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Saturday, May 08, 2004
Anything to Win?

FLASH -- BREAKING NEWS!

Yesterday's blog dealt, in part, with the astonishing breach of scruples, morals, ethics and, potentially, law, of Mr. Holvey's Treasurer.

I was read, last night, an article in the OUTSPOKEN (the Democratic Party of Lane County's newsletter tohat goes out to all PCPs and major contributors) by a friend who had an advance copy, that says something like "Hart Williams Blog Controversy," and which is nothing less than a "smear" piece on the eve of the primary.

An article, I should add, that has NO business in the newsletter, expecially when it is about a DPLC-endorsed candidate!

To the best of my knowledge, this is unprecedented. The OUTSPOKEN does not, by its very nature, engage in such yellow journalism! And, sadly, this evidently happened with the collusion of the Editor (who is on record as "endorsing" Paul Holvey), and who is, conveniently, out of town, on vacation, having finished this month's issue before leaving.

This astonishing breach of etiquette -- claiming that I "knew" certain facts of which I was entirely unaware, by the husband of the treasurer -- is made up out of whole cloth, is personally and politically insulting, and only serves to confirm that the Holvey campaign will stop at nothing to win this election.

I might note that it is interesting that the writer "knows" what I knew, when I don't know that I knew it. More on that, later.

Evidently the Holvey campaign's $58,000 nest egg was insufficient and inadequate to stand against my mere under-$2000 campaign, and this unprecedented act of poisoned-pen "hit journalism" (if such could be dignified with the term 'journalism') was necessary to counter my insurgent campaign.

Leaving aside the breath-taking breach of protocol, practice and fundamental fairness of such an act, I can only note that the writer, Rick Klastaad, was a frequent visitor to my house during the period that I didn't know his wife was a paid operative of Mr. Holvey, and, according to Holvey's C&E, obtained yesterday at the Secretary of State's office, was HIMSELF a paid operative during the SAME PERIOD, having been paid $81.59 for "food drinks for volunteers and office supply" for Code "G" which the C&E form delineates as "General Operational Expenses (describe if over $50)" from 4/02 to 5/02.

Was he spying on me on behalf of the Holvey campaign? What do you think? I think that these people will stop at nothing to win, and seem to be so threatened by this humble little blog that they would engage in the utterly inappropriate act of smearing me in the OUTSPOKEN, literally, on the eve of the election.

I call it sad. I will post the text and my rebuttal as soon as I can obtain a copy of the OUTSPOKEN, which OUGHT to arrive today, but given such behavior (something akin to the Five Supreme Court Justices "choosing" the (p)Resident) I wonder whether my copy will arrive at ALL.

Some people will do anything to win. I shudder for the citizenry of House District 8 to be represented by such a low and unscrupulous mentality (since, as an operative of the campaign, Mr. Klastaad's action is the ultimate responsibility of Mr. Holvey).

And now you know why I filed for this office. Someone had to oppose this underhanded offal.

Or is that "awful underhanded"?

Oh, did I mention that Mr. Klastaad is a DPLC Party officer? He's the Chair of the Platform and Resolutions Committee? His wife, Ellen, remains the DPLC Parliamentarian, to the best of my knowledge, and acted in that capacity during the endorsement meeting last month, even though it is CLEARLY a conflict of interest on her part, as she is ALSO a Director of the Holvey campaign, as filed with the Secretary of State's office on March 16, 2004. Oy vey.

Friday, May 07, 2004
The Good, The Bad and the Holvey

Well, inquiring minds want to know. I asked earlier if it could be true that the Treasurer of the Holvey campaign, who had been on the SEIU interview committee that grilled me on March 10th and then jumped to the Holvey campaign as a staffer on the 16th was a PAID staffer.

The reason for this being that if she WERE, and had been instrumental in getting endorsement and all that good Union money for Holvey, and was NOW getting PAID using that same money, wouldn't that be malfeasance?

Certainly at the very LEAST it would be highly questionable, certainly unethical, and raise serious questions about all the dirty money flooding into Holvey's campaign from out-of-district and from Washington State.

Well, that question is now answered.

I drove to Salem today and got the Contributions and Expenditures reports, which were required, by state law, to be filed by 5:00PM yesterday, May 6th. And, it is, frankly sickening.

Sickening, that is, if you like truth, integrity, representative democracy and other non-"insider" pursuits. Holvey is simply for sale. He's for sale to Union interests, and the irony is that if he were pulling in this kind of money from ENRON, Shell, The Union Pacific, or from Archer/Daniels/Midland, the media in the Willamette Valley would be SCREAMING bloody murder.

But instead, a suspicious silence; an utter abrogation of journalistic responsibility, a jaded sneer and an arched eye when I mention these facts to reporters.

