Martha Schrader and Lynn Peterson called their bluff and voted for Pflaum."

    What a way to put it.

    I'd say it was nothing but dumb and petty partisen nonsense. The easiest of things to do requiring absolutely nothing of substance.

  • (Show?)

    Carla I really wish you would quit beating around the bush and tell us how you really feel.

    Except for special elections what other solutions are possible?

  • (Show?)

    This has been going on in Oregon politics for years. In fact, there have been far more aggregious examples of polical gameplaying from both parties. What suddenly makes this one example newsworthy? A slow blogging day, I guess.

  • (Show?)

    Jack:

    I'm curious, why is this silly and wasteful process okay with you?

    Please illuminate.

  • (Show?)

    They ought to just put their names on little slips of paper and toss them in a hat. Then randomly pull one. Bingo! Interim State Rep.

    Drawing straws might also work.

    Better yet, they could have held a HD 26 survivor where the contestants would be subjected to different physical and mental tests and be eliminated one by one.

    One game could be: Sit in a chair for five committee meetings worth of time. First one to get up to use the bathroom is eliminated.

    another could involve running up and down the steps to the House chamber inside the capitol 100 times. First person to collapse is eliminated.

    There are lots of fun ways to do this...

  • fbear (unverified)
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    The first question is, is the sham that occurred business as usual, or different from the norm? Do the Dems typically put forth one "real" candidate, plus a couple of push-overs, or is this a uniquely Republican process?

    I also wonder why some commissioners abstained and some voted for other candidates. Wouldn't it have been more effective to have voted as a bloc, either all voting for other candidates, or all abstaining?

  • Clackamette (unverified)
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    This is NOT the normal way these processes work.

    Look at ANY one of several interim appointments to fill legislative vacancies in recent years (Deckert/Hass, Clarno/Westlund, Bonamici/Harker, Prozanski/Holvey, Kennemer/Duncan, Morrisette/Beyer, Sumner/Gilliam, Dallum/Huffman, Beyer/Girod, Girod/Sprenger, Butler/Bentz, Johnson/Witt, etc.). In EVERY SINGLE ONE, there were 3-5 candidates put forward by the party central committee who were ready and eager to serve. No games were played by either D's or R's in any of these cases.

    But along comes CHILD ABUSER MATT WINGARD. The only way he can get the interim appointment is to have two shill alternatives and pressure the county commissioners into voting for him. Even then, he was appointed on a 4-4 vote.

    Don't be fooled: this process was anything but normal. And Wingard is anything but electable.

  • Wow (unverified)
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    Fbear: If ANY one of the four Republican county commissioners had abstained or voted for another candidate, this appointment would have gone to the Governor. He could have appointed any Republican who lives in HD 26.

    The most amazing part is that county commissioners Bill Kennemer and Andy Duyck both voted to appoint a self-professed CHILD ABUSER to the Legislature!

    Wow. That's going to be tough to defend in their own campaigns for the Oregon House this fall. Really tough.

  • Steve (unverified)
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    "Child abuser"?

    How Rove of you. Amazing.

    Nothing about his positions, especially on local isues. Just a Rove attack with the "child abuser" BS.

    A "self-professed" one to boot.

    EE gads, better elect his Democrat opponent to save the children. Right?

  • (Show?)

    Carla, I don't there is anything particularly silly or wasteful about the process. It's actually a fairly rational process, at least compared to the alternatives. A special election would be far more costly and simply letting the political parties pick the replacement would be even more unrepresentative.

    County commissioners are probably the best surrogate for the voters in making the choice from among people nominated by the political parties. This process has been in place for decades and generally works pretty well.

    But no system is able to keep politics out of politics.

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    No Jack. What I watched yesterday was not a "fairly rational process". It was a complete waste of taxpayer dollars and the time of a lot of busy people.

    If we're just going go through the motions, what's the point? Why not just have the party appoint who they want, and get it overwith? That's the outcome here anyway, and we wouldn't have to deal with the interim flotsam and jetsom BS.

  • MegaloMan (unverified)
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    If they had picked a Democrat with an identical bio, I'm guessing the process wouldn't have raised an eyebrow at B.O.

    Child abuser? C'mon, you don't really believe that do you. Y'all ever spend a day in the family law courts? I have: this is pedestrian plea bargaining of the least serious variety.

    If a Democrat had done the same thing, you would be incensed that anyone was dragging it into the public debate ("it's a private matter"). Bunch of hypocrites!

  • LT (unverified)
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    Carla, I think it depends on the circumstances. We had a vacancy due to death (the incumbent died shortly before the election)and as I recall the surviving candidate who won took office early. Someone had been elected to the office the survivor was vacating, and the county party nominated him and 2 sacrificial type candidates, so the winner could in effect take office early.

    However, when a local legislator won statewide office, the process was quite extensive. The Dem. county chair interviewed each person who applied, they all spoke at a public gathering, then 3 were chosen. I went to the event where the 3 spoke before all the county comm. One speech was good but the speaker was a lot younger than the other 2. A second speaker was very experienced in the local community but gave a boilerplate partisan speech before county comm. of both parties. The third spoke about problems in the district, referenced conversations with the commissioners, spoke of one particular local problem which could be solved if everyone worked together. That person got the appointment.

