Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Dom Biggi's Fibtastic Resume'

Seeing as how The O printed a quick blurb of an endorsement for Republican contender Domonic Biggi in the open 27th House District race, and Carla pointed out this morning that Biggi is one of Chuck Adams' consultancy clients, I thought I'd check out Biggi's webpage to learn more about him*:
Dom appreciates the opportunities that Beaverton has given him, and he is committed to giving back to his community. He is a member of the Beaverton Chamber of Commerce, and serves on their Board. Because of his vision and knowledge of business policy, Dom was asked to help write the policies and priorities for the Statewide Chambers of Commerce. Dom served on the Highway 217 Task Force because he knows that the livability of Beaverton and the Metro area is dependent on a safe, reliable transportation infrastructure. He also served as Commissioner on the Washington County Planning Commission, helping to guide land-use planning and decision-making for the past six years. [emphs mine]
Well, he certainly is involved in civic activity, isn't he?

Or was, anyway. Just for laughs I checked out the Beaverton CoC site, and scanned through their Board of Directors. Strangely, Biggi's name seems to have been left off. Oh wait, maybe he's one of the ex-officio names. Nope. That's odd; there must be some kind of mistake, because Biggi says he's on the Board. Not according to BCoC staffer Sue Hamlin, who noted to me on the phone that his term has expired (I'm waiting on a callback for exactly when he did serve).

Biggi has also apparently been busy at the WashCo Planning Commission, a job he says he's been doing "for the past six years." Like you, I assumed that means that for each of the past six years starting with 2006, he's been a Commissioner. Not according to the Planning Commission website, however--not currently. He doesn't show up on the minutes for meetings in 2006...or any of the minutes I perused in 2005, or for 2004. I'm expecting a callback from the Commission also, as to when Biggi actually served in that capacity.

I do have corroborating evidence that Biggi was in fact on the Commission at some point, although--grasp the irony here--it involves a situation where Biggi apparently wanted people to think he was NOT a member:
Mr. Paulson commended Commissioner Schouten for his involvement in the acquisition and preservation of parks. He remarked that one of the saddest things going on in Washington County is a manipulation of the citizen component of the PAC processes. Specifically, Mr. Paulson reported that Dominic Biggi, a Washington County Planning Commissioner, was represented on the PAC as a citizen. He went on to say that the same thing occurred on the 209th project, namely, two members of the Washington County Planning Commission were not identified as such. Mr. Paulson did not think Washington County staff has to manipulate its citizens in that manner. He did not mean this to be inflammatory but rather wished the Board of Commissioners to know about this. Mr. Paulson expressed the hope that the Board would look into this. [emph me, again]
Those minutes are from a County Commissioners' meeting in August 2004, so at minimum prior to that day, Biggi seems to have indeed served. But his way of "serving" struck the citizen commenter who spoke as "manipulative," and I tend to agree if his facts are correct. What the citizen, noted as Lauren Paulson, is saying is that Biggi tried to pretend he was an ordinary citizen participating in a parks Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) process, but was actually a member of the Commission at the time...and that it's not the first time that's happened (although it's not clear Biggi was a repeat offender).

Are we calling Biggi a liar? Not really. He did serve on the Beaverton Chamber board...at some point. He did serve on the Planning Commission...at some point. (We'll accept his claim for being on the Hwy 217 Task Force; Metro personnel confirmed his membership in the process to me this morning. The committee stood for about two years until last fall, and made recommendations to Metro which were accepted earlier this year). And the episode where he sat on the Planning Commission but played like an ordinary Joe, while unsettling, is again more of a misrepresentation than a lie.

But is this what people in Beaverton need to settle for? A guy who puffs up his resume' to make it look like he's currently involved in things he's no longer involved in? A guy who skulks around in policy meetings without representing himself truthfully? Forgive us, Oregonian editorial staff, but that's "experience" they could probably do without. And since there's an opportunistic alternative--Democrat Tobias Read--who's looking far forward instead of trying to live off his past, there's no reason to further suffer Biggi's post-hoc grandeur by sending him to Salem. As for the website inaccuracies, maybe the smart thing for Biggi is to claim the Oregon GOP's version of "the devil made me do it"--and blame his consultant, Chuck Adams.

Update, 330pm (and for you trolls who still seem fascinated with my work schedule, I got in late and am staying late, and right this minute I'm at lunch)--
I heard earlier from Evelyn Orr, the office manager with Beaverton Chamber of Commerce. She confirmed his membership in the Chamber (which we never disputed), and also his position as a member of the board...in 1999. I asked, "and that's the only year?" She couldn't be sure he hadn't served earlier (she's a recent addition to the staff), but was definite that he hadn't been on the board SINCE 1999. She did say he was appointed to the Advocacy Council, for what that's worth. Frankly, I expected that maybe he quit last year, or at worst 2004. But SEVEN years ago? That's completely out of the bounds of reasonability, for someone to smack his forehead and exclaim, "Oh, right--I said I'm currently on the board, but I forgot that it was actually when Clinton was President." I've emailed the link to this story to the Biggi campaign; let's see if we can get a response on his Persistent Memory Syndrome.

*Update, 4pm--
I don't suppose we'll be needing confirmation from Biggi's campaign office anymore; they've changed the page. As promised, you can find the original version cached here. For the record, Biggi changed "serves" to "served" in reference to the Chamber of Commerce, and from "for the past six years" to "for six years" in reference to the Planning Commission. No update on his stealth-PC position as policy committee infiltrator, though. Guess they figured that was TMI for voters...