But when I tell voters, they are OUTRAGED! How come we never heard this? they ask. How come we were never told that 90% of Holvey's money comes from out of District, that 80% comes from Union funds, and that 70% comes directly from Washington State?

You'll have to ask them. I don't know why they don't find it newsworthy. I guess I missed that journalism class at college.

Yes, she is a paid staffer, and was paid $2400 for the month of April. The amounts of money Holvey has raised between April 12 and May 6 are nearly staggering. He now has amassed over $58,000 in contributions. The most charitable accounting of which has Holvey at NOW 86.22% of his contributions from OUT of district, and the least charitable (counting his Lane County Labor Council and Builders Trade contributions, some small portion of which actually originate in House District 8) the figure is now OVER 90%.

Frankly, the MOST charitable accounting should make you sick. Someone is cynically trying to buy your House District and they're using an unqualified buffoon to do it. I've had to listen to his awful speeches, his language of class warfare (all workers good! all corporations bad!) and read his penny-dreadful website.

This is not an accomplished human being. Frankly, given the suspiciously pristine hard hat in his latest mailing, I have to wonder -- as he "hammers a nail" -- if he's actually worked as a carpenter in years. He's been a paid Union rep for years, we know, and maybe he doesn't know that carpenters use nail guns these days, and hard hats that working men wear tend to get scuffed up.

I saw some today at the Willamette Rehabilitation Center in Lebanon, Oregon, and not ONE of them was pristine. Something about working for a living tends to get 'em scuffed up.

I'm sorry if this seems cynical or cruel. I'm sure that his momma loves him and all, but this astonishing milking of Union dues from hard working people for this campaign to shove this fellow down our throats just sickens me.

His campaign manager, Fifty Plus One of Seattle, A/K/A Michael Grossman *IS* responsible (as I have suspected) for the "hit" on Al King in the 2002 primary election (you know the "stealth" mailing that went to South Eugene voters only, accusing Al of being "soft" on the environment?). I have the smoking gun right here. Barnhart paid (in part) Grossman checks of $5042.25, $1863.98, $8824.45 and $703.02 on the same day: May 21, 2002, the day of the Primary.

(from the Secretary of State's official results)

STATE REPRESENTATIVE, 11TH DISTRICT
Democrat
King Al Lane County 2,195 Linn County 510
TOTAL 2,705

*Barnhart Phil Lane County 4,561 Linn County 607
TOTAL 5,168

* denotes nominee

So, there you have it. I leave it to you to figure out how much Phil paid Grossman per vote. Just take the total cash above and divide by the number of votes received.

This is just uglier and uglier.

But rather than leave you with such an ugly story, I'd rather leave you with a story from the year 2000, when our own Vicky Walker was running against former Eugene Mayor Jeff Miller, and when Al Gore came to town, to Mac Court, Vicky moved heaven and Earth to make sure she was ON THE STAGE with AL, right behind him, in fact, with a bunch of photogenic kids, and they ALL put on their t-shirts before the Presidential Candidate spoke.

A month later, late in the election, with Vicky worried that she wasn't going to beat Miller, she announced at more than one Saturday morning gathering (for people to walk the district for Vicky): "Don't talk about Gore; just talk about me." So, knowing this to be a
'battleground' state, Vicky was more than willing to use Gore when it was to her advantage, and cut him loose when it wasn't.

Keeping that lovely sentiment in mind, let's turn to today's Register-Guard, where Vicky gave Holvey this ringing endorsement (to go with the $250 that her PAC ponied up for his campaign):

Legislature needs Paul Holvey

Hard-working, compassionate and dedicated to our community: These are the words to describe Rep. Paul Holvey. I have known Holvey for many years and was thrilled to have him join the Legislature representing House District 8. Holvey's common-sense approach is just what we need to help in our efforts at tax reform and economic stability.

His years of experience serving on boards and committees promoting education and job training are an incredible asset to the citizens of the state of Oregon. And Holvey's commitment to a clean and healthy environment is beyond reproach.

Voters in District 8 can feel confident in electing Paul Holvey - a representative for Oregon.

VICKI L. WALKER
State senator, District 7
Eugene

I'm just sure she'd be shocked, SHOCKED to find out about all that dirty money Holvey's campaign has been stuffing in their coffee cans.

Hey: Who says I don't give equal time?

Isn't Vicky NOT IN District 8? I guess out-of-district endorsements are par for the course, too.

Still, it's a damned sad thing to sell out your own home town. And an even sadder thing to have your fellow hometown Senators and Representatives knowingly help you do it.

If you want the same old same old, vote for him, because I can GUARANTEE you that you will get it. In spades.

'nuff said.
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Hump Day

Sometimes you find yourself just out of gas. Yesterday's Candidate forum, sending out press releases and attending the Kerry meeting at the Vet really took it out of me.

There are mornings, I must confess, that I look at myself in the mirror and ask: "What the heck are you doing, Hart?"

