Most government critics are content to merely take cheap shots at politicians and programs they don't like. But perennial gadfly Terry Parker is stepping up and running for a seat on the Metro Council, the regional government he has long criticized for prioritizing alternatives to motor vehicle travel.

Parker, who considers himself semi-retired after a sales and customer relations career, may be best known for insisting at a public hearing that bicyclists pay for bike lanes and other infrastructure improvements that benefit them. His campaign platform includes a call for diversity, which he defines as including 'diversity of opinion at the table within the citizen process and on advisory committees.'

Parker is running for District 5, the seat held by Rex Burkholder, who is being term-limited out of office. The only other candidate in the race at this time is Helen Ying, a consultant and former educator.

Campaign complications

The start of annual sessions of the Oregon Legislature could pose some campaign problems for state representatives.

In 2010, voters approved a measure requiring regular sessions every year. The first one in an even-numbered year begins Feb. 1, 2012 - right about when primary election campaigns traditionally switch into high gear. But the Oregon House has a rule preventing members from soliciting or accepting campaign contributions during the session, even if members are running for another office. That will include state Rep. Jefferson Smith, who is running for Portland mayor, and state Rep. Mary Nolan, who is running against City Commissioner Amanda Fritz.

Fortunately for them, the session can only last a maximum of 40 days, giving them more than two months more to campaign before the May 15 primary election.

The state Senate has no such prohibition.

Measuring EMILY's clout

EMILY's List, the national political organization that supports progressive women candidates, has endorsed Eileen Brady for Portland mayor and state Sen. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Dist. 17) in the 1st Congressional District Democratic primary election.

Spokeswoman Jess McIntosh says it is impossible to predict how much money and other support the endorsements will mean to each candidate. But McIntosh says the group's track record has been pretty good this year - two of the three women it endorsed in special congressional elections have won.

'Our supporters are really fired up this year,' says McIntosh, who predict Bonamici will be the third EMILY's List-backed candidate to win a congressional special election since the start of the year.

Let me rephrase that

Former House Speaker Dave Hunt (D-Dist. 40) announced his intention to run for chairman of Clackamas County's board of commissioners with a press release that accidentally included bright red portions that were supposed to be edited out.

Lines intended to be struck included Hunt saying that he was working to 'improve the lives of Clackamas County citizens' and 'restore the economic vitality that's been lost to this global recession.' Hunt instead said he is working to 'build a stronger economy, infrastructure, services, and communities for Clackamas County families and businesses.'

Unintended lines continued throughout the 11-paragraph press release, including a claim that he will 'show voters here exactly the kind of work I can do for them as County Chair during these next few months.'

Editing is apparently not one of those job skills.

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