Politics | Bent | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon


Friday, November 7, 2014

Council Candidate Ron Boozell Calls for Recusal of Endorsing Councilors from Residency Decision

Posted By on Fri, Nov 7, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Bend City Council candidate Ron "Rondo" Boozell is calling for councilors who publicly endorsed or supported candidates in the race to recuse themselves from anything to do with vacating or filling seat 6, currently the subject of a lawsuit alleging councilor-elect Casey Roats is does not meet the qualifications laid out in the City Charter. Boozell was one of the candidates running against Roats for position 6 and came in third place on Tuesday's election winning close to 8 percent of the vote. 

"It is my opinion that each City Councilor that used his or her position on Council during this election to endorse or promote or campaign publicly for a City Council Candidate has compromised their ability to select without bias a resident qualified to fill a vacancy on council, or determine qualification that might create that vacancy," Boozell wrote in a release. 

It's unclear whether Council will take the issue on. Some councilors have previously expressed reluctance toward being the deciding body, citing a similar concern regarding the split support for candidates among council members. Mayor Jim Clinton told the Source yesterday that the issue may be out of their hands.

"This issue is now before the court, so I don't have any comment until a judge issues a decision," Clinton said. "I think it very unlikely the Council will take up this issue until such a decision is released."

Even if the question of Roats' qualification is addressed by the Deschutes County Circuit Court, City Council would still have the option to appoint a candidate within 30 days of the creation of a vacancy. Council is permitted to appoint any qualified person, and is not required to appoint a previous candidate. But Boozell said he doesn't think potential-biased councilors should weigh in on that decision either, instead proposing a special election (permitted by the charter if the Council does not make an appointment). 

"I ask for a special public ballot to be printed as soon as possible, so the residents of Bend may choose between the remaining qualified candidates that appeared on the November 4th ballot," Boozell said. "If a candidate is found to have not met the residence requirements, then the November Ballot and the voting results from that ballot are skewed, and unrepresentative. If this is the case, then the people of Bend have been robbed of a fair election, and a true choice based on their values and judgement."

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Resident Files Lawsuit Seeking to Prevent Election of Casey Roats to Bend City Council

Posted By on Thu, Nov 6, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Bend resident Foster Fell has filed a lawsuit against City Recorder Robyn Christie, the City of Bend, and councilor-elect Casey Roats asking the Deschutes County Circuit Court to declare that Roats is not entitled to receive a certificate of election.

The initial complaint, filed yesterday, alleges that Roats does not meet the qualifications set out in the City Charter, which requires candidates to be both a qualified elector and to have resided within the city limits for the 12 months preceding his election.

A complaint has already been filed with the Secretary of State regarding concerns Roats may have knowingly provided false residency information when he registered to vote at two addresses where did admits he did not physically reside—his business address and the address of his under-construction home—and when he gave the unfinished home's address on his candidacy filing form. Roats previously admitted he did not physically reside in the city limits from Oct. 2013 to Oct. 2014.

Roats, who was not immediately available for comment, has previously argued that he meets definitions of residency set out by state election law and that, because he was residing outside the city "temporarily" while building a home in Bend to which he intended to return, he has not violated any laws by claiming addresses where he could reasonably be found during that transitional period.

Additionally, Charlie Ringo—who is represented Fell in the case—served Roats with a subpoena this morning requiring his attendance at a deposition on Wednesday, Nov. 12 at the offices of Bryant Lovlien & Jarvis. Neil Bryant is Roats' attorney. (Full disclosure: the Source has used this law firm's services.)

"I think the most important thing about all this is to get the facts on Casey Roats' residency," Ringo told the Source. "That’s why I filed a subpoena."

Fell, who is also the partner of councilor-elect Barb Campbell, said he agreed to serve as the lawsuit's plaintiff because he wants to clarify the residency questions that overshadowed the race for City Council Position 6.

"It seems there’s a lot of clarification that needs to be made. We shouldn’t have to go through this emotional upheaval again," Fell said. "My main interest is that, just to help make things a little clearer."

Though the City Charter designates City Council as the "final judge of the election and qualifications of electors," the lawsuit says that the court should rule on the matter because City Council has so far declined to take it up and because:

1) Given the undisputed facts before the court, it would be an impermissible abuse of discretion for the Bend City Council to find that Roats was a qualified elector; and

2) Under ORS 254.565(2), Defendant Christie is statutorily required to comply with state requirements concerning electors and candidate qualifications, notwithstanding determinations made by the City Council. 

