Monday, May 22, 2006

Did Anyone Notice Les AuCoin is Blogging?

Besides Chuck Currie, I mean? He ran a blurb just 3 days after Les' first piece, and since then I haven't heard a peep from anyone about it. Perhaps it's that he's only got 10 more posts in the month since then, and in this 'business' that's a ticket to poor traffic--although he's picked it up with five pieces in the last 10 days, one of them echoing the OSU/Salwasser story that Carla is digging into as we speak.

But I mean, how many state political icons start a blog every day? AuCoin made it to DC just as I was moving to the area myself, and was one of the OR Congresspeople (along with Hatfield and Packwood) I kept an eye on over the years. Before going federal he was the youngest Oregon Speaker of the House House Majority Leader ever, and with 30-year-old Neil Goldschmidt taking over the mayor's job in Portland (and a young-at-heart Tom McCall pulling all kinds of hippie moves like public beaches and bottle deposits), it must have felt like the new blood threatened to fairly burst from the state's political arteries.

Not everyone remembers AuCoin so fondly, whether it be from the hard right (pesticide lobbyists Oregonians for Food and Shelter {pdf}--"with all that Les AuCoin has done to undermine our Oregon timber businesses") or hard left (Counterpunch's Michael Donnelly--"the craven creator of an on-going inter-species holocaust"), but as far as the vast middle goes, he was one of Oregon's best. So when he tells you that Bush's plan for using missile defense technology to protect us from Iran is pointless, stupid, and ill-fated anyway, you might want to listen. After all, how many bloggers get to say, "I studied anti-missile missles as a member of the House defense appropriations committee, and..."? Blog on, Les.

Update, 5/23 930AM-- Blue Oregon reminds me that AuCoin is also doing a lot of writing these days, and a little bit of reading too: his review of the important David Sirota book Hostile Takeover appeared in Sunday's O.