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Monday, April 28, 2008

Portland's #1 Predatory Patrol Towing Horror Story meets the Wheelchair Bandits!






Sergeant’s Towing, one of the patrol towing companies that trespassed on my property and stole my van out of my own driveway (for the fourth time!) as a consequence of their contract with patrol towing kingpin Hacienda CDC, the absentee landlord of the apartments next door, also has a vehicle harvesting operation down at McCall’s on the waterfront that is no joke, if you happen to be in a wheelchair.

Last week, on a warm Sunday afternoon, Sergeant’s towed a clearly marked wheelchair-fitted van from one of the handicap slots in front of McCall’s, leaving my friend Mike Meier stranded in his wheelchair.

Sergeant’s maintains a forest of contradictory signs in the small lot outside McCall’s, which has been closed for a year or more.

Some of those signs require the usual handicap permit displayed on the vehicle, but some of them also require a McCall’s permit, which Mike obviously did not have, since they are impossible to get.

I went down there and took these photos to clarify the issue.

If you think it’s difficult to get your vehicle returned from the sociopaths the patrol towing companies employ to deal with the public, imagine how much more difficult it is for people with disabilities.

Senate Bill 116 and 431, passed in 2007, gives the state and local governments the authority to regulate involuntary towing.

If the City of Portland can’t get around to this, I’ll take care of it in the 2009 session.

If I’m elected to the Senate, count on it!

Meanwhile, I encourage you to contact the Mayor and Portland City Council and urge them to take action now.

Senate District 23 Candidate Forum Friday May 2 at 6p.m.

Portland, Oregon—With less than 30 days until ballots are due, the first public debate on Senate District 23 will at long last take place!

Voters will finally have an opportunity to hear the candidates in an open forum, instead of the closed, back-room PAC endorsement interviews that have characterized the race so far.

It is absolutely astonishing that an election of this importance should escape the notice of the many entities that have offered forums on other races.

Even the fledgling Oregon League of Minority Voters (OLMV) could not find either Senate District 23 or House District 45, the only contested legislative primaries featuring minority candidates, on the map.

Should the marvelously-gifted Cyreena Boston win her race for HD 45, she will be the first African American to serve in the Oregon House since Joann Bowman nearly a decade ago. There has been no debate scheduled on the race.

The Senate District 23 race arises due to the retirement of Senator Avel Gordly. Senate District 23 is the most diverse district in the state, by race, ethnicity and income. A central question is: As the state becomes more diverse, should the Senate become less diverse.

House District 45 is the northern half of Senate District 23. Voters in HD 45 will elect a new State Representative AND a new State Senator, yet there has been no public debate or forum focusing on these races!

Residents of HD 45 should be demanding a forum in the district—at least ONE forum—before the ballots are due.

The May 2 Senate District 23 candidate forum will take place in HD 46, the southern half of the Senate District.

The Forum is sponsored by the Urban League of Portland, the African American Alliance, the Portland chapter of the NAACP, the National Association of Minority Contractors Oregon, the Coalition of Black Men, and Highland Christian Church.

Candidates for Senate District 23 and State Attorney General will face off Friday, May 2nd, 6-8:00 p.m. at Highland Christian Center, 7600 NE Glisan St., Portland, Oregon 97213.

State Senate District 23 candidates Sean Cruz and Jackie Dingfelder will kick off the debates at 6 pm, followed by Oregon Attorney General Candidates John Kroger and Greg Macpherson.

The two races were chosen for their particular impact on the African American community. The successful Attorney General candidate will be expected to address the disproportionate number of African Americans incarcerated in Oregon (8.9%), the issues of drug enforcement and treatment, and gun crime.

State Senate District 23 candidates are seeking to replace Senator Avel Gordly, a longtime advocate of communities of color in the State legislature.

Opio Sokoni, attorney and general manager of KBMS FM radio, will moderate the evening’s proceedings. Questions from audience members will be posed to the candidates at the end of each 45 minute debate. Refreshments will be served at the end of the forum.

Admission is free and open to the public.

CALL TO ACTION: Demand a public candidate forum in House District 45 that focuses on who will represent the district in both chambers of the Oregon State Legislature!

Take these races from the closed-door special-interest PACs that have dominated the campaigns so far and air them in public!

Time is short, and the time is yours.

Demand Change!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Senate District 23 Williamette Week endorsement interview video is on line!

Portland, Oregon--The Williamette Week’s Senate District 23 endorsement interview video is up and on line to help you decide who will carry the work of retiring Senator Avel Gordly forward.

SEE ME, HEAR ME, PICK ME: Endorsement video for state Senate #23

Here’s the link:

http://wweek.com/wwire/?p=11651

========================

Ebay auction update:

Historic Gordly – Obama – CruzThere will be change!” registration pen on Ebay!

Last day to register to vote in the May 20 Democratic primary is April 29!

Here’s the link:

Historic Gordly - Obama - Cruz registration pen – 110244606162

Get your bid in on this affordable item of Oregon history!

The auction closes on April 28!

Use the historic pen to mark your ballot for the Obama - Cruz ticket!

There will be change on May 20!

Elect Sean Cruz for Senate District 23!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

ATTENTION! Veterans, military personnel and families!

Portland, Oregon--No one knows better than you and I what service and sacrifice mean in a time of war.

I have seen both of my sons off to Iraq, and neither has come home in five long agonizing years.

