GOP Candidate for Governor Squeezed From Left and Right
State Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend), a GOP candidate for governor, reported a whopping $500,000 contribution from Nike chairman Phil Knight on Aug. 16, but the rest of his week didn't go so well. Democratic interest groups pounded Buehler so hard for being insufficiently pro-choice that he penned a weekend op-ed in The Oregonian defending his pro-choice credentials. Meanwhile, in Salem, a number of deep-pocketed Republican donors gathered at the home of timber executive Rob Freres to try to persuade House Minority Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) to challenge Buehler in the primary, arguing Buehler is not conservative enough. Among the groups represented was Oregon Right to Life, the state's leading anti-abortion group. "Knute is not pro-life," says Right to Life executive director Lois Anderson. "Our interest is in finding a pro-life candidate." McLane is mulling his options. "Rep. McLane has not ruled anything out for 2018," says spokesman Preston Mann.
Progressive Allies Clash Over Union Contract
Two pillars of Oregon's progressive political power structure are at odds. On June 30, the contract for more than 200 employees at Planned Parenthood of the Columbia-Willamette was set to expire. Service Employees International Union Local 49 had organized Planned Parenthood in 2011, a contentious process that cost then-Planned Parenthood CEO David Greenberg his job and made the chapter one of only five unionized Planned Parenthoods in the country. Now the union and Planned Parenthood, normally close allies in Salem and on a variety of political fronts, are hoping to avoid an impasse. "We mutually agreed to a contract extension, which remains in place," says PPCW chief financial officer Tom Motsiff, "and we remain engaged in productive bargaining."
County Cites Exotic Animal Nonprofit on Farm Land
Washington County's Department of Land Use and Transportation has cited controversial nonprofit A Walk on a Wild Side for two code violations related to the outfit's creature collection. As reported in a recent cover story ("The Tiger Farmer," WW, July 26, 2017), A Walk on the Wild Side hauls lions and tigers to fairs and parties along the West Coast for entertainment and education. But the company's neighbors say it's breaking local rules by caging wild animals on land zoned exclusively for farm use. The county issued two citations Aug. 18 for "feeding, breeding and management of exotic animals along with sales of the products of exotic animals on farm-zoned property without a permit." The violations could result in fines of up to $5,000. Steve Higgs, who runs A Walk on the Wild Side, says he will battle the citations in court.