    I suspect it has a lot to do with the people running the process.

  • Ken (unverified)
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    Jack:

    I might be inclined to agree with you except for a couple of key points.

    This is an appointment in what promises to be a hotly contested race this November. Just handing Matt the appointment in a dog and pony show does not sit well with me. Being the incumbent is an advantage the House Rs wanted for Matt.

    IF - two other quality candidates who were willing to serve were also submitted to the Commissioners and they appointed Matt - it might have passed my smell test.

    BUT, that is NOT what happened. Here are the very fishy smelling facts:

    1) Matt Wingard pled guilty to a misdemeanor of violence against his own child. I was not there - and maybe it’s not as bad as it sounds. But for goodness sakes, even you have to agree that it certainly raises eyebrows and the commissioners should have had a viable alternative if they did not feel that they could support him. There were no viable alternatives.

    2) One of the top issues in Clackamas and Washington counties - transportation. Matt repeatedly dodged the question of supporting a package in 2009. The commissioners should have had an opportunity to vote for a candidate that supported their priorities. THEY did not!

    I know you are familiar with public service and the sausage making and political games that come along with it - but GOOD GRIEF - this was just WAY too much.

    I did manage to chuckly at Brian openly saying he wished that Jeff Duyck had put his hat in the ring.

    Talk about having to hold your nose and vote for someone.

  • mlw (unverified)
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    Having done over 10 years of prosecuting, much of it in domestic violence court, I can say that beating your child with a screwdriver to the point of injury is always child abuse. I file charges on a parent any time they use an object and cause an injury, because no reasonable person could believe that injuring a child with an object constitutes reasonable discipline. At times, I'm forced to make plea bargains like the one Mr. Wingard got, but I never like having to do so. It's never normal or acceptable to abuse a child--the use of violence on a defenseless person is the worst kind of crime. It's appalling that so many voters (and politicians) are giving him a free ride on this.

  • Bugs (unverified)
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    Jack: You claim this was a normal process (having two bogus candidates pimping for the third candidate). Clackamette sited a whole series of examples where that was not true.

    Do you have examples where appointment processes did operate like this?

  • (Show?)

    Don: When Deckert quit, everyone knew Hass was going to be the pick for example...

    Clearly, Don, you have no idea what you're talking about. The PCPs in Deckert's district voted to send all four candidates running, and then proceeded to rank them.

    Of course Mark Hass had the inside track: he'd been in the legislature before, had to leave for personal reasons, but was able to come back. But Mike Bohan, our First CD Chair (who lost a legislative primary against Tobias Reed by less than 100 votes), and Beaverton City Councilor Bette Bode, were hardly slouches. As Senator Hass later noted, they both arePh.Ds, and he isn't. Only Shantu Shah was non-competitive, but even he wasn't the joke these shills are.

    Nor was it a done deal. Commissioner Strader, in particular, had some policy disagreements with Mark Hass's legislative record - over what she saw as a penchant for supporting laws that were unfunded mandates on the counties - and initially seemed determined to pick someone else. As I recall, this got back to Mark, and he spent a good amount of time in his presentation making assurances he would be careful of the cost of laws. That, combined that he got the largest number of votes from the PCPs (in a spirited election - I helped count it) convinced the council to give him the job.

    In other words, the Democrats followed the letter and spirit of the law. Republicans always seem to figure out news ways to cheat.

  • Carla's Little, Tiny Brain (unverified)
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    Is this how Sen Westlund became a Senator?

    Did not he get a sham appointment after Sen Clarno left office?

    Put up Rep Westlund and two other no-opts, and wow, Ben won! Whodda thunk that was gonna happen? And Westlund was in on the fix, that dirty, sleazy Repug-thug.

    It's sick how only the Republicans are always the sleazy politcians.

  • Anon (unverified)
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    Not correct, CLTB.

    When Westlund was appointed to the Senate, he had strong competition from both Deschutes County Republican Party Chair Gene Whisnant (who is now a Rep.) and former Deschutes County Commissioner Linda Swearingen.

    Try again to find a Wingard-like example of two fake "candidates". Betcha can't find one.

  • (Show?)

    Carla, you're condemning the process based on one example. Some other posters here have given a number of examples of where the process worked as intended.

    As for examples of political gameplaying in legislative appointments, I would point out Pete Sorenson's appointment to the state senate in 1993, when the local Democrats ignored a number of qualified candidates and gave the commissioners only Sorenson and two far less qualified candidates (although I would stop short of calling anyone seeking public office a "shill").

    I might also mention the appointment of Springfield city councilor Terry Beyer as a state representative in 2001, when local Democrats refused to include her among the names forwarded to the county commissioners. That time, the commissioners responded by refusing to select anyone and thereby allowing Governor Kitzhaber to appoint Terry.

    I'll even give you an example of one where the county commissioners played some politics themselves in a situation very similar to the Wingard situation: In 1988, State Senator Bill Frye was very sick and unable to run for reelection. State Rep. Peg Jolin announced for his seat, and Sam Dominy announced for Peg's house seat. Frye died before the election.

