The citizens of Vancouver who wanted to be able to vote on expensive light rail have just had their hopes dashed by a judge’s decision today.
Judge John F. Nichols ruled that the effort to force a vote on light rail coming to Clark County could not go forward because,
The proposed initiative exceeds the scope of the local initiative power because it impermissibly interferes with City Council budget functions.
Stephen Pidgeon, attorney for vocal light rail opponent Larry Patella and several others, said,
“The only silver lining here is that the CRC unceremoniously has expired during the course of this litigation and I am sure my clients are happy with that outcome.”
Even so, Washington state initiative activist Tim Eyman said tonight,
“Sadly, it has become the rule and not the exception for citizen initiatives to be blocked from the ballot. The Vancouver initiative is the latest example. If local citizens collect the required number of signatures in the required amount of time, the politicians should not be able to stop the people from voting on the initiative. The citizens of Vancouver are lucky to have heroic activists like Larry Patella and his team, who put forward tremendous effort to let the voters decide this critical issue.”
Patella and others brought the lawsuit against the City of Vancouver to fight for the right to vote on light rail. The attorney who who represented the effort, Stephen Pidgeon, said tonight,
“I am grieved for my clients who worked so hard to overcome the many obstacles before them in their effort to allow the voters in Vancouver to express their opinion on this issue. I believe they earned the right to vote on their initiative. It is extremely unfortunate that they will not be able to. The only silver lining here is that the CRC unceremoniously has expired during the course of this litigation and I am sure my clients are happy with that outcome. Larry Patella and his team have done a valiant job and a public service in pushing for the right of the people to vote. I admire them greatly.”
Both sides are poring over the decision to see what the final fall out on the initiative process will be. The judge bought the City Attorneys interpretation that the initiative was too vague and subject to multiple interpretations and was unconstitutional.
America has lost one of its greatest, most inspiring military heroes and patriots: Col. George E. “Bud” Day (USAF, ret.), recipient of the Medal of Honor and more than seventy other decorations for valor, passed away on July 27, 2013, ending a remarkable life of service to American freedom.
Bud Day served in the USMC in WWII; in the Army between wars; and in the Air Force as a combat pilot in the wars in Korea and Vietnam.
Honored for his heroics in combat in three wars, he literally became a “legend in his own time” for his inspiring heroism in resisting his North Vietnamese communist captors as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, for which he received the Medal of Honor.
While the Medal of Honor and other decorations for valor on Bud Day’s uniform attest to his inspirational courage, integrity, patriotism, and heroism, perhaps even more poignant evidence is the respect, admiration, and even love his fellow warriors and POW’s hold and express for him.
Among them, former POW and now Senator John McCain, who has for years credited Bud Day with preserving his life when near death when both were POW’s in the Hanoi Hilton, and has referred to him as the “bravest of the brave” and as his “leader and inspiration,” issued a statement from his office in the Capitol on learning of Col. Day’s passing:
“Today brings the sad news that my dear friend and comrade, Colonel George E. ‘Bud’ Day, USAF (Ret.) has passed away. I owe my life to Bud, and much of what I know about character and patriotism. He was the bravest man I ever knew, and his fierce resistance and resolute leadership set the example for us in prison of how to return home with honor. I will have much more to say about Bud’s courage, kindness and sense of honor and duty this week. For now, I want to draw Americans’ attention to the passing of this good man and great patriot, and to extend my deepest, most heartfelt condolences to Bud’s wife, Dorie and his children. I will miss him terribly.”
On Bud Day’s life, Medal of Honor recipient, and Past President of the Medal of Honor Society, Col. Leo Thorsness (USAF, ret.), who was a POW in solitary confinement for a year in “Camp Punishment” in Hanoi in a six-foot wide cell next to Bud Day, wrote in his book, “Surviving Hell:
John McCain visits Hanoi Hilton where he was imprisoned next to Bud Day
“Bud Day [was] one of the toughest POWs in North Vietnam…His story had become something of a legend: shot down and captured, a daring escape soon after, and a desperate journey south to safety. He was shot and captured within sight of the American line and brought to Hanoi where his legend had grown by the maximum resistance he offered as a prisoner. Bud was the hardest of the hard men in the Hanoi Hilton. (He would be awarded the Medal of Honor for the bravery he displayed in captivity.) I felt lucky he was next door to me.”
Another Past President of the Medal of Honor Society, Maj. Gen. Patrick H. Brady (USA, ret.,) who received the Medal of Honor as a “Dust Off” medical evacuation helicopter pilot credited with carrying out over 5,000 rescues of the wounded in Vietnam (see his book on “Dust Off: America’s Battlefield Angels”), noted Bud Day’s heroism in war was matched by his dedication to defending veterans rights in peace as apro bono attorney
Reunited with his wife Doris after being released by North Vietnamese
suing the Department of Defense on behalf of veterans.
