Updated January 31, 2012 Published January 31, 2012
Thousands of people have been getting emails from state Rep. Dennis Richardson (R-Central Point) recently and havenât been sure why. Turns out Richardson, co-chairman of the budget-writing Ways & Means Committee, has collected 100,000 email addresses by filing public-records requests for them with state agencies. Richardson is using the addresses to seek advice and help in solving the stateâs budget crisis. Richardsonâs building of a mailing list from the very agencies he oversees has left some recipients angry. Rep. Val Hoyle (D-Eugene) told Richardson in an email it was inappropriate âto use state workersâ time and scarce taxpayer dollars to harvest peopleâs personal emails.â Richardson says heâs received 6,000 responsesânearly all positiveâand has apologized to those who are aggrieved.
Want to know what goes on between your dogâs floppy ears? Multnomah County has answers. The countyâs animal shelter is sponsoring the âMasters in Behaviorâ conference dedicated to animal psychology and behavior. The conference, Feb. 4-6 at the Sheraton Portland Airport, is intended to train shelter workers, but is open to the public and will include âassessing an animalâs personalityâ to help in âpreventing house soiling and separation anxiety.â Sessions include âCoyotes in Our Neighborhoodsâ and âLearning From Cats in Science.â The county says it expects registration fees will cover the conferenceâs $7,000 cost.
Mayoral candidate and former City Commissioner Charlie Hales is promising, if elected, to persuade Columbia Sportswear to bring its headquartersâand approximately 1,600 employeesâback to Portland. Columbia fled to Washington County in 2000 after a real-estate dispute involving then-Mayor Vera Katz and her chief of staff, current Mayor Sam Adams. Columbia CEO Tim Boyle has donated $5,000 to Halesâ campaign; he didnât respond to WWâs query whether Halesâ pitch had a prayer.
Many suspect state Rep. Jefferson Smithâs ambitions go far beyond Portland City Hallâbut maybe he should get elected mayor before revealing them. Last week, Smith held a fundraising event at Bossanova Ballroom. The next day, at a mayoral candidates forum sponsored by Occupy Portland and the Green and Progressive parties, Smith said his political values were a big reason voters should elect him governor. âIâm sorry,â he said after the laughter died down. âWe had a big party last night, and Iâve been working all day.â
What other Portland political news are you missing? Quite a bit if youâre not visiting our new election website, PDX Votes. Check it out at wweek.com/pdxvotes.