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Saturday, March 20, 2004
Secrets and Fonts
Well, I thought I’d write about something amazing that has come to light recently, but for reasons that will become apparent very soon, I’m not going to post it today. I know that might seem like bloggus interruptus, but sometimes a blogger’s gotta do what a blogger’s gotta do, pilgrim.
That said, today was spent doing some typesetting for the KERRY FOR LANE COUNTY dinner that’s being held on April 22. That has nothing to do with my campaign, really, except that ...
Language IS politics; What little is left is how you dress when you speak (language) and what fonts are used in your bumper stickers and signs (language). I have been fortunate to have been a typesetter when writing wasn’t going so well over the past 26 years – first for a rock & roll magazine called PHONOGRAPH RECORD MAGAZINE, which was in the old MAX FACTOR building in Hollywood, right across the street from the Chinese Theater.
I went in to get a job as an editor, and they handed me an X-Acto knife. Instead, I learned pasteup and how to set headlines by hand, and how to run a stat camera, and, finally, some basics of typesetting. Then I went to two small magazines in a little publishing empire run by a fellow who put out a monthly newspaper for Arab-Americans in Los Angeles, and another one for Americans wishing to do business in the Middle East, and he published books on the side, and did wedding announcements, etc. anything that would bring in a little cash.
His typesetting machine was upstairs in his house, and his wife used to fix us Arab coffee at lunchtime: a demitasse filled with sludge that made espresso seem like Diet Rite.
Later, I typeset record labels and album covers, then finally, just about everything else: from boxes of Lee Nails ® to Spanish supermarket flyers: Uvas (grapes) on sale! Papas fritas – French fries, or, as is popular these days “freedom fries.” (My 96-year-old father-in-law, who lives with my wife and I, remembers in World War I, sauerkraut was called “liberty cabbage.”)
I also typeset portions of the first proposal for the space station that Congress accepted. It was pretty amazing to go to the newsstand and see that your little typesetting job of last month was front page news!
Well, all that graphic arts experience comes in handy when it comes to designing campaign materials.
The rest of today’s blog is secret. Oh well. Confidentiality must, at times, be scrupulously maintained.
**** (secret part) ...
Friday, March 19, 2004
Administrative Day - Or, We Catch Up on Our Paperwork
Well, the League of Women Voters needed their questionnaire filled out today, and I had to fax my Candidacy Organization papers up to the Secretary of State’s Office. We bought the buttons, and I had three business days to get filed. My wife, Jayne is my treasurer and we filled out the “don’t expect to spend more than $2000” form, which makes filing our C&Es (financial reports) a lot easier.
The nice lady at the SOS’s office, whom I spoke with to confirm that the faxes had arrived intact asked:
“Are YOU ‘Mystery Rangers for Hart Williams’?”
“Yes,” I said. “Yes I am.”
“That,” she said, laughing “Is WAY cool.”
“We thought so,” I said.
“It’s certainly one of the more creative titles we’ve seen up here.”
And I imagine she had a smile on her face. Which is the point. Some dull name is just going to be another dull thing in a dull grind of colorless politics. The least I can give the voter is a smile.
The League of Women Voters? I love ‘em. They’re lineal descendents of the Women’s Suffrage movement, and, coming, as I do from Wyoming, I always took pride in Wyoming being the first place in the Western Hemisphere to grant the vote to women. Ken Burns’ “The West” gave that honor to Utah -- a grave insult to the honor of Wyoming, but then again, so is Dick Cheney. Onward. I probably respect the LWV more than any political organization in the USA, and that includes my own Party. So, I was happy to answer their questionnaire. Here’s what I wrote:
League Of Women Voters Questions
Question #1. Please answer this question in 60 words or less. Explain your position regarding Oregon’s revenue system.
Oregon’s tax code contains 148 special “tax loopholes” that have no discernable public value. They’re loopholes, pure and simple. My wife, Jayne, and I have already passed tax reform legislation in Salem. Our law, enacted last session, lets the ODR and taxpayers communicate through their tax representative. That’s an immediate improvement in the real world consequences to Oregon taxpayers. (59 words)
Question #2. Please answer this question in 60 words or less. Explain your position regarding a “rainy day” fund.
Question #3. Please answer this question in 60 words or less. Explain your position regarding the proposed changes in Oregon’s land use laws.
I grew up in Wyoming and New Mexico, and I watched the Aspenization of Vail, Missoula, Montana, Sedona, Arizona and my hometown of Santa Fe. I know what happens without land use laws. My position is clear and irrevocable: I will be glad to consider IMPROVEMENTS to land use laws, but I will not accept any change in their DIRECTION. (60 words)
There. I know I had two more words left to use, but I really felt I didn’t need them. No point in filibustering.
