White Supremacist With Portland Roots Extradited to Charlottesville
A white supremacist with Portland roots, Dennis Lloyd Mothersbaugh, was extradited to Charlottesville, Va., on Oct. 6 to face charges of assaulting two people at an August "Unite the Right" rally. Mothersbaugh, 37, has been a notorious skinhead for nearly two decades. In 2005, his white supremacist gang threatened a black man with a machete at a convenience store in Gresham while flashing white-power salutes. He now lives in North Vernon, Ind., where he was arrested Sept. 28 after video surfaced showing him punching counterprotesters in Charlottesville. As he was escorted by law enforcement from an Indiana jail, Mothersbaugh sported a "God, Guns & Trump" T-shirt.
Big Tobacco Blows Money Around Salem
One of the most contentious bills of 2017 was Senate Bill 235, which proposed statewide tobacco licensing in Oregon, one of just nine states that doesn't license sellers. But the tobacco lobby sideswiped the bill, which was repurposed into a law defining where it is legal to smoke in enclosed areas. Now the world's largest tobacco company, Altria, is opening its checkbook to make sure its friends stay in line. The tobacco giant gave $33,500 to the House Republican caucus, $30,500 to the Senate Republican caucus, and—its largest contribution to any individual lawmaker—$5,000 to Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem), without whose approval nothing happens in Salem. Courtney's spokesman didn't respond to a request for comment.
Business Group Funds Homelessness Poll
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler held an unusual press conference Oct. 6, pre-emptively responding to a KGW-TV documentary on homelessness called Tent City, USA. At the table with Wheeler was a representative of the Portland Business Alliance, which hammered former Mayor Charlie Hales over his handling of homelessness. But PBA was playing both sides: It had contributed $1,200 to a KGW poll showing anger around homelessness, says PBA president and CEO Sandra McDonough. She says funding the poll didn't reflect criticism of City Hall. "Our conversations with the city since Jan. 1," she adds, "have gotten a lot more productive."
FrightTown Settles With Oregon Justice Department
Things are getting scary for FrightTown, the city's largest Halloween haunted house, located underneath Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Last week, FrightTown owner David Helfrey reached a settlement with the Oregon Department of Justice in which Helfrey agreed to shut down a nonprofit he'd been improperly using to recruit workers for FrightTown, a for-profit operation. Helfrey also agreed to stop claiming proceeds from FrightTown would go to nonprofits such as Central City Concern and PHAME. Helfrey will pay the DOJ $10,000 and agreed to pay $25,000 for any future violations of the agreement. "Things are obviously in a state of flux for us right now," Helfrey says, "but we're still working to make sure that as many people as possible have a great Halloween."