Schrader to succeed Schrader

T.A. Barnhart

I'm not an expert on Clackamas County politics, so I'm offering this piece as a place for comment from those who know more what's going on (the Tribune features it on their website; the Big O's website buried the story):

Clackamas County Commissioners appointed colleague Martha Schrader on Friday to fill the state Senate seat vacated by her husband after he was elected to Congress.

Schrader, a Canby Democrat and Clackamas County commissioner, won the votes of all four fellow commissioners. She will replace husband Kurt Schrader in Senate District 20. He is moving on to represent Oregon’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House.

My only problem with this is that when Clackamas County Democrats Precinct Committee People (PCPs) met to select their nominees for the open seat, they conducted a straw poll to list their preference. Schrader was the third choice of the PCPs. Toby Forsberg, who was also endorsed by incoming House Speaker Dave Hunt, was the top choice of those who met to pick the three nominees last month. BlueOregon's own Tom Civiletti also finished ahead of Schrader.

Apparently being the choice of the people didn't matter to the Clackamas Co. Commissioners, and that bothers me. But I live up here in Mult Co, so I'll leave the editorializing to constituents, apart from adding this from the Trib:

The party precinct people, as well as Speaker of the House Dave Hunt, expressed support for Forsberg for the position.

But the county commissioner said they wanted someone with experience and who knew how the Legislative process in Salem works.

And from the Oregonian:

The selection came as a surprise to some, because she had been ranked third among three nominations forwarded to the board by the Democratic Party of Clackamas County. But Jill Thorn, head of Clackamas County Democrats, said any of the three would have made a good senator.

"We understood all along that ours was purely an advisory vote," Thorn said.

Very politic from Thorn, but, simply put, this doesn't seem a good way to begin a new chapter in Oregon politics for the people of Clackamas County. If that was my county, I'd be pissed — unless I was a Schrader supporter. "Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose?"

  • Larry McD (unverified)

    Dynastys disturb me. Whether it's the Udalls or the Salazars or the Carnahans or the Kennedys. It disturbs me even more that these are Democrats since they certainly don't seem to be democrats.

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    I was hoping the County Commissioners would vote for Toby, just because he's a good guy. But this is fine too.

    I don't see this as a dynastic decision. It was most likely an experience decision. Martha Schrader is a known quantity. The commissioners have seen her up close for a long time, and they likely felt she was the least risky choice.

    I also suspect that, at least for the Democrats on the county commission, it didn't hurt that Ms. Schrader also has actually won a contested general election. That means, among other things, that she has a solid base of support to lean on when this swing-district seat comes up for her reelection campaign.

    I would also say the ability to appeal to actual voters, and not just us PCP insiders, is good thing. At least if you're a democrat.

  • LT (unverified)

    Clackamas County is not my county, but someone who was a very close friend back a couple of decades ago when we were both active in Democratic politics from the local to the state party AND major election campaigns was active in Clackamas County Dem. politics and once ran for county office (may have been chair) a couple decades ago. She and I met when one of her friends ran for major office. The stories I heard from these friends about Clackamas County politics made me think it is a county where people vote for the person they have known a long time over the newcomer. The sort of "we'll make our own decisions, thank you very much" attitude where every individual has the right to an opinion. The sort who would look at qualifications. It may well be that the pct. people like the candidate they think should have won the state rep. race over the county comm. married to the outgoing legislator. But where in law or party rule does it say the appointment should go only to the person the pct. people want without regard to the rest of the citizens of the district? Would someone only chosen by a roomful of pct. people really have respect throughout the district without the county comm. part of the appointment process?

    The Clackamas County Dems I have met were by and large practical people along the lines of what Steve said. "I also suspect that, at least for the Democrats on the county commission, it didn't hurt that Ms. Schrader also has actually won a contested general election. That means, among other things, that she has a solid base of support to lean on when this swing-district seat comes up for her reelection campaign.

