In 2006 in running as a Republican for the State Senate, former Eugene Mayor Jim Torrey tried and failed to convince voters that he wasn't a conservative, even misleading voters about an endorsement from Bill Clinton (who as a result openly endorsed his opponent).
It's another year, another election and another Party affiliation (yes kiddies, in Oregon if you are and Independent, you are a member of a Party), but Torrey is still trying to hide his true political leanings and fondness for George W. Bush. Thank goodness public records won't let that happen. From today's Eugene Register Guard:
In 2006, Torrey ran unsuccessfully for state Senate against incumbent Democrat Vicki Walker, who used Torrey’s support of Bush against the former mayor.
“He was exposed as a right-wing conservative in his state Senate race with Vicki Walker and he lost,” Piercy said.
According to Federal Elections Commission records, Torrey gave $2,000 to the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign in September 2003. Piercy criticized that donation as coming in the midst of a “failed presidency.”
Torrey said he made the donation so he could attend a lunch in Portland where Bush spoke. Torrey said he wanted to attend so he could lobby then-Secretary of Interior Gale Norton to support the West Eugene Parkway.
I'm not sure, but guess that Secretary Norton wasn't even at that lunch (I don't remember her being here with him nor can I find anything to prove she was or was not so am prepared to be proven wrong on this point). Further, I wonder if the public appearances later that year on behalf of the Bush re-election were part of this lobby effort. Even if she were at the lunch, that has to be the worst reason I've heard given for a monstrous political contribution: I didn't like the candidate, I was just trying to buy access.
If it were the year 2000 and Torrey was just trying to be a loyal Republican supporting his Presidential candidate, I would understand it. But we are talking about 2004 folks, a war had been waged and a nation mislead. The sitting Mayor of one of the Nation's most progressive cities should have known better.
As an aside, I suppose I worry that someone standing for public office so openly touts that his checkbook was just buying him influence, regardless of the issue. So, following this logic, his office and staff will only be available to financial supporters?
But I guess we just have Torrey on a pretty big bandwagon of elected officials who spent 7 years supporting the current administration who for political gain wish they could erase that history. I wish I could wish you luck with that Jim, but I will wish you well and hope you enjoy continuing your retirement.