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Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in Oregon Politics: Teressa Raiford, Nick Fish, GMOs

Friday, December 26, 2014


Every Friday, GoLocalPDX breaks down who's rising and who's falling in the world of Oregon politics. Check out who made the lists this week.


Teressa Raiford

After running for office and being in the public eye on other issues that impact our community, Theresa Raiford has finally arrived. The go to leader of the recent protests against police violence has proven she is a force to be reckoned with. This week, like many, Raiford was concerned with Portland Police union boss Darryl Turner’s comments linking recent protests to violence against police officers. What set her apart was a 1 am phone call with him and convening a meeting the next day between Turner and other protestors.

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish

Nick Fish often speaks his mind. That’s nothing new. Hopefully he’ll continue to do so with a same passion as this week when he was Uberpissed at AirBNB’s lobbyist. This week he is on the Hot list. If we had a Red Hot list, he would top that one too – he was pissed. He didn’t have a book to throw at AirBNB, so he settled for Craiglist Ads. The issue? Just disclosing the addresses of homeowners using their service. Apparently we cannot regulate what we cannot find.

Marc Jolin

Long at the helm of local non-profit JOIN, homeless advocate Marc Jolin has accepted a job with the county to work in partnership with the city to reduce homelessness. Hurrah. Having seen Jolin go from talking high level policy to assisting a single mom living in her car get housing and back to policy again, this writer knows that Jolin will be missed at JOIN. Hopefully his new role will give him more ability to prevent the single mom from ending up in her car in the first place.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum

There is a joke that the National Association of Attorneys General, or NAAG, actually stands for National Association of Aspiring Governors. Oregon’s Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum sure seems like she may be the Democrats best hope for retaining Mahonia Hall after the current governor exits the stage. This week she reminds us that not all charities are created equal.

Oregon Senate Democrats

Padding their slim minority with two more Democrats makes a huge difference in the 30 member Oregon State Senate. When they convene next month, they will have 17 votes for many pieces of progressive legislation. While the number of Democrats in the Senate is 18, one member of that caucus has a habit of siding with Republicans. Time will tell whether she continues to do so when it no longer gives her power.



As we all know, Oregon voters narrowly failed to pass a statewide labeling requirement for products containing genetically modified organisms. Jackson County had previously passed a measure that bans growing GMO plants, out of worry their organic industry could be harmed. This week the county agreed not to enforce the ban while a challenge is in the courts. The issue? Genetically modified alfalfa. Suddenly this sounds like a good mash up movie: The Little Rascals Enter the Twilight Zone.

Portland Police Union President Darryl Turner

While his name graces the Hot section, Portland Police Union President Darryl Turner earns his own place lower half too. Turner, in a missive to his members, lashes out at peaceful protestors exercising their constitutional rights and casts blame for the tragic deaths of NYPD officers. While this feels like an unimaginable stretch, perhaps his lashing out will kick start a much needed conversation.

Union Politics

Cocaine. Heroin. Prison time. Nepotism. No no – we’re not talking about Congress but the local plumber’s union. A movement is afoot to displace the current union boss from his $135,000 position because of things that should have been known before he was elected in the first place but apparently became relevant because he chose to grease his wife’s palm and not those of other powerful members. Oopsie.

Oregon House Republican Leader Mike McClane

Last Friday, Oregon House Republican Leader Mike McClane took to the stage at the Portland City Club’s final Friday Forum of the year to discuss the coming session. At times he seemed to be confused about the role of a legislator – for instance knowing what is in the legislation being considered – and at other times confused about the venue. It was not open mic night at a comedy club.

Representative McClane’s confusion continued into the weekend when he took to Facebook to lambast fellow panelist House Majority Leader Val Hoyle Her crime? Apparently “demonizing” Republicans in an op-ed. I took the honor of doing a count of the number of times she mentioned Republicans: zero.

Jesse is an East Portland resident, political junkie, snowboard fanatic, and former pub owner. 


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