    I would also say the ability to appeal to actual voters, and not just us PCP insiders, is good thing. At least if you're a democrat."

    What exactly is Toby's experience in the legislative process? (Hunt's endorsement does not answer that question.)

    Too many times the folks who win elections and the folks who are very active in party politics (and insider battles) are not the same folks. I'm on the side of someone who has actually won an election over someone who just has a powerful endorsement and the support of pct. people. I say that as a former pct. person.

  • (Show?)

    As I said several times on an earlier thread, the county commissioners are not potted plants. They have a role to play under the law -- and for good reason: they've been elected to represent "the people", unlike the PCPs whose role as the nominating cmte is necessarily a partisan one.

    The county commissioners have a duty to exercise their judgement and select the person they think is the most qualified, rather than merely ratifying the pick of a political party.

  • SCB (unverified)

    T.A. writes, "Apparently being the choice of the people didn't matter to the Clackamas Co. Commissioners, ..."

    Excuse me, there was no "people's choice". Precinct Committee people are important people, but their vote is not the same as a vote by "the people".

  • YoungOregonMoonbat (unverified)

    I have to agree with SCB on this one. County commissioners are voted in by the people, but in our Federal Democratic Republic, those people who are registered to vote should decide through an election who represents them in the State Senate.

    If I was a young reporter, I would salivating over investigating this. Scenarios like this stink to high heaven. The questions I would investigate are:

    1. Are there political favors to be repaid in the future from Mrs. Schrader and Mr. Schrader?

    2. Did Mr. Schrader lobby hard for his wife and if so, then why?

    3. Why in a time when Democrats are being exposed with "Pay to play" scandals in Illinois and New Mexico would Oregon politicians engage in behavior that is dangerously similar?

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    Huh? A process followed as prescribed in law "stinks to high heaven"? Somebody is desperate for something to be outraged about.

    Just because you can think something up doesn't mean there is a reason to believe it.

    I gotta hand it to you though: It must have taken a lot of practice to be able to make multiple comically illogical leaps per sentence.

  • (Show?)

    i inadvertently got hyperbolic with "Apparently being the choice of the people didn't matter to the Clackamas Co. Commissioners...". badly stated. what is clear is that their own preferences trumped the stated preferences of persons who are motivated sufficiently to become Clackamas County PCPs. nothing necessarily wrong with that; as several have stated, the Commissioners are elected officials and tasked with making decisions such as this. but given that Forsberg is qualified for the office, and has more (for what it's worth) grassroots support, in the current political climate, his selection seems as if it would have made more sense. but i'm speaking as a fanatic for democracy, someone who believes the more the people are involved (and not just a small group, but as many as we can convince to be part of the democratic process), the better for us all. this just doesn't sit well with me.

    that said, i've no doubts Ms Schrader is going to do an excellent job. Clackamas Co was going to end up with a great Senator no matter what.

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    There are some things one should be understand about the process, probably before opining like this: "Apparently being the choice of the people didn't matter to the Clackamas Co. Commissioners, and that bothers me. But I live up here in Mult Co, so I'll leave the editorializing to constituents..." So, you won't editorialize, but here's your opinion. Deft.

    1. If we were to discern the "choice of the people" in this, we'd have to have a primary and a general election, leaving the district unrepresented for as long as that took. That's why Oregon law provides for an appointment process

    2. The choice of the PCPs in the district is the choice of the Party. The PCPs are (in this case) elected only by Democrats and their role is to represent the Party in their precincts and their precincts in Party matters. The nominations they made in this case were on behalf of the Democratic Party. Oregon law allows the party to hold a seat in the Legislature for an entire term even if the individual leaves; it does not allow the Party to name a person to that seat. This seems like a really good idea when you remember that it also applies when a Republican resigns.

    3. Neither the straw poll nor the rank order reported from it are part of the official process. The process calls for them to forward no fewer than three and no more than five nominees.

    4. The second step, in which the County Commissioners (who are elected by all the voters, not just their party), select the individual, appropriately brings the larger electorate into the picture.