    Although Lane County's commissioners are "nonpartisan," three of the five were in fact well-known as Republicans. Jolin decided not to apply for the appointment but Dominy did. His name was forwarded along with two candidates that the Democrats thought were "shills" only to be dismayed when the commissioners appointed one of them instead of Dominy on a 3-to-2 vote. Jolin and Dominy both won in November.

    I'm sure there are plenty of other examples around the state; I just happen to be familiar with the ones in Lane County. Suffice it to say, politics is often in the eye of the beholder. Conservative precinct people in Deschutes County thought they were just doing their job when they left Neil Bryant off the list of candidates to replace Bev Clarno, allowing the commissioners to appoint a "real" Republican, Ben Westlund.

  • Bugs (unverified)
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    Jack: Your Terry Beyer example is a good comparison, since both examples had three completely unqualified nominees put forward by the party central committees.

    The difference, of course, is that Lane County Commissioners did the right thing by not approving any of the three nominees and allowing the Governor to choose a well qualified candidate (Terry Beyer).

    The Clackamas/Washington County (Republican) commissioners, however, conspired together to select a completely unqualified child-abusing candidate (Matt Wingard).

    Voters will now have to fix their mistake in November.

  • Admiral Naismith (unverified)
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    So tell us something about the Democrat running in HD26 and invite donations.

    HD26 is the most rural part of a county that's been trending Democratic. Is it competitive? With the GOP going to the mat for a loser like Wingard it seems to me we ought to at least have a chance of getting our foot in the door...

  • JHL (unverified)
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    Except for special elections what other solutions are possible?

    Well, here are two humble suggestions:

    1. When choosing an appointment less than 4 months away from a regular election for a seat, anyone who is filed to run for that seat should be considered ineligible. I don't mind Wingard serving; I don't even mind the process. But I do mind that in this case the county commission essentially made an invaluable donation to his campaign by virtue of their public office.

    2. Lose the party affiliation rule (unless it comes down to a gubernatorial selection). The respective county commission ought to be representative of the district... if the voters get to choose among the full gamut of ideology come election day, why is the county commission suddenly engaging in a process that one party is entirely shut out of?

    In either case, there would be no more "coronation appointments," as Carla put it.

  • (Show?)

    Carla, you're condemning the process based on one example. Some other posters here have given a number of examples of where the process worked as intended.

    No Jack--I'm condemning the incident I observed. And you seem extremely eager to make excuses for it ("..this has been going on for years--to paraphrase you..."). I've never attended an appointment meeting like this before (which I made clear), so I have no basis to judge the overall general process.

    What I observed was a total waste of taxpayer dollars. Period. There was no real consideration of that or the processes by Wingard and the Republicans who willingly and eagerly burned through those tax dollars to get him into a 4 month appointment.

  • Yikes (unverified)
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    The other important note to make: Wingard will get to send a mailing from his brand-new legislative staff and supply fund announcing his recent appointment, talking about what he will do for his district, AS the incumbent. He has about two weeks to do this and I assure you that he will. That is - what - a $5000 value at least? I have no problems with legislative newsletters, but when someone is appointed 2 weeks before the deadline to send a legislative newsletter prior to an election? Yikes.

  • Steve (unverified)
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    Oooo yikes?

    Ken,

    BO/participants are taking th elow road and deliberatley making the chilc abuse event sound far worse than it actually was. The real event raises no eyebrows so it has to be pumped up, "for goodness sakes"?

    As demonstrated by the next post mlw who pumps up the event to "beating your child with a screwdriver to the point of injury".

    Beating as in plural with suggestions injury had occured.

    In reality the event involved one inadvertently excessive tap that left a mark no worse than a popped pimple.

    Some "beating"? Some "injury"?

    The only reason it became an issue was the divorce environment at the time.

    So there was no "beating", no "injury" and no free ride.

    Yikes, that's not helpful to the good Blue people wantin to get his opponent elected.

    What's appalling is the Blue/Rove tactics here.

    Yes one of the "top issues in Clackamas and Washington counties is transportation." Matt dodges nothing while every single elected D ignores poll after poll showing traffic congestion as the number one concern of voters. Instead Blues and Blue like Republicans contuine to promoite more congestion calling it transportation. Every recent package did, does and will do just that.

    So more congestion is a priority Matt does not support.

    You can chuckle at the voting public too who are forever told the ped/bike/transit packages are for better transportation.

    Brian being up to his eyebrows in the status quo congestion making agenda of course would prefer a Metro/ TriMet clone over Wingard.

    But how is it that Blues think the public should not have even ONE representative in the region who woule sway and actually address congestion?

    Bugs call the Clackamas/Washington County (Republican) commissioner's appointment a "conspired together to select a completely unqualified child-abusing candidate (Matt Wingard)."

    Where does bugs get that Matt is completely unqualified?

    Made it up. Just like the beating and injury.

    Just like Rove would do, right?

    In the typical spectrum of qualifications for a legislator Wingard certainly rises to the upper level.