More than five years into the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, bills addressing your urgent needs, your issues, your priorities, are routinely left on the table in the Oregon state legislature due to the lack of a Senate committee to work on them, to give them the focus they need. Without a Senate committee, veterans bills get bottom priority.

I am the only Portland candidate for the Oregon State Senate with veterans issues as a priority!

I am the only candidate for Oregon Senate District 23 with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as a priority!

I am calling for the creation of a state Senate Veterans Affairs Committee to work jointly with the House Veterans Affairs Committee and Governor Ted Kulongoski’s office to improve services to you and your family. I am running to serve on that committee.

Send me there to serve in the Oregon Senate on your behalf!

I have the nonpartisan support of Jim Willis, Director of the Veterans Administration, General Mike Caldwell of the Oregon Military Department, members of the Oregon House Veterans Affairs Committee, Oregon State Senators and many others.

The House Veterans Affairs Committee heard 55 bills in the 2007 session, but only 3 of those came over from the Senate. The House Committee is overburdened with the work and 22 of those veterans bills died when time ran out. Two of your bills passed the House but died in a Senate Committee without a hearing!

I need the support of every Oregon veteran!

The Oregonian on Senate District 23: “Sean Cruz…is qualified for the job….”

Elect Sean Cruz in the May 20 Democratic primary!

===========================

Veterans bills that died in the 2007 Oregon legislature:

HB 2013 Oregon Military Family Relief Program

HB 2400A Physician tax incentives.

HB 2522 Veterans' health benefits.

HB 2547 Disabled war veteran benefits.

HB 2577 Oregon Troops to Teachers program.

HB 2771 Licenses issued by the State Fish and Wildlife Commission.

HB 3196A Eligibility of disabled veterans for Oregon Health Plan benefits.

HB 3197A TRICARE program

HB 3199 Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge Program; declaring an emergency.

HB 3200 Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge Program; appropriating money; declaring an emergency.

HB 3202A Modifications of federal taxable income.

HB 3205A Tax credits for veterans.

HB 3237 Veterans' preferences; declaring an emergency.

HB 3305 taxation.

HB 3308A Education benefits for members of Oregon National Guard.

HB 3294A Veterans' services.

HB 3198 Oregon military emergency financial assistance; appropriating money; declaring an emergency.

HJR 52 Proposing amendment to Oregon Constitution” Protests at funerals.

HJR 38 Proposing amendment to Oregon Constitution: State Lottery.

Sean Cruz will see that this does not happen again!

Spread the word! Tell your friends! I will speak to your group!

The cause is urgent! The time to engage is now!

The May 20 Democratic primary is only weeks away!

Elect Sean Cruz for Oregon State Senate District 23!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Oregonian on Senate District 23: "Sean Cruz...is qualified for the job...."

Portland, Oregon--The Oregonian issued its Senate District 23 endorsement on Saturday, noting the dearth of races with more than one name on the ballot.

I received the news in an early-morning phone call from Avel Gordly herself, pleased by the Oregonian Editorial Board’s validation and affirmation of my qualifications to serve as her successor in the Oregon Senate.

The Oregonian stated: “…Sean Cruz, who has served as (Senator) Gordly's legislative aide and chief of staff for the past five years…is qualified for the job. He knows the issues that are important in the district, and he certainly knows how things get done in the Legislature. Most notably, he persuaded Gordly to push legislation, called ‘Aaron's Law,’ that gives families tools to punish parents for the crime of child abduction. “

While the Oregonian gave its official endorsement to my opponent, I appreciate very sincerely their conclusion that I am qualified for the job. Fantastic!

What this means is that Senate District 23 alone offers Portland voters an opportunity to choose between two well-qualified candidates.

It is the only race in town, so far as the Oregon Senate goes….

Yet there have been no meaningful public forums or debates regarding this race, with only 30 days left until ballots are due.

Immigration will certainly be a front-line issue in the 2009 legislature. Anti-immigrant ads are already appearing on television. The race-baiting is out in the open in Mike Erickson’s ads.

Yet there has been no public discussion of immigration issues in any legislative race, or how the candidates might address minority concerns through their office.

Senate District 23, the most diverse district in the state, ought to draw a discussion about this, ought to attract some attention from someone…anyone?

More on this later, much more…. Right now, I’m going to take Rex for a walk, tell him about how cool it is to find yourself qualified to serve in the Oregon Senate printed in your morning paper.

“Arf!” Rex says, “Woof! Arf!”

Friday, April 18, 2008

Historic Gordly - Obama - Cruz "There will be change!" registration pen on Ebay!

Portland, Oregon--The pen with which Senator Avel Gordly registered to vote in the May 20 Democratic primary will be auctioned on Ebay.

Here’s the link:

Historic Gordly - Obama - Cruz registration pen – 110244606162

Only ten days to act!

Senator Avel Gordly traveled to the Capitol to register her support for Barack Obama and Sean Cruz, candidates for President of the United States and Oregon State Senate District 23, respectively, by publicly completing and signing the May 20 Democratic primary registration form and personally filing it with the Secretary of State’s office.

Senator Avel Gordly registers her support for the Barack Obama – Sean Cruz ticket!

Senator Gordly (I-SD 23 NE and SE Portland) was unaffiliated with any political party, but decided to register as a Democrat in order to support the candidacies of Barack Obama for the presidency of the United States, and for Sean Cruz to succeed her in the Oregon Senate, representing her Senate District 23 and taking her seat on the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, where he will work on access to health care for the uninsured and mental health issues.

