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PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: DIEGO DIAZ - U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders packed them in at the Moda Center on Sunday.The crowd that turned out for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders at the Moda Center on Sunday was impressive, but does he actually have a chance to win the 2016 Oregon Democratic primary election?


The short answer is, absolutely. A recent DHM Research poll shows Sanders is only 5 points behind front runner Hillary Clinton in the state, with 39 percent compared to her 44 percent. And that was before an estimated 28,000 enthusiastic supporters turned out and generated hundreds of thousands of dollars of free publicity for him.

But more than that, Oregon Democrats have gone for anti-establishment presidential candidates before. U.S. Sen. Eugene McCarthy won the 1968 primary election here by running against the Vietnam War being waged by his party's president, Lyndon Johnson. McCarthy received 45 percent of the vote compared to 39 percent for Robert Kennedy and 13 percent for Johnson, who had withdrawn, but was still on the ballot.

Council gets housing wake-up call

Skyrocketing rents are concerning people who otherwise praise the region's land-use planning policies.

Those with concens now include Robert Liberty, a former 1000 Friends of Oregon director and Metro councilor, who now is the director of the Urban Sustainability Accelerator at Portland State University.

Liberty testified before the City Council on July 29 that even middle-class families are being priced out of the Portland housing market. He said the council should continue building subsidized housing for the poorest residents, but called for the creation of a contest or think tank to come up with ideas for building 50,000 unsubsidized houses affordable to those in the middle by 2025. According to Liberty, Portland is so well-known around the world that such a contest or think tank would attract international attention.

Although Mayor Charlie Hales thanked Liberty for his land-use planning work and asked for a copy of his remarks, he did not commit to the recommendation.

Walden is a what?

Political observers don't consider Greg Walden, Oregon's only Republican congressman, to be a flaming liberal — or even especially moderate. But don't tell that to the Klamath Patriots Conservative political action committee. It recently launched a website to expose the U.S. representative from District 2 as a "Conservative Pretender."

The website includes ratings of Walden's voting record from some of the most conservative political organizations around, including Freedom Works, Heritage Action and the Conservative Review. They all give Walden an "F" rating, meaning he is not conservative enough for the PAC.

"We want to educate the public about Walden's record, and we want him to start listening to the people who put him in office or we'll find a candidate to run against him in the primary," says Earl Wessell, one of the PAC's directors. The website can be found at www.waldensrecord.com

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