Anybody but Bruce McCain for Sheriff

Jesse Cornett

I was dismayed this morning when I hopped online and noticed none other than Bruce McCain had purchased an ad on Blue Oregon. That would be sort of like me running for office and seeking an ad on Oregon Catalyst (which ain’t gonna happen).

I mentioned McCain on a previous post. Here’s what I wrote:

You might remember good ole Bruce as the promoter in chief of Bernie when he was in a pinch. He served both as an internal lackey and and external lawyer. Maybe if he gets elected, he can have Derrick Foxworth named as his designee so the long awaited punchline will continue to elude us. Or Lon Mabon.

I go on to say:

McCain had an op-ed published in the Oregonian this week where he blasts Skipper. Showing his true ethical colors, McCain neither disclosed that he was defeated for Sheriff by Skipper in the past nor that he was planning to run in the primary next year apparently against Skipper if needed.

McCain is the same Bruce McCain that represented Lon Mabon's Oregon Citizen’s Alliance.  And for those of you paying attention, it’s the same right wing McCain that took on Jeff Merkley in 2006.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office need a clean break from it’s recent streak of bad news. Bruce McCain is the status quo that will make sure the mockery continues for years.

Fortunately, the Oregon voters have rejected McCain for his previous bids for office. Hopefully the voters of Multnomah county will have the wisdom to do so again. Let’s hope someone qualified, hard working and electable steps up to run.

[Note from Kari: Jesse asked me to briefly describe our advertising policy. In short, as long as the ad isn't spam, we'll publish it. First, we believe in political free speech. Second, if someone - even a conservative - wants to spend their money helping progressive blogging survive, that's OK by us. Third, we trust our readers to sort things out for themselves. And fourth, we've had some legal advice that suggests that our legal position is best served by acting as a traditional media outlet with respect to advertising. In short, the ads here shouldn't be seen as any kind of endorsement by BlueOregon, its contributors, or it's readers.]

  • Lord Beaverbrook (unverified)

    In short, the ads here shouldn't be seen as any kind of endorsement by BlueOregon, its contributors, or it's reader

    That's certainly become the industry standard, but I have a problem with that philosophy. BTW, love Jesse's posting, right next to the ad.

    The second principle of placement advertising is association (after traffic). It's always, imho, been the most banal form of advertising. My first childhood memories of its being an irritation were those Mutual of Omaha commercials that aired during "Wild Kingdom", in the 60s. You know, Marlin Perkins saying something like, "Lions defend their young to the death. Fortunately, you can defend your young with a comprehensive life policy from Mutual of Omaha".

    Anyway, you're making money off the association. This "disclaimer: it means nothing to us" might be how the blog owner would like you to look at things, ideally, but it simply proclaims an idealized situation, which has no basis in fact. I think thats seepage from the fact that the underlying technology is software based. Society has given software engineering all kinds of byes commercially. The state of software in contemporary society is unlike any other consumer product. We accept that by breaking the plastic on a CD that we don't expect it to do anything, for any purpose, and if it destroys something due to the negligence of the author, it's not their fault.

    Of course Microsoft pioneered that attitude, and, surprise, surprise, surprise, guess who's behind most of the sidebar ads you seen now! I'm compulsive about such things. When someone puts up a particularly obnoxious ad., I want to know everything about it. Recently, everytime I've dug in, it has been MS' new ad. corp. behind it. You know, the ones with the moving mouths, etc.

    They have the same policy too. As long as it isn't, blah, blah, blah. The thing that no one addresses is, what if it's a total fraud?!? I've found MS sidebar ads. in the last month for service providers that are known to be total frauds. Complete. Take your money via PayPal, deliver nothing, never do, buh-bye. Never have delivered anything; a pure scam. Then PayPal engages in virtual money laundering, protecting their identities for "privacy concerns", simply caring about their transaction fees.

    It's part of a culture of unreality that is why the economy is in the shape it is. Things like the mortgage crisis happen because that unreal culture is so pervasive, that big money gets seduced as well.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, this problem of how media gets funded is a big problem that we've never begun to solve. The first 10 minutes that Americans ever watched TV was immediately followed by a conversation about the ads. 50 years ago people were talking about the nuisance of advertising on TV. We have never tackled the basic problem, and it has carried over into the blogosphere. So much of it is self-validating. I don't think I'm 100% different than everyone, and if I'm 1% like anyone, a lot of those ads. have the effect that I will never buy whatever it was, even under duress, PO'd by the ad. Maybe I am different. Can't see how people say they're "watching football", when the absolute bulk of the viewing during a match is commercials. We're on a slippery slope. Watch some Pakistani or Indian TV to see the possible magnitude of the horror. Pakis are the worst. Every commercial's volume builds until an Imam comes on screaming for 10 minutes. Bloody nuisance that, living in an apartment and being 12 hours different. 3am and your staid cricket commentary turns into a competition between Imams and music videos.

