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Sources Say • AG candidates get friendly


Politics makes strange bedfellows -- and sometimes alliances can be hard to figure out.

Take the race for Oregon attorney general between retired Oregon appellate Judge Ellen Rosenblum and former Oregon U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton. Although both are Democrats, the race is suddenly being portrayed as a liberal versus a conservative after marijuana legalization advocate Robert Wolfe endorsed Rosenblum and criticized Holton for cracking down on medical marijuana growers when he was with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Then, on Monday, Secretary of State Kate Brown fined Wolfe a record $65,000 for violating state election laws by paying petition circulators for each signature in his current initiative drive to legalize marijuana possession for adults. That's a no-no under state law, which says signature gatherers must be paid by the hour, not by the signature.

The move was immediately applauded by Our Oregon, a liberal advocacy group who issued a statement accusing Wolfe of "marring the reputation of Oregon's historic initiative process" and "trying to cheat voters."

We assume that's not the kind of person Rosenblum wants to be associated with.

Maybe it's only a coincidence, but Our Oregon is supported by the Service Employees International Union, which has endorsed Holton.

Debate correction

Last week's Sources incorrectly listed the location for the April 26 Portland Tribune-KPAM-KOIN debate for mayoral candidates. The debate is being held at 2:30 p.m. in the Buckley Center on the University of Portland campus.

Endorsement race heats up

With most ballots going in the mail to voters this week, the race for Portland mayor has kicked into high gear, with the major candidates issuing press releases touting their most recent endorsements.

For example, during the Earth Day weekend, both former Commissioner Charlie Hales and businesswoman Eileen Brady issued releases claiming they were the best candidate for the environment. The releases included endorsements from a number of environmentalists, although no environmental organizations.

On Monday, state Rep. Jefferson Smith announced that he had been endorsed by both the Portland Police Association and the Portland Firefighters' Association. Both groups had said they might sit out the race. They are the latest is a string of public employee union endorsements Smith has received, including from the Portland Association of Teachers and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

League of extraordinary info

The TV and radio ads are running. The voters' pamphlets have arrived. Direct mail pieces will be coming any day now.

But if you want even more information about the candidates and measures on the May 15 primary election ballot, the League of Women Voters' Education Fund has set up a national website that includes information down to the city level in each state.

The site is a little clunky, requiring you to pick your state, submit your address and then choose which ballots or individual races to review.

All of the information about the candidates is provided by the campaigns, so it's not exactly objective. But if you have a few hours and want to compare how candidates answer (or avoid) questions on issues prepared by the league, check out the website at vote411.org.