“Bud Day was a great man,” said Gen. Brady, who is himself recognized as one of the most decorated combat veterans in U.S. history. “What is not as well known is what Bud Day did for veterans issues. He took on the Department of Defense when they reneged on the promise they made to all retirees on a life time of health care.”
On Bud Day’s passing on July 27, 2013, another legendary POW and American hero, Orson Swindle (USMC, ret.), who later served in the administration of President Ronald Reagan, was National Chairman of Veterans For McCain in 2008, and is presently a Senior Advisor to to the Board of Directors of Combat Veterans For Congress PAC, wrote movingly in an e-mail entitled “Bud Day has flown West and God has the greatest of wingmen”:
“To you all who knew Bud from our campaigns together and other walks of life. I sent this to our POW net earlier this evening. We have lost a great man, a great American, and a great friend.”
(See also Bud Day’s autobiography, “Return With Honor”; the excellent biography written by Robert Coram: “American Patriot: The Life and Wars of Colonel Bud Day(2007); and the stories on Bud Day as a P.O.W. in John G. Hubbell’s authoritative, and now classic: “P.O.W.: A Definitive History Of The American Prisoner-Of-War Experience In Vietnam (1964-1973).)
(Rees Lloyd, a longtime civil rights attorney and veterans activist, is a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce.)
In the course of the 12-hour fight in northeast Afghanistan, enemy fighters would breach the wire of Combat Outpost Keating. Twenty five of the 54 U.S. soldiers in the battle survived wounds. Eight others lost their lives. The enemy hit just before 6 a.m. Their machine gunfire and rocket propelled grenades seemed to rain down on the outpost. “The amount of firepower incoming and outgoing can’t be explained,” Carter said. “All we could do was dig in and fight to the death.” “All you could do was dig in and save your brother,” he said. The soldier he pulled to cover, Spc. Stephen Mace, made it through the day but later died of his wounds. Carter said he is comforted knowing that Mace received his last rites and died knowing his fellow soldiers were getting him to safety.
The horrible battle for Outpost Keating was chronicled in Jake Tapper’s recent book, “The Outpost.” Sergeant Carter is the second soldier from that day’s battle to receive the Medal of Honor.
In other news today, Bradley Manning, the Army soldier who gave away American national security secrets to our enemies via Wiki Leaks, was found guilty of several espionage charges against him, but acquitted of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy. Manning, who’s gay, said he’d done it to protest the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policies of the military.
Earlier this year he admitted to sending hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables, war reports from Afghanistan and Iraq and other files to WikiLeaks while working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad. In doing so, he pleaded guilty to ten of the charges against him and faced up to 20 years in prison. He has now been found guilty of the bulk of the remaining charges, which could see him spend the rest of his life behind bars.
At his plea hearing in February, Mr Manning tried to explain why he had exposed American secrets. He hoped to “spark a domestic debate of the role of the military and foreign policy in general” and “cause society to reevaluate the need and even desire to engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore their effect on people who live in that environment every day.” One of his earliest publicised leaks, that of the so-called“collateral murder” video, certainly had the desired effect. Lending credibility to his claim of whistleblowing, other leaked documents exposed acts of abuse and illegality.
One man fought for country and brotherhood. Another hurt his country for personal reasons without respect to the brotherhood.
Whom would you rather have on your team? Sergeant Carter’s worst moment is better than Manning’s most shining and glorious one. May the turncoat have an uncomfortable 20 plus years in hell.
The New York Post announced the story with this blazing headline:
And carried this explanation:
Michael Shulan, the museum’s creative director, was among staffers who considered the Tom Franklin photograph too kitschy and “rah-rah America,” according to “Battle for Ground Zero” (St. Martin’s Press) by Elizabeth Greenspan, out next month.“I really believe that the way America will look best, the way we can really do best, is to not be Americans so vigilantly and so vehemently,” Shulan said.
This is what happens when people forget how great the best of America is. Who are they trying to please by considering leaving this out? Our enemies?
PETA Proposes erecting a statue to commemorate the deaths of chickens killed in a Salem, Oregon trucking accident on their way to the slaughter slaughter house.
The San Diego City Council wipes out pet stores to get rid of “puppy mills.”
Animal activists terrorize a San Diego family at their home and at their fur store.
Many people love animals and it’s easy to grant some slack to passionate individuals who undertake saving animals as a crusade, but this post is also a cautionary tale for the uninitiated, the gullible or the media.
