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WE'VE MOVED! Click here: http://www.hartwilliams.com/blog/blogger.html

Saturday, April 17, 2004
NB: Please excuse the lack of yesterday's posting. It was made, but it is embargoed. I can tell you the title, though. It was: Diplomacy, Skullduggery and Parcheesi, oh My!

Today's little tale from the Campaign Trail is entitled ...


An Officer of the Court


Thursday night, at the big TODO, the Democratic wingding, the great convocation to select those to elect, an interesting event transpired.

I had spoken. All speechification had concluded, and, as if by miracle, Harris Hall had not arisen into the sky, filled as it was with hot air. The long-winded windup to the actual process of endorsification was barely into its first hour (there would be two) when an official of the party, an attorney, his sunglasses pushed up to lodge above his forehead, wearing gym clothes, flip-flop sandals, and a "Eugene Rugby Established 1973" t-shirt slipped into the meeting, and sat down in the far back. He had with him a plastic shopping bag filled with, as it turned out, lunch.

He pulled out what looked to be an egg-salad sandwich and proceeded to nosh it down, trying to minimize the rustling of the plastic bag. I noted that directly over his head was a sign saying: "NO FOOD, NO DRINKS, NO SMOKING."

I'm not what you'd call a prig, but you know, it seemed to me that, running on a platform of lawfulness, I should say something. "I don't think you're supposed to eat in here," I whispered, pointing to the sign behind his head. He turned, regarded it cooly, and returned to noshing greedily on his sandwich.

I think it was the utter contempt that really floored me. He didn't give a flying fig about the sign or the rules. He ignored them as casually as you ignore a beer can in a culvert beside the highway when you're doing 65 mph.

I thought to myself: Wow. An attorney is, literally, an officer of the court, and we were, technically in a courthouse of sorts. County Commissioners -- whose great hall we meet in -- used to be called County Judges in many locales, and even had some judicial functions. I think that they can perform civil marriages on the roof of the county building, a rock garden that my wife and I call "Stonehenge" and where we were civilly married over a decade ago.

But, as a lawyer, the law, the rules meant nothing to him -- even less than nothing, and I thought: this is EXACTLY what I'm running against. Without respect for the rules, and for law, for taking one's turn in line, there is no civil society. Just a long slide into barbarism.

You know, if doctors treated their own diseases as cavalierly as lawyers treat the law, there wouldn't be a lot of doctors living.

As I thought these things, he extracted a twinkie in an individual cellophane wrapper, and proceeded, with great care to make as little noise opening it as possible.

I laughed inwardly. After showing he gives not a damn about the laws or the rules, he suddenly cared greatly whether his cellophane crinkling might be intrusive. Which brings us to the moral of the story, and the answer to the conundrum as to why no one has said a word, made a peep, or otherwise acknowledged that I was 'resigned' involuntarily last month, in violation of the bylaws, and even when it came out in the WEEKLY, NOTHING was said. And nothing HAS been said.

Evidently, it's perfectly all right to break any and every rule you feel like, as long as you do so quietly.
Thursday, April 15, 2004
A Train Wreck

Tonight was a special night. First, I finished my duties as a tax preparer at 6:55 this morning. No one appreciated the end of tax season more than I. I can finally get ONE good night's sleep. Now, the relative tranquility of a hard-fought political campaign. By comparison, it will probably seem like a walk in the park.

And, tonight, the Democratic Party of Lane County held their endorsement meeting. The marquee event, Kitty Piercy versus Nancy Nathanson ended in a "take no action," but Harris Hall was packed, and feelings were running high. There was a long parliamentary row over the endorsement process, which was a spillover from the running battle -- these long months of bloodletting in the Campaign Services Committee of the DPLC, from which I'm on Leave of Absence through the primary. A party, whose name I shall not reveal here, after lobbying for advantage for long months, attempted to derail the process, rather than let it proceed. He was voted down.

With apologies to Gilbert Shelton, I swiped a metaphor and called it the psychic equivalent of a truck filled with pigs locking its brakes at eighty miles per hour. Had Mr. Shelton been present, I think he would have appreciated the aptness of the image.

A mere two hours after all the speechifying the endorsement began.

I arrived at what I thought was a fashionably late time, based on misinformation that we would have a candidates' meet and greet from 6 to 7 pm. Imagine my surprise when I found out that I was just about the next speaker!

Oh well, no time for butterflies. I had written out my speech in advance, and timed it to 2:30 of a possible 3:00, and while I intended to slow down, I must have slowed down too much, because I went about 20 seconds over.

Well, I finished the speech, and the audience were appreciative. here is the speech:

Good Evening. My name is Hart Williams and I am running for State Representative from House District 8.