But then I remind myself of John Neely and I buck up and carry on. Because in a lot of ways, I'm in this race because of John Neely.

You don't know who John Neely was? You ought to.

Once upon a time, here in beautiful pristine Eugene, in Oregon, home of good governance, progressive ideas, sparkling trees and verdant rivers, John Neely was one of those old cranky fellows who have worked all their lives and bought a house to retire in.

And the City of Eugene put a sewer line up River Road, outside the city limits, and assessed John Neely a couple of thousand dollars and required him to tie into it.

Mr. Neely complained. It was an illegal annexation, quoth Mr. Neely, and it was right there in the Eugene City Charter.

He tried to file a case with the courts, but they said he was a couple of days late. He protested to the City Council (the one Nancy Nathanson sits on) and they turned a deaf ear.

He protested to the County Commissioners, one of whom, Bobby Green has BEEN a Eugene City Counselor who had originally voted for the sewer line and was now a County Commissioner, who, with his fellow Commissioners turned a deaf ear to Mr. Neely.

And the court, rather than allow Mr. Neely to pursue his case that the city had no right to take his home, took his home, and sold it at auction, throwing John Neely and his sister (Mary?) also retired, out on the streets. Literally.

John Neely died shortly thereafter of a massive heart attack. His sister ended up living in the garage of a Republican House candidate named Seaborne or something like that.

And a higher court ruled that John Neely had been right. The sewer line assessment was clearly illegal -- although it was part of an ongoing scheme by the city of Eugene to annex the River Road area piecemeal, because the residents ardently oppose its annexation outright.

But John Neely made the mistake of trusting that the law would actually protect him, and I watched the "enlightened" governance of Eugene and Lane County grind John Neely into dust, and throw his sister to the dogs.

That has always frightened me, and I have always felt that, in part, everything I do in politics, every tantrum I throw with the DPLC to demand that they follow their own bylaws, engage in fair process, is because I was too late and too naieve to help Mr. Neely. And I never want to watch the implacable, dispassionate machinery of government grind another man into the dirt again.

Yesterday, Bobby Green was on KLCC, talking about the "piecemeal" annexation of River Road, and how there was nothing he could do about it, and I thought: how disingenuous of the bastard. More than any man or woman living, Bobby Green aided and abetted the murder of Johm Neely. But if there was any recognition of the fact, it wasn't apparent in his disinterested answers.

So, I remind myself of Mr. Neely, and that reminds me of why I run. And I make it through another day on the campaign trail.



Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Candidate Forum at LCC

Well, I promised to post our new dedicated school tax proposal and so I did. See http://www.hartwilliams.com/hd8/tax.htm for details.


The Candidate's Forum was OK, it was just kind of sad that on a campus so full to bursting, only a handful of students and others showed up. For a moment, it seemed as though the candidates would outnumber the audience, which is a sad commentary on civic interest these days.

Normally, at one of these events, I feel like a prize pig at a county fair, but in this case, I would have at least hoped for a full compliment of judges.

As it was, one wonders how much of the bacon one's actually brought home. It was taped for KLCC, and perhaps I'll hear it. I was happy with my speech, although for the life of me, I can't recall a lot of what I said. I departed from my prepared remarks and when that happens, my memory of my UNprepared remarks gets a little spotty.

Ah well. The prepared remarks will go up tomorrow, along with the press release, and the HD42 story. Until then, the blessed embrace of Morpheus.

Blog.
Monday, May 03, 2004
Endorsements

Lately, I've been asked who has endorsed me.

I guess I've been remiss. There are an awful lot of Democrats in the state that I could ask for an endorsement ... and some of them might even give it to me! :)

First, because it represents the classical fallacy of the "Appeal to Authority:"

before relying upon expert opinion, go through the following checklist:

Is this a matter which I can decide without appeal to expert opinion? If the answer is "yes", then do so. If "no", go to the next question:

Is this a matter upon which expert opinion is available? If not, then your opinion will be as good as anyone else's. If so, proceed to the next question:

Is the authority an expert on the matter? If not, then why listen? If so, go on:

Is the authority biased towards one side? If so, the authority may be untrustworthy. At the very least, before accepting the authority's word seek a second, unbiased opinion. That is, go to the last question:

Is the authority's opinion representative of expert opinion? If not, then find out what the expert consensus is and rely on that. If so, then you may rationally rely upon the authority's opinion.
If an argument to authority cannot pass these five tests, then it commits the fallacy of appeal to misleading authority
.

[from http://www.fallacyfiles.org/authorit.html]

(I leave it to the reader to note how this fallacy applies to our "endorsements" -- which are generally kissy-kissy and mutual back-scratching, as we'll see below with Bonny Bettman and Paul Holvey.)