The people of PETA, the vegan group that produces grand attention seeking publicity stunts (the chicken statue, calling milk racist because it’s white, seal cam ‘peep show’, meat suits, veggie sex Super Bowl commercial, circuses around the circus), includes some of the same people who hounded out a Portland fur store in 2006. Another Portland furrier is under constant assault by animal terrorists, one of whom tried to burn his store down by setting himself on fire. And it’s happening in San Diego.
San Diego, of course, has seen its share of eco terrorism. An unfinished apartment complex was torched in 2005 by the Earth Liberation Front. And because of a long term federal investigation in Oregon we know that Eco and Animal terrorists are the same bunch.
At first, the San Diego news accounts of the attack on the store and the store owners’ home were fairly benign. Attack, blah blah, police investigating,blah blah, may have done some vandalism at their home blah blah. It was only after the Animal Liberation Front sent out a news release on July 21st taking responsibility that the real damage was revealed and the media started paying very close attention. From the ALF press release:
Every single piece of plate glass on this hideous enterprise was soaked in glass etching solution. The exterior of the store was covered in red spray painted slogans. Bottles of foul smelling butyric acid were sprayed into the interior, leaving this place of commerce smelling like death; identical to the odor present on every fur farm. We hope this is a costly clean up, and serves to drive away all patronage.
But they weren’t done. They claim to have “hiked” to the home of the owner and further terrorized and vandalized–anything not to admit they actually took a car out to do their terror for the Earth and Animals,
We then hiked to owner Ludi Graf’s home, at ***** *******Street in Spring Valley [I’ve taken out the actual street address] . His home was given the same treatment. We paint stripped his luxury winnebago parked in the driveway. Slogans were painted in blood red on his garage and the winnebago. The windows of the winnebago were etched. The remainder of the etching solution was applied to the windows of his home. Concrete destroying muriatic acid was poured on his driveway.
Another “hike” to La Mesa to the home of another fur store owner,
It was another short hike to manager Kimberley Graf’s home at**** ***** Drive in La Mesa [real street address redacted]. Her luxury pickup truck was painted red and soaked in paint stripper. All windshields and windows on the truck were smeared with etching solution. We covered her house and driveway in spray paint. Muriatic acid was dumped on the porch.
And now we get to the San Diego City Council who gave these activists more credibility by passing an ordinance wiping out pet stories in the City and allowing the government to be nearly exclusively in the dog business. That’s right, one sweeping law, and pffft! the pet stores are now outlawed. Why? Because for the last several years the animal rights folks have introduced the term ‘puppy mills’ into the nomenclature. My daughter who works with dog rescues uses the term ‘puppy mill’. But what does the term mean? It connotes a place where people churn out dogs and cats under inhumane conditions.
I can appreciate this overuse of animals. I’ve “homed” a rescue dog who was overbred. She was a great old gal and a gentle soul but was just worn out. She was overused and that’s horrible. But was she from a puppy mill? No.
For the moment, San Diego has left breeders alone. There’s also a term for breeders of dogs: “Back Yard Breeders.” Look for that term in a future city ordinance. It’s a way to demonize anyone who participates in breeding dogs. Because the aim of these folks is to give animals ‘rights’ like humans have rights, to regard them as sentient beings, and not be able to treat them like, well, dogs.
Let me give you a real world example. Oregon recently got rid of horse rendering plants. How inhumane! How horrible that people would deign turn horses into dog food and use all of their body parts for something useful! But it turns out that when a horse gets lame or is old and sick, it’s less useful and you can’t sell him. Feeding him is expensive. The horse rendering plant used to offer an alternative to keeping a useless and expensive horse. Now horse owners don’t have that. Animal rights activists got together with well intentioned lawmakers and outlawed them. And, as a result, Oregon has had a rash of horses being turned free, starved to death, or left to die in some abandoned barn or property that the people can’t afford to keep anymore.
I’m all for not killing animals and I’m also against puppy mills–where they exist. But the San Diego City Council assumed with its decision that ALL pet stores use dogs and cats from inhumane mills. How do they know that? They don’t. They just guessed. Those nice animal people told them so. One pet store owner testified at council,
“You’re taking a largely regulated industry and going towards a shelter system that’s not necessarily regulated as much,” Salinas said. “All of our puppies — as we’ve already said — are vet-checked several times, so they’re pretty healthy.”
The result of the chicken statues, ALF terror, PETA PR stunts, seizing the language and outlawing what has been a respectable business (How much is that doggy in the window?) has resulted in getting closer to giving animals rights. That in turn will mean more laws against people who, in the animal rights world view, treat their dogs in an inhumane way. What will that mean? Anything they want it to mean. I didn’t walk my dogs yesterday. Someday that’s going to be against the law. Think I’m wrong? They starve horses, don’t they?
.July 21, 2013
In the early morning hours of July 16, 2013, anarchists in San Diego took action on behalf of the millions of fur-bearing animals who are trapped, enslaved, and killed to sustain the global fur industry.
