|Oregonian photos: Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith|
Former City Commissioner Charlie Hales voted in Oregon while claiming residency in Washington avoiding the Oregon income tax which Washington does not have. He also claimed credit for actions done while he was out of office, plagiarized from the Oregonian in a letter submitted to another Portland newspaper and said he was on a tour that never occurred. Tax evasion and lying.
Meanwhile, Representative Jefferson Smith has had his driver's license suspended seven times since 2002 for not paying fines and failing to appear in court and has been removed from two sports leagues for "roughing up opponents". Lawlessness, irresponsibility and brutality towards opponents.
This is nothing new to a region whose chief claim to modern political fame is Neil Goldschmidt, Bob Packwood, David Wu and Sam Adams--in short, out-of-bounds sleaze even by Portland's low standards.
One looks around at the larger political scene. Is there any national political figure who is known for going after political corruption? There are the smattering of former prosecutors and attorney generals, but anyone who risked their careers by attacking top politicians of any party, let along their own party?
|Governor Sarah Palin|
"Enter Mrs. Palin. The former mayor of Wasilla had been appointed by Mr. Murkowski in 2003 to the state oil and gas regulatory agency. She'd had the temerity to blow the whistle on fellow GOP Commissioner Randy Ruedrich for refusing to disclose energy dealings. Mr. Murkowski and GOP Attorney General Gregg Renkes closed ranks around Mr. Ruedrich—who also chaired the state GOP. Mrs. Palin resigned. Having thus offended the entire old boy network, she challenged the governor for his seat."Yet Palin is one of the most reviled political figures of our time. This says a lot about why Portland's mayoral candidates, as well as candidates and office holders around the country, are of such a low personal and professional level. There is a price paid when punishing those who fight for clean, honest government and looking the other way in the face of dirty tricks, dishonesty and worse.
. . .
"The GOP machine has crumbled. Attorney General Renkes resigned. Mr. Ruedrich was fined $12,000. Jim Clark—Mr. Murkowski's lead pipeline negotiator—pleaded guilty to conspiring with an oil firm. At least three legislators have been convicted. Sen. Ted Stevens is under indictment for oil entanglements, while Rep. Don Young is under investigation."