    Most sitting legislators have far less talent and skill.

  • (Show?)

    Yes one of the "top issues in Clackamas and Washington counties is transportation." Matt dodges nothing while every single elected D ignores poll after poll showing traffic congestion as the number one concern of voters. Instead Blues and Blue like Republicans contuine to promoite more congestion calling it transportation. Every recent package did, does and will do just that.

    He was playing a pretty good game of dodge on the transportation issue from where I sat during this meeting. Roy Rogers (Washington County Commissioner--and GOPer) essentially spanked him on this issue during the question and answer period.

    Wingard came out with a "no new taxes" mantra from the outset. And when it was explained to him exactly what the problems were with funding and the various state, county, etc road systems--Wingard couldn't keep up. The complexity of the transportation issue looked to be waaaay over his head.

    The child abuse thing is problematic because Wingard is another "law and order" Republican. Its hypocritical.

  • Clackamette (unverified)
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    Steve: You may not like the characterization of Matt Wingard as a CHILD ABUSER. But he is.

    You can't ignore the facts: Matt Wingard physically abused his child, caused damage, was charged by police, and plead guilty to a crime.

    By definition, that is CHILD ABUSE. And child abuse experts will tell you that abusers rarely strike only once.

    Matt Wingard may temporarily be the appointee in HD 26, but he is still a child abuser.

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    Admiral Naismith: So tell us something about the Democrat running in HD26 and invite donations.

    I'd be happy to. Her name is Jessica Adamson. She's a hometown mom in Sherwood, with considerable policy experience. I walked with her during the city parade, and she's knocking all the doors she needs to to win.

    Mind you, even after the big Obama/Democratic registration push, this is still an R+6 district. But moderate Democrats seem to be doing just fine under these circumstances. Give her money - or even better, go over and help.

  • Retired Bus Kid (unverified)
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    Yes! This should be about Jessica! She is a fantastic candidate. The 2009 session is an amazing opporunity to send a bunch of young and innovative people to Salem to prepare Oregon for the next 50 years. Jessica has three children so she knows about what is happening in our schools today and what our kids to be safe and successful in the world. (read- she knows the difference between a blog, a text message, and MySpace.)

    She knows the transportation issues inside and out from her previous job so she will be an effective Representative for a district that has some of the worst congestion issues in the state.

    Finally, I cannot imagine a better thing for Oregon than if Progressives sent a bunch of young under 30 and under 40 big thinkers to the Legislature!

    Jessica Adamson, Sara Gelser, Jules Kopel Bailey, Jefferson Smith, Nick Kahl, Brent Barton, Ben Cannon, Chris Edwards, Tobias Read, Chris Garrent, Brian Clem, Toby Forsberg, and Richard Riggs

  • Steve (unverified)
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    Carla,

    Your version of what constitutes "dodging" is obvioulsy selective. Quoting Roy Rogers, himself a dodger of real transportation with congestion releif, is hardly a point worth making.

    So Wingard came out with a "no new taxes" mantra from the outset? I can only imagine how it was "explained" to him exactly what the problems were with funding. Explanation without any inclusion of where current road funding gets diverted and spent. But your use of "complexity" is classic. The same approach used to repell critisism of massive Urban Renewal schemes.
    Non of which is over over Matt's head.

    The child abuse thing is only problematic as you and yours have demagogued it into the context it has no place being. Wingard is a "law and order" Republican. There is NO hypocrisy but in your partisen demagoguery and false context making.

    What I don't like is your mischaracterization of Matt Wingard's specific charge as a beating of a child to the point of injury. Without question many here have inflicted as much or more upon their own child. But you'd rather cast Wingard as a generic abuser and ignore the actual event.

    Clackamette,

    I'm ignoring nothing. Matt Wingard's physical abuse consisted of a SINGLE contact that was inadvertantly excessive. The "damgage" from the single contact was no more than a small red welt that raised the ire of a spouse during a a divorce environment. A now ex-spouse who fully supports Matt's character and campaign efforts.

    Yet your whole approach it to tarnish Matt with your typical partisen trash talking stretch of the truth.

    Using the definition of child abuse and that "child abuse experts" say "abusers rarely strike only once" is no substitute for Wingard's actual case.

    No, you want voters to have this false image of Matt beating his child, on multiple occasions till finally caught and charged.

    There's no more truth to that than his not being qualitifed or the status quo being interested in addressing traffic.

    You're an abuser of the truth.

    But this is politics. :) So have at it, right?

  • Jack Sullivan (unverified)
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    I did manage to chuckly at Brian openly saying he wished that Jeff Duyck had put his hat in the ring.

    Wishing isn't doing. Tom Brian could have EASILY made that happen. All he had to do was abstain -- and the decision would have gone to the Governor.

    It's entirely probable that the Governor would have appointed Jeff Duyck to the seat - especially if Tom Brian and a few others would have made it clear that they abstained precisely because they preferred Duyck.

    Tom Brian and the rest of this kangaroo commission that voted for Wingard own his sorry ass.

