Saturday, May 24, 2008


Short takes on a few current issues:

Obama's Portland speech: I couldn't believe that this didn't get more attention. Obama stood in front of 75,000 people and told them that they couldn't eat what they want and keep their houses at 72 degrees year round. Really? So an Obama presidency means what, bread lines? Government control over our consumption habits? The more this guy talks, the more he is revealed for the Marxist he is.

Oregon Primary: The Lindland victory was impressive. He thumped Phyllis Thiemann by 18 points. Novick ran a good campaign but the Democrat establishment was too strong. Merkley is a stiff, though, and will get schooled by Gordon Smith.

The CD 5 race was disappointing. I was against Mannix doing what he did. Not because it backfired - it didn't. He was way behind before bringing up the issue, and he lost by less than 2%. I was against it because of how I knew it would foul the waters. What of the next successful businessman who thinks about running for office? I like Kevin and I voted for him, but I care more about the party, and I thought that bringing this issue up as he did when he did would be bad for the party.

And that turned out to be true. Now we have every high profile Republican running away from Erickson, and a winnable seat now looks lost.

Portland. Good riddance. Sam Adams will accelerate Portland's economic decline. The rest of the clowns will just be along for the ride.

Good to see Sheriff Craig Roberts won in a landslide. Jeers to my fellow Republicans who pushed the charlatan La Manna.

Dave Mowry got into a runoff against Charlotte Lehan for Clackamas County Commissioner. This is a race I will be talking about. Dave is a great candidate, and Lehan is just another Metro-clone. She's a complete socialist.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Barack Obama: philosopher king

The more I watch how Barack Obama handles himself, the more I get the discomfiting feeling that this man believes himself to be some kind of transcendent, almost supernatural figure. It is getting kind of scary.

His stump speeches don’t talk of policy as much as they do about “changing the world.” He doesn’t talk so much about what his leadership will do, but rather talks about how WE must change to live up to HIS ideals.

Case in point – in Portland this weekend, he told us we can’t continue to “eat anything we want,” “drive our SUV’s,” and heat and cool our homes to our desired temperatures. Pretty chilling.

There was a revealing glimpse into this man’s soul recently when he was objecting to the Tennessee GOP making an issue out of his wife’s anti-American comments. In an interview, he said

“If they think that they’re gunna try to make Michele an issue in this campaign, they should be careful. Because that I find unacceptable.”

Read that carefully. He didn’t say it is wrong to go after Michele by some moral standard or ethical standard or standard of fair play. No, the reason they should stop criticizing Michele is because Barack Obama finds it unacceptable. Barack Obama, in his view, is the arbiter of right and wrong.

I don’t want to make too much of this, but I really do think it is a glimpse into this man’s Messianic view of himself.

I really do think this is scary.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Craig Roberts, Clackamas County Sheriff

My blogging has been sporadic lately. Election time is here and I've been pretty active in various races. But there is one race I have no involvement in at all, but feel very strongly about: Craig Roberts for Clackamas County Sheriff.

I wouldn't know anything about this fellow were it not for my friend Steve Schopp, who started telling me about three years ago how Craig Roberts had taken over the Clackamas County law enforcement operation and was making all sorts of common sense management changes.

Many of you no doubt know Steve. If you do, then you know: when he says something that is going on is screwed up, he is right. When he tells you something that is going on is on the money, he is right.

Over the lst two or three years, Steve continued to tell me about the things being done in Clack Co. I had occasion to get to know one of Roberts' deputies, and could tell from what he told me that what we had in Craig Roberts was a guy who couldn't care less about politics, he was just going to manage the county law enforcement operation and get the very most out of the resources he had.

A month ago or so I finally met Sheriff Roberts. We had breakfast, and talked for quite some time. Everything Steve Schopp told me about this guy was absolutely true (not that I was surprised.)

Craig Roberts is EXACTLY what we need in government. He's a lifetime law enforcement officer, but I would support him for whatever he wanted to do. If you live in Clack County and don't vote for Craig Roberts, then shame on you.

