Sources Say: Smith lawsuit could linger past election
Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith could be elected to the Portland City Council before learning whether she has to resign from her county seat.
Election activist Seth Woolley wants the Multnomah County Circuit Court to force Smith to resign because she began running for the council before the start of her final year in office. Woolley says the County Charter requires commission members who file for any seat but county chair to resign if they do that.
Smith has retained a private lawyer, who responded that the charter clearly says members have to resign if they "file" for another office, and Smith did not formally file for the council seat being vacated by Commissioner Dan Saltzman until after the first of the year.
The case had not yet been assigned to a judge by the end of last week, and the court is not known for moving quickly. It took many months for a judge to confirm that campaign contribution limits approved by county voters in November 2016 violated the Oregon Constitution, as the Oregon Supreme Court had ruled on a previous limitation proposal.
The primary election is set for May 15, a little more than two months away. It can be won by any candidate who receives more than 50 percent of the vote.
Sordyl around to fight another day
A bill that would have effectively ousted education advocate Kim Sordyl from the state Board of Education died when the 2018 Oregon Legislature adjourned Saturday.
Sordyl is a former attorney and stay-at-home mother who has been active and vocal in Portland Public Schools for several years and worked on Republican Dennis Richardson's campaign for Oregon Secretary of State in 2016.
Her outspoken criticism of union influence and leadership decisions in the local and state public school systems on social media and in public has attracted fans and foes. Richardson appointed her as his designee on the education board more than a year ago.
Rep. Margaret Doherty, D-Tigard, proposed House Bill 4013 in January after staff members at the Oregon Department of Education tried, but failed, to force Sordyl off the board with recommended board policy changes.
The bill would have required the two nonvoting state Board of Education members designated by the secretary of state and state treasurer to be employees of those respective offices. It passed the Oregon House but died in the Senate Rules Committee.