  • Clackamette (unverified)
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    And county commissioners Bill Kennemer and Andy Duyck will be the first to carry the burden of their vote for Child Abuser Matt Wingard - as they have to defend it on the campaign trail this fall in their own doomed House races.

  • Jonathan Radmacher (unverified)
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    "Steve"'s suggestion that a guilty plea for misdemeanor child abuse is just not a big deal, must have cut his teeth on Larry's Craig's incident -- not a big deal, just a little plea to make it go away.

    But it is a big deal, and apparently there was enough factual support that he plead guilty, instead of fighting it. For anyone to now suggest that it was a little deal, which should hardly be treated like child abuse, is ludicrous. Fine, he didn't plead guilty to "felony" child abuse (although as I understand it, often someone pleads to a lesser charge than the DA could otherwise bring).

    Of course, since he had this conviction expunged, we can't really get the accurate information about what happened.

  • Ms Mel Harmon (unverified)
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    Steve,

    How about you and I meet somewhere? I'll bring the screwdriver and give you an " inadvertently excessive tap " on your head. Then we'll see if you feel its much ado about nothing. What's that?! I don't have the right to hit you with a screwdriver? Oh, that's only a right I'd have if you were my dependent child, right?

    What kind of adult hits a kid with a tool anyway? Answer: an abusive one. The courts have ruled on this. He's an abuser. And that directly plays to character, how he handles stressful situations and anger management and judgment. He fails on all counts.

  • (Show?)

    Steve: Matt Wingard's physical abuse consisted of a SINGLE contact that was inadvertantly excessive.

    Steve, exactly how do you attack someone with a screwdriver in a way that isn't excessive? Are "non-excessive" screwdriver attacks common in Republican households? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Oh, and are you implying that police throw people in jail just for the hell of it? What the heck, our jails are just so empty... is that it?

  • Ken (unverified)
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    Jack S:

    I completely agree that this one probably should have gone to the Gov. I wonder what Hanna promised Brian and the R gang for their votes? We already know what leverage he had with Kennemer and Duyck.

    It must have been something good to have voted for Matt.

  • Bruce Bishop (unverified)
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    I appreciate Jack Roberts' historical recitation and endorse his comments about the process both "working" and being better than the alternatives. As he well documents, its manipulation for political ends is a tool not only Republicans wield. The most recent example (despite some revisionist comments to the contrary) involved the vacancy appointment to replace Rep. Bonamici. Through a series of six votes, a majority of the 16 House District 34 precinct committee members in attendance advanced Chris Harker and two of their own (whose interests in the vacancy probably occurred over the weekend two days before they met to consider nominations). That approach assured Rep. Harker of the appointment. Let's be honest, admit that's how it works and move on. I did.

  • Anon (unverified)
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    Bruce:

    True. In the HD 34 instance you cited, there was at least one qualified candidate among the three nominees before the commissioners. (A big difference from the HD 26 Matt Wingard situation.)

    If there hadn't been, then the county commissioners should have deferred to the Governor in that case too.

  • sourgrapes (unverified)
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    I don't think that the other individuals forwarded to the county commissioners when Harker got the nod are remotely similar to the two patsies put forward for consideration in the Wingard case. According to the Oregonian:

    "Maloney, 58, of Beaverton is a professional business communications trainer. She has developed and taught a variety of training seminars for both government and private industry. She holds a doctorate in education from Washington State University in Pullman and has worked as an adjunct professor at Portland State University.

    Maloney and her husband, Mike, have raised two children who are now in their 20s. She and her husband moved to Oregon from Utah in 1984.

    Yurgel, 47, who previously worked for Metropolitan Public Defender, has been a self-employed legal investigator since 1997. He has a bachelor's degree in political science from Lewis & Clark College.

    He has lived in unincorporated West Slope for the past seven years. In his application, he said he had been considering running for the House District 34 seat in 2010."

    Not sure where it says in their bios that they worked on or were volunteering for Harker prior to the appointment process.

    Sorry, Bruce, try again.

  • (Show?)

    when Kelley Wirth resigned from HD16, everyone knew she would be replaced by Sara Gelser (and a lot of people were already were kicking themselves for not supporting Sara in the primary the previous year). but we went thru the process nonetheless, led by the inimitable and ever-patient Wayne Kinney. and while we could have simply coronated Sara, instead a bunch of people came forward to present themselves as candidates. we learned more about some good Dems, got introduced to some new people, and, along the way, discovered how selecting a representative in a group setting can be both an enlightening and frustrating experience.

    ultimately, Sara's name was sent along with 2 other terrific Dems. all 3 addressed the Benton & Linn Co. Commissioners, which meant all three were covered in the local press. and while Sara was selected easily & unanimously, and to no one's surprise, it was a good process. there really was only one choice for the job, but we didn't let that stop us from going thru the process conscientiously (thanks Wayne) and responsibly.

    so if the process to put Wingard into the seat, sucked, blame the Republican party of that district and whoever did not force/enable/encourage them to respect the law, the constitution and the principles of living in a democracy.

    and thanks to Carla for bringing this to light.

  • Paul (unverified)
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    Yes, Matt did make a mistake. That one incident doesn't necessarily define Matt, however. His son is actively campaigning on his behalf. Should Westlund be defined by his wandering hands?

