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February 15th, 2012 12:01 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

Murmurs: Doctoring Campaign Contributions

What our five-star mayor is thinking about.

  • Bad medicine: Doctor groups wanting to avoid Medicaid cuts have raised $2.3 million in campaign contributions to influence health-care reform. As first reported on wweek.com, a document accounting for the campaign cash is circulating in the Capitol—in part, people in the know say, to show the lawmakers accepting the docs’ cash that they’re being watched. “We see a lot of money flowing down here,” says one veteran lawmaker, “but this is obscene.” The groups have given $1.2 million since 2009, but another $1.1 million waits to be handed out. The list shows Gov. John Kitzhaber has received $455,000 since 2009, most of it in his 2010 race against Republican Chris Dudley. Among legislators, Sen. Alan Bates (D-Ashland), an osteopathic physician who serves on the Senate Health Care Committee and co-chairs the Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services, is the top recipient with $72,000. For the full list, go to wweek.com/pdxvotes.
  • Sasha Buchert never thought her appointment by Gov. John Kitzhaber to the Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board this month would make history. But, according to the governor’s office, it probably did: Buchert appears to be the first openly transgendered person appointed to a state board. Buchert, spokeswoman for Basic Rights Oregon, says it’s an honor. “I’d be very proud to crack that barrier, if true that I’m the first,” Buchert says. “I feel it would be a significant step forward.”
  • If you’re not sure what Mayor Sam Adams is doing these days, you can still see his idea of fine cuisine: Turns out he loves everything. The mayor is writing food reviews on Yelp—more than 60—and all but one place get a five-star score. Among his many faves: Bridges Cafe & Catering (“The scrambled eggs and grits combo go together like Fred and Ginger”), Albina Press (“They really do make Stumptown coffee using French presses...”), Mexican restaurant Trébol (“I enjoyed the Cuban music”) and Le Happy (“It is wonderful each and every time. Crepetastic!”) Every Asian restaurant seems to be the best, except Full Kee Restaurant, which Adams gave three stars. “Typical decent food,” he writes.
  • Ron Abell (1932-2012) was an early and dear friend to this newspaper. Ron lived many lives—journalist, novelist, teacher, political insider, activist and all around Oregonian of honor. He died Feb. 11, choosing to take advantage of Oregon’s Death with Dignity law after a long fight with leukemia and emphysema.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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