But I haven't bothered. Mostly because there is only one endorsement that matters to me: the endorsement of the voters via their votes. Yes, I've been endorsed by the Democratic Party of Lane County, but so were the other two candidates. The problem is that people read entirely TOO MUCH into such endorsements. Listen to the REGISTER-GUARD:

"Hart offers a critique of both Colbath, whose recent resumption of party membership points to a lack of commitment to Democratic principles, and Holvey, whose campaign is being generously financed by out-of-district unions. Williams' criticisms are plausible, but they don't make a case for his own candidacy.

"The Democratic Party of Lane County voted Thursday to endorse all three candidates, indicating a lack of concern about Colbath's status as a party member. She says she has 'always been a Democrat at heart,' ...

Well, one should always attend meetings before drawing any conclusions from same. Nobody at that meeting brought up said point, and the multiple endorsement was the result of ... OTHER forces at work, so drawing that conclusion is utterly unwarranted. But then again, perhaps the R-G has another agenda. The criticism remains valid:

Mitzi was only a Democrat for a few days when the Nominating Convention occurred on January 5, and, thus, WAS NOT ELIGIBLE! But if she's "always been a Democrat" then how come she doesn't know that having scab lawn signs -- i.e. no union bug -- is a Democratic NO NO?

So we take endorsements with a grain of salt. Or a truckload in the case of Holvey, whose endorsements nearly ALL come from OUT of district (denoted by an *) from his website:

*Senator Vicki Walker
*Former Senator Tony Corcoran
*Representative Phil Barnhart
*Representative Jeff Merkley
*Peter Sorenson, Lane County Commissioner
*Don Hampton, Lane County Commissioner
Bonny Bettman, Eugene City Councilor
*David Kelly, Eugene City Councilor
*Joy Marshall, Children’s Advocate

And that's only the first nine! Now, let's look at the only IN-District endorsement among the "powerful" and "impressive" types:

Bonny Bettman writes in her campaign letter:

"My campaign is still a grassroots effort -- no public relations firms, ghost writers, moneyed special interests or spin. I am asking for your vote based on my hard work and public service on your behalf."

Gee, sounds like Bonny would be endorsing me, except that she's endorsed Holvey, AND, in a happy swapping of phony endorsements, HE'S ENDORSED HER!

Funny. She just complained about the hallmarks of Holvey's campaign: $2500 to Seattle-based Fifty-Plus-One P.R. firm; nearly $30,000 in special interest money form his union ALONE, an obviously ghost-written website www.paulholvey.com or www.paul4rep.com, and yet she has "endorsed" Holvey.

You see what nonsense a lot of this endorsement stuff is? Oh, and how about being endorsed by SEIU, and then getting a $250 Contribution (initially) and then having one of the SEIU Endorsement committee members jump five days later to the position of Treasurer with the Holvey campaign? Allegedly a paid staff position -- this is what I've been told by two party insiders, but I have no confirmation of this fact -- which would mean, if true, that the Treasurer is being paid with union funds that she had a big hand in prying loose from the union.

I cannot definitively answer that charge, but it is a valid question. And I am ASKING that question. If, as my opponents indicate, they religiously read this blog, I'm sure I'll hear about it ... soon.

As for committee endorsements, they consist of a grilling by a room of faceless strangers, after filling out a rather insulting questionnaire that asks you to boil down your positions to 50 words or less on some of the most complex issues facing Oregonians, that is, when they're not absurdly leading and slanted questions intended to produce a specific answer.

So I have decided to forego endorsements.

I lived in Hollywood for a time, and name-dropping is considered to be the sign of the rube, of the self-serving, self-promoting huckster, of the dork who thinks that if he or she can show you how many "famous" people they know, you'll be impressed and think they're famous, too.

The only endorsement I'm seeking is yours.

Because when it comes time to vote on PERS, or on Land Use, what Jeff Merkeley or Phil Barnhart or Vicky Walker thinks isn't going to mean a thing. The only thing that's going to matter is the judgment of the candidate.

Is it going to be a shamelessly self-serving, blindly ambitious Accountant who thinks that her mere profession confers nobility, (while she blatantly disregards Eugene election law, finds a loophole and claims that because the City Attorney did not see fit to prosecute her that no law was actually broken) and that her specialty of "performance auditing" will save the state of Oregon?

Is it going to be a local fellow (who never mentions the years he lived in Seattle) who has amassed a $35,000 war chest, mostly from Washington State, the vast majority from the coffers of his Carpenter's Union, and nearly all of which (90%) comes from out of District?

Or is it going to be the candidate who cares enough about you to tell you the plain, unvarnished truth?

I wonder how many of those endorsements of Mr. Holvey's would evaporate in the face of the facts about his dirty campaign money? Or how many lawn signs would be displayed if people knew that they were manufactured with Washington State money IN Washington State?

It's a damned sad thing to sell out your own home town.


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