    Keep in mind that Matt did win the Republican nomination, so there is clear support within the community for his candidacy. Why is it a sham to appoint someone who has already received the parties nomination?

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    Matt Wingard's physical abuse consisted of a SINGLE contact that was inadvertently excessive.

    Matt Wingard's physical abuse consisted of a single blow to the head with a screwdriver. He was charged with a felony crime that he pled down to a misdemeanor.

    That is, by any fair definition, excessive. But there was clearly nothing inadvertent about it. Either he meant to hit his child in the head with a screwdriver or he didn't.

    The fact that Wingard has the support of the Republican Party in Washington County is, from my point of view, emblematic of just how morally bankrupt the modern GOP has become.

  • JHL (unverified)
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    Why is it a sham to appoint someone who has already received the parties nomination?

    I don't care a lick about the screwdriver incident. Unless anything further comes to light, which it doesn't seem will happen.

    What's a "sham" about this process is that in the absence of any thoughful democratic (small D) discussion, what should have been a measured process became an unabashed effort by the county commission to bolster a particular candidate's campaign through the public dole.

    I would give Matt Wingard a lot of props if he pledged (and followed through) to refrain from 1) using any public dollars or resources to perform any sort of outreach into the district and 2) use his newfound title or description (i.e: "Our State Representative") in his campaign.

    But I suspect he will employ both, in which case he really should list a whopping in-kind constribution from the county commission on his contributions report.

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    dear Steve, delightful defender of child abusers:

    Was Wingard's new boss in the House being partisan when he called Wingard's actions unacceptable, and withdrew his personal support, as well as that of the House GOP caucus? Do me a favor and explain how Hanna just wanted a Dem to win that seat.

  • Ron Morgan (unverified)
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    "But how is it that Blues think the public should not have even ONE representative in the region who woule sway and actually address congestion?"

    How? By advocating LA's freeway expansion master plan from the 1950's? If you live in an area that attracts jobs and housing you get congestion, simply and soley adding freeway capacity only invites people to drive more, creating more congestion. Nobody likes congestion, of course polls will reflect that, but the libertarian/anarchist wing of the Republican Party one-trick-pony remedy of mindless freeway expansion solves nothing. Go down to LA or the SF Bay Area for a few days, drive around, and see for yourself. Not only will you get a vacation from Lars Larson, but it will be an object lesson on why building more freeways does nothing to lessen congestion.

  • Golpe (unverified)
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    Having watched Jessica Adamson in person in the 2007 session, I don't think Mr. Wingard is a match for her.

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    Carla wrote: "[Update: 8.21.08, 4:25PM--I've been indundated with email requests to alert folks to Jessica Adamson, Wingard's Democratic opponent in House District 26. Everything I've heard about Adamson is excellent. Toss some scratch her way if you can.]"

    Well, thank you Carla. Jessica IS excellent! And she has years of experience working with Oregon legislators and within the legislative process. In other words, she knows how things work, which is much, much more than you can say for the libertarian-Republican, Mr. Wingard.

    Chucking a few bits of scratch her way is a good start. God knows that cash is speech and Jessica needs to be heard. But there's more that any of us can do. One thing would be to show up on Tuesday nights at Washington County Democrats' headquarters in Beaverton to phone bank for Jessica. I was there for the last phone bank and will be for the duration. Carla and other Washington County residents -- or anyone for that matter -- are all very welcome to take part.

    Naturally, Carla and other interested Washington County Democrats would be most welcome to attend Washington County Democrats' next Central Committee meeting at Kingstad Hall in Beaverton on August 27th beginning at 6:30.

  • Ken (unverified)
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    JHL:

    Good points. I too would like to see Matt refrain from using taxpayer dollars to bolster his campaign. Seems like an simple and ethical action for him to take.

    Since Matt is undoubtely following this thread. I wonder if he would weight in and commit to not using taxpayer dollars?

  • Steve (unverified)
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    Well my Blue friends, you've been offering up quite the little contortions. No matter how specific I am you manage to color Matt with another coat of your same paint.

    Oregon Independent, Matt Wingard's physical abuse consisted of a SINGLE contact that was inadvertently excessive.

    You got that part right. And it was no different than any average parent inadvertantly missing a swat at the bottom of a child and left a red mark on their upper bare leg.

    I believe Matt had been assembling Christmas gifts on Christmas morning when his boy was misbehaving. Matt reached over to tap him on the bean to get his attention and inadvertantly tapped too hard. It ended up leaving a mark that his soon to be ex and then police later saw. It was easy at the time to make it out as a weapon like attack on his kid and get charges filed.

    The rest is history.

    But he never beat his kid and never had any other "abuse". His ex and child have made that clear.

    You all want it to be more than it is. But then you're probably all opposed to any spanking as well.

    Yes the tap was excessive and Matt did not mean to have that hard object to anything more than a ruler on the bottom would have.

    You stand in judgement with your partisan hatchets in hand. Big surprise.

    And your sweeping judgement that this is "emblematic of just how morally bankrupt the modern GOP has become" is just more convenient contortion.