We first visited Furs By Graf at 7670 Claremont Mesa Boulevard in the Claremont neighborhood. Every single piece of plate glass on this hideous enterprise was soaked in glass etching solution. The exterior of the store was covered in red spray painted slogans. Bottles of foul smelling butyric acid were sprayed into the interior, leaving this place of commerce smelling like death; identical to the odor present on every fur farm. We hope this is a costly clean up, and serves to drive away all patronage.
We then hiked to owner Ludi Graf’s home, at *********Street in Spring Valley. His home was given the same treatment. We paint stripped his luxury winnebago parked in the driveway. Slogans were painted in blood red on his garage and the winnebago. The windows of the winnebago were etched. The remainder of the etching solution was applied to the windows of his home. Concrete destroying muriatic acid was poured on his driveway.
It was another short hike to manager Kimberley Graf’s home at ********** Drive in La Mesa. Her luxury pickup truck was painted red and soaked in paint stripper. All windshields and windows on the truck were smeared with etching solution. We covered her house and driveway in spray paint. Muriatic acid was dumped on the porch.
These actions were taken to vocalize the cries of the millions of wild beings yearning for freedom. This is in vain unless it inspires others to liberate and sabotage. Every fur farm prisoner deserves a jail break.
In solidarity with our comrades fighting in Vancouver,
Animal Liberation Front
[Press Office note: Imprisoned in cages for life, or mercilessly trapped with painful leghold traps in the wild, fur-bearing animals killed to make unnecessary fashion statements are forced to endure intensive confinement, compared to the miles of territory these still-wild animals would enjoy in their natural state. The natural instincts of these captive animals are completely frustrated; self-mutilation, sickness, infection, poor sanitation and the sheer stress of confinement lead animals in captivity to premature death. When they survive, animals of sufficient size are killed by anal electrocution or gassing, then skinned. In addition to liberating the wild animals destined for a certain, painful and agonizing death, another goal of liberationists is to cause economic damage to fur retailers and farms; dozens of stores and fur farming operations have seen economic ruin since “Operation Bite Back” began by the Animal Liberation Front in the 1990s.
The Animal Liberation Front utilizes economic sabotage in addition to the direct liberation of animals from conditions of abuse and imprisonment to halt needless animal suffering. By making it more expensive to trade in the lives of innocent, sentient beings, the ALF maintain the atrocities against our brothers and sisters are likely to occur in smaller numbers; their goal is to abolish the exploitation, imprisonment, torture and killing of innocent, non-human animals.]
See Daylight Disinfectant’s video below and it will explain my take on what both Daylight Disinfectant and Laughing at Liberals saw at the Anti Coal Energy protest and take over of part of the I-5 bridge over the Columbia River on Saturday. With my apologies to Gilligan’s Isle.
Just sit right down and you’ll hear a tale, A tale of a PR trip. That started from Vancouver Port Aboard these costly ships. The mate was a mighty influential man The Skip’s boat was the hub Of the big publicity stunt Paid for by Sierra Club Financed by Sierra Club!
The weather was mid July It’s easy in the sun. With two yachts filled with catered food Yeah, it was big fun! The party was big fun!
No washers! No dryers! No electric cars! Protesting luxury! They won’t smile till they kill the coal And kill your liberty! And kill your liberty!
The yachts set sail to the I-5 Bridge With banners to unfurl With Sierra Club The Hipsters, too. Lisa Fithian look alikes Anarchists And the rest Who make up Rising Tide!
So why did leftists take over the I-5 bridge? Because they don’t want coal–“black carbon” they call it– mined in Wyoming and Montana to be trained through Oregon to be shipped to Asia. This has been a political campaign against energy since earlier than 2010 and it’s never made any sense. The left began ginning up phony pollution stories about coal trains a couple years ago when they made their move in Washington state. See my post here when I first reported on their shenanigans. Then again here. Washington state’s concern (via ecoactivists) was: they wanted China to report their pollution levels to the US and make OUR ENERGY DECISIONS based upon what the Chinese were up to.
This is another one of the left’s overreaches, which, if they’d just occasionally tell the truth instead of delving into stupidity laced with hyperbole, perhaps could win more to their side. But they don’t care about sound science. They just care about scare tactics. There’s much to question about this process–longer trains, for instance, but the left has lost moral authority to discuss coal trains in Oregon. They’ve already shown themselves to allergic to logic and facts.
The ‘War on Women’ only matters in macro not the micro–not the individual, anecdotal wars according to Emily’s List, a group which supports pro abortion women in politics.