  • Connor Allen (unverified)

    Actually, Steve, the commissioners haven't been working with Martha for a long time. The chair was only elected in 2006, and the other commissioners are new, if I recall correctly.

    I don't see controversy in this. There will be an election in 2010, just as there was going to be regardless. Martha will not likely face serious opposition in the general election, should she choose to run, as the senate seat is pretty solidly Democratic. Her husband never faced serious opposition for it. If there is another Democrat of merit who wants to challenge her in the 2010 primary, they are free to do so.

    The last election for this seat was in 2006, which Kurt Schrader won unopposed. Appointing Martha is a safe choice because it is likely that she would represent the district similarly to that way in which her husband did. It is likely that they have similar views, similar constituencies, etc. As well, she ran for a house district which consists of the more conservative half of this district and ran a very close, though ultimately unsuccessful campaign, in a very bad year for Democrats, 2002, and has since been elected to the Clackamas County Commission. The only person with a mandate from the people to be in this seat is Kurt Schrader, after all, and Martha has herself won election with the support of many voters in this district. We don't know who the voters would choose in a special election, but we can pretty safely assume that the people of the district will not be abhorred by the job Martha does representing them.

    There were certainly other qualified candidates, but there's nothing wrong with choosing Martha.

  • LT (unverified)

    Thank you, Sue.

    Perhaps YOM does not realize that legislators past and present (incl. Barbara Roberts) have spoken of the benefit of election to lower office before serving in the legislature.

    Far as I can tell, Forsberg's only elective victory was to the board of the local Chamber of Commerce (or is that appointed?). He's a native of N. Bend and graduated from Cal State Fullerton.

    As opposed to County Comm. Schrader who is known as a very bright woman, who inspires people who know her, and who (for all we know) could have been elected to the county comm. without being Mrs. Schrader.

    It is not "pay to play" when an appointment process chooses someone who impresses the county comm. in the process as the law specifies it be carried out.

    It would be interesting to look at every legislative appointment over, say, the last 2 decades. Did every group of party pct. people conduct a straw poll after choosing the 3-5 nominees? Was there a public announcement of the rank order if that straw poll was carried out? Is there anything in party rules about such a straw poll as part of the replacement process? I've been involved in a couple such replacements, and I don't recall that happening.

    In the most recent local replacement, there were 3 candidates. All with their own good qualities. One speech was seen as a boilerplate Democratic speech to a group of Dem. and GOP county comm. One candidate was seen as "good speech, maybe too young". One candidate spoke of conversations with all the comm. and of solving problems specific to the district. That candidate got the appointment.

    I wonder (since many of us were not there) if Toby Forsberg's speech would fit into any of those categories. Also, whether the county comm. thought the Speaker-elect should be advocating for a particular Senate candidate, given that the House and Senate are independent bodies.

    All are questions a good independent reporter would ask.

    YOM needs more exposure to the reality of politics (rather than just following the news) before speculating on what a "young reporter" would do. And if that young reporter wrote for a well known publication, how would the above scenario have been treated by an older editor?

  • Zarathustra (unverified)

    YOM, political parties are about power and influence, smoke filled rooms and who can squeeze the hardest. If you're not into primate play-time, and have the time and ability to think for yourself, political parties are a distraction, a vestigial organ in the body politic. I understand the desire to affiliate. There are places where you can have progressive views and not have to couch everything based on ego effect. They're called other countries.

  • Sherrilynn Rawson (unverified)

    The only "controversy" is that as Clackamas County Dems, our bench is too deep. :-)

    Speaking only for myself one of the PCPs who sent on the slate of three candidates to the county Commissioners, my sense of the PCP vote to rank the candidates was that it was carried out simply because we felt some obligation to at least share our thoughts with the folks who were charged with making an important decision. Since one of the candidates had withdrawn his name prior to our hearing from the candidates, we only had three candidates who had applied for consideration, and we were charged with forwarding a slate of three to five candidates. Fortunately all three candidates were well and truly qualified, so that part of our job was very easy.

