Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Year: 2010”

Portland, not Multnomah

To the many commentaries about how Multnomah County delivered the Oregon gubernatorial election to Democrat John Kitzhaber - instead of Republican Chris Dudley, who did win Oregon with Multnomah extracted - this response is in order:

Wasn't the county of Multnomah. Was the city of Portland.

Along the lines of the cool precinct maps the Seattle Times has been posting online the last few cycles, the Oregonian has up one today showing how and where the two candidates won in Multnomah.

Dudley won, sometimes narrowly, many of the precincts from Troudale east and south (of course, only limited numbers of people live there); and Gresham was split. In one precinct (5602) south of Gresham, Dudley actually won with 70.3%.

But then there are 29 (by my count) Portland precincts that went for Kitzhaber with 80% of the vote or more - all precincts bundled toward the middle of the city, mainly on the east site of the Willamette River. Most of the city's precincts went decisively over 70% for Kitshaber, but the support seemed to radiate outward, fairly precisely, from the river.

That tracks over to Washington County (which Kitzhaber also won, but much more narrowly). Kitzhaber's strong precincts were in the Beaverton-Tigard area closest to Portland; away from there, his best precincts were in the community centers (such as central Hillsboro).

New: The Intermediary

intermediary

What happens when cultures clash, and one person tries to get them to live together?

That's the most basic subject of the new book from Ridenbaugh Press, The Intermediary: William Craig among the Nez Perces. The book is available online (see below) and from several regional outlets.

At a time when Americans were only exploring what are now western states, William Craig tried to broker peace between native Nez Perces and newcomers from the East. A native Virginian on the run, Craig became a mountain man, married into the tribe, immersed himself in two cultures on a collision course. Craig’s story takes us from his flight from Virginia to his days as a mountain man – exploring and trapping for the Hudson’s Bay Company and celebrating at the fabled rendezvous. He married into the Nez Perce tribe and settled on the banks of the Clearwater River, but his travels didn’t stop. William Craig worked with government appointees, the military and the missionaries as well as major leaders of the Nez Perce, Umatilla, Cayuse, and other Inland Northwest tribes trying to find a way for them all to peacefully co-exist.

Craig understood that for the tribes to resist the westward movement of the whites was futile; he’d seen the harsh results of armed resistance that eastern tribes experienced and he tried to bring reason and common sense to both sides where fear, anger, and often greed prevailed. His efforts were not always welcomed and his journeys between the Clearwater country to The Dalles and the Willamette Valley we often taken at great risk. He continued in his efforts because to stop was to allow an even greater tragedy.

Told here for the first time, Craig’s story mixes bravery, cowardice, courage, deceit, intrigue – and timeless lessons about the challenges awaiting those who would be peacemakers.

Lin Tull Cannell was born in Coeur d’Alene, raised in the Northwest, and earned a degree in public administration from the University of San Francisco. She worked in the legal and library fields and as a senior analyst with Yolo County in California. She and her husband, Merk, and children, Scott, Sandi, and Casey, often explored America’s west. She has written on William Craig for the University of Washington’s Pacific Northwest Quarterly. Lin lives in Orofino, Idaho.

Cannell said that she is “a native wanting to learn how my little area of north central Idaho got to be how it is. This work is simply an honest effort to capture and share our history.”

She wrote that “I was born and bred in the interior Northwest, but it was not until I had spent almost 30 years working elsewhere and retired back to north central Idaho that I questioned that which I had always accepted. Returning to my childhood home with the “new eyes” of experience, I especially noticed—and puzzled over—the predominance of non-Indian residents (even towns occupied mostly by white people) on the Nez Perce reservation. Curiosity up, I read old treaties between the United States and the Nez Perce Indian tribe: those, and Francis Paul Prucha’s The Great Father, answered many of my questions about how non-Indians could now be living on Indian reservations.

“As I meandered through the hills and canyons around Orofino, I noticed the name “Craig” here and there on the Clearwater River watershed: the village of Craigmont on the Camas Prairie, Craig’s Ferry on a sign along the Clearwater River, and, in the Lapwai Valley, a Highway 195 marker declaring that William Craig, a former fur trapper and a “bluff, jolly good fellow,” had once lived there. But local libraries yielded little information about Craig. There was no Craig biography other than a magazine article by a local historian, and the usually verbose literature of the fur trade offered but scant paragraphs about him.”

His dramatic story turned out to be central to how the Inland Empire region of the Northwest developed.

Fifteen years in the making, the book was published by Ridenbaugh Press, of Carlton, Oregon, a publisher of books on Northwest public affairs and history.

* Paperback: 244 pages
* Publisher: Ridenbaugh Press
* ISBN-10: 0982466838
• ISBN-13: 978-0982466834

Available through:

Buy here:




and

Ridenbaugh Press estore
amazon.com
area retailers

What you are and what you say you are

We've long had some skepticism about any perfect matchup in Oregon (the point is inapplicable in Washington and Idaho) between a decision to register as a member of a political party, and the decision about who will get that person's vote.