City Attorney Mary Winters told the Source she has not yet discussed the lawsuit with City Council and that she plans to do so during the executive session preceding the Council's Nov. 19 meeting. She added that she believes a declaratory relief action is "completely premature."

The Source will provide updates as we receive them and include the full story in next week's issue. In the meantime, read our previous coverage of this ongoing issue. Read the full text of the complaint here: 

"A Question of Semantics: City Council undecided on approach to residency questions" (11/5)

"To Reside or Not to Reside: Casey Roats' attorney claims opponent is the one with residency issues" (10/29)
"Secretary of State Receives Complaint Alleging Casey Roats Committed Voter Registration Fraud" (10/27)

"Voting Local: Council candidate Casey Roats faces questions over residency" (10/22)

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

And the winners are...

Posted By on Wed, Nov 5, 2014 at 7:49 AM

Barring a shift in the late number, here are your results for the Nov. 2014 election. For more details on the election, and the implications of the results, check out our print issue—online and on stands later today.

















MEASURE 92—GMO LABELING: NO (51 percent)
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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

RIP Election Ads—Candidates

Posted By on Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Today's the day—your last chance to catch your favorite political ads! Which will you miss and which are you happy to see go? Below, check out a sampling of candidate ads available online, and sound off in the comments. Next up: ballot measure ads.

John Kitzhaber for Governor

Dennis Richardson for Governor

Jeff Merkley for U.S. Senate

Monica Wehby for U.S. Senate 

Knute Beuhler for House District 54

Craig WIlhelm for House District 54

Tony DeBone for Deschutes County Commission

Mark Capell for City Council (Pos. 5)

Nathan Boddie for City Council (Pos. 5)

Casey Roats for City Council (Pos. 6)

Note: None of the other candidates for Position 6 (Lisa Seales, Ron Boozell and Richard Robertson) ran television ads.

Scott Ramsay for City Council (Pos. 7)

Barb Campbell for City Council (Pos. 7)

AS (NOT) SEEN ON TV: Quirky videos and PhotoShop images criticizing the incumbent candidates at www.BendBigSpenders.com.
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Monday, November 3, 2014

Get Out the Vote and Party On

Posted By on Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 4:36 PM

Tuesday is Election Day (aka, if you haven't turned in your ballot yet, get on it!). Local candidates will be hosting shindigs to celebrate their campaigns and (if they're lucky) and victories. Here's where you can find your favorite candidates. Where will you watch the election results? (We'll update the list as we hear back from more campaigns.)

Nathan Boddie
8 pm, Velvet, 805 NW Wall St.

Barb Campbell
TDB, DCDP Campaign Office, then Velvet

Lisa Seales
7:30 pm, Broken Top Bottle Shop, 1740 NW Pence Ln #1

Jodie Barram
7-9:30 pm, Cafe Sintra, 1024 NW Bond St.

Tony DeBone
6:30-10 pm, Sunriver Brewing Company, 57100 Beaver Dr, Sunriver

Craig Wilhelm
6 pm, DCDP Campaign Office, 804 NE Third Street in Bend

Knute Buehler 
7 pm, Riverhouse Hotel and Convention Center, 3075 US 97 Business

Deschutes Democrats
6 pm, DCDP Campaign Office, 804 NE Third Street in Bend
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

We Asked Who You're Voting For—This is What We Learned

Posted By on Wed, Oct 29, 2014 at 4:06 PM

We asked readers which candidates they plan to vote for on Nov. 4. Here's what we learned.

1. There's someone for everyone.

Even in races with multiple minor party candidates (and even though just 100 people have taken the survey), every candidate in every race had at least one supporter. Case in point: the Governor's race, which includes contenders from the Pacific Green, Libertarian, and Constitution parties. (See also: the Senate race.)

2. Our readers don't always agree with us (or us with them).

While most of the votes lined up with our endorsements, there was one exception: House District 54. (As you may recall, we endorsed Knute Buehler.)

3. Some races are closer than others.

But when it comes to our readers, each race has a clear winner. The closest race: Bend City Council, Position 6. (The biggest landslide can be seen above, in the Governor's race. A close second: the Senate race.)

