Help wanted: public servants willing to disclose major sources of income, business interests, real estate holdings and the names of their adult relatives.
Sayonara and good luck with that, said some 150 elected and appointed Oregon officeholders who walked away from their public service gigs this month rather than disclose personal data. Many said they were particularly disturbed by the new requirement — apparently unique to Oregon — that they name so many family members.
Resignations struck dozens of cities.
In rural eastern Oregon, the revolt against the state’s new conflict-of-interest disclosure law obliterated some city governments.
In Elgin, the mayor, all six City Council members and all five planning commissioners opted to quit rather than file. Lexington lost its entire council, Enterprise its five-member Planning Commission. Banks lost four council members, North Powder three; Rogue River, Umatilla and Stanfield lost two each.
Choose your poison: punch line or pulpit, there are plenty of clichés to put here.
A number of things come to mind. Foremost, of course, is a simple question: What the hell?
In the first place, it is not so much that I hate small dogs as I just, um … er … yeah. I’ll figure out how to finish that sentence in rewrite. Or maybe not. On the cosmic level, of course, I try not to hate anything. And, true enough, I doubt you will ever see me going out of my way to kick a small dog or anything, but the things could, in the end, be deal breakers. They’re among the things that make a potential lover unattractive. Small dog owners are one-nighters, not potential relationships. Maybe there’s some Darwinian aspect about it, a manifestation of natural selection at work: These two people should not mate.
I won’t even start on the crazy woman at the Lynnwood Park & Ride who had a small dog in a sweater and a chihuahua in a … in a … well, it looked like a freakin’ purse for carrying a chihuahua. A dog-satchel. And, yes, she was crazy. But she actually had a boyfriend, although he seemed to like to hang at the edge of earshot, smoking cigarettes and staring sullenly in the other direction.