    As far as the appointment process you are dwelling on the ultra petty of course.

    torridjoe,

    Get real.

    "delightful defender of child abusers"

    Yeah, good thinking joe.

    Wingard's new boss and the House GOP caucus was trying to get their own hand picked clone R. They, like you Ds, ramped up the rhetoric about Matt's event tried to get him booted. They got rejected because Matt has wide support among many Republicans in office and in the district.

    Ron Morgon, You'll have to offer more than the old LA freeway expansion master plan. There are numerous road, boulevard, thoroughfare and intersections improvements that could help congestion all over the region. But they are forevcer at the end of the line for funding becasue your Ds and Blue Rs keep diverting countless millions to rail transit/bike/ped and subsidized development like the Round, SoWa and many 0thers. Could we use more freeway capacity? Of course. And a west side bypass of some sort. But we need the I-5/99 connector, new intersetions at Hall & Greenberg / 99, the Dundee-Neberg bypass, improvements along Tualtin-Sherwood road and many others.

    ALL are blocked by public officials as they deliberately worsen congestion with the same "adding capacity only invites people to drive more" rherotic you are repeating.

    "libertarian/anarchist wing of the Republican Party one-trick-pony remedy of mindless freeway expansion"

    What a leaping contortion.

    I've been to LA and the Bay Area. Our region is on the way to becoming far worse as we grow without road expansion. What do you think this region will look like with another million people? The current planning is insanity.

    Mr. Wingard is more than a match for his opponent.

    But here again the Blues make up things

    "she knows how things work, which is much, much more than you can say for the libertarian-Republican, Mr. Wingard."

    Wingard is very familliar with how things work.

    Game on.

    I like the idea of candidates not using taxpayer dollars. Send Wu the memo.

    Now behave.

  • (Show?)

    And it was no different than any average parent inadvertantly missing a swat at the bottom of a child and left a red mark on their upper bare leg.

    Bullshit. He hit a child in the head with a screwdriver and was charged with felony assault and convicted of misdemeanor assault after copping a plea.

    None of those facts are in dispute.

    If you insist on continuing to peddle your lie in this thread, I promise you that I will spend the next week raising the money needed to ensure that every voting household in the district receives one or more mailers outlining the basic facts of this case.

    Pretty please, test me on this.

  • Jonathan Radmacher (unverified)
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    While "Steve" seems to have some inside information, how about if 'ole Steve (aka Wingard employee?) just releases what used to be the public records regarding the incident?

  • Steve (unverified)
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    Well Oregon Independent, can you please tell me what the lie was? I never denied the incident. Only the Blue hit piece version. And I appreciate your humor.

    Jonathan, Now you are piling on that I am a Wingard employee and all the records should be released?

    Come on. Get a grip. I know Matt and that's it. I think he'd make an excellent legislator.

    Isn't this what trolls do here. Give opposing comments?

    Lighten up friends.

  • Bugs (unverified)
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    OI: I think that the child-abuser-lovers here have already helped Jessica Adamson raise some significant support this week.

    Let's keep the contributions coming to Jessica every time the Wingard apologists rear their child-abusing heads.

  • (Show?)

    Well Oregon Independent, can you please tell me what the lie was? I never denied the incident. Only the Blue hit piece version. And I appreciate your humor.

    You can't say I didn't warn you.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Jack, I was with you until I came to this:

    "Conservative precinct people in Deschutes County thought they were just doing their job when they left Neil Bryant off the list of candidates to replace Bev Clarno, allowing the commissioners to appoint a "real" Republican, Ben Westlund. "

    I would rather a complete unknown would have been appointed instead of Bryant. The guy is as slippery as ice in January (not to mention the "white male as a disability" crack which showed his true nature to those who didn't already know it).

    I'll take someone honest who I sometimes disagree with (Rep. Larry Wells of Marion County, Rep. D. Jones of E. Oregon or Rep. Markam of S. Oregon, for example) over the slippery types like Bryant any day of the week.

    But then, I am an old G. Ford / McCall/ Clay Myers style Republican who became a Democrat when people like me were shown the door by Reaganites around the time McCall died.

  • P. Daddy T (unverified)
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    BlueOregon parents don't believe it's ever necessary to spank their kids, or corporal punishment magically becomes "child abuse" if it leaves a mark?

    If you're kids don't get any punishment at home, and they can't be punished at school, I'll wager the drug abuse rates are going to be much higher than for those kids who learned to respect authority.

  • (Show?)

    We have found that physical discipline is not necessary in our household. However, there is a large gulf between spanking a child as a logical consequence of their actions -- the atom bomb of parental discipline -- and impulsively hitting a 7-year old child with a screwdriver out of anger.

  • (Show?)

    BlueOregon parents don't believe it's ever necessary to spank their kids, or corporal punishment magically becomes "child abuse" if it leaves a mark?

    So last time you hit your kid with a screwdriver, did the police charge you with felony child abuse--or were you able to get out of it with that statement above?

  • Steve (unverified)
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    "and impulsively hitting a 7-year old child with a screwdriver out of anger"

    I like how you continue to create your own version.

