Sources Say: Buehler's run brings out the knives
Just in case there's any doubt that rapid-reaction, hardball politics have come to Oregon, consider the reaction to Bend Republican Knute Buehler's announcement in early August that the state representative will run for governor next year.
Supporters of Democratic Gov. Kate Brown were quick to respond.
Within days of the announcement, the Democratic Governor's Association sent out a news release calling Buehler "ethically challenged," pointing to an Oregon Government Ethics Commission ruling that he should have reported $12,500 in payments from a Bend hospital on his financial disclosure form. He was not penalized, however, and two other complaints were dismissed. Shortly after that, Emily's List and the Oregon chapter of NARAL Pro-Choice America challenged Buehler's 2014 claim that he is "pro-choice." Two days later, the Democratic Party of Oregon demanded Buehler disclose all of his potential conflicts of interest.
For his part, Buehler has called for a special legislative session to address potential health-care budget problems related to the Oregon Health Authority enrolling thousands of unqualified recipients for Medicaid coverage under Brown's watch.
Events overtake TriMet memorial
Even before TriMet finalized a memorial to those who died standing up to racist threats on a MAX train, a new hero has emerged from the confrontations with white nationalists last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Heather Heyer died after being struck by a car allegedly driven by a racist into a crowd of counterprotesters. She has been praised as a hero for standing up to hate. The tributes are remarkably similar to those given to Ricky John Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, who were stabbed to death defending two African-American teenagers against an alleged racist on May 26. Micah Fletcher was seriously injured but survived.
The train stopped at the Hollywood Transit Center, where spontaneous memorials appeared. TriMet officials have said they want to permanently honor their sacrifice, but had not announced any plan before the most recent tragedy.
As in Portland, Charlottesville police have been criticized for not breaking up the protests earlier. Portland police have been criticized for not arresting the alleged assailant, Jeremy Christian, after a confrontation with an African-American woman the previous day.
New gig for Modica
Former Deputy Police Chief Kevin Modica may have retired from the bureau, but he's not completely walking away from his law enforcement career.
Modica left the bureau in July during a personnel investigation for allegedly failing to report a harrassment complaint against another bureau employee. Before being promoted to deputy chief, he was commander of TriMet's Transit Police, where he was well-respected by officials at the regional transit agency.
Now Modica has started KLM Associates, a public safety policy consulting firm. He made the announcement at last week's Community Peace Collaborative public forum, where he was welcomed by many of the participants.