She borrowed the pen she completed and signed the form with from her longtime Chief of Staff Sean Cruz, a Foray ™ precision point 0.5 mm gel ink pen, with blue ink.

Historic Gordly – Obama – Cruz "There will be change!" pen to be auctioned on Ebay!

The original pen she used will be auctioned on EBay to benefit the Friends of Sean Cruz campaign.

The high bidder will also receive three 8 x 10 photographs (pictured) autographed by the pen’s owner, Sean Cruz, and a letter attesting to the authenticity of the historic pen.

The Gordly – Obama – Cruz pen auction will begin on April 19 and end at midnight on April 28.

The deadline for changing political party registration is 5 p.m. on April 29.

Senator Gordly used this pen to sign the form on the front steps of the Oregon State Capitol and to complete it when she filed it with the Secretary of State’s office on April 2, 2008.

Senator Gordly spoke at the press conference, attended by many of her legislative colleagues, other public officials and members of the public, urging citizens everywhere to register to vote in this primary, that their votes would matter, that the time is ripe for meaningful change.

She called for Oregon to change its election laws to mirror those of Washington’s, where the top two finishers in the primary advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.

For security purposes, the pen is sealed in a Ziplock plastic bag, and guarded by Rex, the candidate’s faithful Airedale compańero, though not so closely that he might chew on it.

==============================

More than ever, I need your help to make a difference for Oregon and Oregonians:

Campaign: www.seancruz.com

Contribute online: www.actblue.com

Mail contributions to: Friends of Sean Cruz
POB 30093
Portland, Oregon 97230

Volunteers, contact me at: info@seancruz.com

Blog: www.blogoliticalsean.blogspot.com

Senate District 23 website: www.leg.state.or.us/gordly/news


Portland Monthly Magazine: www.portlandmonthlymag.com

March feature “The Underdog” is still available through the magazine.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Voter-Owned Democracy, part 4a (Power to the People: the Magic of ORESTAR)

Portland, Oregon--Oregon voters have many new tools with which to evaluate candidates for public office in this election cycle, and one of the most important is ORESTAR.

ORESTAR is accessible online through the Secretary of State’s Office here:

https://secure.sos.state.or.us/eim/jsp/CEMainPage.jsp

To gain information about where, when, how and from whom a candidate receives cash and in-kind support, all you need is their committee ID number, as registered with the Secretary of State.

To examine the books of the candidates for Senate District 23, for example, you enter either of the candidate committee ID numbers and “search transactions” (the numbers also indicate how long one candidate has been at it, compared to the other).

12548 Sean Cruz

4090 Jackie Dingfelder

The ORESTAR data doesn’t give you the “why” of the contribution, but if you look, you can learn some amazing things, all in the interest of getting a good look at the wizard(s) behind the curtain(s) (to borrow a metaphor), and broadening public access to the political process.

Some of this will take a little explaining. I’ve extracted data from ORESTAR to illustrate several points:

1. Transaction date: This is the date recorded with ORESTAR. The date the contribution was received could have been 30 days prior to the entry, and the deal could have been struck at any time before that.
2. Source of the contribution
3. Type of contribution, cash or in-kind
4. Amount or value of the contribution

Amazing Facts regarding the Dingfelder campaign for Senate District 23

I have learned many amazing facts with just a few hours of scrutiny (which is why this post is titled “4a”).

1. It appears that my opponent’s campaign headquarters is located outside of the Senate District she seeks to represent and that most of her campaign funds are both raised and spent outside of the district.

2. West Hills-dweller and Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler was one of the first contributors to the Dingfelder campaign for Senate District 23, way back last summer when she was the only candidate:

08/31/2007 Ted Wheeler Cash Contribution $1000

3. A staggering amount of free wine and scrumptious delicacies are flowing through the Dingfelder campaign (triggering a future post, to be titled “Democracy by the Glass”); looks like at least a couple of thousand dollars of free wine, beer and rare comestibles so far (can’t be certain):

09/29/2007 Ponzi Vineyards In-Kind Contribution $240 wine for kick-off event
10/04/2007 Willamette Valley Vineyards In-Kind Contribution $468
10/04/2007 Laurelwood Brewing Co. In-Kind Contribution $128
10/04/2007 Provvista Specialty Foods, Inc. In-Kind Contribution $404.08
03/11/2008 Lemelson Winery In-Kind Contribution $264 Wine for event
03/27/2008 Provvista Specialty Foods, Inc. In-Kind Contribution $112.46 Refreshments
04/09/2008 Pour Cash Expenditure $562

4. If this contributor is a member of the Coe family that operates Retriever Towing and other patrol towing-related enterprises in Portland, then I imagine this contribution was given with great enthusiasm, as I led the workgroup that hammered the predatory patrol towing “industry” in Oregon during the 2007 legislative session with Senate Bill 116 and Senate Bill 431, under Senator Gordly’s sponsorship. If this contributor is not associated with patrol towing, then my profound apologies:

10/09/2007 Michael Coe In-Kind Contribution $450 set-up and use of office equipment

5. The single largest contributor to the Dingfelder campaign is AFSCME with FIVE THOUSAND BIG ONES! (Where did they get that kind of money?) Hats off to the rainmaker, the candidate’s own husband, Tom Dingfelder, who is an AFSCME official (bringing home the salted bacon):

04/03/2008 Oregon AFSCME Council 75 Cash Contribution $$$5000

It would have been gracious of the AFSCME group who interviewed me in January to disclose the obvious conflict of interest.

