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Friday, March 19, 2010

Entitlement, Public Service In County Race

Posted by Matt Davis on Fri, Mar 19, 2010 at 8:40 AM

So, seriously, Portland: Who's your choice for county commissioner? Today I really want to know what it is you think a county commissioner should do. How should they behave? What should their priorities be?

COMMISSIONER CANDIDATES: STILL NOT COUNTY-ING THEIR CHICKENS
  • ILLUSTRATION BY SCRAPPERS
  • COMMISSIONER CANDIDATES: STILL NOT COUNTY-ING THEIR CHICKENS

Yesterday's poll, which one campaigner described to me as "bullshit, but bullshit that we've got to get in and roll around in," took on 710 votes yesterday, with Karol Collymore emerging as a strong early leader, and then Tom Markgraf, Chuck Currie, Paul van Orden, and Gary Hansen catching up through the course of yesterday and overnight. This race is all about emerging from a tight field to grab voters' attention. And it's not too late to vote!

At some point, I'll do the math and figure out if this is, in fact, a representative sample of the last election for this seat. Although in that race, there wasn't a campaign staffer behind an IP wall (and I'm not saying there is) just repeatedly clicking on the same person, so there's that:

WHO DO YOU THINK THE MERCURY SHOULD ENDORSE?

Yesterday's post, which included a poll and links to interviews with all eight county candidates, has thrown up some fascinating issues in the comments—particularly questions of "entitlement," and "public service." I'm really glad we're having a thorough discussion about this race. More after the jump.

Commenter Jess, for example, had this to say:

Karol Collymore released a statement on why she was running, "it seems like the logical next step." Huh? Not very inspiring! Tom Markgraf is in love with the ridiculous big bridge project.

Then commenter Sally, said this:
The "ridiculous big bridge project"? What the . . .? How do YOU propose we get across the river to Washington? The old bridge is falling apart. What are we supposed to do? Pretend we're in Venice and hop in a gondola?

Lots of plugs for Collymore, too, of which pdxdemocrat is representative:
She's smart, progressive, caring, has been a huge asset to the N/NE district, AND she's a snazzy dresser.

And Paul van Orden got a lot of favorable mentions too:
Vote for Paul van Orden!!! He is an extremely dedicated public servant. Paul has proved himself time and time again how much he cares for his community. He isn't a career politician, he is a honest, hardworking, intelligent guy. He has my vote!

And drew comparisons to Collymore:
He has lived in the center of seat #2 for many years (as a homeowner) and has shown a long term willingness to stay and serve the community both through his employment with the city and his various community activities. This isn't just a stepping stone or "the next logical step" in a political career (-cough-Kollymore-cough) for him. He wants to help the community and not just help himself up to the next level of a political career.

Chuck Currie got this shoutout from commenter Annette:
As a resident of east portland, I'm voting for Chuck Currie. East county is the poorest area of town and it has been repeatedly ignored by the city. It's easy to think of your city as progressive and "weird" and hip when you never venture east of 82nd avenue, where Portland's poorest are living. Chuck Currie recognizes the importance of helping the residents of this part of town.

Currie also drew comparisons to Collymore, "she's just like every other twenty-something who moved to Portland from elsewhere," from Bronch O'Humphrey:
I don't live in that district, but Chuck Currie seems to be the best of the bunch. Karol says "it's a logical next step," but Chuck sees, from his 25 or so years fighting hunger and homelessness in this community, how he wants to use the office to actually accomplish things he's been fighting for.

Then prouppity brought up this dynamic:
Funny how men are never told to cool their jets and wait it out when it comes to public service.

Young men who run for office are called visionaries or a breath of fresh air. Young (black) women are called uppity.


True. And then the commenters all discussed what it means to be new to Portland, compared to, say Tom Markgraf, who is a "Portlander's Portlander," according to commenter Roxanne, who says he's been "living in the district nearly his entire life."

Thanks for all your comments, people. Let's keep discussing these ideas.

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