Political Roundup

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

There are several important stories in today's Oregonian (linked when I could actually find them online). First, let's hope for a speedy recovery for State Representative Kelley Wirth (D-Corvallis). Rep. Wirth was struck by a car outside the Capitol last night. The driver has been charged with attempted murder. Police are saying it was intentional, though the Oregonian is reporting that it's not based on her work as a legislator.

Update: KATU and Salem-News.com have additional details:

Lisa Temple, 23, is charged in the attack on the politician. Lisa Temple's father Rod Temple says his daughter's attack on Wirth stems from an affair Wirth was having with his daughter's husband, a janitor at the state capitol.

Next, as reported here on Blue Oregon, former Vice President Al Gore was in town last night for a talk. It's good to know that in a town that twice failed to produce 1000 people to turn out to help get Ralph Nader on the ballot, 2000 people showed up to hear Al Gore discuss global warming. That was so many more people than the organizers were expecting, based on five days notice, Gore agreed to a second presentation. When I arrived at 6:45, there were hundreds of people just waiting around for the first to finish (I guess that's why us Democrats called it Goregon back in 2000!).

There's news on two big races in Oregon: House Speaker Karen Minnis has signaled her intention to run for re-election and State Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Carson has announced that he'll walk away when his term ends next year. Minnis has a strongly Democratic district but always seems to win handily. Another victory will set up a race for House Speaker, elected among colleagues only, next fall. After the past two sessions, it wil be interesting to see if her power remains unchecked and if she has an opponent for that post.

As for Justice Carson, he sets up an unusual race for the top judicial job in the state. Judicial positions in Oregon are elected office, but most of the time judges wil retire early, meaning judges are usually actually appointed by the governor. By the time the next election comes around they have to run, but have their "incumbent" status noted on the ballot and rarely face competition. In an election year where judicial activists are trying to place a measure on the ballot to radically change the way Oregonians elect judges, the judicial politics should be at its peak in 2006.

  • Josh (unverified)

    You know, we have all taken shots at Kelly Wirth these last 6 years (god knows I have), but I really hope that people rally around a lady that, for all her faults, has given her time to public service. She was the victim of a gruesome and indefensible attack.

    Hey Kelly...feel better and we look forward to seeing you walking around soon.

  • blueatty (unverified)

    For any progressives following the Supreme Court race, look for a very strong candidacy from Gene Hallman, who has already filed for the seat. Gene is a tremendously talented and experienced attorney who will protect the civil rights of Oregonians as a member of the Court.

    As many people know, Wally Carson is a former Republican legislator, and he was loathe to allow his former colleague on the Court (Teddy K.) to appoint his replacement. While Chief Justice Carson has been a very personable and dedicated spokesperson for Oregon's judiciary, having his open seat (though the Chief Justice position is determined seperately by the Justices) filled by Gene Hallman will be a great step forward for rank & file Oregonians.

  • Chris Matson (unverified)

    Jesse & Kari,

    You forgot to mention that former (and extremely popular) Mayor Jim Torrey filed for the GOP nomination for Senate District 7, Sen Walker's district.

    But that's OK. Apparently so have the Senate Dems.

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