Bob Filner can feel up the rear of a Rear Admiral, lick the chin of a college professor, tell a right-hand-woman he’d rather she worked without panties and it’s not a war on women, but if a Republican did that it would be an, uh, War on Women.
Jeff Cogen, the Multnomah County (Portland), Oregon Chair can have a side-honey who loses her job when the tryst (using public funds) is unveiled but keep his job, but if a Republican did that, it would be a ‘War on Women’.
Anthony Weiner, the one man peter-tweeter, can selfie his schlong all day long to strange women with whom he has virtual affairs, but it still makes him a better candidate to the far left than a conservative who doesn’t believe in late term abortions.
The ‘War on Women’ that we’ve been hearing so much about lately indeed has only to do with abortion. Like Clinton before them, any Democrat who doesn’t believe in abortion on demand till the 59th minute of the 11th hour of the 41st week of pregnancy is an intolerant instigator of the war on women. It’s a fraud, of course.
Have you noticed that the latest efforts in Texas to limit abortions have to do only with a baby who’s able to survive outside the mother’s womb–or at the very least–days away from being able to do so? This is what the phony War on Women is about: 24 weeks versus 20 weeks of pregnancy. Of course, in the U.S. there is abortion on demand–for the ‘health’ of the mother. Women now consider any limitation on killing a child just days, hours, minutes away from delivery as an assault on their ‘rights’. Rights to what, murder?
This won’t be persuasive to the low information voter who takes on faith only what the Emily’s Listers and Planned Parenthood types profess. But do you suppose it might be persuasive to those who consider Filner, Weiner, Cogen, Kennedy, Clinton, Spitzer et al. preferable candidates to any Republicans that we tell them one of the side benefits of keeping babies alive is so the next generation of Democrats will have a bigger crop of prospective victims? Think that would work?
Fancy yourself a conservative man, do you? Someone who respects and upholds traditional values, public dignity and high standards? Then why not dress the part?
First, a hat tip to Troy Henley, a good friend of my oldest son, for sending Alan Cornett’s “The Well-Clad Conservative” my way — much obliged. Giving credit where credit is due is also part of the conservative credo. Cornett’s piece got me thinking, which, because I am well-ordered that way, got me writing.
A conservative mind is a well-ordered mind – it thinks reasonably and rationally. In paying attention to details and striving for accuracy, it is never slovenly or sloppy. It embraces classicism while remaining open to reviewing modernity while retaining a deep suspicion and bias against fad or anything shallow. It is witty without being wanton, sharp without being shady and tart without being tacky. As principles to govern your mind these are good and valuable to be treasured and handed down generation after generation.
Why, then, should they also not govern appearance? I’m convinced that a slovenly external appearance connotes a slovenly internal person — the sloppier you look, the sloppier you think. This is not to say a well-dressed look makes you a good thinker or anything of the sort. Nor does it suggest that all well-dressed men are always conservative men. Think of it the other way around.
Just as they should be well-spoken, well-educated (even if self-educated) and well-versed on many topics, conservative men should be well-dressed men. If you think and behave with respect, you will dress with respect – it is from the inside out, not the outside in. There are many well-dressed men whose thoughts and ideas are wretched – you can see them on any Washington, D.C. street corner.
We are talking propriety – a sense of dignity, proportion and perspective that says to the observer that you take care how you look and behave, so it is safe to assume you can be trusted to act carefully. Ask yourself: if more young men wore navy blazers than hoodies would fewer young men be in trouble?
This is not about fashion or style in the general sense, or even how to pick clothes (plenty of places to go for advice on wardrobe selection). Fashion is ephemeral, and nobody in his right mind wants to resurrect 70s-vintage wide lapels or heinous ties. Style, however, is personal and a matter of discernment – what look works best for you is your decision to make, but the man of action belies his image in a tweed jacket and vest.
But because fashion trends should be viewed with deep suspicion, sartorial splendor is best expressed when it is firmly rooted in tradition and inch and three-quarter cuffs.
From Cornett’s article:
“I think we can (or at least ought to) recoil in horror at, say, wearing pajamas on an airplane. Or men wearing flip flops to church. Or anyone wearing crocs at any time. These are signs of cultural decay, manifestations of the same ills that lead to moral and political breakdowns.”
Moral and political breakdowns – is that extreme? Not if you look at the clear and convincing evidence of the past, say, 50 years. Until the mid-60s, men wore suits, or at least a jacket and slacks, and ties. They shined their shoes — some even continued wearing hats after JFK made them unfashionable. Public behavior was respectful then and men cultivated being gentlemen — not so much today. One reason why we are less civil in the culture, political discourse and in relationships is that the more we began to dress like hoboes, the more we became hobo-like in behavior and attitude.
