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September 7th, 2011 12:01 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

Murmurs: Maybe Mayors, Man Booker and the City Dole

No anniversaries here.

murmurs-jeffersonsmith_3744Jefferson Smith
  • Two prominent lawmakers are close to major career moves: Two-term state Rep. Jefferson Smith (D-East Portland) spent the weekend at the coast with his wife to arrive at a decision whether to enter the mayor’s race. Smith remained mum at press time, but people close to him expect the Bus Project co-founder to challenge Eileen Brady and Charlie Hales in the race to replace incumbent Mayor Sam Adams, who is not running. Former House Speaker and House Democratic caucus leader Dave Hunt (D-Gladstone), whose colleagues stripped him of his leadership position, has told friends it is highly likely he’ll leave the Legislature to seek the position of Clackamas County chairman. At least two strong Democratic candidates are waiting in the wings should Hunt vacate his seat: former state Rep. Brent Barton (D-Clackamas) who lost a Senate bid in 2010 and Toby Forsberg, who narrowly lost a House race in 2008.
  • Amanda Marshall, the Oregon Department of Justice lawyer President Barack Obama nominated last year to be the U.S. attorney for Oregon, will finally get a Senate vote this week. The Senate Judiciary Committee, which has already confirmed 80 other nominees in the country’s 93 federal judicial districts, will decide Sept. 8 whether Marshall will take over from Dwight Holton, who has been the state’s acting top prosecutor since February 2010. As wweek.com reported Sept. 6, some influential interest groups want Holton to keep the job: The Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association wrote to U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) urging him to support Holton for the coveted (and powerful) U.S. attorney spot. Wyden rejected the entreaty.
  • Britain’s prestigious Man Booker Prize for Fiction announced its shortlist of six novels today—and Portland’s Patrick deWitt made the cut with his second book, The Sisters Brothers. This means deWitt, whose British Columbian birth makes him eligible for the literary honor as a citizen of the Commonwealth, will travel to London in October to hear whether he or one of five other finalists—including Julian Barnes—will take home the Man Booker. The Sisters Brothers is the first Western ever shortlisted. Does this mean London is the new Portland?
  • Curious which city of Portland employees have the biggest salaries? Which bureau middle manager claims the most overtime? Which commissioner has the highest-paid staff? Or exactly how much more than you that one uncooperative permit clerk made last year? Check wweek.com/citypay beginning Sept. 8 to search our database of city employee compensation in the last fiscal year. Semi-spoiler: The highest-paid city worker is a Portland Police Association member.
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