    Now you know what was inside Wingard's head at the time?

    It's almost as if you were an eyewitness. Remarkable.

    Get a little more imagination. Since this is gutter politics why not use use "viciously bludgeoned his child with an steel tool"?

    From what I have seen Wingard is a very decent and knowledgeable man who has wide support and respect among the community he is running.

  • momma (unverified)
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    Public Service Announcement: It is never appropriate to whack, hit, bump or tap a child (or adult) on the head with a screwdriver (or wrench, hammer or baseball bat). You could kill someone by hitting them over the head with a blunt object.

    There is a vast difference between spanking and assaulting a child about the head with a dangerous or deadly weapon (ie a screwdriver).

  • (Show?)

    We have found that physical discipline is not necessary in our household. However, there is a large gulf between spanking a child as a logical consequence of their actions -- the atom bomb of parental discipline -- and impulsively hitting a 7-year old child with a screwdriver out of anger.

    Well said, Sal. I couldn't agree more except that I've had to resort to said atom bomb exactly twice in 15 years. But both were precisely that - an absolute last resort attempt to get a pre-adolescent daughter to understand that she just couldn't take off to the park or a friends house without so much as letting anyone know where she'd gone and then not come home until well after dark.

  • Avid Reader (unverified)
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    Steve:

    Ok - so let me just go along with you for a moment. Matt tapped his kid in the head to get his attention. It was a little too hard and it left a mark. Right?

    ok, so then...

    1) The child's unstable, crazy, and vindictive mother filed charges. 2) A liberal cop with an agenda then did "an investigation." 3) Then the Washington County DA or one of his deputies who was trying to make a name for himself saw this as an excellent opportunity and threw the book at Matt. 4) Matt, someone who obviously wanted a political future, and with no other choices -given how much the deck was stacked against him - risked everything and pled quilty to a misdemeanor child abuse charge.

    Are you FRIGGIN serious?

    Dude you should be a novelist. I would totally read your books.

  • Blue Sue (unverified)
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    Donating to Adamson now! Who is with me?

  • Clackamette (unverified)
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    Count me in for another hundred bucks to Jessica. And another every time some right-wing troll posts here.

  • Miles (unverified)
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    BlueOregon parents don't believe it's ever necessary to spank their kids, or corporal punishment magically becomes "child abuse" if it leaves a mark?

    Actually, I think the legal definition of child abuse is any physical action that leaves a mark. Pediatricians will also tell you that any action that leaves a bruise, contusion, broken skin, or other physical mark is evidence of a parent who stepped over the line.

    How often have you left a mark on your own kids?

  • Steve (unverified)
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    Wow all over the place.

    Who needs a Public Service Announcement to know it's not ok to "hit" your kid with a hard object?

    No one.

    Who said it was OK? No one.

    Who needs to be told you could kill someone by hitting them over the head with a blunt object?

    No one. Who said they didn't know that? No one.

    Who said the mother was unstable, crazy, and vindictive? No one. Who said a liberal cop with an agenda then did "an investigation."? No one.

    Who said the Washington County DA threw the book at Matt? No one.

    Who said Matt wanted a political future and risked everything and pled quilty?

    No one.

    Your FRIGGIN imaginations are out of control.

    You are niether interested in what actually happened or in what kind of person Wingard is.

    You don't know him, haven't met him, know nothing about him but are certain he is horrible and should be disparaged.

    Why? Because he is a Republican.

    Like I said, Matt is an entirely decent Oregonian.

    You can't stand that.

    Your attempt to trash him is typical gutter politics.

    You know. The kind you are forever pretending is only used by the right.

    Elections get muddy.

    That's just the way it is.

  • momma (unverified)
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    Steve said: Wow all over the place.

    Who needs a Public Service Announcement to know it's not ok to "hit" your kid with a hard object?

    No one.

    Um. It would appear Matt Wingard was in need of that public service announcement since by your own description he only meant to "tap" his child on the head with a screwdriver when he did it. The PSA says: Don't do that. Ever. It's dumb and is likely to injure your child.

  • (Show?)

    You don't know him, haven't met him, know nothing about him but are certain he is horrible and should be disparaged.

    Why? Because he is a Republican.

    As an ex-Republican myself I have to say that, all else being equal, it's a fair reason to at least be suspicious. And that's before we even get into the child abuse thing.

  • Steve (unverified)
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    It's fair for anyone to be suspicious. Too bad our electeds around here are NEVER suspicious about any of our major policy failures and boondoggles.

    The smear rhetoric on Wingard here is not simply suspicion.

    It's typical partisan smearing, period.

    You want your D to win so trash Wingard.

    You don't like someone showing up here with the real story and one of you pulls this "you better shut up or else" stunt. More typical partisan gutter politics. Wow, what a shock.

    I think this has traveled down a thread long enough. No need for more definitions of abuse of imaginary smear versions of Matt's incident.

    I do think you would all like Matt. He seems like a fair minded, good guy.

  • Bugs (unverified)
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    Matt's Wingard's a good guy? Maybe.

    A child abuser? Definitely.

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