4. It's time for a change.

If it were up to our readers (at least the 100 who took the poll) neither of the incumbents would be returning to City Hall.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Secretary of State Receives Complaint Alleging Casey Roats Committed Voter Registration Fraud

Posted By on Mon, Oct 27, 2014 at 5:14 PM

A Bend resident filed a complaint with the Secretary of State today alleging City Council candidate Casey Roats committed voter registration fraud when he registered both his business address and that of his then-under construction home on Brookswood Boulevard as his residence while living outside the city with his parents.

The complaint, submitted by local political activist Michael Funke, lays out the timeline of Roats' actual and claimed residences and makes the following argument:

I contend that registering to vote at this place of business was voter registration fraud because Roats was not living there.

I also contend that Roats’ voter registration at the Brookswood Blvd. address was fraudulent because it was not a habitable residence and because Roats was still living outside the city limits of Bend. Even though he intended to live at this address, he could not predict the future and there was no absolute guarantee that he would live there. Intent to live somewhere is not fact.

I further contend that Roats fraudulently registered within the city limits on both occasions so that he could claim residency in Bend, as required of candidates who run for Bend City Council. 

Roats could not be immediately reached for comment regarding the complaint.

According to Secretary of State Communications Director Tony Green, the issue is complicated because it involves multiple jurisdictions and may include more than one category of complaint. He could only speak to the role the state would potentially play.

"If we find that we believe he knowingly provided false address information [on his voter registration or candidacy forms], we would refer it to DOJ to pursue criminally," Green told the Source. "The process would be different if it were an issue of his current [voter registration] address. In that case the county would hold a hearing, and if they found it was a false address they'd forward it to us. In this case, the addresses they are concerned about are previous addresses, with no bearing on the accuracy of his current registration."

As far as whether or not Roats is qualified to take office should he be elected, Green said that is up to the City of Bend. City Attorney Mary Winters was not immediately available for comment.

See this week's print issue (online and on stands Wednesday) for the full story, including claims from Roats' attorney that opponent Lisa Seales should withdraw on account of her residence.
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Casey Roats' Candidacy for Bend City Council Questioned, Candidate Admits He Lived Outside the City

Posted By on Tue, Oct 21, 2014 at 11:58 AM

The City of Bend Charter is clear: It says a councilor must have resided within the city limits for the 12 months immediately preceding his or her election to office. But it appears that city council hopeful Casey Roats, who was born and raised in Bend, may not qualify for that very basic threshold.

By his own admission, Roats only has been living within city limits for about two weeks out of the past year.

On Monday morning, accusations were leveled that Roats is not qualified to serve on City Council and may be running afoul of the law.

“He was not residing in the city limits of Bend, and is therefore not qualified to run for city council,” explained Charlie Ringo, a former state senator, local attorney and founder of Bend Good Government Committee, a PAC supporting candidates including Roats’ opponent Lisa Seales. “Further,” Ringo continued in an interview with the Source, “Roat’s Candidate Filing statement was not accurate and constitutes a felony.”

In response, Roats told the Source that he sold his Bend home last September and moved his family into his parents’ home east of the City while he built a new home near the Bend office of Roats Water Systems, where he works as owner/operator. He said that though he wasn’t technically residing within city limits from October 2013 to October 2014, he spent the majority of his waking hours in Bend, working and volunteering on infrastructure advisory committees.

He pointed out that he did not rent or own a residence outside the city during that time and argued that regardless of where he laid his head, his heart remained in Bend.
The full story—with interviews from Mayor Jim Clinton and city councilors’ reactions—will run in this week’s edition, on stands and online tomorrow. 
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Monday, October 20, 2014

Bend Ranks Second in the Nation for People of a Certain Political Bent

Posted By on Mon, Oct 20, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Like attracts like, and political views are no exception. The Pacific coast has gained a reputation for liberalism (hence the double entendre of "The Left Coast") while the so-called Bible Belt is predictably populated with folks with more conservative views. But this political clustering is not limited to the far ends of the spectrum. According to Livability.com, little ol' Bend is the second best place in the country for folks prefer the middle of the political road

“Research has shown that we increasingly live in areas with people who vote the same way we do,” says Matt Carmichael, editor of Livability.com. “A best place to live is about more than just politics, so we expanded our scope a little. We found cities where people not only are likely to vote together, but drive the cars, shop in the stores, watch the shows, and read the magazines that liberals, conservatives or centrists most love. Whatever your politics, you should be able to find a city on one of these lists where you’ll feel completely at home."

