Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Sources Say • Tune in for more Bonamici TV

Suzanne Bonamici swamped her Democratic opponents with TV ads during the primary election for Oregon's 1st Congressional District seat.

Now the former Beaverton-area state senator seems poised to do the same to Republican nominee Rob Cornilles.

According to the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, the Bonamici campaign recently reserved a whopping $1 million worth of TV time. That's a lot of air time between now and the Jan. 31 general election.

News of the reservation broke just a few days before the release of a poll showing Bonamici with an 11-point lead over Cornilles - 52 percent to 41 percent. It was financed by two organizations that traditionally back Democratic candidates, the Daily Koz website and the Service Employee International Union.

The poll results are consistent with the district's voting history, however.

Wyden, useful liberal 'idiot'?

For many years, Democratic Oregon U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden has burnished his moderate credentials by working with Republicans. He and former Republican U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith repeatedly made headlines for their bipartisan cooperation.

So Wyden must be more than a little surprised by the flak he's catching for teaming up with Republican Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan - chairman of the House Budget Committee - to reform Medicare.

For example, The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman accused Wyden of doing 'a bad, bad thing' in a Dec. 17 column titled, 'Ron Wyden, Useful Idiot.'

Much of Wyden's problem is that Ryan is not Smith, who was genuinely moderate. Liberal Democrats see Ryan as a right-wing fanatic who must be defeated in 2012. Kenosha County Supervisor Rob Zerban, who is running for the Democratic nomination in Ryan's district, already is attacking him for trying to destroy Medicare in his primary campaign. The last thing Zerban and his supporters want is Ryan working with a moderate Democrat.

Moving on to hand out money

Charles Lewis, longtime executive director and founder of the nonprofit Ethos Music Center in North Portland, is leaving his post Jan. 1 after 13 years.

Taking his place is Jedidiah Chavez, the organization's development director.

Lewis is applying for a couple of positions at charitable foundations in Portland, 'handing out money instead of asking for it,' he says. 'If I don't get something right away I could use a break; I haven't had a vacation in 13 years.'

Lewis ran for the City Council in 2008 and lost to Amanda Fritz after a spirited campaign. Don't expect him to jump into any upcoming races right away, however. He has two young toddlers, which take up all his spare time.

'It was brutal with two kids, running Ethos,' he says. 'The time required for running for office is insane. When my kids get a lot older, I'll try again.'