That wasn't the real reason for the meeting, however.
It was, as they used to say, a big dog and pony show.
- First, the meeting was held to attempt to make Chair Charlotte Lehan look important and get free media for her re election.
- Second, it was designed to highlight the newly conceived of recall for Sherry Hall, the County Clerk, who has crossed swords with the tendentious liberals in the past.
- Third, it was designed to set the table for further action if she lost the election to a close vote.
- Fourth, it could help allay fears of those concerned about ballot security.
Let's go over these in order.
1. Lehan wanted free media the day before the election. She could have had the meeting say on Friday or Saturday, but she didn't. Friday was a day off for the County and she couldn't be bothered. Not only that but, according to her campaign spokesman who spoke to my producer, she was focused on "other issues" on Friday and couldn't talk about ballot security. She didn't think it was important enough.
2. Yesterday's meeting was done with a Renta-mob in front of the Commission HQ calling for the recall of Sherry Hall, the Clackamas County Clerk. Knowing the media would cover the special super important meeting, they arranged to have picketers out front to call attention to the recall to allow the media to see another narrative at play in case Lehan loses.
Hall is on their radar because they claim she's error prone. Hall has apparently made some mistakes, but fewer than, let's say, Kate Brown the Secretary of State who, oops, forgot an entire election for the BOLI Commissioner a move which just so happened to favor her great friend, fellow far left partisan, Brad Avakian.
Hall didn't show up to the meeting, sending a letter of explanation about the situation instead. Hall's letter stated she couldn't comment at the proceedings because the incident was under investigation. She also had to know what this meeting was: a pretext to attack her and give credence to the phonied up recall campaign complete with media ready renta-mob.
3. Lehan has now tried to create a counter narrative that these evillll Republicans are out to get her since the woman who supposedly changed someone's ballot is a registered Republican. The fact is, Lehan has earned the everlasting enmity of most voters in Clackamas County by going behind the voters' backs and doing exactly the opposite of their wishes on light rail. The coup de grace was her engineering of the bank loan before today's election to get funding for light rail knowing voters would turn down funding. There's more treachery but I'll leave it at that for now.
4. I'd actually give Lehan an atta girl if I thought she actually gave a crap about ballot security. She doesn't really want to talk about it as evidenced by her withering at the notion of coming on my program on Friday. She doesn't believe in voter registration ID requirement like most of her far left fellow travelers and only took up the cause when a REPUBLICAN was caught.
And that brings us to something else: "Caught." Someone "caught" the woman, identified in some circles as Deanna Swenson, marking a ballot.
If this situation is as advertised--and I'm not so sure it is-- it's illegal. As they say in Damascus, off with her head! BUT we don't actually KNOW that. Sherry Hall could have alerted the SOS Office out of an abundance of caution. But we don't know that, either.
Clackamas County allows 'enhancing' ballots. According to the media accounts, Swenson marked down-race 'ovals' supposedly only for Republicans. Was she enhancing or marking a ballot illegally? We really don't know that yet.
As in Washington County, there should be NO ENHANCING of ballots. If you're too stupid to fill your ballot out correctly then no one else should have the ability to anticipate what you meant and fill it out.
And, who is Deanna Swenson? Nobody in the Clackastani Rebellion has ever heard of her. AFP Clackamas County has never heard of her. She's not a FB friend of mine or anyone else I know in the several Conservative and Republican groups I am affiliated with on Facebook. In other words, she's obviously not an activist working in the service of some hackneyed notion of 'helping the cause of the Clackastani Rebels.'
Lehan and others made a big deal in yesterday's news conference, er, meeting, to say that, hey, their races are down ballot too, and gosh, they'd hate to think of anyone missing voting on those important races. Thanks for reminding us.
Which brings us down to the fact that Lehan is getting the race of her life from one of the "Clackastani Rebels" John Ludlow (see post below for what Charlotte's friends are doing to his and Tootie Smith's signs). The rebellion in Clackamas County is over "Portland Creep," with higher densities and light rail which will diminish quality of life in the bucolic burg. Lehan and fellow Commissioner Jamie Damon are wholly in the pocket of the light rail/METRO 'smart growthers' and have lead efforts to subvert the will of the people in three separate votes. They should be recalled, but we'll settle for a defeat at the ballot box.
I think there's less here than meets the eye in terms of actual ballot tampering. I wonder, in fact, if any charges will be lodged against Swenson.
But the situation certainly has served to muddy the waters around election time which serves Lehan and Damon's needs just fine. They've gone from tyrants to victims in one fell swoop.