As the Legislature finishes the 2011 session, pols are turning their thoughts toward their own job security. Two of the juiciest rumors circulating in the Portland delegation are that Rep. Tina Kotek (D-North Portland), currently speaker pro-tem, will challenge caucus leader (currently Dave Hunt [D-Gladstone]) at caucus elections following the session. Former House Majority Leader Rep. Mary Nolan (D-Southwest Portland) is said to be mulling a race for City Council. Kotek was unavailable for comment. Nolan says sheâll evaluate all options after the session.
Also in play: Former state Rep. Scott Bruun (R-West Linn), who gave up his seat to run for Congress in the 5th district last year, is âvery interestedâ in a run for Clackamas County chair against interim chair Charlotte Lehan. Also rumored to be considering the race: former Trail Blazer Chris Dudley, who narrowly lost to Democrat John Kitzhaber in the 2010 governorâs race. âIâve got no plans or intentions [to run] at this point,â Dudley says.
New Seasons Market is continuing to play legal hardball against a bicyclist hit by a store delivery truck (see âCyclist vs. New Seasons,â WW, May 18, 2011). New Seasonsâ insurer has so far refused to pay the $668,000 that a jury awarded in May to 26-year-old Genevieve Luikart, who suffered a smashed upper jaw, broken left shoulder, fractured right wrist and severe dental injuries in the 2009 crash. And Maria Liesl âSamâ Ruckwardt, the lawyer representing New Seasons, is seeking to have the court toss out the juryâs decision and schedule a new trial. Luikartâs attorney, Mike Colbach, says Luikart urgently needs to have a tooth removed due to the accident, but sheâs short of cash and living in an old school bus on an organic farm in Southern Oregon. Multnomah County Circuit Judge Cheryl Albrecht has not yet ruled on whether to give New Seasons a new trial. Ruckwardt and New Seasons CEO Lisa Sedlar did not respond Tuesday to phone messages.
WUCredits: WW STAFFU.S. Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) has called in some help from friends on Capitol Hill. While many think Wu is a very vulnerable incumbent given the revelations about his bizarre behavior, the 1st-district congressman is working hard to secure his re-election in 2012. On June 23, Wu held a fundraising lunch with âspecial guestâ U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) at Hunan Dynasty, a restaurant on Pennsylvania Avenue near the Library of Congress. On June 16, Wu had another fundraiser, this one at a cocktail bar, Lounge 201, on Massachusetts Avenue. The reception was co-hosted by U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D-N.J.). Both events requested donations of $500 from individuals or $1,000 from political action committees. As of the Wu campaignâs last financial report, on March 31, he had $173,000 cash on hand for his campaign.