Bank Whistleblower Strikes Again: Earlier this year, Duke Tran of Damascus won a reported seven-figure settlement from Wells Fargo Bank, which he said fired him in 2014 for refusing to lie to customers facing foreclosure. Tran, a Vietnamese refugee who survived the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, went to work for U.S. Bank after leaving Wells Fargo. In a lawsuit filed Nov. 6 in Multnomah County Circuit Court, Tran alleges U.S. Bank fired him Oct. 25, after he complained about what he said were illegal debt collection practices. "Mr. Tran has seen firsthand how big banks rip off customers and fire employees who refuse to go along," says Tran's attorney, Michael Fuller. "Mr. Tran's sole motivation in filing this case is to set the record straight and to expose the illegal U.S. Bank policies that led to his wrongful termination." U.S. Bank declined to comment.
Election Breaks Spending and Turnout Records: When all the ballots have been counted, the 2018 general election will shatter previous Oregon records for campaign spending and voter participation. At press deadlines Nov. 6, the two candidates for governor had between them raised nearly $36 million. The Republican nominee, state Rep. Knute Buehler (Bend), had collected $18.4 million, slightly ahead of the incumbent Democrat, Gov. Kate Brown, who raised $17.2 million. A week's worth of contributions have yet to be disclosed. With the final day's ballot turn-ins yet to be tallied, more than 1.35 million Oregonians had already voted. That's nearly as many as the number who voted in the largest midterm election in Oregon history, the 1.54 million in 2014. If historical patterns hold, about 2 million Oregonians will vote in this election, a huge increase attributable to the automatic voter registration bill Brown wrote when she was secretary of state. Read full coverage of the results at wweek.com.
Wyden Appoints Watchdog to Federal Agency: U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) this week appointed Bob Joondeph, longtime executive director of the watchdog group Disability Rights Oregon, to a federal agency called the Social Security Advisory Board. The five-member panel brings together national experts on the 72 million disabled and retired Americans who depend on Social Security. Joondeph, 68, is retiring after 32 years at DRO ("Four Questions for Bob Joondeph," WW, Oct. 24, 2018). He started his six-year term on the panel Nov. 1. "I look forward to the opportunity to continue my work on disability issues," Joondeph said in a statement, "and learn more about other aspects of the board's work."
Give!Guide Launches 2018 Campaign: Sick of nasty politics? Try a little kindness instead. The 2018 Give!Guide is live and accepting donations. This year's campaign boasts 150 of Portland's most impactful nonprofits packed into eight different categories, making it easy for you to choose a cause you care about and make a difference. To learn more about incentives, visit giveguide.org.