It is absolutely in the best interest of voters to be aware of such conflicts of interest.

Parenthetically, I learned of the AFSCME conflict a week earlier on January 19 during the SEIU interview.

The SEIU process began with each candidate having two minutes to state their qualifications in front of everyone, before breaking up for interviews in small groups.

Speaking before me, my opponent declared that her qualifications to represent Senate District 23 included the fact that her husband was “an AFSCME official.”

That statement certainly explained a lot about what else was going on with the PACs.

I said nothing about the conflict a week later when I appeared before the AFSCME panel, because I felt it was their duty to disclose (which they did not!). Other than that, I believe the interview went all right. No hard feelings on my part!

But I never heard from them again, and have just learned about the size of the bundle of cash by referring to ORESTAR. FIVE GRAND!!!

In their defense, they were not the only PAC that failed to disclose conflicts of interest.

Senate District 23: Priorities, Priorities, Priorities!

An obvious contrast between the candidates in this race is their connection to the senate district they seek to represent.

Everyone I know is worried about health care, the economy, housing, hunger and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (not necessarily in that order), but then I am focusing my time, my campaigning and my public service on those who actually live and work in Senate District 23.

You can bet that everyone who attended this Dingfelder event is secure in their access to health care ($75 minimum to sip the free wine, engorge oneself with salivary-gland-stimulating exotica, plot the future of Senate District 23, without actually being in the district):

Here’s the invitation:

============================
Posted by: Jackie Dingfelder Mar 10, 2008 1:58:47 PM

Josh, and anyone else interested,

Yes, Governor Kitzhaber is hosting an event "Greens for Jackie" for me next week. We are expecting a large turnout from the environmental/sustainability community. Evan, thank you for canvassing with me! Jason, I will be knocking on your door soon!

Here are the details.Please join special guest Governor Kitzhaber, and other 'Greens' in support of Jackie Dingfelder for State Senate.

Enjoy delicious wine from Lemelson Vineyards and mouthwatering appetizers from POUR and Provvista Foods.

Where: POUR Wine Bar and Bistro
2755 NE Broadway St. Portland, OR 97232

When: March 19, 5-7pm

Suggested minimum donation $75

Hope to see you there,

Co-hosts: Governor Kitzhaber, Jonathan Poisner, Sybil Ackerman, Stephan Kafoury, Jeremiah Bauman, Nicole Cordan, Lindsey Capps, Mary Scurlock, Randy Tucker, Katy Daily, Meryl Redisch, Kevin Gorman, Louise Tippens, Tom Wolf, Wendy Novick, Gayle Killam, Bob Stacey, Scott Pratt, Regna Merritt, Jeff Bissonnette

P.S. Oregon taxpayers can receive a $50 tax credit, $100 per couple - for political contributions every year.
============================

I stand corrected. The wine was "delicious" and the appetizers "mouthwatering." --SC

============================


Where the Dingfelder campaign money comes from


(I didn’t know some of these PACS existed until I saw this report!)

Important points to note:

As of today's date, April 10, 2008, there has been NO public forum or debate in this race.

Some of the contributors made their endorsement decisions without holding candidate interviews.

Many made their decisions when there was only one candidate in the race, long before the candidate filing deadline.

Early endorsements serve to deter potential candidates from emerging, narrowing the field.

These decisions were all made by small groups or individuals meeting privately, with no opportunity for the public to participate, often without even a pretense of impartiality.

No conflict of interest disclosures were made by any interviewing body.

All of the interviewers save one were white. No racial or ethnic minorities or immigrant populations were present in the interviews, although Senate District 23 is the most diverse Senate district in the state.

All of these PACs and wealthy donors added up together do not represent the makeup and character of Senate District 23 or the priorities of its constituents.

The questions remain:

Who will serve on the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, taking the seat being vacated by Avel Gordly?

Who will stand for our veterans and their families in a new Senate Veterans Affairs Committee?

Who will speak for the underserved when Avel Gordly leaves the Senate?

Who will focus on health care, on services for seniors and people with disabilities?

....as opposed to promising to vote for someone else's work.

Who will focus on the work we as a state need to do to reduce the stigma of mental illness, to replace the Oregon State Hospital and build the statewide network of community-based care so badly needed?

This contest to succeed Senator Avel Gordly deserves far more than the superficial look it has received so far, particularly from these folks, already ordering the curtains for the Senator's new offices:

