The thought of an election being overturned is disturbing, even to those who do not vote. Sadly that possibility has been playing out in Clackamas County, and Commissioner Sonya Fischer's involvement has raised legal and ethical questions.
Stunning testimony by Bill Wehr and others during meetings has exposed Fischer spent personal campaign donations for political consultants to produce a statement attacking newly elected Commissioner Mark Shull; someone she would never face in an election. Her "hit piece" accused him of inciting violence, and since that time she's made other unsubstantiated accusations. When asked to provide examples, she's dodged the question.
In a recent op-ed Mr. Wehr was described as "delusional." To be clear, he has presented strong evidence, raising eye-opening questions that demand action. I have done the same. Fischer has responded by saying "we shouldn't waste valuable time on this," and "we aren't supposed to be discussing anything political." She's mistaken. Her conduct is county business, and the policy she referred to is that discussions be nonpartisan.
After months of berating Shull, she has not responded to glaring questions about her own conduct. Her silence is disturbing. It's now clear some of her actions must be investigated.
A growing number of residents are showing up to testify and question what has been going on. Cris Waller, a partisan activist, has responded to them with specious op-eds and lectures that stereotype most of the speakers. Her ridiculous interpretation of what occurred during the June 10 meeting defies what is captured on video. Please watch the public comments. You'll see many of your neighbors in the crowd. You'll see Fischer again offer to meet with a speaker privately, as if she can explain away someone's concerns off-camera.
I've participated in hundreds of meetings, and contributed thousands of hours to causes in our county. For over a decade I've influenced outcomes, promoted public involvement, and have been a voice for financial accountability. Unlike Ms. Waller, I didn't suddenly show up when the opportunity to vilify a political opponent occurred.
As the faces of the effort to overturn Mark's election, Fischer and Waller have proven themselves to be divisive and out of touch. Fischer's actions reek of hypocrisy, and have put the entire county commission in a bad light when we desperately need them to shine.
Les Poole is a Gladstone resident.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.