You know, if Paul Savas (R) or Dave Hunt (D) had not run, there would have been a clear winner last night. Each split the vote of their respective parties forcing this runoff between Ludlow (TP/R) and Lehan (incumbent D).
I've heard that and a number of variations on it, sometimes shouted from windows these last few days. Dave was 'assaulting' the feminist vote by running against Charlotte, Davr getting in the race assured Savas' victory, Ludlow took from Savas, Savas took from Hunt and Lehan because 'reasonable' couldn't vote for Ludlow. Without Dave in the race Ludlow and Savas' combined ability to target Charlotte would have assuredly crushed her. It is what it is.
The county commission races are the most hotly contested and probably among the most abusive in the state. At Dave's last night I heard out of the mouth of one very prominent previous commission candidate that she'd never run again.
Clackamas county is on the edge of major change. The question is what change. Small businesses are organized for the Tea Party agenda. The Elks Lodge on McLoughlin may go for low-income housing but many are trying to 'save' it to keep that from happening. The county is empire building up in the Red Soils development, sucking the life out of the tax base Oregon City needs to be an effective county seat. And with the failure for the people with the passage of the building measures in Gladstone the ability of the local governments, as is already the case in O.C., is being pushed further away from the people and into the hands of whomever can draw the most out-of-area money to run a campaign.
It's disappointing and energizing at the same time for me, but I'm an odd duck. For many it has been discouraging and is now even moreso. I've got another job interview today in Portland with a big national company and in the front of my mind is the hope that I can still get that low-paying job with a local Oregon City business so I can have the time and exposure locally to try and make O.C. politics bluer and perhaps browner. If you've ever seen the attendance at a local Hispanic wedding or quinceanera you know what I mean when I say we have vast progressive resources we simply aren't connected to here, and if we can connect with them we have some major power to wield. At last years's Roosevelt dinner other than exactly two active black pcp's from Wilsonville I was the darkest guy in the room. But if you check out the neighborhoods on the west edge of Molalla or between River Rd. and 99 there are a ton of folks who don't see anyone who looks like them in local government.
What we have to is what Democrats across America have to do right now, and that is to answer the question "how do I get the Democratic Party to do the things I need?" And the old boilerplate of "the Democratic Party already does those things" isn't cutting it because they wouldn't be asking if the felt those things were already being done. Handing the challenge back to them to get involved sounds all well and good but the reality is(continued)