Thursday, March 18, 2004
I circulated this "brief" at the DPLC Central Committee meeting tonight. The tension was so thick that you could have cut it with a knife.
"... Hart's abusive e-mails, threats and lies*"
- Pat Riggs-Henson, in an official communication to the Executive
Committee of the DPLC on Sunday, March 14, 2004.
"How this bunch could turn an act of personal integrity (an attempt to avoid
the appearance of conflict of interest) into something this ugly and vicious
is beyond me."
- Hart Williams, March 18, 2004
1. On March 9, 2004, Hart Williams becomes a Candidate for House District 8.
(He could not run at the HD8 Convention because the County Commissioners are
still smarting from his editorials regarding the dark doings of the HD 42
Convention, which was overturned by the Commission and kicked up to the
2. Hart Williams mentions to several DPLC "friends" that he intends to
resign his position as Vice Chair of HD 8 to avoid the appearance of
conflict of interest, and to allow the party's grassroots prototype program
in HD8 to continue. While waiting to be interviewed by SEIU, on March 10th,
he finds an old DPO mailing in his clipboard that says Neal Pender took a
Leave of Absence to work on the Bradbury for Senate campaign in 2002. He
decides to take a Leave of Absence instead. This keeps faith with the HD 8
PCPs who nominated and elected him without any request or lobbying on his
part at Reorg in January of 2002.
3. DPLC TREASURER C. Michael Arnold decides to take a conversational,
semi-private email as an "official" letter of resignation, even though
tradition and practice recall no such or sort of resignation! No written
letter is ever sent the DPLC Chair. The only "official" DPLC business in the
letter -- a request to be included in a candidates' forum - is ignored by
Mr. Arnold. No reply has yet been received.
4. At 3:12 PM on Thursday, March 11th, fearing chicanery, Mr. Williams
sends email to the Chair, asking to be excused from the Executive Committee
meeting. His fears prove to be well-founded.
5. At the Executive Committee Meeting, Mr. Williams' resignation, NEVER
TENDERED, is accepted by the Committee at the urging of the Chair. An
attempted resignation -- EXACTLY the same, resigning from Campaign Services
and from a House District seat - by Rich Cunningham, who is present, is
treated entirely differently: The Chair pleads with Mr. Cunningham to TAKE A
LEAVE OF ABSENCE. When Chris Matson attempts to resign from Campaign
Services (attested to by several witnesses but NOT reflected in the Draft
Minutes) the Chair, AGAIN pleads with Mr. Matson to TAKE A LEAVE OF
ABSENCE. (see draft minutes)
Mac McFadden writes:
Hart: What is most telling is the different manner in which they dealt with
Rich Cunningham's resignation.
DRAFT MINUTES DPLC EXECUTIVE MEETING, March 11, 2004; 7:10 - 9:40 p.m. IWA
Hall, Springfield, Oregon
[...] Resignations. The Vice-Chair of HD 8 has resigned [Hart Williams],
and Mary Lou
Vignola will be conducting an election for a new Vice Chair. Rich
Cunningham has withdrawn as a candidate for Representative of HD 14. Rich
read a statement about his withdrawal. Dan read a statement discussing
communication between the local, state, and national party organization. It
was clarified that the DPO and the Democratic Caucus are separate entities.
A discussion of the caucus operations during recruitment of candidates and
the election seasons ensued. Ron representing Campaign Services and John
Cuff representing Rules will be meeting with Phil Barnhart to express our
concerns. Future PAC is funded by unions, and Forward Oregon is a caucus
structure. Issues with each entity need to be separated. Rich requested to
resign from Campaign Services and as HD 11 Chair, however, Pat R.-H.
encouraged him to take a leave of absence.
