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February 27th, 2008 WW Editorial Staff | Rogue of the Week
 

Jim Middaugh

Don’t hold back.

     
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IMAGE: WW photo illustration

On Monday, the city Auditor’s Office OK’d City Council candidate Jim Middaugh for public campaign financing. That means between now and the May 20 primary, Middaugh will be spending $140,535 of your money.

He’s already spent thousands of dollars preparing direct mailings. We hope they’re a little more forthcoming than his campaign website. Until WWire called him on it last week, the site—the first reference for many voters—made a Roguish error of omission.

It extolled Middaugh’s work for U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) in the 1980s. It talked up his work for the organizations now known as Oregon Wild and the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. It even bragged about how he “cycles, plays guitar and enjoys cooking for friends and family.”

That’s all dandy. But the site failed to mention how for the past two years, Middaugh has been the $74,000-a-year chief of staff to the commissioner he hopes to replace, Erik Sten.

Rather, his official bio made him seem like he wouldn’t know City Hall from a hole in the ground. “I’ve never run for office before and don’t have lots of connections to the big downtown law firms and business interests. But, I do have connections to my neighborhood and regular folks like you,” Middaugh wrote.

Think we’re too sensitive? Well, we’ve been here before with the “I’m an outsider” shtick: most memorably, when Sam Adams, longtime chief of staff to Mayor Vera Katz, ran successfully for council in 2004 on a promise to “shake up City Hall.” The slogan helped Adams upset Nick Fish—who happens to be Middaugh’s chief opponent this time around.

Middaugh says his City Hall job was inadvertently left out. (It’s now on the website.) “I’m proud of the fact that I work for Erik and actively promote that when I’m campaigning,” Middaugh told WW. (Take note: Fish, the son of a moderate Republican congressman, lists no biographical info on his website.)

 
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