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Election anoints clowns, champs of 2002

Bowling, Cox and rock rallies didn't get the votes, but they came up winners

The on-camera drama of Election Night was readily apparent.

But behind the curtains, it soon became obvious that the votes cast Tuesday would have trickledown effects into surprising places. Power shifted, ideas formed, alliances were evaluated, and Campaign 2004 began taking shape.

With that in mind, here's a look at some of the offbeat ebbs and flows of the 2002 election.

Winners

Portland Business Alliance: The reconfigured business group went 4-for-4 in the first election under its new, politically proactive regime. Everything the alliance backed won: Randy Leonard for Portland City Council, the Portland parks measure, the Portland kids measure and the Multnomah County library measure.

But the alliance may have picked only one real winner: M&R Strategic Services Ñ headed up by veteran campaigner Mark Wiener Ñ managed all four campaigns. 'He's going to be insufferable,' one City Hall insider said.

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Bowling: As Nike knows, everyone loves a winner. Don't expect the 'Be Like Ted' phase to last long, but that strike Ted Kulongoski threw in his oft-played television ad could mean some surprised dads will be unwrapping a shiny new, resin-reactive Columbia 300 Icon this Christmas.

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Tom Cox: Sure, he looked like Lenin. But he also was funny, engaging and put a new face on the Libertarian Party platform. His 5 percent may not sound like much, but it was the best showing ever for a Libertarian gubernatorial candidate.

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KGW (8): The clear choice of Election Night partygoers. Organizers of the Kevin Mannix election-night party at the Governor Hotel placed six TV sets around the ballroom, diplomatically dialing two sets apiece to KATU (2), KOIN (6) and KGW. By 8:45 p.m., Mannix backers had turned all but one of the sets to KGW.

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Mike Burton: He wasn't up for re-election Ñ in fact, his job as Metro's administrative manager will be eliminated at the end of the year. But Burton's future brightened considerably when Ted Kulongoski defeated Kevin Mannix. Insiders say Burton likely will land a top land-use planning appointment in the new administration, giving him a chance to try out his sustainable development ideas on a statewide basis.

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Jim Francesconi and Dan Saltzman: Saltzman was unopposed, and Francesconi wasn't even on the ballot. But the two city commissioners were point men for successful ballot measure campaigns.

Francesconi put together the campaign that passed the parks levy, while Saltzman championed the Children's Investment Fund initiative. By doing so, both gained supporters that could help them in future races.

Losers

Loren Parks: The Aloha millionaire dropped more than a cool $1.5 million this year on lost causes, including $1.25 million to restructure the judiciary Ñ Measures 21 and 22 Ñ and another $250,000 on Kevin Mannix.

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TV debates: Once again, a bunch of guys in blue blazers asking wonkish policy questions helped dull up the political season. Much more interesting were the Jabbin' at the Aladdin events staged in the spring and fall by X-Pac and Willamette Week. They found a rewarding mix of fun, policy and beer that was both entertaining and informative.

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Kate Schiele: The upstart Schiele lost more than the Metro president's race. She also lost her job as an insurance broker for Payment Insured Plan of Eugene, after the Tribune reported she worked there. Apparently corporate officials are publicity shy.

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Erik Sten: Even though he retained his City Council seat, Tuesday didn't help Sten launch a potential mayoral run in 2004. First, former employee and political ally Serena Cruz was defeated by Randy Leonard. Second, Francesconi, another potential candidate for mayor, put together a successful campaign for improving Portland parks that will look good in his election brochures.

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The high road: It was an autumn only Donald Segretti could love. During the final weekend, attack ads filled the airwaves on both radio and television. There was one remarkable bit of bipartisan harmony, however: Senate candidates Gordon Smith and Bill Bradbury both agreed that the other would ignore the wishes of Oregon voters.

Editor Roger Anthony contributed to this report. Contact Jim Redden at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Don Hamilton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..