    We fully recognize and honor the duty of the county Commissioners to make the final decision; no controversy there. Whey the ranking vote, then? Just as Kari noted that the Commissioners are not "potted plants," as PCPs we didn't really want to be "potted plants" either in the sense that we felt obligated to share our thoughts in some fashion. We favored forwarding at least some information from the PCPs besides "we find that three out of the three candidates who have applied are qualified and willing to serve, and we have selected, er, three of them."

    Of COURSE it's the Commission's right--and duty--to consider a variety of pieces of information, to weigh all of the evidence, and to make their decision. The PCP ranking of three worthy candidates was just that--one more piece of information for the Commissioners. No more, and no less.

    So, the majority of us PCPs ranked Forsberg as our top choice. We all knew that the vote was merely informational, that it carried no actual weight, and that the ultimate decision belonged to the county Commissioners. And of course one could make a strong case for Schrader as the pick--as one could make, frankly, for any of the candidates for very different reasons. That's I was perfectly happy to forward all three names.

    Like I said--the only "controversy" is that we have a deep bench.

    Now, let's focus our attention on winning that @#$%!! HD39 in 2010....

  • (Show?)

    As someone who has been a young reporter, there would be nothing to cover there except for things likie:

    • that they made a decision, who it was, and some of their reasons why

    • an interview of Schrader and what she she hopes to accomplish this session

    This process was done by the law. It's not a surprise that Martha was chosen. The county has had some serious problems as of late, such as the flooding, and they're having to replace an experienced legislator mid-term. Often times when you do these appointments mid-term, it's not out of the ordinary for the person with the most elective experience to be chosen.

  • (Show?)

    As a former Clackamas County PCP I should point out that not only has Martha Schrader previously won election to significant office in the district, she also worked as staff for Kurt when he was a state rep.

    The assumption that she's a carbon copy of Kurt is wrong, though. She's personally more liberal than Kurt, in my experience.

  • YoungOregonMoonbat (unverified)

    Sue Hagmeier,

    I am not outraged about anything. I just find it curious that Democrats in Clackamas County would be so stupid as to give Republicans ammunition for electoral years to come by appointing the wife of Kurt Schrader as his successor.

    What makes Martha Schrader so qualified over the other candidates?

    Has Martha Schrader ever run for State office and if not, then why is she more qualified than an individual like Toby Forsberg?

    I stick by my guns that this whole process stinks to high heaven with the current "pay to play" scandals in Illinois and New Mexico. Call it what you want, but if Democrats keep their cozy relationship with the unions as they are in Oregon, then some young reporter and some newspaper will make a name for itself in the next 10 years.

    Then again, with you being such an insider and in the lieu of Obama getting elected, you really don't give a shit now do you. Keep drinking that power juice to blind your reality because it will lead to a downfall as the Republicans are now realizing.

    Rationalize it all you want, but as we all know that in the court of public opinion, you are presumed guilty and have to be proven innocent.

    BTW, those loaded questions were intentional and done consciously.

  • YoungOregonMoonbat (unverified)


    I have never pretended to say what others have wanted to hear in order to "affiliate" with their "progressive" views. I don't get where you are making that assumption.

    I have tried to comment on NW Republican much to the ire of Ted Piccolo and his sycophants. Rational conversation cannot be held over there unless it conforms 100% to what Ted wants to hear.

    I am trying to comment here on BlueOregon and am finding that the "Old Guard" party insiders and office holders are trying to marginalize my viewpoint just because it does not fit with what they deem should come out of the mouth of someone who comments on BlueOregon.

    I am liberal on many issues, conservative on some, and I always rail against those individuals who are in positions of power or wield influence due to their "insider" status.

    I do not apologize if what I say does not coalesce with your narrow-minded view of what political discourse should be like according to your values and viewpoints.

    That is what I will do. I will try my best to question the accepted political orthodoxy and I apologize if I cause any emotional distress.

