Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen was conspicuously absent from the Northwest Oregon Labor Council’s annual Oaks Amusement Park picnic on Sept. 2, as WW reports in this morning's paper.
Why does that absence matter? The Labor Day picnic is a must for politicians seeking union dollars—and an opportunity for the Oregon Democratic Party power structure to present a unified front to its base.
More than two dozen regional elected officials took turns introducing themselves to union members eating hot dogs and cheeseburgers grilled by UFCW 555, which carried signs supporting City Commissioner Dan Saltzman.
Twenty of the officials gave extended speeches—mostly extolling the virtues of organized labor, with the occasional promise of jobs.
Here's a quick primer on who stumped for votes, who just paid tribute, and who was AWOL.
Spoke and declared candidacy: Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith
Spoke and are running in 2014: U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader, Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian, Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, Metro President Tom Hughes, Metro Councilors Carlotta Collette, Shirley Craddick and Kathryn Harrington
Spoke and remained coy about whether they'll run in 2014: Gov. John Kitzhaber, Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish
Spoke but are not up for reelection in 2014: U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler, Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, Multnomah County Commissioner Diane McKeel
Did not attend: Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen, Multnomah County Commissioner Deborah Kafoury
UPDATE, 2 pm: This post initially omitted U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer. His office sent photographic evidence he attended. A lot is going on in this photo.