A useful post on Oregon Catalyst got after some of this, with some specific results from recent exist polling.

Because not all states register voters by party like Oregon does, exit pollsters ask a party identification question “Do you consider yourself a Democrat, Republican or Independent,” rather than a party registration question (“Are you registered to vote as a . . . ?”). This party identification question is probably more accurate than a party registration question when it comes to gauging actual voter sentiment. In 2010 Oregon exit polling, 36% of those who turned out said they considered themselves Democrats, 27% Republicans and 37% Independents. By contrast, the Oregon Secretary of State party registration data among those who voted was 44% Democrat, 36% Republican and 20% other.

The makeup of the 2010 voter turnout in Oregon was identical to that of 2008. In both years, 36% of those who voted were Democrats, 27% were Republicans and 37% were Independents. By contrast, the party identification breakdown nationally in 2010 was 35% Democrat, 35% Republican and 29% Independent. Further, in Oregon those who voted in 2010 said they had voted for Barack Obama in 2008 by 16% edge (52-36%), almost identical to the 17% edge Obama had over John McCain in the 2008 election in Oregon. Nationally, the recalled vote for President in 2008 among those who voted in 2010 was 45% Obama/45% McCain.

The post also notes that a lot of the result in Oregon from last month's election had to do with the nature of voter turnout. The numbers certainly seem to support that.

Campaign fundraising begins anew …

Campaigns for the next run of election aren't quite yet underway, but you could about hold your breath until they are.

See this note from Sound Politics:

State Rep. Mike Hope (R, 44th) announced this week that he's running for Snohomish County Executive in 2011. His early announcement is probably in part because he only has until December 10th to raise money until after the legislative session ends (while candidates who aren't state legislators can raise money throughout the session).

This isn't meant as a snark at Hope, of course; but it is a bit of snark at a systemic structure that puts candidates in the position of fundraising for the next election before the paperwork on the last one is even done. Is there a better way?

Killing the Kardashian Kard

Northwest press release of the month (last month), no matter if it's technically a blog post rather than a release. It's from the Washington attorney general's office.

The lead: "This news may leave you wondering, what, exactly, is (or was) the Kardashian Kard? In short, it’s a debit card emblazoned with the images of three attractive, if slightly vacant, media darlings: Kim, Kloe and Kourtney. I’m guessing that the Kardashians, known for their plasticity, didn’t immediately grasp the irony of being depicted on pieces of plastic."

And gets even better from there ...

Identikits

An item of interest, found in running this this forthnight's worth of new Washington state administrative rules (one of the resources, ahem, reviewed in our weekly Digests):

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of individuals obtaining Washington state driver's licenses with no Social Security number coming from states that have historically had very stable immigration rates, strongly suggesting that Washington has become a state of opportunity in which individuals from other states come here to obtain a Washington driver's license and falsely use a Washington residence address and then return to their home states. The department has adopted an emergency rule to address this issue, and has consequently seen a rise in the number of applications for identicards. To address this, the department intends to adopt a rule to limit the circumstances under which it will mail original licenses and identicards to out-of-state addresses.

A step to the right …

The new leader of the Idaho Senate, Republican Brent Hill of Rexburg, has developed a generally broad respect among Idaho legislature-watchers. He seems, based on his statements and initiatives, to be relatively non-ideological and willing to work with unexpected allies. That's a broader picture than you might have expected from this year's round of leadership races, with the Senate top job open for choice.

The speculation here is that Hill's win, over Meridian Senator Russ Fulcher, has a lot to do with the internal personal dynamics of the Senate. Leadership races typically do; those factors play in more than rigidly-defined philosophical stances generally do.

Before leaving that latter motivation behind, though, do bear in mind the assistant majority leader contest, in which long-time incumbent Joe Stegner of Lewiston was ousted in what was framed as a clear challenge from the right, from Senator Chuck Winder of Eagle. Dig under the surface of that one, and you'd probably find matters of ideology playing a notably large role.

Policy by profitability

We've railed against the idea of privately-run prisons for years, and the evidence against them mounts. A significant chunk has come in the last year or so from the Idaho Corrections Center, which is run by the Corrections Corporation of America.

The latest, in a report from the Associated Press, grows out of videos associated with a court case concerning violence at the facility (which has the nickname "Gladiator school"). (Watch the video.) From that report:

The videos show at least three guards watching as Elabed was stomped on a dozen times. At no time during the recorded sequence did anyone try to pull away James Haver, a short, slight man. About two minutes after Haver stopped the beating of his own accord, the metal cellblock door was unlocked. Haver was handcuffed and Elabed was examined for signs of life. He bled inside his skull and would spend three days in a coma.