  • (Show?)

    YOM, you really need to watch your mouth. you clearly don't know Sue, or you wouldn't be saying such stupid things. (and you know, it wouldn't hurt if you had the guts & integrity to identify yourself instead of hiding behind a nick.)

    Sue has proven, to the many people around Oregon who know her, that she is a true friend of democracy. yes, she's a committed Democrat, but that's never, in the time i've known her, gotten before her commitment to the foundations of our nation's liberty and the ideals that allow ordinary folks like us to do extraordinary things -- like determine the course of our government.

    i met Sue thru the Dean campaign, which should tell you all you need to know. those of us who supported Dean may have been party affiliates, but above and before that, we were dedicated to taking back our country. we got involved because we knew we had to. we were the ones who could make a difference. many of us have continued, some within the Democratic Party, some in other areas. the goal has not changed: to make America as democratic as we can.

    whatever valid points you might have in your comments (and i saw a few) are lost because, to use your words, the name-calling you engage in makes everything else you say stink to high heaven.

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    additionally, this ought to serve as a lesson to any county that goes thru this process. if you (activist supporters of a particular candidate) want to ensure your candidate gets the full benefit of PCP support, do it officially. Forsberg & Civeletti were probably toast once the PCPs decided to send the three names forward equally. i understand the rationale for that — it has a lot of merit in different ways — but had the PCPs voted officially thru the process to make Forsberg their first choice, he might have been in a stronger position.

    and let's not forget, this is not the same as electing a senator or representative in the usual manner. there is no special election, no involving of the entire electorate. the only people with any say are PCPs and county commissioners. this is not full-scale democracy in action; this is one party getting to name 3 people that an even smaller group of people will chose from. yes, it's representative democracy in practice, but that's always, by design and necessity, a limited form of democracy. just because the Clackamas Co. Commissioners were acting under law, and probably doing their best to make the best decision, does not perforce make their decision as democratic as some (like me) would like. which is why i don't disagree with their choice; i'm simply uncomfortable with a decision that is at odds with that of the larger group of citizen-activists.

  • (Show?)

    I'm excited to work with the new Senator Schrader during this legislative session, having worked with her in previous sessions and found her dedicated, smart, and committed to making progress. She's got experience in the building which undoubtedly will be a huge help during this difficult session.

  • t.a. barnhart (unverified)

    one last thing, which came to mind as i read Evan using the word "she" -- it's a great thing to have one more woman in the Senate. my Senator, Kate Brown, was replaced by Diane Rosenbaum, and my Representative is Carolyn Tomei (in Corvallis, it was Sara Gelser). for whatever my feelings about the short-comings of the process in terms of democracy, i also recognize that bringing women (and other under-represented people) into the Legislature can be a tremendous thing (not so much when that woman is a Karen Minnis....)

    i repeat from above: i expect she'll be an excellent State Senator.

  • Cafe Today (unverified)

    The reality is that this appointment had more to do with the internal politics of the Clackamas Board of County Commissioners than it had to do with anything else.

    Let's not pretend that it was about anything other than giving Martha Schrader what she wanted, while at the same time getting her off the Commission.

  • LT (unverified)

    YOM, have you ever met Martha? Are you a personal friend of either Toby or Tom? Or are you just saying that as a principal that when there is a vacancy, no relative need apply no matter how qualified?

    Do you also oppose the father and son combinations which have served in the Senate--or is that OK because they were elected?

    Martha came close to winning legislative office in 2002, a year that was bad for Democrats the way 2006 and 2008 were bad for Republicans. Tom has run for state rep. before and lost, as has Toby. Did you know that?

    Oregon has long prided itself as having clean politics. This process was open and was done according to the rules and procedures currently in place. What do you think the rules should have been instead? Have you ever been to a rules committee meeting or a legislative hearing on election law?

