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November 13th, 2013 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

Murmurs: News Hotter Than Jeff Cogen’s Love of Parades.

murmurs_4002PANHANDLERS - IMAGE: Kurt Armstrong
  • The lesson from the Oregon Department of Justice investigation of former Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen: If Cogen had resigned when the story of his affair broke in July, there probably would not have been an investigation, and his former mistress, Sonia Manhas, would not have told investigators of seeing Cogen toting “some kind of marijuana tincture” on one of their Atlanta getaways or of walking into his home and seeing “marijuana smoking pipes and marijuana in Cogen’s den.” Now, after revelations in the report have sullied his reputation as a politician and husband, Cogen is on to a new challenge—working for Democracy Resources, the signature-gathering firm working to put marijuana legalization on the 2014 ballot.
  • In 2004, then-mayoral candidate Jim Francesconi raised more than $1 million and voters punished him for it, flocking to his low-dollar challenger Tom Potter. So far, Francesconi and his opponent for Multnomah County chair, former County Commissioner Deborah Kafoury, are competing to be the Wal-Mart candidate—neither has reported raising a penny yet. Candidates have 30 days to report contributions, so both are probably playing possum. In the race to replace Kafoury, state Rep. Jules Bailey (D-Portland) has taken the opposite approach, disclosing $101,000 in contributions so far. His opponent, businessman Brian Wilson, has reported $9,000.
  • One of the key planks of Gov. John Kitzhaber’s higher-education reforms—independent boards for Portland State, Oregon State and the University of Oregon—will be on the agenda at next week’s interim legislative session. Senators failed to approve Kitzhaber’s appointees to those boards in September, and next week’s vote is also likely to include significant dissent over the presence of faculty members on the boards. The Legislature may soon face a tougher question: Sources say OHSU is considering asking lawmakers for $200 million to partially match Nike Chairman Phil Knight’s $500 million challenge grant. OHSU spokesman Tim Kringen says no decisions have been made. “Everything is on the table,” he says.
  • Mayor Charlie Hales spent the summer sweeping homeless camps from city sidewalks. He wants more control over those sidewalks, though—and he’s looking to Salem. Draft copies of the city’s state legislative agenda show Portland will lobby at the February special session for authority to “manage sidewalk use and safety”—code words for a revival of sit-lie laws. A similar bill died in a Senate committee last May.
 
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