I know there is some guy running around who apparently has personal wealth and wants very badly to wear the biggest badge, and he is apparently a Republican. I don't care.

I don't know if Craig Roberts is a Democrat or a Republican, and I don't care. He doesn't manage the Clackamas County Sheriff's office as a Democrat or a Republican, he manages it as an incredibly talented executive without any political agenda whatever.

I can't express how impressed I am with Craig Roberts. If you live in Clack Co - please vote for him.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The market overruled by bureaucrats

In the real world, a very good indicator of whether or not a good or service is needed is if private capital is drawn to supply it. If people are willing to risk their wealth to create the capacity to produce something, chances are that product has a demand.

I know this is an unremarkable statement, bordering on "Duh!" But here in Oregon, our state officials don't understand even this most rudimentary principle of economics. Actually, it is more likely that they DO understand, but they pretend that they don't so they can exercise their political authority.

At issue here is the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal proposed for Bradwood Landing, on the Columbia River about 30 miles inland from Astoria. The poor company who has been trying to get the approvals necessary to bring this energy source to the northwest has gotten an object lesson in Oregon anti-business NIMBY-ism, environmentalist obstructionism, and state government bureaucratic stupidity.

The Oregon Department of Energy this week issued a study that says, basically, "We don't need no stinking LNG." Now, how do they know this? And shouldn't the fact that a private company is willing to risk hundreds of millions of investor capital on the bet that there is in fact a need for this new energy source perhaps give them a little pause in their arrogant assertion of bureaucratic certitude?

Not in Oregon. In Oregon, markets don't matter. Government judgement is far superior. According to The Funny Paper, Oregon doesn't like the federal government's deference to the marketplace:

"State leaders and agencies have decried FERC's hands-off, market-based regulatory approach to LNG terminal sitings. The [federal] agency has essentially told state officials that it intends to license all projects that meet its environmental standards, then let the market decide which projects attract financing and which get built."

That sounds pretty logical to me. Make sure the environmental standards are met, and if they can attract the investment capital, then knock yourself out.

But Oregon, things look different here. We love dreamers who dream that state bureaucrats can make better judgements about whether new energy capacity is needed than can those who put their own wealth on the line.

According to Oregon's Department of Energy:

"There is adequate gas in the Rocky Mountains, Canada and Alaska to serve Oregon's near- and long-term needs, and proposed Rockies pipelines could provide gas more economically than the LNG terminals. There is already a surplus of LNG terminals in the United States. Many can't attract LNG cargoes because other countries are willing to pay more. LNG plants in Oregon would likely be underutilized, particularly with the presence of a new LNG terminal in Baja, Mexico. "

Wonderful. It couldn't be, could it, that the DOE bureaucrats have some other political motivation for making this judgement than an honest assessment of the market for LNG? Like the fact that their chief executive has opposed every LNG proposal to come down the pike?

If the bureaucrats are wrong in their analysis, what is their punishment? Nada - in fact, whether they are wrong or right, if they are successful in stopping the plant, will not only never be known, it is entirely irrelevant, since the whole point is to use the machinery of the state government bureaucracy to stop the plant in the first place.

They are rewarded for doing the political bidding of the governor, and claiming it is based on some phony assessment of the marketplace that they are uniquely ill-situated to honestly make.

How many of these bureaucrats ever risked a dollar of their own in the energy sector? Why do they think they know better than the market if there is demand for LNG in Oregon?

In actuality, they don't. They are just doing Kulongoski's bidding. And our state's reputation as a place to do business mysteriously slides....

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Lindland v. Franklin

Shortly after my new PAC, the Conservative Majority Project, got involved in the Matt Lindland race in HD 52, I started getting asked about Matt Lindland's "felony."

I was asked about it from various people, lobbyists, grass-roots coalition leaders, and even people in the House Leadership office. Clearly, someone somewhere was spreading a pretty harmful and outrageous lie about Matt Lindland.