    If you think the process is all wrong, you need to contact your legislators and others with a positive solution. Are you saying it should be a matter of law that no relative need apply for a replacement? Could you get 31 votes in the House and 16 in the Senate to agree to pass a law saying that? Martha Schrader is not the first county comm. to be nominated for a replacement. Should allowing anyone who has ever been a county comm.(or is currently) being appointed to the legislature be outlawed?

    But I'll warn you--saying that this replacement process means Oregon is as crooked as Illinois or New Mexico without more proof than we have seen so far (do you even live in Clackamas County?) is not a way to win friends and influence people.

    Are you saying there should have been only 59 State Senators until a special election could be held?

    Was it OK for the widow of a US Senator to take his place because it was an election?

    Do you even know who Maurine Neuberger was?

    Muriel Humphrey was appointed to her husband's US Senate seat when he died. Was that OK? Or, because it happened before you were born (if you are younger than about 30) is that OK?

    Or is this all about trying to make trouble?

    The Speaker-elect wanted Toby. Would that have been OK even though the Senate is independent of the Oregon House because at least Toby is not a member of the Schrader family? Or by that reckoning, should Tom Civiletti have gotten the nomination because he had no connection to anyone powerful?

    Sounds like you know very little but by golly all of us should see it your way. If you wish for political success in the future, you should realize that bullying others to see things your way is not a great long term strategy.

  • Insider (unverified)


    Martha herself made it clear on Friday that she is (or aspires to be) a duplicate of Kurt Schrader. According to the Portland Tribune, she referred to herself as "mini-Kurt".

    Oh my.

  • OC Dan (unverified)

    The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners simply made a bad choice.

    They ignored the clear guidance of the Democratic PCPs (who rated Forsberg first and Civelletti second).

    They ignored the person with the most name recognition in that district (since Forsberg's recent campaign gave him much greater exposure than Martha Schrader's weak legislative campaign in 2002 and her two easy county commissioner races) who would be the strongest nominee in 2010.

    And they chose a candidate (Martha Schrader) who was so disinterested in the Legislature that she chose NOT to run for an open legislative seat in 2008. And she was so disinterested in the 2008 elections that she spent the entire month of October in Italy.

    I can guarantee you that Forsberg and Civiletti both spent October working hard to elect Democrats to office.

    Everyone makes mistakes, and the Clackamas Commissioners made a big one here.

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    I happened to know all three of the candidates who applied for the position. Martha is probably the best known in the County because she has been elected to office. Any of the candidates would have been great choices but Martha's experience working with Kurt gave her the opportunity to hit the ground running when the session begins. As we all know, the legislative process is difficult enough for a freshmen...Martha at least knows the process first hand and knows most of the players in Salem so she can help her constituents immediately. I wish her well. And, I thank Toby and Tom for all of their work on behalf of Democrats in Clackamas County.

  • Grant Schott (unverified)

    Why are so many party activists ALWAYS so negative? There were three great choices and Martha is perfectly qualified. My first choice probably would have been Tom because I know him the best and I like his populist politics and record of activism, but I think Martha will be an outstanding legislator.

  • Connor Allen (unverified)

    OC Dan-

    Martha Schrader ran a "weak" campaign in 2002? In 2004 and 2006 Democrats lost the race for HD-39 by thousands of votes. In 2002, Martha Schrader lost by less than 900, in a very bad year for Democrats, in which a good number of female Democrats lost legislative races to male Republicans. Kulongoski barely won election, and Bradbury lost to Gordon Smith in a rout. In 2008, Toby Forsberg lost by about 500 votes, in a very good year for Democrats, in which Barack Obama dominated the state and Jeff Merkley beat Gordon Smith. To me, it seems like Schrader and Forsberg both waged serious campaigns, probably about equally strong, given the different dynamics in 2002 and 2008.

  • (Show?)

    OC Dan:

    There is no evidence that the Board of Commissioners "ignored" the "guidance" of the Democratic PCPs. They just came to a somewhat different conclusion. Also, the reports that came out of the nominating process indicated that most participants were clear that they were comfortable with all three names submitted as nominees.

