Slant 2-25-2016

Lane County Democrats gathered Feb. 18 for their traditional endorsement process for nonpartisan May Primary races. No big surprises (Lucy Vinis for mayor, Tony McCown for county commissioner), but no endorsements for any of the three Dems running to replace George Brown in Eugene City Council Ward 1. DPLC Chair Chris Wig is one of the candidates, and to avoid a conflict of interest, he turned over the meeting to Vice-chair Laura Gillpatrick. All three candidates submitted statements, gave short speeches and took questions, but Gillpatrick tells us, “Several of our precinct committee people (PCPs) expressed concern about fracturing party unity by endorsing one Democrat over another while several others were concerned that endorsing multiple candidates would be confusing to voters (and may have contributed to our loss in the 2014 East Lane Commissioner race).” In the end the DPLC members voted to not endorse anyone for Ward 1. The other D’s in that race so far are Emily Semple and Josh Skov. Additional candidates in the crowded field are Chad Anderson and Kelly Boyd, who apparently did not seek DPLC endorsement. Deadline to file is March 2.  In the mayor’s race, Scott Landfield of Tsunami Books announced at the Feb. 22 City Council meeting that he was also running for mayor to ensure candidates talk about issues such as Kesey Square.

• It was heartening to hear Emma Callaway, impressive coordinator for A Better Oregon, tell the City Club of Eugene on Feb. 19 that more than 300 organizations already have signed on for IP 28, the initiative that, if it becomes a ballot measure and passes in November, will give Oregon schools the funding to finally lift us out of the hole created by Measure 5 some 25 years ago. (See Amy Schneider’s lead story in our annual Education issue this week). Big corporate money will pour into Oregon to convince the voters that this is just another sales tax, although, as Callaway pointed out, that is not true. It will take an incredible grassroots effort to pass IP 28. First, it requires the signatures to put it on the ballot.

• Makes us proud to find two University of Oregon scientists among the winners of the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowships for 2016. As listed in a full-page ad in the Feb. 23 New York Times, Benjamin Elias was named in mathematics and Kelly Sutherland in ocean sciences. The announcement says, “These 126 early-career scholars represent the most promising scientific researchers working today.”

Comments are closed.