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December 20th, 2006 WW Editorial Staff | Winners & Losers
 

A tale of two senators (who aren't named Barack or Hillary).

     
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WINNERS

It may be his latest "Ron Quixote" move, but give U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) credit for taking a crack at reforming the disaster that is health care. Wyden, who's also pushing uphill on a major tax-reform plan, last week announced a proposal to expand health-insurance coverage for every American, jump-starting a national discussion (and Democratic drumbeat).

The Oregon Education Association and other critics of the Oregon Lottery got a row of cherries last week. The state Court of Appeals agreed with them that the lottery should be making sure bars and restaurants aren't making huge profits when it sets rates on video games.

Freightliner, a loser last week for expected layoffs, again lands greasy-side down this week for a major legal loss. But in the holiday spirit of seeing the good in us all, we make competing truck manufacturer MAN AG the winner after a Multnomah County Circuit Court jury decided that Freightliner must pay MAN AG at least $488 million in punitive damages for accounting fraud.

LOSERS

One week a winner, the next a loser. That's the arc for U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith(R-Ore.), a winner last week for political savvy in trying to defuse Iraq War critics before his 2008 re-election bid. But the senator's turn as a war critic spun back last week when The Register-Guard in Eugene reported Smith (right) "doesn't foresee himself voting against the president on Iraq."

Critics of Portland's public-campaign finance system now have a poster child in the dock, and it's not former City Council candidate Emilie Boyles. Instead, it's Volodymyr Golovan, who helped Boyles collect most of her signatures to qualify for campaign cash she's now on the hook to return. Golovan was indicted last week on charges of forgery, theft and lying to investigators.

Deck the halls of Jefferson High School with a new complaint against principal Leon Dudley, who was supposed to be leading the North Portland school back from the academic brink. Superintendent Vicki Phillips' pick is in the hot seat following the Portland Tribune's report Friday that Dudley's secretary, Kathy Muir, who is white, has filed a racial and sexual harassment complaint against her boss, who is black.

 
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