    Again, rank ordering of the nominees is not part of the official process, or part of the official record forwarded to the Secretary of State and from there to the County Board of Commissioners. If it were, it would still be inappropriate for the Commissioners to simply echo the vote of the Party PCPs. The Board is the appointing authority and the Party's role is only to nominate.

    ORS 171.051 says: "If fewer than three names of nominees are furnished, a list shall not be considered to have been submitted and the county courts or boards of county commissioners shall fill the vacancy." The only honest way to fulfill the Party's role as nominator is to forward at least three viable candidates. That is what was done.

    There has been at least one instance in which a Party manipulated the process by forwarding one preferred candidate and filled out the slate with individuals who did not intend to serve. That was probably technically illegal, but as a practical matter hard to remedy.

    You may not like the outcome. You may even think it was a "bad decision," but it was not badly made. The process was by the book in this case.

    It's bizarre to see one commenter here, apparently unhappy with the outcome, blame the Commissioners for not following the "guidance" of the Party, while another, also apparently unhappy with the outcome, somehow blames the Party. It's all a reach.

  • Cafe Today (unverified)

    LT-- There have never been 59 State Senators in Oregon. You are thinking of the House. The Senate has 30, max.

  • Law-n-Order D (unverified)

    Does Mrs. Schrader hate lawyers (and judges) as much as her husband did? Many judges were happy to see Mr. Schrader promoted, since he was cheifly responsible for Oregon being ranked 50 out of 50 for judicial salaries in the recent past (ranking has since risen slightly). Hopefully, Madame Schrader has not adopted her husband's Shakespearean prejudice of killing all the lawyers.

  • amplus testis (unverified)

    It would be difficult to argue that Martha is not qualified to be state senator, and it was the BCC's decision to make.

    Martha, Toby and I each came close to winning a house election. Martha won county-wide election twice, but then, that is a different electorate. I think any of us would have run a good campaign to hold the seat.

    As far as the advisory vote of the committee-persons, Toby received the most votes most likely because he had just run an active legislative campaign, and there were many new PCPs who were active in that campaign. I likely got more votes than Martha because I have been active in the county party for many years.

    Zarathustra is off-target in applying...

    political parties are about power and influence, smoke filled rooms and who can squeeze the hardest the Clackamas County Democrats. Our structure is transparent and democratic. Jill Thorn has done a great job in leading while not dominating the party.

    I congratulate Martha and expect her to do well in Salem.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    amplus testis is me.

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    Apparently being the choice of the people didn't matter to the Clackamas Co. Commissioners, and that bothers me.

    I know you've since noted this was a bit of hyperbole, T.A. Nonetheless, as I recall, Toby Forsberg lost an election for one of the house seats in the district just a few weeks ago, while Martha absolutely crushed her opponent in her race for commissioner. So if the criteria we're going to use is the people's choice, which seems reasonable, it would appear that Martha is the best choice.

    I don't see why the fact that Martha is married to Kurt should prevent her from taking his seat in the Oregon Senate. Honestly, if they had appointed another hypothetical county commissioner with the exact same resume, electoral history, and government experience as Martha, nobody would be complaining. Nor will anybody complain when she cruises to re-election.

  • RW (unverified)

    Civiletti surely is able to take tutelage from the ample dogpile of politicos with secrets to hide and how it's harmful to their consitutents if they do step out believing their secrets, sins, missteps and miscreances will go unnoticed, undug, unprobed. Unexplained.

    My bet is that it was not only the choice of those vetting and selecting, but, in some ways, the options taken or eschewed by the wisdom of those being looked at.

    <h2>Edwards should have said no thanks. Or told what there was to be told. Daschle? Pay your fucking taxes, man. THen say yes. And, likewise, Civiletti was at least in part a wise, wise man. Selective. One should laud such self-knowledge and hope for it to spread as a most pleasant plague upon the politicos of this land.</h2>

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