Tran Date Contributor/Payee Amount
08/15/2007 Northwest Strategies, Inc. $500
08/15/2007 Veterinarians Organized to Elect $500
08/20/2007 Witham & Dickey, Inc. $500
08/31/2007 Ted Wheeler $1000
08/31/2007 Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation $500
08/31/2007 Women's Investment Network PAC $500
08/31/2007 M. Albin Jubitz, Jr. $1000
09/07/2007 Oregon Optometric Public Affairs Council $500
09/07/2007 John Emrick $1000
09/24/2007 William Lazar $2000
09/24/2007 John Russell $1000
09/29/2007 Ponzi Vineyards $ 240
10/04/2007 Willamette Valley Vineyards $468
10/04/2007 Oregon Refuse and Recycling Association PAC $500
10/04/2007 Lisa Naito $150
10/04/2007 Laurelwood Brewing Co. $128
10/04/2007 Provvista Specialty Foods, Inc. $404.08
10/04/2007 Portland General Electric Employee Candidate Assistance Fund $1500
10/09/2007 Betsy Johnson $500
10/09/2007 Michael Coe $450
10/09/2007 Pour $450
10/14/2007 Christine Vernier $500
10/28/2007 Susheela Jayapal $500
10/30/2007 PPM Energy, Inc. $2000
10/30/2007 Mark Edlen $500
11/01/2007 Pour $450
11/07/2007 Cascade Grain Products LLC $1000
11/13/2007 Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association PAC $500
11/13/2007 William Blosser $150
11/13/2007 American Federation of Teachers PAC $1000
11/13/2007 Waste Management Service Center $1000
11/21/2007 Gun Denhart $ 750
11/23/2007 Pour $450
11/23/2007 WinningMark $2930.4
12/05/2007 Holding Onto Oregon's Priorities (HOOPS) PAC $500
12/07/2007 Foresight Ophthalmology PAC $500
12/07/2007 Oregon Medical PAC $500
12/07/2007 Container Recovery Inc. $250
12/07/2007 Container Recovery Inc. $750
12/07/2007 Cable Operators PAC $250
12/07/2007 Conkling Fiskum & Mccormick PAC $500
12/07/2007 American Institute of Architects Oregon PAC $500
12/07/2007 Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. $1000
12/07/2007 Oregonians for Affordable Housing $1000
12/11/2007 Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde $2000
12/11/2007 Pacific Ethanol Inc. $1000
12/12/2007 WinningMark $2500
12/15/2007 Pour $400
01/02/2008 Kenneth Lewis $1000
01/11/2008 Kenneth Hayes $500
01/17/2008 Brian Houle $1000
01/17/2008 Robert Doneker $500
01/17/2008 GlaxoSmithKline $500
01/17/2008 Credit Union Legislative Action Fund $1000
01/25/2008 James Winkler $500
01/25/2008 Rob Miller $500
01/28/2008 John Miller $500
01/31/2008 Pacific Seafood $1000
01/31/2008 Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs $1000
01/31/2008 American Council of Engineering Companies PAC $500
01/31/2008 David Evans and Associates $500
02/01/2008 Edmund Hayes, Jr. $500
02/01/2008 Neil Kelly $500
02/01/2008 Oregon WheatPAC $250
02/01/2008 Debi Coleman $500
02/01/2008 Oregon State Fire Fighters Council $1000
02/27/2008 Scott Lewis $500
03/04/2008 Mark Rosenbaum $500
03/11/2008 Lemelson Winery $264
03/14/2008 Oregon State Fire Fighters Council $1950
03/16/2008 Sarah Baker $500
03/16/2008 Natural Gas PAC $1000
03/20/2008 Teamsters No. 37 Political Fund $300
03/20/2008 United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 555 $1000
03/20/2008 Fisherman's Marine Supply, Inc $150
03/20/2008 Cable Operators PAC $500
03/20/2008 Oregon Nurse PAC $250
03/20/2008 Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association PAC $750
03/20/2008 Ice PAC $500
03/27/2008 Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association PAC $250
03/27/2008 Credit Union Legislative Action Fund $500
03/27/2008 Holding Onto Oregon's Priorities (HOOPS) PAC $500
03/27/2008 Provvista Specialty Foods, Inc. $112.46
03/27/2008 Teachers Voice in Politics $1000
03/27/2008 Citizen Action for Political Education $500
03/27/2008 Oregon Business Association PAC $1250
04/03/2008 Oregon Climate PAC $2000
04/03/2008 Oregon AFSCME Council 75 $$$5000
04/09/2008 Pour $562
04/09/2008 Qwest Oregon Employees' PAC $500
04/09/2008 Citizen Action for Political Education $2500
04/09/2008 Oregon AFLabor-CIO Committee on Political Education $250
04/09/2008 Boora Architects, inc $250


An equal opportunity candidate


The foregoing information is provided as a public service. I invite the public to give the same scrutiny to the Sean Cruz for Senate District 23 campaign.

I look forward to the discussions that will ensue.—Sean Cruz

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Voter-Owned Democracy, part 3 (Portland legislative candidate forums absent from the public discussion)

With three key Portland-area legislative contested primaries looming on the May 20 ballot, opportunities for the candidates to appear in public forums and debates have been strangely absent.

This week alone, both Elders in Action and the Oregon League of Minority Voters will hold candidate forums, and neither will include legislative races.

It is easy to explain the lack of interest regarding the many uncontested legislative races, as those “contests” were decided back at the filing deadline in March.

But House District 42, House District 45 and Senate District 23 feature well-qualified contenders for these three open seats, and how all three races have slipped below the radar is hard to understand.

The several candidates offer competing views on the state’s policies and priorities, and yet no opportunity has emerged for a public discussion.

The Urban League and its partners will be the first to offer a platform featuring the race to succeed Senator Avel Gordly in Senate District 23, on May 2 at Highland Christian Center, an event that will also feature the contest for Oregon Attorney General.

It is the lone scheduled event for this key race that will determine the policy direction for Oregon’s underserved populations for years to come.

