Derrick Kitts: everybody's pal

Looks like GOPer legislator Derrick Kitts is in hot water again. This time, he's made Willamette Week's Rogue of the Week:

Rep. Derrick Kitts (R-Hillsboro) loves go-carts, not to mention motorcycles and pocket bikes. And two weeks ago, Kitts showed that love by pushing a bill through the House that's remarkable even in this lackluster session. House Bill 3463, which now speeds to the Senate for consideration, would expand offerings at one Canby go-cart track, Pat's Acres.

In 2000, a Clackamas County hearings officer rejected a bid by track owner Chris Egger to let motorcycles race at the track.Kitts, who has been driving carts for 20 years, raced into action when he learned of the "outrage'' at his favorite track.

Kitts acknowledges that Egger is a friend and that he's got a keen interest in seeing the track thrive. "As a result of my hobby, I met some people who needed some help with government agencies," Kitts says. "I don't see anything wrong with that."

So, the lesson here? If you need "some help with government agencies," Derrick Kitts is your man. Call him direct at 503-986-1430. Surely, he'd be happy to help.

What bill could Derrick introduce that would help you personally? Discuss.

  • (Show?)

    Kitts is the poster child for the moral bankruptcy of the religious right. He won his first election in 2002 because of support from the anti-choice, anti-gay crowd. Yet his own personal life style hardly fits the people who financed him.

    He had a reputation as a skirt chaser, party hardy type. He then got arrested for drunk driving and used campaign funds for personal use. His first opponent was a wife of a high tech engineer and mother who was active in the schools. In other words a family value business candidate but one who was pro choice, pro environment.

    Kitts is an embarassment to his district and to the state, but he has the right values!!

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    Geeze. What exactly is the crime here? I'm no fan of Kitts, but this sounds like the type of legislation that every single legislator indulges in every single session. It's called pandering, or speaking to your base, or good politics, depending on your POV.

    So they have a go-cart track with noisy little cars going around in circles and they now will be able to run noisy little motorcycles around the same circle.

    How is this the crime of the century? I just enjoyed the best Indy 500 race in the past decade or so. The woman of the hour, Danica Patrick, hit a whole bunch of firsts for women in racing. She, of course, got her start on tracks just like the one that's owned by Mr. Egger.

    Go Derrick!!!

  • panchopdx (unverified)

    Let me get this straight:

    If Derrick Kitts likes go-kart racing and proposes a bill that fosters it, then he is therefore the corruptably self-serving Rogue of the Week?

    Shouldn't that same criticism be applied to the efforts of a powerful lesbian Senator pushing a civil unions bill?

    If you are going to judge Kitts' bill, then judge it on its merits. If his proposal is otherwise sound, then Kitts' motivation for pushing it is only mildly noteworthy (unless he stands to gain from it monetarily or makes ridiculous compromises on other bills to keep it alive).

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    Well, there's self-interest and then there's self interest. Kitts doesn't seem to know the difference (from WW):

    Kitts' obliviousnesss to public perception on this topic comes on top of other more serious concerns. In his campaign last fall, Kitts paid more than $14,000 to a consulting firm owned by his then-fiancée and more than $25,000 on an advertising firm that also employed him. Campaign finance rules permit such expenditures as long as they are arm's-length transactions.

    I think WW gave Kitts the little gold Rogue this week because of a developing pattern. And Pancho, your analogy isn't apt--supporting public policy that benefits groups of people unknown to you is called "good leadership;" supporting public policy that enriches people known to you is called graft.

  • panchopdx (unverified)

    And Pancho, your analogy isn't apt--supporting public policy that benefits groups of people unknown to you is called "good leadership;" supporting public policy that enriches people known to you is called graft.

    If Kitts' bill is specifically limited to only help his friend, then you are right. I didn't understand it to be so limited.

    Regardless, in my earlier analogy, the public policy promoted (civil unions) could directly (and financially) benefit the promoter of the bill (lesbian in a LTR).

    It is not much different than if Derrick Kitts promoted a bill granting tax benefits to owners of landscaping companies. He might not know every landscaper in Oregon, but he still benefits personally (if he is still a landscaper).

    My point is that we should judge the merits of a bill foremost.

    Is it good public policy?

    I don't know.

    But given the details in the WW column and this post, it is hard to discern whether Kitts merits the ROTW award or is just the convenient target for a political cheapshot.

  • notalib (unverified)

    John Calhoun,

    But 4 out of 5 Multnomah County Commissoiners backdooring gay marraige is ok with you then?

    Or are members of both parties always caught up in this behavior, regardless of sexual preference?

    And if you all know another mechanism whereby a state legislator can affect stupid county rulings, pls let us all know.

  • Rorovitz (unverified)

    It's great to see that no one here disputes the assertion that Kitts is an embarrasment to his district.

    Remember the old line about Chris Beck, "do bored yuppies really need their own legislator?"

    Can we now ask, "do drunken frat boys really need their own legislator?"

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    There's been a rumor floating for weeks that Mr. Pulitzer has been sniffin' around on Rep. Kitts. After weeks, this is the best they could come up with? I thought the best version of the rumor was that he bought an expensive go-cart with campaign money (which would only be okay if he raced in district, right?).

    What about the guys who stole nearly $200,000 from the Portland parking meters? I'd say they're bigger Rogues than Kitts. There are a lot of bigger Rogues any week.

    Congrats on the honors, Rep. Kitts, and enjoy your week. You may not have deserved it, but don't let the chance pass.

    This is the kind of stuff that's happening all the time, folks. Legislators try to improve the lives of those around them. Sometimes it's for their profression, sometimes for their family, sometimes for their hobby (would someone really balk at a hunter/legislator trying to change hunting regulations?), and even sometimes they try to improve things for the majority of Oregonians.

    The finance issue is the only thing that raises an eyebrow, but that's the same issue the Oregonian has been mentioning for months (in rare contrast to them getting stories from WW). It might seem odd, but it's not public money and fully disclosed. Following the law is not Rogueish. Not working to change laws (like that) that you disagree with, now that's Rogueish.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    As no fan of Republicans, I don't fing WW's charges very damning. A lot worse goes on in Salem than this.

    That is not to say I think Kitts is a good legislator.

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    The real scandal here is Kitt's affection for pocket bikes. Other that, I just don't see it.

  • McBain (unverified)

    Follow the money.

  • McBain (unverified)

    Sorry, got caught up in the Watergate thing. Perhaps the problem in this case is that Kitts chairs the committee that would take up any substantial campaign finance issues this session (on the house side). After seeing what Dan Doyle was up to with his campaign cash, I am left wondering what folks like Kitts (who have seldom held a job outside of politics) do with their campaign donations. Whether right or wrong, the discussion would never have credibility in Kitts' committee due to his conflict of interest. Pocket bikes and go carts aside, that is the problem I take from this whole fiasco.

    Oh yeah, Rorovitz, don't knock frat boys or else you might get some hazin'.

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