May 3, 2008

Kahl, Thiemann, McKeel Shmooz Troutdale's First Friday

Multnomah County Commission candidate Diane McKeel. House District 49 candidate Nick Kahl. House District 52 candidate Phyllis Thiemann. Troutdale's First Friday event last night was a target rich environment for these candidates.

The Mrs. and I spent a couple of hours talking with Nick Kahl and Troutdale General Store owner Terry Smoke. We didn't agree on much except the following: we don't like politicians who refuse to take a position on anything, Governor Kulongoski hasn't been very effective, and Ted Wheeler still hasn't figured out he's only one vote out of five on the County Commission.. We also agreed that tossing down a Corona or two after a long day is a great way to end the week. Then we went over to Taste of Village Chinese Restaurant and joined Ed & Phyllis Thiemann and the other 18 or so usual suspects at the monthly post-First Friday chinese food fest.

With Thiemann, we discussed the challenges of campaigning in a large geographic area. She also told us about her experience on KXL's Kremer & Abrams last Sunday. She said she felt ambushed by Rob Kremer's questions. That's not a surprise. A quick check on ORESTAR shows that Kremer's Conservative Majority Project has made significant campaign donations to Thiemann's opponent in the HD 52 primary race. But if you go on a radio talk show, you should be prepared for anything. It's a political jungle out there!

Thiemann should win her primary race. She's well connected in her district. I haven't detected much of a buzz from her opponent, except for what I read at NW Republican. Kahl has been front loaded with $$$$$ in union money. He's been hitting the streets hard. He has a decent chance of winning the democrat primary. (Sorry, Nick. Even though you're a nice guy, I'm supporting John Nelsen in November) And McKeel? She and I both thought no candidate for her race would gain 50% in the primary, which would result in a general election final battle between the top two candidates.

(Fine. typos fixed. I forgot to spell check.)


k said...

"and Ted Wheeler still hasn't figured out he's only one vote out of five on the County Commission"

Really? Have you spoken to him? Exactly what leads you to believe this? I'd like to know because, as his wife, I find your comment extremely naive, or at the very least, arrogant to a fault.

Ted works extremely hard. Extremely. And no, he doesn't have to. He does it because he cares. He cares about the community he lives in (yes, even East County despite what you may drivel about in your blog) and he cares about taxpayers.

Mr. Canfield, I realize that you do not care for the fact that my husband takes a view of the world that encompasses so much more than himself. I realize that not everyone takes the view that one must truly work for society and its betterment but please, if you are going to accuse someone of something, attempt, to justify that accusation with some fact.

My husband has done a spectacular job of helping a very fractured commission work together AND including East County despite the fact that many in East County wish him to suffer for the sins of those before him or even for the sins of the City of Portland, which he has no control over.

Yes, the County Commissioners disagree at times (that's a good thing actually) but they do work together and they do communicate -- as long as they bother to show up to work (my husband does far more than 40 hours a week, given the reported lack of hours that some people show up for work).

Given the fact that he's managed to get a dysfunctional commission to work together and works overtime to include all of them, how exactly do you justify your claim? Is it because he expects commissioners to show up to work in order to speak with him, receive his emails, memos and many other forms of communication? Or would you rather my husband hit the golf course to communicate with a certain commissioner who would rather turn his office over to a staff member than show up to work?

Make your claim but, back it up. If you can -- and I doubt that. I seriously do.

I am Coyote said...

There is a poll that shows Thieman is behind by double digits. The poll does not reflect another mail piece that went out from her opponent over the weekend.

He will probably double her up in the mail.

Troutdale Councilor Canfield said...

""and Ted Wheeler still hasn't figured out he's only one vote out of five on the County Commission."

I've heard from more than one county employee that Wheeler's top down management style is hurting his ability to get things done. Managing politics is different than managing a business.

One county staffer I talked to said Wheeler could get much more accomplished if he would get input, and the resulting sense of ownership/buy-in from his fellow commissioners and their staff instead of just throwing out proposals as take it our leave it.

If you just throw out proposals as take it or leave it, you're just one vote. If you get your fellow board members and decision influencers involved in a solution and give them a sense of ownership and buy-in ahead of time, you get things done.

This may be news to "K", but the political world- the real world- doesn't care that anyone "takes a view of the world that encompasses so much more than himself"- unless you can show how that view of the world fulfills the other's self interest.

Politics is selling. People don't support a proposal because it's the right thing to do for you. They support a proposal that they believe is the right thing for them.

As far as this blog's content containing "drivel", you're entitled to your opinion.

Some of the drivel I wrote on February 28 on this blog included this:
"The cities of Gresham, Troutdale and Maywood Park rejected an intergovernmental agreement with Multnomah County that would have required them to hand over their state mandated share of any vehicle registration fee increase to pay for replacement of the Sellwood Bridge.

According to the Tribune article, Commissioners Maria Rojo de Steffey and Jeff Cogen had some special comments for the three cities:

“Frankly, it’s extremely provincial of them,” Cogen said. “I have to say this is an extremely non-collaborative action on their part.”

“I’m just outraged,” Rojo de Steffey said."
They're entitled to their opinions. But their choice of words reflect badly on Commissioners Rojo de Steffey and Cogen, not the three cities. It's unfortunate, but also business as usual that these Commissioners chose anger and threats instead of a rational, reasoned response. The legacy of the "mean girls" continues to infest Multnomah County's political community.

County Chair Wheeler's fellow County Commissioners would go a long way towards elimination of this infestation of boorish behavior by emulating Wheeler's reasoned, business oriented decorum when discussing difficult issues. Although the Sellwood bridge is in danger of collapsing, there's no reason to intentionally burn political bridges by lashing out when you don't get your own way.

I commend Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler for putting a proposal of any kind on the table, even though it was rejected for good reasons by the three cities. At least he's making the effort to find a solution."

I supported Ted Wheeler's election as County Chair. I endorsed him. Even though we disagree on most things on the political spectrum. I still support him because he's a stand-up guy. I still support him because he's had a real job, unlike so many politicians these days.

Having said that, if Chair Wheeler himself has a problem with anything I've written, he knows where to reach me.

I am Coyote said...

Wow someone (K) took quick offense to ya councilor... LOL

Some folks just don't understand that just because you criticize someone doesn't mean that it requires a thermal nuclear reaction.

Oh and I forgot to mention that Phyllis Thieman was not interviewed on Kremer and Abrams but on the news show that runs before K&A.

It wasn't even Rob who interviewed. It was a straight up news interview from the KXL news team.

I actually have a copy of it I can email you if you want. She did not do so hot on other issues as well. One of them was when she was asked about whether or not she would raise taxes on corporations.

Instead of simply saying "no", which would be an easy answer when the state is wrestling with a recession, she said "I'd have to see the bill."