Are the Betsy Johnson stories full of holes?

Over at Loaded Orygun, bloggers Carla and Torrid Joe have been hard at work digging into the voluminous reporting on Betsy Johnson by the Oregonian and Willamette Week.

Their view?

On the basis of simple legwork that it would seem the rest of the media haven't done thoroughly enough, a number of the things that seemed so odiously connected at first are now much more in doubt. Let's say that a couple of legs propping up the "Johnson as corrupt greedhead" meme have developed some termites.

It's a detailed and complex story, so it's worth reading their full coverage (which is surely still developing), but here's a taste:

Now take a look at this document from the Port of St. Helens in May of 2005, {pdf} which runs the Scappoose Airpark: as you'll quickly discover, it is a policy document unanimously agreed to in May 2005 (two months before SB680 passed), that explicitly discusses the rules for gaining "through the fence" access to the airport, via permit. In other words, what SB680 was intended to provide, the property sold by Johnson already had been granted.

Not only that, you may be surprised to discover that the Scappoose Airpark wasn't even mentioned as one of the test sites for the program! Only one site was named, with two more to be determined later by the OR Dept. of Aviation. No doubt Johnson has clout in that agency, but that's not the same as engineering a bill to specifically help a real estate partner, and ultimately the decision to include Scappoose was made outside of her direct control.

Today's post by Carla closes here:

So are we looking at a raft of ongoing corruption, as the Oregonian and local righty blogs seems to indicate? Only if you're trying really hard to make shit up where it doesn't really exist, it seems.

Read yesterday's post, "Walking Back the Shitstorm Around Betsy Johnson". Read today's post, "The O piece on Betsy Johnson continues to unravel".

Discuss over there.


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