This had nothing to do with class or income distinctions. I remember seeing an old photograph of a meeting of the janitors’ union in Tacoma, Wash taken in the late 40s or early 50s where every man in attendance had on a suit and tie. The ladies all wore hats, too, but that is beside the point – I am addressing men here.
Contrary to popular myth, the conservative man sets himself apart from the herd. He does not “go with the flow” – if anything, he cultivates individuality and an air unique to him. He is, in the words of William F. Buckley, Jr. when he penned the mission statement for “National Review,” someone who “…stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.” Rough going though it may be, the man who stands alone with the truth has the best of allies and the strongest of armies.
“Because everyone else does it is no reason for you to do it — remember who you are and what you stand for.” This was a lesson my mother drummed into me from earliest memory until she died. I suppose that’s why I am not inclined to let “everyone” dictate appearance standards to me. I do not dress to satisfy a fashion maven or convey a hip image — I dress to satisfy myself and to show respect to the people and places I frequent.
To paraphrase Scripture, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child, I made mud pies and played in the dirt like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me, cleaned myself up and put on a tie.”
Conservative men should set a high standard in all areas, including their appearance – Lord knows, the country needs every class act it can get.
Scott St. Clair is a journalist, rhetorical pugilist, agent provocateur, aider and abbetor of Liberty Lovers and a former competitive Highland piper. He says what he thinks, means what he says and doesn’t suffer fools. He’s also a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce. His opinions are entirely his own, and you shouldn’t expect them to mirror yours.
Sonia Manhas did one right thing. She resigned her job with Multnomah County today but she shouldn’t be the only one to fall on the sword. Jeff Cogen needs to go.
The Multnomah County Chair will be officially asked to resign tomorrow by the other commissioners. See a copy of the resolution nearby.
The resolution states Cogen’s affair “diminished his ability to provide leadership expected of the chair.” It also states he has caused an appearance of inappropriate influence to county businesses, along with “the real or perceived misuse of county assets,” that is damaging to the county’s credibility.
“The Board has lost trust and confidence in Chair Jeffrey S. Cogen’s judgment and ability to continue to provide leadership,” the resolution states.
The Commissioners released the resolution tonight.
In OTHER news about Jeff Cogen-having-an-affair-and-having-his-kids-babysit-her-kids-while-he-got-her-a-job-and-raise-while-getting-sex-from-her,
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office and Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office asked the Oregon Office of the Attorney General to conduct a criminal investigation. A spokesman said the initial focus will likely be on whether any county money was misspent by Cogen and Manhas.
As an added bonus we get this from KPTV,
As part of her resignation, Manhas will be on paid sick leave until Aug. 30 when the resignation goes into effect. She will not be able to sue Multnomah County.
How much do you want to bet Cogen makes a few calls to get her a job?
Dennis Richardson is one of the most competent, talented and decent men in Oregon politics today. The State Representative from Central Point is one of probably only a handful of people in the State of Oregon who knows the State’s fiscal problems and has solutions.
He would be a great Oregon Governor.
Richardson is the quintessence of the phrase “Happy Warrior.” “Slick” is not a word one associates with him. He is sure footed and fair, something that comes through in Richardson’s frequent email newsletters about what’s going on in Salem and from meeting him many times in person.
Four of the Multnomah County Commissioners have called for an outside investigation of Chair Jeff Cogen. Commissioners Deborah Kafoury, Diane McKeel, Judy Shiprack and Loretta Smith are asking for an outside investigation to look into whether Cogen used County funds to bankroll his affair with underling, Sonia Manhas.
“As a result of the county attorney’s initial inquiry and after consulting with Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill, we, the Multnomah County Commissioners will be asking for an outside investigation. The investigation will seek to determine whether Jeff Cogen misused county funds or other county resources. Additionally, this investigation will seek to determine whether any county personnel rules were violated by chair Cogen. We want to assure the people of Multnomah County that the chair’s actions are being thoroughly examined. This investigation will allow the county to continue moving forward in its mission—to serve the most vulnerable populations in our community.”
And it doesn’t come a moment too soon. Both Willamette Week and the Mercury are scrutinizing a second trip Cogen took on the public dime to Atlanta…
Members of the Portland delegation were all booked to stay at the same hotel, the Renaissance Atlanta Midtown, where they’d pay $199 per room per night. But records show Cogen canceled his reservation in March and rebooked a $249 room at the Loews Atlanta Hotel six blocks away, specifying that he wanted a king-size bed. Manhas’ calendar shows she took vacation time for April 9-11, the three days Cogen was in Atlanta.
