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April 27th, 2011 12:01 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

A Royal Wedding Of News And Chatter.

murmurs.ryandeckert_3725RYAN DECKERT
  • Former state Sen. Ryan Deckert (D-Beaverton), now the president of the Oregon Business Association, is considering challenging embattled U.S. Rep. David Wu in the 2012 Democratic primary. Deckert’s members, many of the state’s largest employers, would form a solid base of financial support. His 10 years of legislative service (1997 to 2007) also make him a familiar face in the 1st District’s population center, Washington County. “I’m certainly exploring the idea and thinking hard about it,” Deckert says, adding he must first decide whether his family is ready for a challenging campaign. Then he must assess his chances against Wu and a Democratic field that already includes Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian.
  • Speaking of Avakian, the commissioner for Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries released a report this week that says he has raised more than $55,000 since announcing April 18 that he plans to challenge Wu. Earlier this month, Wu said he had far more than that—about $219,000. But Wu still carries about $50,000 in debt. And as Avakian’s backers note, only about $60,000 of Wu’s new money comes from Oregonians.
  • Several local media outlets and the secretary of state’s office last week highlighted a new Tufts University survey of under-30 voter turnout in 2010, which showed Oregon first in the nation at about 35 percent. Turns out the widely cited survey was also wildly inaccurate—about 50 percent above the actual percentage of under-30 voters who cast ballots. The actual turnout is about what Tufts found to be the national average. Scott Moore of Our Oregon, a group that registers young voters, acknowledges the survey is wrong but sees a silver lining: “What the numbers show is that more young Oregonians place a high value on voting than others do.”

    Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith this week introduced two versions of her proposed budget for the 2011-12 school year. One draft budget, for $431 million, depends on voter approval in May of a $59 million local-option levy. A second, less detailed version of the budget takes as its base a lower figure that doesn’t include the new, bigger levy. PPS is banking on the levy’s passage, which is why the superintendent chose not to delve too deeply into what they’re calling Plan B. “If we don’t need to have that conversation, let’s not,” says Matt Shelby, a spokesman for PPS.
  • WW reporter Beth Slovic is leaving the paper after five years to cover City Hall for The Oregonian. “Beth has distinguished herself as a journalist of persistence and intelligence,” WW editor Mark Zusman says. “We wish her well.” Slovic’s fiancé, former longtime WW reporter Nick Budnick, currently at The Bend Bulletin, is joining The O as well.
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