January 21st, 2010 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics

The Wu Clan: Potential Baggage for Congressman's Republican Rivals


We reported this week on the 2010 congressional race for the seat held by six-term U.S. Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.).

As noted in the story, Wu has a few skeletons rattling around, including his 2004 admission of “inexcusable behavior” in an alleged sexual assault on a college girlfriend in 1976.

Not to mention his famous Klingon speech.

But our research revealed that Wu's two most credible Republican opponents bring their own baggage to the race.

First there's John Kuzmanich, a mortgage broker from unincorporated Washington County who says his campaign is inspired by the Tea Party movement.

Here's a picture of "Kuz," as he sometimes calls himself:


Kuzmanich's campaign bio boasts he's "a business owner and an expert in mortgage finance, real estate, economics and job creation."

So we were surprised to learn he's twice been sued for failing to pay his condo assessments.

In April 1998, Kuzmanich bought a 1,088-square-foot condo in Multnomah Village for $106,900, county property records show.

Just over two years later, in August 2000, the Hidden Village Owners' Association sued Kuzmanich in Multnomah County Circuit Court for $591 in unpaid assessments. Kuzmanich settled the debt a year later in July 2001, paying $2,162 in additional debt, attorney fees and interest, court records show.

But just a month later, in August 2001, the Hidden Village Owners' Association again sued Kuzmanich in circuit court — this time for $1,318 in unpaid assessments. Kuzmanich settled that debt in April 2002, court records show. He sold the condo in 2003 for $123,000, according to property records.

Kuzmanich tells WW it was a tough time for his family — he was between jobs and low on money.

"I've lived a long life," Kuzmanich says. "I've seen the top and the bottom of everything."

His opponent in the Republican primary is Rob Cornilles, a sports-marketing consultant from Tualatin:


Cornilles has a different problem — a spotty voting record.

According to Washington County Elections, Cornilles failed to cast a ballot in eight out of 24 elections he could have voted in since 1998, the earliest records available.

Cornilles skipped six May elections, one November election and one March election. Most recently, he missed the May 2009 school board and special district elections.

Cornilles says his job requires him to travel extensively. (It's worth noting Oregon has been holding mail-only elections since 1999.)

"Elections I missed were probably due to my traveling, and they were errors," Cornilles says. "But I've been a very active community participant ever since I moved to Washington County."
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