Recently, the Oregonian ran an editorial stating that the most important races on the May 20 ballot might be the legislative contests, and they are correct.

Each of these races are worth far more than the superficial look they have received to date, simple measures of money raised, special-interest and insider endorsements gained, lawn signs staked and paper promises printed.

Behind the scenes, political payback, petty jealousies and kneecapping are in full Spring bloom, the role of endorsement nepotism lies unexamined.

Who will take the intitiative and put these vital contests on the front burner where they belong?

I leave the question open, as open as the opportunity to bring real change to the Oregon legislature, but the door is closing fast.

Time is short, and the time is yours.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Sean Cruz wins/holds key blog endorsement

Portland, Oregon--The most gratifying endorsements are those that come from the community, and this support from someone I have never met and whose name I do not know warms my heart.

Not a Well Behaved Woman is an intelligent, thoughtful, well-written blog that deserves to be more widely read.

The author identifies herself as “Oregonian 37” and describes herself thusly:

“I am a non-traditional college student working on my Bachelor's in Social Science and eventual Master's in Education. I am a Texas transplant, and absolutely love the Northwest. Although I do not wear rose-colored glasses to see the world around me, I very much recognize and seek out those who believe that change is possible and who want to raise the level of living for all. I believe that community and mutual respect are key for any and all progress, whether locally, nationally, or internationally. I may someday run for office, and expect to be active in public service for the rest of my life.”

Here’s what she had to say (follow the link to her blog):

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Sean Cruz, Senate District 23

It has been several months since I talked about who I endorse for various positions, mainly because I am volunteering on a campaign and find it less complicated and stressful to remain in the background for now. My earlier positions haven't changed, I just don't publically harp on them.

One of the first candidates I spoke about was Sean Cruz, who is running to replace Avel Gordly (who is retiring), in the Oregon Senate, District 23. My initial support for Cruz was based on his connection to Gordly, whom I hold in extremely high regard. Then I began to read what he has to say and about positions that he holds.

After that, his candidacy stood on its own for me. Aside from the fact that he has long-term, direct, SUCCESSFUL experience as a part of the office that he wants to now hold, Sean Cruz has a heart and passion for public service that I haven't seen in a really long time, not even many others that I support.

http://notawellbehavedwoman.blogspot.com/2008/04/sean-cruz-senate-district-23.html

Save her web address to your favorites.

Thank you once again, Oregonian 37.


Sean Cruz

Monday, April 07, 2008

Oregon veterans need our help--urgently!

Portland, Oregon-- The average age of combat soldiers and marines serving in Iraq and Afghanistan is 22 years.

Coming home, they face an unemployment rate much higher than for civilians.

80% report that they are unprepared for job hunting.

75% report that they have difficulty translating their military experience into the civilian workplace. Many find work as prison guards.

50% of those employed after deployment work at jobs paying less than $ 25,000 a year, income that would put you at the edge of homelessness.

Charlie Company’s First Platoon, of the Ist Battalion 4th Marine Division, made a video/slide show of their experiences in Iraq’s Al Anbar Province, from May to October, 2007, posted on Youtube.

This compelling video documents why those troubling statistics are so high, and points to our responsibility at home to invest in transitional services for veterans and their families.

Many thanks to Oregonian Steve Weiss, whose son served with the 1st platoon on this deployment, for sharing this.

1/4 charlie company 1st platoon part 1 of 2 redux
1/4 charlie company 1st platoon part 2 of 2 redux

Here’s the link to Charlie Company’s video/slide show:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGS1MAIM3rM&feature=related

Be sure to see both parts!

============

Governor Kulongoski creates Task Force on Veterans Services

Governor Kulongoski has created by Executive Order the Task Force on Veterans Services, which will evaluate veterans issues and report its recommendations for improvements to be considered by the 2009-11 Legislature.

This is the necessary first step towards the creation of a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee to work jointly with the House Veterans Affairs Committee, which is certainly to be among the Task Force’s recommendations.

In a previous post, I outlined how the lack of a Senate committee hampers progress on improving services to veterans, leaving many bills stranded.

Here’s the link: http://blogoliticalsean.blogspot.com/2008/03/why-i-am-running-for-oregon-senate.html

The urgent nature of veterans-related issues calls for a joint working committee, particularly during wartime, and that committee should remain open during the entire legislative session and continue to meet during the interim.

The Governor’s Task Force will include one Senator to be appointed by the Senate President, and one Representative to be appointed by the Speaker of the House.

The Senate appointment to the Task Force establishes a crucial link between the Senate, the House and the Governor’s Office for working on veterans issues.

The Governor’s Office released the following announcement and link:

(Salem) – Governor Ted Kulongoski signed Executive Order 08-08 last week creating the Governor’s Task Force on Veterans Services to compile, review and evaluate current veterans policies, procedures and programs, and to develop recommendations for improvements to ensure that Oregon veterans have access to the services they need.

“More than 360,000 Oregonians have unselfishly served in uniform,” Governor Kulongoski said. “The veterans’ issues emerging as a result of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are significant, and are impacting our families and communities. But in addressing those, we must also remember the men and women who fought in Vietnam, World War II and the Korean War so that Oregon is providing adequate care and services for all generations of veterans – not just some.”

