Jeff Cogen Has Job Offer from Signature Gathering Firm

Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen explained his Friday resignation by saying he wanted to focus fully on his family in the wake of his two-year affair with a county employee.

But WW has learned that Cogen has another reason for leaving after three months of scandal: He has lined up a job.

Sources tell WW that Cogen has been offered—and may have already accepted—a position with Democracy Resources, the largest signature gathering firm in state Democratic politics.

Democracy Resources president Ted Blaszak is a longtime friend of Cogen. Blaszak donated $5,000 to Cogen's war chest when the county chair was mulling a 2011 run for Portland mayor.

He was among Cogen's character witnesses at the county board meeting in July where four commissioners demanded Cogen resign.

"I hope and I pray that there is not political motivation here," Blaszak said. "That somebody doesn't want his job. And that might be a big force behind this resolution."

As the state's biggest signature-gatherer, Democracy Resources looking at a big workload next year, with possible ballot measures being weighed for tax increases and marijuana legalization.

The company is active in other states, including Colorado and California.

It makes big money from collecting signatures: A pricing sheet on its website says the baseline cost for qualifying a measure for the Oregon ballot is $280,327.

Neither Blazsak nor Cogen has responded to WW's requests for comment about the job offer over the past 72 hours.