Most of you here know me. The last time I made a speech was in February of 2002, when I talked about starting a boycott to remove Hate Radio from the Eugene airwaves. Many of you picked up this little brochure.

I was gratified when, in the spring of 2002, and entirely due to the efforts of Gerry Rempel, the Democratic Party of Oregon adopted a resolution about hate radio -- much like the brochure's -- at the state platform convention. As a test case, Gerry and I focused on Michael Savage here in Lane County.
Through the spring and all that summer, I would monitor Savage's local advertisers and Gerry would politely call them. Advertisers like Fred Meyer, Sears and St. Vincent de Paul yanked their ads off of Savage's vicious and hate-drenched program usually after a single phone call. By August KUGN was actively searching for a replacement.

The students and others at the University of Oregon deserve great credit for the final push, but I think I can safely take a very small amount of credit for Savage's removal from KUGN, which made national news when it happened.

My point here is not to take credit, but to show you how I work: I see a thing that needs to be done, and I set out to do it until it is accomplished.

In 2003, and in much the same way, my wife, Jayne, and I passed a tax reform bill through the legislature. I have a 48-year record of solid, patient accomplishment in the private and public spheres, and I intend to bring that approach and that ethos to the Legislature. I bring to the table a reputation for honesty, integrity, and getting the job done.

I think that how you behave is at least as important as what you say. Any Indian can tell you that White Men's words on paper generally don't mean spit. Which only means that unless you come to the legislature with a LAWFUL attitude, it doesn't really matter what laws anyone writes. There will always be loopholes.

I believe that the rules apply to everybody, and I believe that democracy demands a commitment to compromise and to working together with people you don't agree with. And I believe in home rule.
That is what I bring to the table.

You know that I have served this party well and faithfully for the past 8 years, so it is here that I ask for the honor of serving you as the Representative from House District 8 in the Oregon State Legislature. Thank you.

The kicker? Three hours later, I was endorsed. Now my campaign literature can carry the proud moniker: "Endorsed by the Democratic Party of Lane County."

Hoorah.

Now, the blessed embrace of Morpheus.

Happy the boy. Tired the boy. Endorsed, the boy.
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
A Trip to Salem

Well, yesterday was sheerest hell. After working to 7 in the morning, I grabbed 3 hours of sleep, then ferried my father-in-law and my wife to the train station.

Frank is attending (with my wife, Jayne, his only daughter) his 75th Class Reunion at Purdue University. Frank is nearly 97, was an industrial engineer his whole life, and got the mass-production of the Norden Bomb Sight going in World War II, and worked on the Command Module of the Apollo program, including the Apollo 11 module, from the first successful moon landing. I am immensely proud of him, and made him a special 75th Anniversary Purdue button that will, hopefully, make him the envy of his classmates.

Assuming that any are still living: he may well be the oldest Purdue graduate in attendance. He would be tickled if that were so.

Having dropped them off, I jumped in the car and drove up to Salem to look at the Contribution and Expenditure reports that were due by 5 pm on Monday, April 12th. I got there at 3:30 and had very little time. I had to get the information and jam back to Eugene for ANOTHER night of taxes.

But I found what I was looking for! As "Deep Throat" told Woodward and Bernstein during Watergate (Hey! I used to write for the WASHINGTON POST, so it's OK to invoke them): Follow the money.

What I found was profoundly disturbing. My opponent, the "incumbent" -- selected but not elected -- Paul Holvey, has campaign contributions of $33,054 ($34,054 if you count the $1000 "loan" he gave his own campaign on January 29th, 2004). Those contributions bear out the quotation from the Northwest Labor News from Pat Riggs-Henson, the DPLC Chair, who seems to have a lot to do with engineering the selection of one of her husband's closest labor buddies, from carefully selecting the Nominating Convention date -- over and above my objections as Vice-Chair of HD8, and the Chair of HD8, when Riggs-Henson isn't even a RESIDENT of HD8! -- to behind-the-scenes lobbying of the County Commissioners, who made the final selection from the three candidates sent them.

The Quote? Made AFTER the selection process (no conflict-of-interest here!)Northwest Labor Press, February 6, 2004 Volume 105 Number 3 (http://www.nwlaborpress.org/2004/2-6-04Briefs.html):

"Holvey was one of three people nominated by the local Democratic Party, which is headed by Pat Riggs-Henson, who is also executive secretary-treasurer of the Lane County Labor Council and a member of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Riggs-Henson said Holvey was recruited as part of a long-term campaign to get more union leaders elected to public office. Holvey ran unsuccessfully in May 2003 for a spot on the Lane Community College Board. The Legislature is currently out of session, but Holvey would serve if a special session is called, and will be listed as the incumbent in the May 2004 primary election for the spot. Holvey said his priority is to get the economy back on its feet by promoting living wage jobs. Campaigning for re-election, he said, will be a chance to bring a labor perspective to a wider audience."

