With a little bit of pomp (and some circumstantial evidence that former Governor John Kitzhaber was again involved in a hit and run) the Bus Project concluded another summer of training activists and future community leaders as it congratulated the 24 Fellows of this summer's PolitiCorps bootcamp where they received "hands-on skills training, innovative public policy intensives, and real-world applications of leadership skills and campaign savvy."
More proof that Portland is a small pond (at least when it comes to politics) this cocktail/buffet reception also featured a smorgasbord of who's whos among the 100-200 in attendance. I spotted media types, such as Matt Davies of the Portland Mercury and Adam Klugman who founded PMA, whose agency helps progressive causes and candidates find their voice (if not their backbone).
From the Legislature there was Ben Cannon on stage cracking wise and Mary Nolan in the crowd. The latter is rumored to be in line to replace Jeff Merkely as House Speaker. If true, that would make it difficult for her to retract the factually inaccurate swiftboat attack made in her name on BlueOregon.com.
I saw my future State Representative Jules Koppel-Bailey and one of his primary opponents, Teddy Keizer. The race for House Dist. #42 was indeed an embarrassment of riches and it's my belief that all of the competitors I met in the course of that campaign would find ways to continue to serve our community and our great State
There were familiar faces among the activists including Lew Frederick who addressed the graduating class of PolitiCorps fellows and "Ben from Aloha" who drove them around Oregon in Jefferson's omnibus.
Like its predecessor, it's a rough and tumble vehicle. Six years ago Gov. Kithaber gave it his all during a christening which gave the first bus a few dents. This time, his handwork is visible on 4 dinged up lugnuts and a busted hub cap. I think it's a good omen.
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