The Governor directed the task force identify service needs for the different generations of veterans and to conduct a comprehensive inventory of state and federal services. As part of this evaluation, the Governor asked the task force to focus on: 1) reintegration services; 2) post-separation access services; and 3) retirement/senior care, and to develop recommendations to enhance coordination of services among state and federal partners.

“Uncoordinated attempts to provide care for our veterans has created confusion and frustration for our veterans and their families,” the Governor continued. “The lack of a comprehensive approach to veterans care limits the impact of scarce resources and our capacity to help veterans who need and deserve our care. To ensure that our veterans do not fall through the cracks, we must begin collaborating to ensure we are providing quality services that meet the unique needs of all of our veterans.”

The task force will develop a comprehensive list of recommendations, including potential legislation for the 2009 legislative session, to be delivered to the Governor by December 31, 2008. The task force will hold its first meeting Friday, April 3 at the Oregon Department of Human Services in Salem.

Click here for the Executive Order creating the task force.

http://governor.oregon.gov/Gov/docs/executive_orders/eo0808.pdf

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I need your help to send me to the Oregon Senate, to serve on a new Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. --Sean Cruz

campaign: www.seancruz.com

contribute online at: www.actblue.com

Mail contributions to: Friends of Sean Cruz
POB 30093
Portland, Oregon 97230

Volunteers, contact me at: info@seancruz.com

Blog: www.BlogoliticalSean.blogspot.com

Friday, April 04, 2008

Oregon State Senator Avel Gordly registers her support for the Barack Obama - Sean Cruz ticket!


Salem, Oregon—Senator Avel Gordly traveled to the Capitol to demonstrate her support for Barack Obama and Sean Cruz, candidates for President of the United States and Oregon State Senate District 23, respectively, by publicly completing and signing the registration form and personally filing it with the Secretary of State’s office.

Senator Gordly (I-SD 23 NE and SE Portland) was unaffiliated with any political party, but decided to register as a Democrat in order to support the candidacies of Barack Obama for the presidency of the United States, and for Sean Cruz to succeed her in the Oregon Senate, representing her Senate District 23 and taking her seat on the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, where he will work on access to health care for the uninsured.

She borrowed the pen she completed and signed the form with from her longtime Chief of Staff Sean Cruz, a Foray ™ precision point 0.5 mm gel ink pen, with blue ink.


The original pen she used will be auctioned on EBay to benefit the Friends of Sean Cruz campaign. The high bidder will also receive three 8 x 10 photographs (pictured) autographed by the pen's owner, Sean Cruz, and a letter attesting to the authenticity of the pen.

Historic Gordly - Obama - Cruz pen to be auctioned on Ebay!

The Gordly – Obama – Cruz pen auction will begin on April 19 and end at 5 p.m. on April 29.

The deadline for changing political party registration is also 5 p.m. on April 29.

Senator Gordly used this pen to sign the form on the front steps of the Oregon State Capitol and to complete the form when she filed it with the Secretary of State’s office on April 2, 2008.

Senator Gordly spoke at the press conference, attended by many of her legislative colleagues, other public officials and members of the public, urging citizens everywhere to register to vote in this primary, that their votes would matter, that the time is ripe for meaningful change.

She called for Oregon to change its election laws to mirror those of Washington’s, where the top two finishers in the primary advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.



Information on the auction of the historic pen will be updated periodically:


For security purposes, the pen is sealed in a Ziplock plastic bag, and guarded by Rex, the candidate’s faithful Airedale compańero, though not so closely that he might chew on it.



--photos courtesy of Sean Cruz, Lew Frederick and the Barack Obama campaign

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Why I am not in the May 2008 Oregon voters pamphlet

Portland, Oregon-- As attention turned for some to the symbolic fifth anniversary of the start of the Iraq invasion in mid-March, and the benchmark of 4,000 combat deaths, the stress of the past six years caught up with me….

My dread and horror of the consequences of invading Iraq were formed long before the invasion took place in 2003….

When the September 11 attacks occurred, both of my sons were already members of the Utah Army National Guard. Aaron was 19 years old, Tyler 18.

As the Bush Administration dragged the nation down into the quagmire of Iraq, I saw my hopes and dreams for my sons destroyed as more than a thousand endless days and nights passed by, nearly twice that now, unceasing agonizing worry.

I saw Aaron leave our home in Portland in November 2003, clad in his full dress army uniform, ready to report for duty despite his illnesses, serious enough to qualify him for the Oregon Health Plan, and I saw Tyler off to Ramadi in the summer of 2005.

Neither has come home from the war.

Aaron died in Utah on his way to Iraq, a preventable death, a death that could have been prevented by providing him in Utah the medical treatment he was receiving here in our home under the Oregon Health Plan (he was covered, but I was uninsured).

In May 2005, I saw Aaron’s flag-draped coffin, heard his former commanding officer and other members of his unit, clad in full dress uniforms, speak of his courage and devotion and of how they loved him.

Aaron was a victim of medical neglect while under Army orders. Without his meds, without medical care, alone and homeless in Utah, he suffered a seizure, lapsed into a coma and died.

His Portland doctor had predicted this outcome when Aaron left our home to report for duty in 2003.

Eight hours after we buried his brother, Tyler was on his way back for his second deployment as a .50 caliber machine gunner on a humvee, this time to Ramadi, where 75 of his comrades would die and more than a thousand soldiers and marines suffered serious injuries, a quarter of the entire force, living in squalor.