6. Not opening her email until after the Executive Committee, the CHAIR
sends a letter of surprise and astonishment:
I was surprise (sic) in receiving your e-mail after I returned home for the
Executive Board meeting Thursday night. I received a copied e-mail from Mike
Arnold and had heard from Mary Lou that you had resigned your position. We
took action to accept that resignation at the Executive Board meeting. Good
luck on you (sic) campaign. Pat
However, she makes NO attempt to correct what is an obvious error. "Had I
known that I was going to resign, I should not have asked to be excused from
the meeting. Indeed, had I known that I was going to resign, I should have
made a point of being at the meeting." - HW
From: Hart Williams [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Thursday,
March 11, 2004 3:21 PM
To: email@example.com; Mary Lou Vignola
Subject: Re: Checking In
Dear Pat: Please excuse me from the Exec Meeting tonight. The Lane County
for Kerry group is planning a dinner and fundraiser and I have to bring the
minutes, the information and other critical materials. The person with this
information could not attend at the last minute, so I'm elected. Sorry for
the conflict. Bests, Hart Williams
7. When Mr. Williams protests the reprehensible action of the Executive
Committee, based on gossip and improper use of email(#), the CHAIR --
instead of making any attempt to correct the error -- writes Mr. Williams
not to email her anymore, and libels Mr. Williams to the entire Executive
Committee, accusing him of abuse, "threats and lies*. She claims to be
entirely justified based on the purloined letter, and hearsay from the HD 8
Chair. She implies that his request to be excused from the meeting is
somehow a dark and devious strategem. The implication being that Williams
somehow set up his own assassination by the Executive Committee, a patently
In an utterly improper "official" communication regarding official Party
business! Here is the letter:
From: "Pat Riggs-Henson"
To: "Sally Nunn"
Cc: "Hart Williams"
Subject: RE: Checking In
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 21:22:47 -0800
I forwarded the e-mail that included Hart's statement to Mike Arnold that he
was resigning. It was pretty clear in his message that it was his intent to
resign. I sent the Executive Board with (sic) my response to Hart's last
e-mail to me, asking to be excused from the March 11 E-Board meeting. (Hart
has missed many meetings without ever asking me to excuse him) Hart does not
put many things in writing to me unless it is in the form of an insult. So I
did not question that he would go through Mike or Mary Lou to tender his
resignation. Now he has obviously changed his mind. We will need to deal
with this issue. After months of putting up silently to Hart's abusive
e-mails, threats and lies I have decided to not respond or accept e-mails
from the man. Pat
Letter sent to Hart Williams (cc'ed to same Exec Committee Members) at 9:40
pm Sunday, March 14:
Do not send anymore (sic) e-mails to my address. Pat
8. Unable to respond in any wise to the accusations against him, Mr.
Williams is forced to wait until the Central Committee meeting of March 18
How an act of personal integrity can be thus turned into something so ugly
is a process that Mr. Williams cannot understand. But it is the essence of
why he's running for State Representative.
(#) Here is the "abusive, threatening and lying" letter:
I did not resign my position. I told Mary Lou I was considering it, but that
I would make an announcement at the next Central Committee meeting. In fact,
after researching the matter, I am taking a leave of absence, as did State
Executive Director Neal Pender to work on the Bradbury campaign in 2002.
Astonishing that my attempt to preserve the integrity of the Party and its
bylaws would lead to this attempt to deep-six me. I was nominated and
elected to my position by my elected HD8 PCPs without ANY urging on my part,
and I take their display of confidence in my leadership skills very
seriously. I am sorry that you don't seem to, because, really, it is THEIR
judgment that is being questioned.
This is another highly questionable action in an "administration" notable
for its highly questionable actions.
In the absence of any word from me, the Executive Committee's actions are
premature and, I suspect, motivated by a desire to exclude me from an inner
circle you have long regretted that the bylaws prohibit you from barring me
from: the Executive Committee. As HD8 Vice Chair, I do NOT serve at the
pleasure of the Chair, but, rather, serve because the Vice Chair is
AUTOMATICALLY a member of the Executive Committee, as specifically
delineated in the bylaws.
When no letter of resignation is received from a person who makes his living
as a writer, there is no reasonable expectation that the resignation has, in
fact, taken place. I will be checking with the Secretary of State's Office
to see what the legality of this action is, and what recourse I have.
still HD 8 Vice Chair
(There: Perhaps not the kindest letter ever written, but certainly not
abusive, threatening or lying. If things are on the up and up, certainly Ms.
Riggs-Henson has nothing to fear from the Secretary of State!)
OK. So, at the Central Committee meeting tonight, what action do you suppose they took on this issue?
None. They pretended it didn't exist. There you go.
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
We answer our mail. A friend in Portland bought a B&B and is moving back to New Mexico. We graduated from Santa Fe High School together back in 1973.
Well, heck, he couldn't have voted for me, anyway. Drat.
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
(We get advice)
My wife (who is a very wise being) says that what is really reprehensible in all of this is that the same event -- a “resignation” -- is handled entirely differently in the same meeting. Rich, below, tendered his resignation, but the Chair pleaded with him to only take a leave of absence instead.
Democratic Party of Lane County
Hmmmm. Funny, that’s what I was GOING to do.
PS: These are only the "draft" minutes. They have a month to rewrite them in any way that they want, so please read them now before they "evaporate."
And the beat goes on.