The rumor had obviously penetrated the usual campaign noise. When Matt sat down for his interviews with both the Oregonian and the Sandy Post, he was asked about whether he has a felony on his record. That is not a normal question to be asked in that situation - I know, I have done these interviews.

To say Matt Lindland was upset about such a rumor being spread is an understatement. This guy is not just running for office. He runs a martial arts training center where he personally works with children. He promotes fight events at the Rose Garden for which he solicits sponsors. Having someone spread lies about a felony is tremendously damaging not just to his chance of getting elected, but even to his livelihood.

Telling lies about someone's criminal record is clearly slander, which is grounds for a civil suit. In fact, lying about this particular thing is considered "slander per-se," which by law means that the victim of the slander does not need to prove that his reputation was damaged, which is one of the harder things to prove in a slander case.

It didn't take long asking around to identify the source of the slander: Elaine Franklin, political consultant to Matt Lindland's opponent, and wife of former U.S. Senator Bob Packwood.

I know Elaine casually. I was stunned that she could do something so reckless. Look, I've been in the political arena for a long time, and I am not at all naive. I've seen a lot o stupid moves. But telling bald faced lies about a criminal record is so far over any conceivable line that it was almost unthinkable that Elaine would do it.

Yet that is what I was told. By people I know and respect.

There was no proof, however. I had the word of Gayle Attebury of Oregon Right To Life, who said that Elaine told her Matt was a felon.

Then I got an email from JL Wilson, who is the lobbyist for Associated Oregon Industries (AOI) which is one of the larger donors to the campaign of Matt's opponent, Phyllis Thiemann. JL helped recruit Thiemann, and is helping strategize for her campaign.

JL wrote to complain about a CMP mail piece we sent out on behalf of Matt. I wrote back defending the piece, and mentioning that it was hard to feel very charitable about the Thiemann campaign when Elaine Franklin is out there slandering Matt Lindland.

JL wrote back: "Yeah, I'm really appalled at the nonchalance with which Elaine tagged Matt with that felony. I heard it straight from her, and I had no reason not to believe her, and then it turns out not to be true. That is BS for sure."

Well, that was the closest thing to a smoking gun that usually exists in a slander case, which inherently hinge on hearsay evidence.

Matt Lindland is a fighter by profession. Now that he had such strong evidence, he was not about to sit back and let Elaine Franklin continue to slander him. He has stepped into the ring with a lot scarier people than Elaine Franklin.

So he wrote the demand letter the Willamette Week wrote about yestereday.

He doesn't want to have to sue Elaine Franklin, but he will certainly do it if she doesn't come clean, admit what she did, and apologize. And he also wants Phyllis Thiemann to denounce Elaine, which seems perfectly reasonable. I mean: what is she going to do, defend her? Can she continue to have Elaine Franklin be her consultant after this? If so, she is not fit for office, I can tell you that.

Now, JL Wilson is criticising me for releasing his email to the media. I am sorry that he is upset by it, but I am not sorry I did it. The email he sent me said nothing about confidentiality. He expressed outrage at what Elaine did, and I would assume that anyone in his position would want to hold her accountable for her actions.

So I am a little puzzled that JL is criticising me. If it is his view that I should have kept the email secret, he must then think that we shouldn't do anything to hold Elaine Franklin accountable for what she did. In fact, he obviously knew what she was doing, and declined to do anything to expose her. Silence is complicity, to some extent.

One thing JL is criticising me for is not giving him the courtesy of a "heads up" before I took it to the media. Well, he is working with Elaine Franklin on this race. Had I notified him, it would have tipped off Elaine. Sorry, can't do it.

In any event, Elaine Franklin slandering Matt Lindland is such an egregious violation of standards of behavior in a political campaign that she has to be held accountable for it. We simply cannot allow this type of thing to tear apart the Republican party, and we especially can't allow it to go on by a person who is not even a Republican, and who has made it her life mission to purge the party of conservatives.

I hope the rest of the party - the conservative lobby, and other Republican office holders -- will condemn what Elaine Franklin did. It has no place in politics. It poisons the well for everyone, and it is morally wrong.