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April 14, 2006

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I've met Xander, like his progressive tax idea, but otherwise don't know much about his campaign. That said, let me just insert a note about Jeff Cogen.

Jeff Cogen is exactly the kind of guy we want running for office. He's damn smart, deeply progressive, and has used his talents to actually create positive change. He's got private sector experience, public sector experience, and nonprofit sector experience.

He started the Portland Pretzel Company and grew that business to employ dozens of people. (He later sold it, and that guy bankrupted it.) He was the board chair of Hands On Portland when that critical nonprofit was about to go under and engineered its merger with another volunteerism nonprofit. Today, HOP is thriving. At the city, it was Jeff that pushed the city's wind-energy program -- a project that will save the city money, make its energy bills stable (not Enron-unstable), employ hundreds of rural Oregonians (healing the urban/rural divide), and oh yeah -- reduce Portland's production of greenhouse gases.

Personally, I think all four candidates for that seat - Jeff, Xander, Gary, and Lew - are great folks. The four of them would make for a heckuva County Commission. But Jeff Cogen is a rare find for our community. Exactly the kind of guy that oughta be running for office.

[Disclaimer: I have absolutely nothing to do with Jeff Cogen's website. Actually, he turned me down when I pitched him for the work.]

p.s. Just because the Oregonian doesn't call Jeff a "bold progressive with big ideas" (and instead gives him the weak "pragmatist with a passion for cost-effectiveness") doesn't mean that they're right.

Jeff is definitely a bold progressive with big ideas. I'd argue that he's the leading non-incumbent candidate for any office anywhere in Oregon when it comes to big, bold progressive ideas that he's actually made happen.

Good info, Kari. But I'm still knda partial to Green Party candidates, especially smart ones like Xander.

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