We're not surprised. We recently talked to people from both parties about Central Oregonians' centrist and party line-crossing tendencies. The only city better for political centrists, according to the survey, was Spokane Valley, Wash. The website, which explores livability issues in small to mid-size towns, looked at variety of measures of political affiliation:

Our editors, working with advisory board member Kevin Stolarick, Ph.D, (the founding research director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management) and using data from several geographies, gauged the ideological skew of the congressional representation of a city. They utilized nonpartisan watchdog GovTrack’s analysis of the members of the House of Representatives on a conservative/liberal spectrum. Then, using data from Esri, editors looked at how residents of each city self-report their own political leanings on a five-point scale from very liberal to very conservative. The last piece of the political puzzle was the splits in the vote during the 2012 presidential election.

If Bend is too conservative—or too liberal—for your liking, check out the best cities for liberals and conservatives, as well as other cities political moderates might feel at home in.

10 Best Cities for Liberals, 2014
1. Berkeley, CA
2. Hoboken, NJ
3. Somerville, MA
4. Boulder, CO
5. Evanston, IL
6. College Park, MD
7. Ann Arbor, MI
8. Mercer Island, WA
9. Alexandria, VA
10. Newport, RI

10 Best Cities for Conservatives, 2014
1. Alabaster, AL
2. Crestview, FL
3. Clinton, UT
4. Bristol, TN
5. Odessa, TX
6. Yukon, OK
7. Slidell, LA
8. Olive Branch, MS
9. Peachtree City, GA
10. Benton, AR

10 Best Cities for Centrists, 2014
1. Spokane Valley, WA
2. Bend, OR
3. Indio, CA
4. Gainesville, FL
5. Albany, GA
6. Boise, ID
7. Muncie, IN
8. Sparks, NV
9. Oregon, OH
10. Wildwood, MO

What's your take? Is Bend too liberal, too conservative, or just right?
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Monday, October 13, 2014

WATCH: Election 2014 Source Weekly Endorsement Interviews

Posted By on Mon, Oct 13, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Our Election 2014 Endorsement Issue comes out this week. But before we tell you how we think you should vote, make up your own mind by watching our unedited endorsement interviews with local candidates. (If you prefer to read, you can find candidate Q&As here.)

Scroll on down or go directly to our YouTube channel

House District 54Craig Wilhelm vs. Knute Buehler

Deschutes County CommissionerTony DeBone vs. Jodie Barram

Bend City Council, Seat 5Mark Capell vs. Nathan Boddie

Bend City Council, Seat 6
Lisa Seales vs. Casey Roats vs. Ron Boozell vs. Richard Robertson

Bend City Council, SeatScott Ramsay vs. Barb Campbell

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WATCH: Ben & Jerry's Co-Founder Jerry Greenfield Talks GMO Labeling

Posted By on Mon, Oct 13, 2014 at 10:41 AM

On Friday, Ben & Jerry's co-founder Jerry Greenfield stopped by the Bend scoop shop to talk about GMO labeling and the company's efforts to go GMO-free. Greenfield was joined on his tour by local supporters of Measure 92, the Oregon initiative seeking to require the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms. 

"It's about the consumer's right to know," he says. "It's not about if you like GMOs or don't like GMOs. It's simply about telling consumers what's in the food they're buying and eating so they can make a choice. I think any food company oughta be be proud of the ingredients they use and they oughta be thrilled to tell people about them."

Watch the 7-minute interview to hear Jerry's take on corporate social responsibility and marijuana legalization and his favorite ice cream flavors.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Gov. John Kitzhaber and Rep. Dennis Richardson Debate Today in Sunriver

Posted By on Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 10:31 AM

Gov. John Kitzhaber and Rep. Dennis Richardson will face off in their second gubernatorial debate today at 11 am in Sunriver. The debate, sponsored by the Oregon Association of Broadcasters, will air live on KTVZ (TV), KBND (radio) and C-SPAN (TV and online). 

To prep, be sure to read our interviews with Kitzhaber and Richardson. Then live-stream the interview here and sound off in the comments to let us know what you think.
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