My dream for Tyler had been Stanford or Arizona State, a baseball scholarship and the US Olympic team. I often envisioned the years I would spend, following him from place to place to watch him work his magic on the field, building my calendar around his game and practice schedule the best I could.

But today I do not know where he is. Or how he is. Or what will happen next.

I wait for him to come home at all times. And for my two beautiful, long-lost daughters.

All of these thoughts, the long six years, the loss of Aaron, his needless suffering, what would have been his March birthday, all of these things and more combined to form such overwhelming grief that I missed the filing deadline for the voter’s pamphlet by four days.

March 21 would have been Aaron’s birthday.

I walked my dog five times a day in my Parkrose neighborhood all through mid-March.

After Aaron and my three other children disappeared on February 12, 1996, I fought for seven years through four jurisdictions in three states to locate and recover them, all in vain despite a lawful joint custody order.

In 2003, Aaron contacted me, told me he was ready to come home, asked me to come and get him. I was on my way to Utah the next day, the seats to my van left behind to make room for whatever belongings he had.

The mental and physical condition he was in was shocking, the suffering he had endured during those seven horrific years, isolated in theocratic Utah with an abusive stepdad and a disinterested mother, was written all over him.

For the next three months, my total, full-time focus was on getting Aaron medical attention, while absorbing how his kidnappers had crushed the joy and hope out of his life. I could only guess at how my other three children had fared, at how long the road to recovery would be.

Aaron was ill enough to qualify for the Oregon Health Plan in September 2003.

He did not get that way overnight. He was visibly ill for years, and no one helped him.

The Army pronounced him fit for duty in Iraq, some few days after the letter arrived from his doctor, a warning about the seizure disorder that would take his life.

Here in Portland, he was too ill to sit upright in my van, and he would lie on the floor as I drove him to his medical appointments, both ways, through September, October and November. I never did put the seats back in my van.

When his orders arrived for deployment to Iraq in November 2003, he let me know that nothing would stop him from joining his brother and his unit.

He left the day after Thanksgiving, 2003, racking up more than $ 300 in traffic fines on his way to Utah, which I paid for, along with all of his other expenses.

I went broke keeping Aaron alive while the Army held him in Utah.

I fought for seven years to find him and bring him home, and three months later the Army took him back to Utah.

When people pick arbitrary numbers and dates, most recently 4,000 combat deaths and five years since the occupation of Iraq began, to make a symbolic gesture or expression regarding these life and death issues, the public and the media focus for a minute and move on.

But these numbers and dates do not remotely capture what is really happening among the small fraction of Americans who are paying the price for the American catastrophe in Iraq, making the blood sacrifices, foregoing dreams, family, future.

Oregon military families suffer in isolation. Look around you and ask yourself:

Who do you know, five years into the war, that has served or will serve? Has the war reached your neighborhood at all?

The lives of most Americans are untouched, even by inconvenience, with the lone exception of rising fuel prices.

Local television news programs broadcast the locations of gas stations offering the lowest prices; drive over there and save yourself two cents a gallon.

The nation’s college campuses are hotbeds of rest and inaction, if not actual privilege.

Oregon’s legislative candidates seem to be taking the position that the war is a federal issue, no room on the campaign literature for a single four-letter word: Iraq.

That is not my position. The direct costs of the war and its indirect costs bleed the nation of the resources we need to solve our many problems here, and that is no secret to anyone.

This must be part of the discussion in every political race at all levels. We must puncture the bubble.

I am not in the voter’s pamphlet for the May 20 primary.

What this means for my campaign to succeed Avel Gordly in the Oregon Senate will be the subject of several future postings.

It is not in itself a fatal complication, but it certainly gives my advantage-rich opponent yet another advantage.

Success in this race will double-underscore the fact that this campaign is driven by ordinary citizens, and not by special interests.

Success in this race will depend on being right on the right issues, and being the right person to deal with them.

It is April now. The hell of March is past. I have regained my focus. It is all too clear how important this race is.

600,000 Oregonians lack affordable health care, suffer prescription anxiety, worry about what will happen to them as they age.

They need an Oregon Senator in Senate District 23 who will work hands-on on these issues.

Oregon’s population of 300,000 veterans and their families is grossly underserved and under-represented in the state legislature, where there is no Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

They need a passionate advocate who will bring great focus to their issues, working jointly with the House on a new Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

I will give you four years of my life, devoted to this work.

If you have strong feelings about the occupation of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan, feelings strong enough that you want to be heard in the Oregon Senate, then take this action, do this one thing: Send me there!!

Send me to the Oregon Senate, representing the constituents of Senate District 23.

Posting these comments is a way of putting some closure on a very difficult month of March…

For those I may have angered or disappointed during the month, lo siento mucho….

Okay, I’m not in the May 20 voter’s pamphlet….

Time to take the lemon….

Depression is a disability that kills 20,000 Americans a year, mostly silently.

Make some lemonade…

…to be continued….

==============================

More than ever, I need your help to make a difference for Oregon and Oregonians:

Campaign: www.seancruz.com

Contribute online: www.actblue.com

Mail contributions to: Friends of Sean Cruz
POB 30093
Portland, Oregon 97230

Volunteers, contact me at: info@seancruz.com


Blog: www.blogoliticalsean.blogspot.com

Portland Monthly Magazine: www.portlandmonthlymag.com
March feature “The Underdog” is still available through the magazine.