Let's repeat part of that for emphasis: "Riggs-Henson said Holvey was recruited as part of a long-term campaign to get more union leaders elected to public office."

He was "recruited"? So THAT'S what they're calling back door shenanigans these days. Hmmm.

Indeed. Mr. Holvey's money virtually ALL comes from labor, and WHOM he represents seems apparent when one looks at the C&E's. After spending a happy hour or so with my ten-key, a clear-if-scary picture emerged of a man entirely in thrall to out of district/out of state interests.

Look, I'm a proud member of the Writer's Union for nearly a decade (UAW Local 1981, AFL-CIO, Oregon Local), but I believe that a Representative should represent ALL the people. Not just a clique.

So, I am sending out a little press release. Wanna see it?

***

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE * April 13, 2004

I believe that out-of-district money is to representative government what scabs are to union shops - a fundamental challenge to the very basis of our system.

This is why I am deeply disturbed by the pattern revealed by Representative Paul Holvey's contributions and expenditures in this primary election. The documents filed with the Secretary of State on April 12, 2004 reveal:

90% of the over $30,000 Mr. Holvey has collected come from OUTSIDE of House District 8!

80% comes from union organizations, most of which are not contributing from Lane County. (The vast majority from Kent, Washington!)

70% of Mr. Holvey's monies come from WASHINGTON STATE!

Of my opponent's expenditures, 40% were made IN Washington State. Slightly over 25% went to a Seattle, Washington-based firm that is "managing" Mr. Holvey's campaign.

While I honor Mr. Holvey's life-long residence in Eugene, I have to ask: WHOM is it that he is representing? Out of district interests? Certainly. Union interests? Absolutely. Washington State interests? You make the call.

The representative of District 8 is, quite literally, "the Voice of the Ducks" in the State Legislature, but in this case, one can reasonably state that Mr. Holvey has a much better claim to being "the Voice of the Huskies" than as representing the interests of the University of Oregon.

For further information:
C&E's available for public inspection at the Secretary of State's office in the Capitol Building in Salem, Oregon.

A complete copy can be obtained from
Mystery Rangers for Hart Williams:
541-465-8961
mysteryrangers@hartwilliams.com
see the campaign blog at:
http://www.hartwilliams.com/hd8/blogger.html
(that's this!)

***

Heck, his TREASURER doesn't even come from House District 8! (Although she IS a labor insider. An insider from Springfield. What's truly sad is that her husband, one of my closest friends has YET to tell me that his wife is my opponent's treasurer and a director -- the other one is Holvey's wife -- of his campaign! Disheartening, isn't it? I always thought friendship and some small degree of loyalty went hand-in-hand, but as a Salem political reporter implied to me in an email this morning, I guess I'm just naieve.)

Well, Omnia Vincit Amor might not hack it, but Omnia Vincit My Typewriter may still have some meaning.


Sunday, April 11, 2004
SUPER DUPER TOP SECRET

I wish I didn't have to embargo this stuff -- because it's really fascinating -- but until I have a press conference to release it, I have to tell you that it's amazing stuff, and could well be the issue that the campaign turns on.

I know that sounds mysterious as heck, but you'll have to take my word for it.

OK, so since I can't tell you what I've spent the last two days digging up (and believe me, it just fell into my lap, but then, luck happens when you get out there and hit the pavement), I think I'll tell you, instead, WHO the Mystery Rangers are.

WHO ARE THE MYSTERY RANGERS?

Gladjaasked.

I have been approached by MANY friends who say "I can't support you openly, Hart, but I will vote for you."

It's OK. You don't have to have the guts to stand up and take on these vested interests, these SPECIAL interests that seem to be running Lane County politics. I've got the guts to do that. You only have to support fair and honest government, and desire a COMMITTMENT to justice on the part of government. I'll do the rest.

Send money. Vote for me. Do what you can in secret, that's OK. It's a secret ballot, after all. But to be a Mystery Ranger only means to support fair play and justice "No Cuts in Line" whether openly or secretly.

The Mystery Ranger's Code

I will do what I can to promote the common good, knowing that it is in MY vested interest to see fair play and justice done for all citizens.

I am first and foremost a citizen of the United States, a proud Oregonian, and only THEN am I a partisan, Democrat, Green, Republican, etc.

I promise to aid the cause of justice where I can, and to promote the cause of one for all, and not all for one.

Controversial though it may be, I believe that equal rights for all should apply, and that unfairness to one is unfairness to all
.


That's the rough idea of what it means to be a Mystery Ranger. You don't have to put yourself up for public ridicule because you believe that we ought to play fair. I'm happy to do that for you.

...
hart williams
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