A review of Manhas’ calendar shows she was on vacation the same days Cogen was gone, April 9 through April 11. Maybe it’s a coincidence. But suddenly. Cogen using county money to check a second bag, upgrade his room, and change his flight itinerary—each one a move that required extra explanation, according to records—doesn’t seem as harmless.Was Cogen alone throughout the trip? Did he spend county money on Manhas’ travel costs or on a room they used for a tryst? The timing falls within when Cogen said the two would still be seeing one another. [emph added]
It’s a good thing that Bruce McCain has done some reporting on succession strategies for Multnomah County. Find that post here.
While Great Britain and much of the world celebrates the birth of the Fresh Prince of Cambridge – third in line to the
British crown – what happens if embattled Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen vacates his office, either by resigning or in the unlikely event of a successful recall? Cogen’s sex scandal with his subordinate squeeze, Sonia Manhas, has either ended his political career or – in the spirit of Neil Goldschmidt and Sam Adams – all but assured his election as Portland’s next mayor. With The Oregonian’s editorial board now calling for Cogen’s resignation, the pressure is mounting on the Multnomah County Chair to show he is cut from different cloth than Goldschmidt, Adams and David Wu, despite being supported by many of the same Democrats who turned a blind eye from and covered for the escapades of the aforementioned trio of perverts.
But the technical and legal answer to the county’s succession question is spelled out in Multnomah County’s home rule charter. If Cogen resigns from office, it will likely occur soon and before the year is out. In that event, say hello to the new Multnomah County Chair, Marissa Madrigal, chief of staff for Cogen himself.
The county’s charter contains a provision in §4.50 that addresses vacancies in county elective offices. The remedy for filling a vacancy depends on when the vacancy occurs in the officer’s current term of office, which typically expire December 31. There are three time-sensitive scenarios. First, if the vacancy occurs within the last 90 days of the term (e.g. in October, November or December), then the vacancy is not filled, presumably because it will be filled at the November general election or was filled at the previous May primary.
If the vacancy occurs within the final year, but with more than 90 days left (e.g. January – September) then the board of county commissioners will appoint a person to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the year. Again, the assumption is that a successor will be elected in November, or possibly even in May. But if the vacancy occurs with more than one year remaining in the term, then that’s when things get interesting.
If a vacancy occurs with one year or more remaining, “then a person shall be elected at the next May or November election date to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term of office. If no candidate receives a majority of votes cast at that election, the board of county commissioners shall call for a special election in which the names of the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall appear on the ballot. The candidate receiving a majority of votes cast will be deemed elected to fill the balance of the unexpired term.”
Cogen’s sex scandal with his subordinate squeeze, Sonia Manhas, has either ended his political career or – in the spirit of Neil Goldschmidt and Sam Adams – all but assured his election as Portland’s next mayor.
Cogen was first elected county chair in 2010 after serving four years as county commissioner from District 2. His first term as county chair expires December 31, 2013. He is limited by the charter to no more than two full consecutive four-year terms in any one elective county office within any 12-year period. Cogen’s initial term as District 2 commissioner was a different office than the chair, and thus the term limits do not apply to the combination of the two offices. If Cogen resigns in 2013 – with more than a year remaining on his term – then the next chair could be elected as early as November 2013, but no later than May or November 2014. So, who is Marissa Madrigal and why would she become Cogen’s immediate replacement?
The county charter requires all county elected officials to designate a person to serve as “interim occupant” to serve as acting chair, commissioner, sheriff or auditor until the office is filled by election or appointment. Chair Cogen has nominated Madrigal, his chief of staff, to serve as interim county chair until a replacement is elected. If that happens, it would not be the first time, as Cogen himself knows firsthand.
A Death in Office
Former County Chair Gladys McCoy
On April 11, 1993 then county chair Gladys McCoy succumbed to thyroid cancer. McCoy’s death created a vacancy in the office of chair and triggered the county charter interim occupant provision. McCoy had named her chief of staff, Henry C. “Hank” Miggins, to be her interim occupant. Miggins took over as interim county chair and liked the job so much, he decided to run for the office himself. The county board declared the vacancy and called for a special election to be held on June 29, 1993.
Despite having a running start as an appointed incumbent, Miggins lost his race to Beverly Stein, who took over as chair in August 1993 and went on to serve two more terms of her own until replaced by Diane Linn in 2002. Stein’s policy advisor at the time was Jeff Cogen. However, after one term with The Mean Girls in control, Linn was trounced in her re-election bid by Ted Wheeler. But Wheeler’s sudden and unanticipated departure in March 2010 triggered a political domino fall that ultimately left Jeff Cogen where he is today.
On March 7, 2010, then Treasurer Ben Westlund died of lung cancer. Two days later, then Governor Ted Kulongoski tapped Wheeler as Westlund’s replacement, and that giant sucking sound was wannabe candidates drawn to filling a slew of vacancies triggered by Westlund’s death and Wheeler’s departure from Multnomah County. Following the county charter, Wheeler’s designated interim occupant, Jana McLellan, temporarily filled the chair’s role. McLellan served as the county’s chief operating officer, but she was no politician. With several high profile candidates, including Cogen, salivating over replacing Wheeler, McLellan wanted no part of becoming another Hank Miggins and dutifully served out her role an appointed place holder.
