Paul van Orden
, one of the eight candidates on the ballot for Multnomah County Commissioner in District #2, got a bad break this morning.
On the last weekend before ballots come due this Tuesday, van Orden learned this morning that his campaign office at 421 N. Broadway had been burglarized. But don't leap to a conclusion this was some campaign dirty trick by an opponent in the race.
In fact, van Orden says a passing cyclist saw a homeless man pick up a big piece of concrete and throw it through a window of the campaign office about 6:45 am to 6:50 am.
Van Orden said this afternoon in a phone interview over the sound of glass being vacuumed up that the concrete was about 30-35 pounds and that the homeless man was gone when police arrived. The witness reported that the man appeared mentally ill and was muttering to himself that he was going to get in trouble.
Stolen were a couple telephones, some Leatherman knives and oddly enough, some campaign buttons and literature, van Orden said. Van Orden said it's not surprising that the culprit is homeless given that the campaign office is in a "dead zone" and that many homeless people congregate nearby.
Perhaps van Orden's biggest loss today was missing a sunny Saturday's worth of campaigning at the Alberta Art Hop.
"I'm losing an important day," he said, joking that in what's expected to be a close election to represent north and northeast Portland, "That may be the 25 votes I needed."