CCA, the nation's largest private prison company, said it was "highly disappointed and deeply concerned" over AP's decision to release the videos.

You got that at the end, right? - that CCA was disappointed and concerned, not apparently so much that a man was nearly killed in violence that its employees could and should have stopped, but that AP released the video evidence of it.

Murray on campaign, again

There was a time after the 2008 election when some Democrats were looking ahead to the Senate mid-terms of 2010 with optimism. Lots of Republican targets up that year, fewer vulnerable Democrats - it looked like a good year for Democratic pickups.

So much for that. The other part of the thinking among those Democrats, by the way, was this: It had better be a good year, because 2012 and 2014, when more Democratic seats would be up for election, would be tougher years.

Based on the surface numbers - almost twice as many Democratic seats for Democrats to defend, as Republican seats for Republicans to defend - the job facing Senate Democrats trying to keep their now-thin majority margin, will be hard. The job now, evidently, will go to Washington Senator Patty Murray, herself just off her toughest election contest.

But she did win, by a small but decisive margin. And her influences in shaping the 2012 campaign likely will include Nevada Senator Harry Reid, who she's close to in the Senate majority and who seemed for most of last year headed to defeat, but ran what is widely described as the most brilliant campaign of the year. Suggesting that Murray's job, while hard, isn't hopeless.

Even more than in her own race this year, the new job is likely to be a major test of what Murray is capable of.

The danger of not joining a task force

On Twitter today, from Portland radio talk show host Lars Larsen:

"saw adams walking down the street ... told him to his face 'you've made this city a dangerous place to live', his response was to say hi lars'

Well, right. What else would have made any sense?

Adams was Portland Mayor Sam Adams, who has had his share of problems and issues. Since this encounter came shortly after the infamous attempted bombing in downtown Portland, that clearly was the subject. And how did Adams, presumably, make that attempted bombing more likely?

The answer would presumably (since the investigation and enforcement here was led and mostly undertaken by federal agencies) have something to do with the federal Joint Terrorism Task Force, in which federal terrorism-related enforcement officials coordinate with locals. In April 2005 the then-mayor, Tom Potter, got crosswise with federal officials, and in what became a cause celebre the city decided not to join. The exact reasons why Potter eventually chose to opt out, after apparently seriously considering joining, haven't ever since been totally clear.

As it happens the current mayor, Adams, and members of the council, have this year been exploring joining the task force. Whatever the merits of that, consider the question from this angle: When a terror investigation and incident actually did arise in Portland (a five-minute walk from City Hall), was the quashing of the incident impaired by Portland's non-participation in the task force?

On the federal side of it, where most of the work was done, clearly not at all. Portland police actually were involved in the effort, even though they did not inform the mayor and council of what was going on. Federal officials (according to news reports) got a tip about a prospective incident months ago, and followed it through in a way that endangered no one's safety and brought the case to a close.

How would participation in a task force have improved on that?

Pioneer Square: What happened, what didn’t


Courthouse Pioneer Square, the Sunday after/pioneercourthousesquare.org

After a couple of days of news reports, a lot of the central questions about the abortive bombing of Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square remain. We're beginning to know enough, though, to come to come conclusions and at least shape some of the relevant questions.

Some of those came out in this morning's coverage in the Oregonian, of a story with still-massive holes (not the paper's fault, of course - a lot hasn't been released or isn't available yet).

The choice of time and place was, as columnist Steve Duin notes, chosen well for effectiveness. It's been nicknamed "Portland's living room," and there's really nothing else like it among the larger Northwest cities - a genuine community gathering place in the middle of downtown, where street preachers may be shouting one hour, an arts display may be on the next, and a film or music event might be shown in the evening, while people all day come by and hang out. If Portland feels like a community, and has something of a neighborly feel (for large city), Pioneer Square is an important reason. You feel as if you're welcome to just drop by and sit a spell - and you are. The Christmas tree lighting there, for central Portlanders, is second only to the tree setup in their own homes. An attack on the square is an attack on the community, in a unique way.

Adopt the Transportation Security mindset about dealing with such a threat, and what do you get? Backscatter devices on all the sidewalks? Pat-downs en route to and around downtown? Talk about destroying any feeling of community, or mutual trust.

One conclusion we evidently can reach out of this is that such tactics weren't what foiled this bombing attempt: It was intelligence, information, patient undercover law enforcement work, the kind of effort that almost always is what stops incidents like this.

Saying much more specific than that remains difficult, though, because so many questions are still out there right now. (more…)

The highs and the lows

Interesting piece from the Tacoma News Tribune's political blog on "the apathy capital of Washington" - would you believe just north of Olympia?

Well, more or less. Among the notes: Voter turnout in the 8th congressional district, where there was a hot race, was high, as you might expect. But a large chunk of the 8th is in Pierce County, which is close-split between the parties, but which registered the third-lowest voter turnout of any of the state's 39 counties.