PORTLAND — A gaggle of top politicos and business folk gathered this week to survey the future of Oregon.
The Oregon Leadership Summit is held each year to gaze into the communal crystal ball and try to get ahead of what is happening in the state. It’s hard to keep up — the evidence is everywhere in the host city, which, with all of the cranes on the skyline, evokes its older nickname, “Stumptown.” That’s the moniker from the days in the 19th century when Portland was growing so fast that to clear roads, the city would chop down the trees and leave the stumps to be pulled out later. Sort of Victorian-era speed bumps for wagons.
These days, it is high-rise apartment complexes instead of saloons and shipyards, but the high RPMs of development are making for the same kind of head-spinning changes. Portland is becoming ever more a metropolis, which puts it often at loggerheads — a good term for “Stumptown” — with vast swaths of the rest of the state.
Here’s the latest from the big city, Salem and all points of the compass.
Gelser included in Time’s ‘Person of the Year’
Sen. Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis, whose allegations of sexual harassment against Sen. Jeff Kruse, R-Roseburg, led to action against the lawmaker, was among a group of people named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2017 on Monday.
The magazine picked those who had spoken out about sexual harassment. Gelser tweeted: “What an honor to be included, and I hope that women and men in every profession know this is their time to be heard. No more silence. There is no shame in telling your story.”
Fundraising for the 2018 governor’s race is just under $5.8 million with 11 months to go until the general election. Both incumbent Gov. Kate Brown,a Democrat, and state Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, the front-runners in the race, posted contribution records of different kinds this week.
Brown enjoyed her best month of fundraising this year, taking in over $500,000 since her last report a month ago. She has now raised $2.4 million in 2017 and says she now has a donor list of 16,000 supporters. She starts December with $2.4 million in the bank.
Buehler topped the $2 million mark in contributions since launching his campaign Aug. 5. He has raised $2.01 million and at the beginning of the month had $1.58 million in the bank.
Jack Zika, a Redmond real estate agent, has jumped into the race for the seat held by retiring Rep. Gene Whisnant, R-Sunriver. The 53rd District covers most of central Deschutes County outside of the Bend city limits. Whisnant announced last week that he would not seek another term in the Legislature.
Anybody out there?
It took less than one day for a Republican to announce for the race to replace Whisnant. But in the four months since Buehler announced he was running for governor, no one has stepped up to be the GOP candidate for the 54th District House seat, based in Bend, that he is vacating. That might have something to do with the fact that Whisnant’s Republican-friendly district has been a slam-dunk for GOP candidates, whereas Buehler’s has a Democratic voter registration plurality.
Though “non-affiliated” voters have helped elect a Republican the last four elections, the numbers just get harder for the GOP each election. For now, Bend City Councilor Nathan Boddie, a Democrat, is the only registered candidate.
Yes on 101 kickoff
Proponents of Measure 101 held rallies in Portland and Eugene on Sunday to build support for the ballot measure up for a vote in the Jan. 23 special election. The Legislature passed a health provider tax in July that proponents say will generate more than $550 million in funding to support the state’s Medicaid program. Opponents of the bill say it unfairly shifts the burden of health taxes to some students and other groups of taxpayers. Opponents gathered enough signatures to require a referral to voters. A no vote would block or delay major portions of the tax.
Buehler ad slams Brown
In the changing world of campaigns, Buehler has put out his first major new ad, a polished combo negative ad on Brown and a positive ad showing Buehler at work as a doctor, working at a desk, talking with people and walking with his wife, Patricia. The ad, produced by the Alexandria, Virginia, firm of FP1 Digital, is not currently slated for television. It is only being distributed via social media and emails.
Buehler has spent $134,000 with FP1 during the past year, according to state campaign finance records. FP1’s website notes it worked on the winning campaigns of U.S. Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, as well as the recent GOP victories in special elections for Congress in Kansas, Montana and Georgia.
Douglas T. Muck Jr., who lists his profession as farmer/land owner/rancher, and his residence as Tillamook, has entered the Republican primary for governor.
Forty Oregonians were among the 2,403 Americans killed in the Dec. 7, 1941, attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor and other military installations in Hawaii. Eighteen Oregonians were among the more than 1,177 men killed when a Japanese bomb blew up the battleship USS Arizona. The attack brought the United States into World War II. Brown has ordered flags flown at half-staff Dec. 7 to remember American losses that day, 76 years ago.
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