    So, bottom line, there have to be options, but, if people accept some unrealistic, convenient scenario, guess what'll happen?

    I agree on McCain, BTW. Just think the grounding motivation for the article was more interesting. Well, that's not odd. McCain...yuck. BTW, it's nice to know that the blog founders still care about what it all means.

  • (Show?)

    Well, if an ad is spam or a scam or an attempt to defraud people, we'll reject it.

    But we're not going to apply a politcal filter. If we did, not only would it have some legal effect, but it would open up the obvious question: whose political filter? and how is it defined?

  • Bruce McCain (unverified)


    Since you wrote about me, I thought you might as well hear from me, especially since you may have to stare at my mug shot for a while.

    Under the county charter, the elective office of sheriff is nonpartisan. Sheriffs Dan Noelle and Bob Skipper were registered Republicans, while Bernie Giusto is a Democrat. You decide if party registration has any bearing on this particular elective office.

    As for partisan politics, I did make my first (and last) foray into partisan races in 2006 when I ran in H-47. At the same time you ran and lost your primary in S-24 against Rod Monroe. I came away from that experience with an objective appreciation of how legislative races are run when backed by major party apparatus and strategy. It wasn’t all positive, however; especially the demonization of opponents through guilt by association, much like your piece here. And my campaign did the same thing, for which I take full responsibility.

    The 2006 and 2008 election seasons finally convinced me that the chief objective of partisan races is to obtain and maintain political power, with actual governing a distracting annoyance that disrupts re-election campaigns. That admitted cynicism drove me away from party politics straight into the growing throng of N/A non-affiliated voters, where today I happily reside. (I also support Phil Keisling’s open primary concept.)

    As for Lon Mabon and Bernie Giusto, I readily admit those two individuals are clearly the most controversial clients I have ever represented. But when asked if I regret taking on either or both as clients, the answer is always No. As an attorney, I am paid to zealously represent the interests of my client, no matter who they are or what they have done.

    However, some continue to try and impute the acts and words of former clients to me personally. Those who actually know me, know better. So here is my offer to you.

    Our residences are separated by a few NE Halsey stop lights. I will gladly treat you to coffee at Gateway Starbucks or lunch at El Indio so the next time you write something about me, you will do so after having actually met me. We will not likely see eye-to-eye on every issue, but at least we would have met eye-to-eye.

    Bruce McCain

  • Hmm...impressed (unverified)

    I have to say that given the fact that Jessie has never met him, yet wrote a personal piece trashing him, Bruce's offer to meet is rather impressive. And I'm a Democrat.


  • (Show?)


    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    Let me say from the outset, I think Bernie Giusto was and is a dedicated public servant, much like you and me. He made dumb mistakes. I don't fault you for representing him and let's move beyond that one. But representing the Oregon Citizen's Alliance is unforgivable.

    Do you share OCA's values and if not, how could you represent them? I don't understand that. It's a hateful organization that preached hate and discrimination and you were complicit. All the while you were a sworn public safety officer who badly needed objectivity.

    Next, and maybe we'll save this one for the cup of coffee: do you think you should have disclosed your past and at the time potential future run against Skipper when you opined against him in the Oregonian? The Oregonian's not pointing can be considered an oversight, but your not disclosing seems like an ethical lapse.

    I have never, not once declined to meet with someone and you won't be the first. I'm actually a little further away now -- we're in Lents, but I'd be happy to come up that way.

  • (Show?)

    Oh and PS: I have no qualms with critiquing someone's record if I haven't met them. Look how little pushback there would have been against George W if meeting the person were the standard.

  • Bruce McCain (unverified)


    You missed the point of my Oregonian op-ed piece (Aug 24), which focused on the need for MultCo's sheriff to be certified and experienced in corrections, not just police.

    I opened the piece by citing both Bernie's and Bob's DPSST struggles to keep or obtain their police credentials, when what is actually needed is certification in the discipline that accounts for 70% of the agency budget.

    I didn't know you moved out of Gateway, but I will meet you anywhere, anytime. We both are prior candidates and know what comes with the territory. I can handle the criticism. But as a poster above noted, if you're going to trash me, at least shake my hand first.

    The campaign number reaches my Blackberry.

  • JJ Ferguson (unverified)

    Actually I can't see that the face-to-face has added anything. I mean, it's nice, thanks for stopping by, but the only thing new that I learned is that Jesse is as qualified to be sheriff.

  • (Show?)

    Actually I'm not. You have to have been a full time police officer for two years and actually be able to get licensed as a public safety officer within a year of taking office. I miss the first make being that I've never been a full time officer.