In politics, timing is often everything. Wheeler’s departure in March 2010 occurred in the final year of his first four-year term, but also had more than 90 left in that term. So under the county charter, the special election provision, used only when more than one year remains, was not available because a regularly scheduled May primary and November general election were already fast approaching. Cogen wasted no time announcing his intention of running to replace Wheeler in the May primary. But that still left the county without a replacement for Wheeler.
Under the charter, the board was required to appoint a person to fill out the remaining term, which was the balance of 2010. The board had several options. It could have simply left McLellan in place for the remainder of 2010 while actual candidates battled it out in May and possibly in November. But instead, on April 1, 2010, the four remaining commissioners, including Cogen himself, adoptedResolution 2010-032, declaring the chair’s office vacant and appointed Cogen to fill the vacancy. The king had been crowned. A month later, Cogen rolled to an easy May primary victory to begin his first and current term as chair, beginning January 1, 2011 and ending December 31, 2013.
Cogen’s appointment as chair in turn created a vacancy in his previous commissioner seat, which was initially filled with Cogen’s interim designee Barbara Willer. Eight candidates (not including Willer) filed to run in the May 2010 primary. In such a crowded field, no candidate could expect to capture a majority outright. Karol Collymore, who worked as Cogen’s policy advisor, captured 36% of the vote, easily outdistancing the second place finisher, Loretta Smith, who came in with 18%. Those top two primary finishers met in a November runoff, which produced a stunning result. Collymore’s 36% primary showing hardly budged in November, while Smith essentially captured all the other primary votes, rolling to an easier-than-expected 62%-37% victory.
As Hank Miggins, and later Jana McLellan, demonstrated, not all chiefs of staff are necessarily cut out to fill the role of candidate or elected official. They are often the typical policy wonks or campaign staffers rewarded for their efforts with a short-term public sector job with a shelf life often tied to that of the coat of their benefactor. If few people outside of local government know of Marissa Mardrigal, if or when Cogen resigns over his sex scandal, yet another insider will step onto the throne – at least until the next round of elections.
According to her official county biography, Madrigal rode Cogen’s coattails into office by doing what many staffers do – work on a winning election campaign. For Madrigal, her reward for serving as his campaign manager was a six-figure job as chief of staff to the county’s top executive officer.As Hank Miggins, and later Jana McLellan, demonstrated, not all chiefs of staff are necessarily cut out to fill the role of candidate or elected official. They are often the typical policy wonks or campaign staffers rewarded for their efforts with a short-term public sector job with a shelf life often tied to that of the coat of their benefactor. If few people outside of local government know of Marissa Mardrigal, if Cogen resigns over his sex scandal, yet another insider will step into the throne – at least until the next round of elections start the dominos tumbling again.
Madrigal may be more McLellan than Miggins and prefers working for an elected official, but wants no part of actually being an elected official. That leaves political junkies already lining up their short lists of usual suspects to replace Cogen if or when he departs “to spend time with his family.” That list would have to include one or more of the current remaining commissioners.
What Term Limits?
Three of the four district commissioners are term limited, and may be looking for another county gig. Because the county chair is considered a distinct and separate county elective office, any or all of them could conceivably and legally run to replace Cogen. Those three are Diane McKeel, who represents east county, Judy Shiprack, who represents SE and most of mid-county, and Deborah Kafoury, who represents primarily North Portland up to Columbia County. Of those three, Kafoury has the most political firepower, based in part on her own tenure and her status as the daughter of Gretchen Kafoury, a former state representative, county commissioner and Portland city commissioner. But Kafoury’s recent sponsorship of the county’s anti-gun ordinance, which the county is attempting to impose on east county cities against their will, all but dooms Kafoury’s support east of I-205.
One could also expect one or more current state legislators to trade the part-time salary and Salem commute for an office at the Multnomah Building. And of course, one cannot overlook or underestimate Commissioner Loretta Smith, who displayed her own political clout with her come-from-behind demolition of Cogen’s own protégé, Karol Collymore. If nothing else, if Smith were to replace Cogen as chair, her swearing-in ceremony could be preceded by Portland’s Baruti Artharee announcing to those in attendance,“Here’s our beautiful county chair, Loretta Smith – mmm, mmm, mmm – she looks good tonight!”
Bruce McCain’s is a practicing attorney, retired Captain of the Multnomah County Sheriffs Office, Reynolds School Board member and a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce. This post was originally posted at his blog Oregon Oracle.