Gone Girl


roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Wehby disappears, Kitzhaber fails to disclose and Seattle gets bike share before Portland.

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roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Wehby disappears, Gov. Kitzhaber fails to disclose and Seattle gets bike share before Portland.

Now that U.S. Senate candidate Monica Wehby is doing such a good job torpedoing her own campaign, perhaps shoe in Jeff Merkley will pull back on the negative advertising. My in-box is clogged with anti-Wehby missives penned by Merkley communications director Jamal Raad; a quick review of the news releases posted to Merkley’s home page reveals the vast majority are devoted to Wehby bashing.

Not that this is anything new. As Pacific University’s Jim Moore observed earlier this month: “People vote against things.” 

That may be true, but Merkley, lauded for reforming the filibuster, might consider taking the high ground during the last month of the election campaign, especially since his challenger appears to have gone AWOL.

In Oregon’s not-so-hotly contested governor’s race, Gov. Kitzhaber faces ethics questions about not disclosing work performed by campaign adviser Patricia McCaig as either paid labor or an in-kind contribution. The governor’s relationship with McCaig, who advised him on the Columbia River Crossing, was always a bit perplexing — from a policy if not ethical standpoint.

Kitzhaber’s support of the CRC, a massive highway project, placated labor and business leaders but made no sense in context of his clean energy and environment platform.

As Portland languishes, Seattle moves full steam ahead on next generation urban transportation options. Lyft and Uber have been operating in Seattle for several years. And next month bike sharing comes to the Emerald City, courtesy of sponsor Alaska Airlines. Meanwhile, Portland’s Alta Bike Share is still searching for a corporate backer to get its long awaited bike share program off the ground. Moda Health?  Kaiser Permanente?  Phil Knight?

On the national news front, all eyes are on the $40 billion lawsuit filed against the federal government by Starr International, the investment firm of former A.I.G CEO Maurice Greenberg. Starr alleges the government broke the law  — the 5th amendment, to be precise — by taking $35 billion worth in A.I.G shares but only paying a fraction of that: $500,000. Legal experts say the suit has little merit. Six years after the fact, A.I.G’s stock is worth $80B — that’s $80B more than it would have been worth minus a bailout.

It is certainly one of the odder cases to come out of the financial crisis.


Linda Baker is the editor of Oregon Business.