Vic Gilliam's bait-and-switch now is reality

On November 1st of last year, Peter Nordbye, vice-chair of the Clackamas County Democrats, wrote a piece in BlueOregon accusing Republican incumbent state representative Vic Gilliam of Silverton of pulling what he called a “classic bait-and-switch” —

In House District 18, we have the classic bait and switch scam played out before our eyes. We think we are voting for Representative Vic Gilliam, but instead we are getting Mike Early or some unknown entity. Democracy is not supposed to work that way. We are supposed to elect our representatives; not so in HD 18.

Here’s a sampling of the comments Nordbye received:

This is an atrocious article and I'm deeply offended by it.

These indentity politics commie eco terrorist left wingers will stoop to any depth.

What absolute, unmitigated TRASH!! Peter Nordbye's mother would be ashamed of him.

I hope all fair minded people will reject the underlying arguments of this article-- that an individual with ALS or any disability is somehow unfit or unable to run for office.

To assert that Representative Gilliam is running a bait and switch campaign is a specious allegation and quite frankly, incredibly offensive.

Quite an accomplishment to be the author the most shameful and nauseating piece of slander in an unprecedently ugly election cycle.

This is the ugliest campaign season I have ever seen in the Oregon House, but this might be the lowest attack I have seen yet.

And so on.

Then this morning, we learn this from OregonLive:

Rep. Vic Gilliam, R-Silverton, announced his resignation Monday, saying in a statement that he is "grateful and honored" to serve his constituents, but that it is time to step down.

Peter Nordbye was...

State Rep Diego Hernandez, East Portland

The first podcast of 2017 is an introduction to State Representative Diego Hernandez, my new state rep. After sharing a brief bio, we talked about the upcoming legislative session, the need for increased revenues to pay for education and health care, are related topics. I’ll be having Rep Hernandez and other members of the Oregon Leg on the show regularly in the coming months.

proactive empathy

Ok, I’ll say it since other people are thinking it and no one wants to sound like a heartless asshole:

Those two people who died on the streets: They could have, should have been in shelters.

I know there's a lot of complicated reasons for people refusing to go to a shelter even in dire conditions, and even when they are in desperate need. That's not something I know much about and will leave to others to explain.

But those in need should never have the ultimate responsibility to act when they are under duress. “Just get your ass to a shelter, man.” No. That's how the extreme conservatives, the heartless Ryan/Trumps would have it: You either take care of yourself or too bad.

Empathy and compassion demand that progressives act proactively. Opening a shelter is great; acting proactively to get everyone possible into those shelters, in a respectful and humane way, is essential. Not "open the doors & wait". Hell, no business would do that; they advertise their asses off.

I know people were doing all they could to reach those in need, but the need is bigger than the resources right now. How much better if there'd been enough people to comb the parking garages, to walk the streets, to search all night if necessary? I didn't do that, so I’m not affixing blame – except on myself.

Because as a good Portland progressive with the best of intentions, I’m not doing my part. That’s on me and no one else. Except –

No one asked me to be part of that effort. I don’t if I would have said yes, but, after this past week, if asked to do an all-night patrol looking for those in need, I’d say...

salvation is no hope

I spent ten years of my life believing in salvation. That promise was a lie, and I paid dearly for my belief. Rather than moving forward with my life, my depression and my inability to be a responsible adult became the truth the truth of my life.

I am still paying for believing in salvation outside of my own being. But at least I no longer look for others to save me or save the world.

The Electoral College was never going to save us from the results of November 8th.

Bernie Sanders will not save us, nor will Elizabeth Warren or Cory Booker or any other politician, thinker, artist, or religionist.

Getting rid of Citizens United won’t save us. Ending dark money won’t save us.

Bill Moyers won’t save us. Molly Ivins will not be rising from the dead to save us.

Give it up. There is no salvation waiting for us, and we waste our lives, our resources, our hope in waiting for that salvation to appear.

Politics is about what is possible. Politics is about what we can accomplish today – and, if we’re smart about that, and a bit lucky, that can lead to accomplishing other things in the future. But since we can’t do a damn thing about either the past or future, we are stuck with the present. That’s where politics happens.

Salvation happens in a magical future that never will never exist. For over two thousand years, Christians have believed that Jesus was going to return and set up an eternal kingdom for the “saved”. Two thousand years and counting.

(Also counting: the number of times Christians have believed that special day was right around the corner.)

Other religions have similar beliefs. In my opinion, they...

Jenn Lynch, OR Alliance for Gun Safety

My guest is Jenn Lynch, President of the Board of the Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety and one our state’s most outspoken and valuable leaders for common sense gun legislation and gun safety. We talked about the work of the Oregon Alliance, the 2016 election, what ordinary citizens can do, and the need for action on the number gun violence issue: suicide.

A quick note: this podcast was recorded before the November election, which is why some portions are dated.

base thoughts

Perhaps, he thought, Mormons don’t care if their kids get hurt in a car accident.

It was the early 1990s, and I was in grad school at the University of Oregon. I was in the Public Affairs program taking an economics class, and our professor was giving an example of how baseline data matters.

Some years earlier, he’d lived in Salt Lake City, and he started noticing something as he drove around town: He was seeing a noticeable number of cars with the kids not in carseats. So many, in fact, that he began to question if people there were concerned for their children’s safety.

He knew this thought was wrong. Family is precious to Mormons, literally sacred in fact. There had to be something else involved, and, being an economics professor with a strong grounding in statistics, he finally figured it out: Baseline.

Simply put, there were so many young families in SLC, so many people driving with kids in their cars, that of course he was seeing more cars without carseats than he was used to. He had not accounted for the change in baseline: the fact that he was also seeing more cars-with-kids than he was used to.

The baseline for “families with small kids in cars” is pretty big in Salt Lake City. So if they have the same ratio of cars not using safety seats as, say, Portland, the gross number is going to be larger. Those cars will stand out because there are more of them.

When we look around us and make an observation about public behavior – eg, the number of rude, inconsiderate, scofflaw bicyclists – we have to understand the baseline data. In Portland, we have a relatively huge number of people riding bicycles,...

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