The Chair of the Party, one Pat Riggs-Henson, (Hereinafter Riggs-Election) sent out a non-mea culpa addressed to the executive committee, calling me “abusive” – i.e. that this was a girl-boy thing and not a right-wrong thing, and I was being mean to her for having accepted a resignation never tendered, and I was always being mean to her and not to email her again.
To wit (less?):
"I forwarded the e-mail that included Hart's statement to Mike Arnold that he was resigning. It was pretty clear in his message that it was his intent to resign. I sent the Executive Board with my response to Hart's last e-mail to me, asking to be excused from the March 11 E-Board meeting. (Hart has missed many meetings without ever asking me to excuse him) Hart does not put many things in writing to me unless it is in the form of an insult. So I did not question that he would go through Mike or Mary Lou to tender his resignation. Now he has obviously changed his mind. We will need to deal with this issue. After months of putting up silently to Hart's abusive e-mails, threats and lies I have decided to not respond or accept e-mails from the man. Pat"
Whoops. She gettie all maaaaaaad.
The SECOND letter was addressed to me (and cc’ed to everyone else) and said, quote: “Hart, Do not send anymore e-mails to my address. Pat” (sic)
Oooooh. She hangie up the phone! Slam!
But I’m not her boyfriend. I’m not her stalker. I will happily produce ALL of my “abusive” email to her, but someone needs to notify the poor distraught magnolia blossom (I can’t, you see; I’m not to email her even though it is her official capacity as chair to accept official email pertaining to official matters.) that she’s in violation of the bylaws, and has no legal right to accept a resignation not tendered, and, certainly improperly tendered.
You see, I’m running for State Representative because of this kind of stuff, why these people never met a bylaw they couldn’t ignore, a law they couldn’t find a loophole in, or an election they couldn’t rig to get the right outcome. (This is often true at the State Party level, too, sad to say.)
So if anybody out there knows how to get ahold of Pat Riggs-Henson, could they tell her that the Bylaws of the Democratic Party of Lane County Oregon specifically state that the resignation must be in writing and handed only to the Chair? Resignations are not passed in what was thought to be a private note to the Party’s Treasurer, based upon what I presumed was a friendly and honest question; nor are resignations passed along via hearsay from the House District 8 Chair! No. I could only have resigned had I given the County Chair (who is pouting with the phone unplugged) a letter of resignation.
Where is that letter, Madame Chair?
Equality and equal rights means fairness. And fairness starts with following the bylaws. Throwing a tantrum and saying “he’s mean to me” does not absolve anyone from following the bylaws, and does not mean that I have resigned because Pat Riggs-Election has decided through a series of purloined letters and snatches of gossip that I resigned. All the hearsay evidence in the world does not mean that I resigned! The grapevine SURELY must have known that I had planned to resign at next Thursday’s Central Committee meeting at Harris Hall.
Er ... HAD planned. Turns out that I can take a leave of absence, and that’s what I’d decided to do, except that I was involuntarily “resigned” against my will at a meeting of the Executive Committee that I had asked to be excused from by a Chair who only reads her email three or four days after such requests are sent.
I don’t need to dwell on this a lot further. This is the kind of crazy BS that goes on, when supposedly what we’re supposed to be about is ... well, certainly not this brand of gossip, backstabbing and junior high school games.
I’ll just be sitting in the corner ... pouting.
Still, doesn’t it seem strange that I’m the ONLY one among this elitist cadre of self-appointed psychologists and telepaths who DIDN’T know that in my mind I’d already resigned?
Hmmm. Curiouser and curiouser, as Alice was wont to say.
Sunday, March 14, 2004
A Bombshellhart williams
[NOTE: I am not "outing" any private correspondence. This was all posted and sent in and about the public performance of our public duties. Note as well that no confidentiality was requested. As a journalist these past few decades, I am scrupulous about releasing confidential material. - HW]
Well, since it was going to be Sunday I thought I’d tie up loose ends, maybe provide a little detail that got lost in the mad whirl since the campaign began in earnest on Wednesday. But, instead, I received this little letter. Which seems to prove, at least to me, that the charges of insider trading, cronyism and just plain corrupt process are true in spades. What a bombshell for a Sunday! Wow!
[A little backstory. I told several Democrats that I was planning to resign as House District Vice Chair because I didn’t want any charges of favoritism tainting either my candidacy or the Party’s. This is not a new issue with me. When Phil Barnhart ran for this seat (back in 2000 before redistricting, when it was House District 40, of which I was the Chair) I asked that he step down as County Chair, because his candidacy, and the fact that the Party Secretary was his campaign manager, were both conflicts of interest – functional conflicts, since Candidates must be diplomatic, and Party Chairs are expected to be the attack dogs. Just look at the Republicans’ Ed Gillespie, who delivers the attacks that Bush is reluctant to make, because they might not seem Presidential.