  • (Show?)

    We face a serious problem in Multnomah County because we have not had much choice in the sherriff races in the past decade. Skipper, our only good sherriff in some time, was appointed and then had to leave because of a state mandate that should not be impossed on Multnomah County. Frankly this should be an appointed position, not elected. Think what the police chief would be in Portland if it was an elected office.

    Given where we are we better hope that we get a real choice this time of qualified candidates. In the mean time I would sure endorse a measure that eliminated this as an elected position. If it requires a change in state law, I hope all of you legislators reading this will consider taking action.

  • Hmm...interesting (unverified)

    Comparing coverage on Blue Oregon to reporting massive constitutional violations against the Bush administration are no where close to the same thing, Jessie.

    This is local, non-partisian politics we're talking about. I can walk down the street and shake the hand of virtually every publically elected official in the Metro area...probably because they're on their bike, or max, or walking to the library...and if I was writing an attack piece on one of them, shaking their hand prior would be the minimum level of decorum.

    Even WW does that.

  • (Show?)

    Hmm...interesting: take just enough time to pay attention to the simple things and I will respond again next time even though you hide behind the shadow of anonymity.

  • (Show?)

    Even WW does that.

    Ha! Not even close. I have twice been the subject of blistering attacks by Willamette Week, in each case, by a reporter I had never met.

    Which is fine.

    But let's not go pretending that the threshold for political commentary is meeting in person first. I have no desire to be in the same room as Tony Marino, Matt Wingard, Bob Tiernan, Steve Doell, or any of the other anger-management-challenged local Republicans.

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)

    At least this time we have an attacked politician offerring to meet with the writer and the writer accepted. I know that I look forward to reading about the meeting and its outcome here on BO.

  • Hmm...interesting (unverified)

    "From Jessie Cornett...even though you hide behind the shadow of anonymity..."

    Oh, groan! Political speech has come from and been written by "Anonymous" since the founding fathers.

    Absolutely no shame in doing it, and I'd encourage other readers who either A) Don't want to use their name, or B) Because of where they work, can't use their name, to comment freely. We don't all work in our pj's, Jessie.

    Kari, you make a fair point. I wouldn't want to be in a room with those folks either. But I don't know that writing a denegrating piece about them without knowing them is altoghether right either. There are a lot of local politicians I wouldn't want to "get to know", but if I was going to slam them...I'd want to keep some reportive integrity and more fully know my subject.

    Doris Kearns Goodwin does her library and personal diary research because Ol' Abe is long gone. Jessie Cornett could at least pick up the phone.

    Note: You're the only talented writer here, Kari. You should do more of it and limit the others.


  • Ms Mel Harmon (unverified)

    Blogs aren't newspapers. Blogs are subjective and opinionated. No one pretends to not have a slant on their writing when they write (or comment) on a blog. If you're writing a story for a newspaper, unless it is listed as an opinion piece or editorial, you should contact the subject of the piece to at least get their take. So I don't see why Jesse should have felt any need to contact Mr. McCain prior to posting this on Blue Oregon. Jesse has the right to post his opinion of Mr. McCain's professional and public work and his thoughts on how/why those works should disqualify him for office. On the other hand, everyone else has the right to post their opinion of Jesse's post. Public forum and all that....

    As for Mr. McCain himself, I do understand that everyone is entitled to an attorney and that many attorneys will take on clients professionally that they find to be personally abhorent---for money, press,career advancement or simply the legal challenge presented. But attorneys also have the choice (unless they are in a large firm where cases are assigned) to work for whom they choose and getting into bed with Lon Mabon will make many people look askance at you, Mr. McCain and many will question your commitment to civil and equal rights for all because of that association---at least and until you make your position clear. I hope you will do so here.

  • Anonymous (unverified)

    Those are both fair points, Ms. Mel Harmon, and they've made me think about my comparrison of a blog to a newspaper.

    I also like how you extend an invitation to McCain to let the BO readers get to know him better. I do hope BO posts information about this race though. The bulk of material here is about the Oregon Legislatve and Federal levels. Not a complaint per se, but there aren't many forums for this kind of stuff...and when BO doesn't comment on local politics...nobody does.

  • (Show?)

    "Interesting", you say:

    Oh, groan! Political speech has come from and been written by "Anonymous" since the founding fathers.

    That's true, but you're ignoring that some people recognize the responsibilities that go along with anonymity. Also, if you were using your real name, you might have made the effort to learn whether what you say is even remotely connected with the truth.

    Apparently you've met Jesse (that would be the logical conclusion of your post), but does that mean anything if nobody knows who you are?

    <h2>I'm pretty much with Jesse on this one. You're a pathetic coward. Which doesn't bother me if it doesn't bother you.</h2>

connect with blueoregon