Thursday, September 28, 2006

Caudle Calls Out Corruption While Committee Coddles Scott

In the Blue Oregon thread yesterday detailing the Hawaiian jaunt taken by Rep. Wayne Scott, among others, a salient call to action is made by commenter "verasoie":
So how're the Democrats going to make hay out of this? This means you in particular, Mike Caudle. I don't mean to single you out, but as I imagine you're way behind on the financial front, you need to make the most of free publicity while you can. Get all over this anyway you can, particularly local news.
Not to be contentious, but there's an unfortunate passivity of voice in this comment: what are "the Democrats" going to do? Assuming verasoie is either a Democrat or sympathetic to them in this election, isn't the better question what are YOU going to do? Mike's been asking all summer and fall: can you help? Can you knock on some doors? Can you make some phone calls? Do you have any money left in your $50 tax credit fund? (You may ask what I'm doing--I've been pimping Mike's candidacy for months, as if I want to date his sister.)

That said, it is true that Scott's sudden high-profile political problem is one that Caudle must capitalize on, explaining why that kind of influence-peddling is bad for House District 39 (and the rest of the state), and what he would do differently. And the reason why I've been telling anyone who asks--and many who haven't--that Mike has a real shot, is because he gets it:
State Representative candidate Mike Caudle (D-Oregon City) will release ethics and lobbying reform legislation as his opponent, House Majority Leader Wayne Scott (R-Canby), hosts a high-dollar plated dinner with Oregon's business lobbies in one of Portland's luxury hotels. The fundraiser benefits Majority 2006, the campaign committee of the Oregon House Republicans.

Rep. Scott's event comes just one day after The Oregonian reported that he and two other Republican legislators failed to disclose a lobbyist-funded trip to a Hawaiian resort hotel in 2004. It also comes on the same day The Oregonian reported that Rep. Scott used campaign funds to attend another convention at an expensive Hawaiian resort this past May where he received a $20,000 campaign contribution from the convention's sponsors. Caudle's reform package would:
  • Ban lobbyist-funded trips or vacations;
  • Cap the value of lobbyist gifts at $100 per individual item or meal, and $300 total per biennium;
  • Restrict retired legislators from lobbying their colleagues within two years of leaving office;
  • Require monthly public disclosure of all meetings with registered lobbyists;
  • Create a searchable online database of all such meetings;
  • Institute harsher penalties for legislators who break these ethics laws; and
  • Mandate expulsion for legislators who are repeat offenders.
Mr. Caudle has also pledged to uphold these high ethical standards even if his fellow legislators fail to enact them into law.
The best part is that Caudle's not only on the ball with a plan, but he's going to unveil it while standing out in front of that same luxury hotel where Scott is being metaphorically fellated. At 5:15 TODAY, September 28, Mike will be in front of the Governor Hotel, 614 SW 11th Ave., Portland, OR, to present his plan. How can "the Democrats" help Mike? They--meaning YOU--can grab a quick happy hour drink at Jake's and then stand with Mike and let people know that there is an alternative. We do not need to suffer bought-and-paid-for chumps like Wayne Scott in silence, and verily our duty is NOT to be silent. Be heard, be active, and be like Mike.