[But Phil insisted on being Chair AND Candidate, and, as a result, the DPLC offices near the Eugene WEEKLY were fundamentally locked and shuttered throughout the entire 2000 campaign. The joke was how much money did the Republicans pay Barnhart to damage the party this way, but really, it was just simple self-centeredness, I think. He WANTED that office to prove what an important monkey he was, and how he didn’t deserve the bruised bananas, but ONLY the fresh, ripe ones. Never mind that the actual effect was that we had a headless party, and floundered at the exact moment that the Gore Campaign was barely squeaking out a victory in Oregon. House District 40 would have elected a pink lawn flamingo with a 60 percent plus margin if that flamingo was a Democrat, and Phil only harmed others, never himself.
[So I didn’t want to do anything that even be vaguely INTERPRETED as being such a silly and pointless conflict.]
But the grapevine among the insiders is such that they accepted a resignation never tendered.
You heard me. In fact, the internal proof will show that I had no idea I’d resigned.
I would not have asked to be excused from the meeting, had I known that I was resigning . In fact, if I’d known that I was resigning, I’d have made a point of being at the meeting.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Hart Williams
> Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2004 3:21 PM
> To: Pat Riggs-Henson
> Subject: Re: Checking In
> Dear Pat:
> Please excuse me from the Exec Meeting tonight.
> The Lane County for Kerry group is planning a
> dinner and fundraiser and I have to bring the
> minutes, the information and other critical
> materials. The person with this information
> could not attend at the last minute, so I'm
> Sorry for the conflict.
> Hart Williams
----- Original Message -----
From: "Pat Riggs-Henson"
To: "Hart Williams"
Cc: [exec committee members]
Sent: Sunday, March 14, 2004 11:44 AM
Subject: RE: Checking In
I was surprise in receiving your e-mail after I returned home for the Executive Board meeting Thursday night. I received a copied e-mail from *** and had heard from *** that you had resigned your position. We took action to accept that resignation at the Executive Board meeting. Good luck on you campaign. Pat
[all of the above = sic, as appropriate].
From: "Hart Williams"
To: Pat Riggs-Henson
Cc: [executive committee]
Subject: Re: Checking In
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 16:18:11 -0800
I did not resign my position. I told **** I was considering it, but that I would make an announcement at the next Central Committee meeting. In fact, after researching the matter, I am taking a leave of absence, as did State Executive Director Neal Pender to work on the Bradbury campaign in 2002.
Astonishing that my attempt to preserve the integrity of the Party and its bylaws would lead to this attempt to deep-six me. I was nominated and elected to my position by my elected HD8 PCPs without ANY urging on my part, and I take their display of confidence in my leadership skills very seriously. I am sorry that you don't seem to, because, really, it is THEIR judgment that is being questioned.
This is another highly questionable action in an "administration" notable for its highly questionable actions.
In the absence of any word from me, the Executive Committee's actions are premature and, I suspect, motivated by a desire to exclude me from an inner circle you have long regretted that the bylaws prohibit you from barring me from: the Executive Committee. As HD8 Vice Chair, I do NOT serve at the pleasure of the Chair, but, rather, serve because the Vice Chair is AUTOMATICALLY a member of the Executive Committee, as specifically delineated in the bylaws.
When no letter of resignation is received from a person who makes his living as a writer, there is no reasonable expectation that the resignation has, in fact, taken place. I will be checking with the Secretary of State's Office
to see what the legality of this action is, and what recourse I have.
still HD 8 Vice Chair
OK: Maybe I was ladling it on with a trowel, but politics is oft-times about rhetorical excess, and there was less excessive rhetoric in this than I received Thursday from the President of the Oregon Education Association. So, we move on.
I only can tell you that this is the gospel truth. I am not making this all up in some Robert Ludlum fantasy. If I had an imagination good enough to come up with crackerjack storylines like this, I’d be on the best-seller charts, and not slogging away in a little campaign about: NO MORE CUTS IN LINE!
How do you like that for a campaign slogan?
NOTE: ALL correspondence relating to the blog will be considered as a submission for possible posting. Submissions may be posted and subsequently published without compensation. Identities of posters will be suppressed to protect their privacy. The rabid snarling of the barking moonbats requires that comments be moderated. We certainly and respectfully ask your indulgence in this matter. Thank you.
WE'VE MOVED! Click here: http://www.hartwilliams.com/blog/blogger.html
* O T H E R S T U F Fo There is no other stuff at this time. There might be someday, though. One can always hope.