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April 25th, 2007 WW Editorial Staff | Rogue of the Week
 

Jefferson County commissioners Bill Bellamy and Mike Ahern

     
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The Rogue desk isn't landing on Jefferson County commissioners Bill Bellamy and Mike Ahern for the board's plan to develop the Metolius River Basin near Black Butte.

Instead, the two commishes in the Central Oregon county get singled out for their unprofessional, Cheney-style (remember the veep's "Fuck yourself" quote in 2004 to Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy?) potty-mouthing of State Sen. Vicki Walker (D-Eugene).

The pair ran their mouths in frustration during an April 11 public meeting over Walker's investigation into two proposed resort developments they spent two years mapping in the basin—a unique landscape renowned for its clear water and beauty.

"What a dumbass," Ahern jabs about Walker to his shushing colleagues at a commission meeting attended by a half-dozen staff members and two people in the audience.

[audio:2007/04/24/Dumbass.3324.mp3]

About 15 minutes later, Bellamy slowly states, "If [Walker] wants to talk to me, that bitch can come here!" County Counsel David Allen then jokes, "Have you read the Nixon memoirs about the missing tapes?"

[audio:2007/04/24/Bitch.3324.mp3]

Walker is targeted because she chairs the Senate Education and General Government Committee, which is considering Senate Bill 30—a bill that would prevent development of the area within three miles of the Metolius River Basin.

Walker got an apology from Bellamy. But Ahern won't apologize, saying Walker is disrespectful of his constituents and doesn't understand how the development would help his economically hard-hit county.

"She doesn't know what we've been through," he says. "However, I would never call anyone a bitch."

Look, the Rogue Desk is all about the First Amendment. And Walker is a grownup who's no shrinking violet herself. But this strikes us as Roguish because it betrays the weakness of the commissioners' case if all they can do is name-calling.

Says Walker, "Public officials have to suck it up all the time. But this is a conversation you'd have in a pool hall."

 
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