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March 21st, 2012 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

Murmurs: Brown Shifts Election

Kate could move her election to another state.

murmurs_katebrown_3820Kate Brown - IMAGE: katebrownfororegon.com
     
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  • Secretary of State Kate Brown has made a decision critics say is nothing more than partisanship that’s inappropriate of the state’s elections officer. As first reported on wweek.com, Brown, without warning, shifted the election for state labor commissioner from the May primary to November. In Oregon—with a potentially heavy turnout for President Obama in the fall—Brown’s move probably helps the incumbent, Democrat Brad Avakian, who faces a tough reelection fight. (The office itself is nonpartisan.) Avakian’s opponent, state Sen. Bruce Starr (R-Hillsboro), has sued Brown in Marion County Court to restore the May election. Brown’s likely Republican opponent, Knute Buehler, said her decision to “rig the rules” is “third world.” Brown denies the move is partisan.
  • Portland Public Schools officials still aren’t getting a clear message as to why last year’s $548 million school bond measure failed. A “listening sessions” report reflects the views of business leaders, school officials and a wide range of other voices. Many people said the failed May 2011 bond measure “focused too much on a small number of schools.” Others said it was spread “too thin.” A lot of respondents said the bond was too expensive for Portland during the economic downturn. And some wanted PPS to link renovations at certain schools to academic performance and graduation rates. PPS spokesman Matt Shelby says the district plans to offer voters another bond measure, and “it’s not off the table for November.”
  • Last September, State Rep. Mike Schaufler (D-Happy Valley) allegedly groped an aide to Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian at an American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations convention in Eugene. After the incident, for which Schaufler subsequently apologized, House leaders stripped the five-term incumbent of his co-chairmanship of the House Business and Labor Committee. Last week, the AFL-CIO endorsed Schaufler over his Democratic primary opponent Jeff Reardon, a teacher and former member of the David Douglas school board. AFL-CIO spokeswoman Elana Guiney says the union took into account Schaufler’s legislative record.
  • Portlander Debi Coleman was once a top lieutenant to Steve Jobs at Apple and, later, served as CEO of local tech company Merix Corp. She’s since turned her attention to show biz. She’s the founder and general partner of Rainy Day Productions and is co-producer of her first Broadway production, Leap of Faith, which goes into previews April 3. “I’m walking on air,” Coleman says. “I’m very excited.
 
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