In the bag for Tea

Carla Axtman

If I lived in Clackamas County, I'd be burning up the complaint line at the County Clerk's office.

Scott Moore, Our Oregon:

In their efforts to get an anti-government measure on the county ballot, the Clackamas County Americans For Prosperity got a big hand from Nevada millionaire Loren Parks, and what appears to be one big assist from the county clerk.

This afternoon, Clackamas County Elections Clerk Sherry Hall announced that a Tea Party-backed county initiative had received enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

That was a shock to many observers, because just last week the elections office announced that two statistical samples of the signatures came up short—meaning there weren’t enough valid signatures to qualify.

So what changed between then and today? It seems that County Clerk Hall directed her staffers to do a do-over, and allow back in signatures that they had originally rejected.

Loren Parks=creepy Nevada millionaire who meddles in Oregon politics.

The Loren Parks angle alone should give Clackamas residents pause. But the addition of Sherry Hall's antics into this mix is a big red flag. Hall's work in the job has been shaky in the past. This doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

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    any chance this will get challenged in court?

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    What are you accusing Sherry Hall of doing other than having her staff validate these signatures?

    Are you or Our Oregon accusing the Clackamas County Clerk of some kind of criminal misconduct in the verification of these signatures or is anyone actually alleging that any of the signatures that were checked by staff were not, in fact, valid signatures?

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      Having her staff validate previously invalid signatures is what I'm accusing her of. Are you finding that factually incorrect in some way?

      Given Hall's lackluster managing of the ballot reprinting situation (see the link in the post), this latest move doesn't exactly inspire confidence, in my view. And the fact that Parks is mixed in with this only adds a deeper skepticism to the process.

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          I think given Hall's previous issues, scrutiny is invited. The printing and sending out of ballots is a pretty boilerplate process too--yet she managed to muck it up royally.

          Given that this particular exercise is the difference between something making the ballot and not, I wonder why you're so easily willing to sit back and gloss over it--especially with the assumption that signatures were "wrongly excluded". You have no more evidence of this than I have that they were wrongly included. I'm asking for scrutiny. Why aren't you?

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            You weren't asking for closer scrutiny, you were asking people to file baseless complaints because you don't like the subject matter of the petition. If a conservative did the same thing, you'd nail them for it, and rightfully so.

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              "Baseless"? Really? Complaining DOES invite closer scrutiny, Sal. And given Loren Parks involvement in this measure, yes, I'm not thrilled. I'm skeptical whenever Parks jumps in on an initiative.

              Why aren't you?

              Perhaps if people like yourself were more vigilant and willing to scrutinize their local elected officials, you wouldn't be up to your armpits with messes created by people like say, Leslie Lewis.

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    Regardless of who supports it or who decides if it makes the ballot, I actually support this initiative. I feel there needs to be more local control on these things rather than letting Metro or county commissioners shove things down people's throats. Not everyone supports everything they do.

    However, I would like to hear from others why I shouldn't support this initiative.

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      I'm confused as to how County Commissioners aren't local government. Can you explain, please?

      Also, if you don't like what the County Commissioners are doing, you can feel free to vote them out. But to limit their power on issues that are clearly within the general purview of a County Commission seems counterproductive, at best.

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        You're right, Carla. I didn't mean to include county commissioners in that posting. I was mostly talking about Metro. I'm not a resident of Clackamas County anyway so I won't be voting anyone out. I know this whole thing is backed by that sleazebag Loren Parks, but a lot of it does make sense to me. The commissioners pushed that Sellwood bridge fee on people and that was a mess and the results of the last vote speak for themselves.

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          ...that a disinformation campaign led people to not support one of the most dangerous bridges in America? DARN THAT METRO!

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          Um, the Metro Councilors are elected as well.

          Voters created the body of Metro to make sure we coordinated some key decisions across the region...

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      Jody, I agree and continue to believe that the average taxpayer still has no idea about the vast moneypit called tax expenditures that lies between tax revenues and above-board legislative budgets. Bureaucrats have some cute names for these giveaways--my favorite so far is "forgivable loans."

      Also, Portland City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade, as reported this week in the O and the Trib, is courageously exposing one questionable, possibly actionable, sweetheart giveaway after another by our local pols.

      The Teaparty is rightly going after some of these and should be commended for it, but has unfortunately been sold the Kock brother line that we should therefore dismantle our government. It's possible that many rank-and-file teaparty people won't realize what the Koch policy will do until their lives, and their neighborhoods, have been ruined.

      What we need to do instead is to take our government back with strong citizen intervention and oversight--not easy to do with the big-buck corporate lobbyists always clustered around our decision makers.

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    I am not happy that this will go to the ballot, but in spite of Hall's checkered performance, I've seen no evidence that the signature validation process was dishonest. It seems reasonable that a closer look should be taken, but I don't think election officers should reflexively favor signature [or vote] disqualification.

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    Right on Jody! Right on!

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    The chief petitioner for the measure is the Democratic former mayor of Oregon City, and the largest donor is the Firefighter's Union.

    I welcome these folks to the right wing conspiracy.

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    Jeff Mapes has some e-mails back and forth between the SOS and Clackamas County explaining how the elections department made its decisions. I oppose the measure, but don't see foul play right now.

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