05-22-2018  12:41 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family seeks answers after Oregon student injured on trip

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The family of an Oregon college student is searching for answers after the 22-year-old was found injured and unconscious near railroad tracks in Truckee, California.The Reno Gazette-Journal reports Aaron Salazar remains in the critical care unit at a hospital in Reno,...

Oregon mom raises awareness after baby dies from meningitis

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Summer Poff knew something was wrong with her 7-month-old son, Blaize, early in the morning on May 11.He was fussy, feverish and wouldn't go to sleep. The Salem mom tried to soothe her baby and gave him Tylenol, but at 3 a.m, she knew she needed to take him to the...

Lawsuit says Army Corps is failing to protect marine habitat

SEATTLE (AP) — Three conservation groups have sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, saying it fails to protect marine habitat because it doesn't adequately regulate seawalls and other structures built along many stretches of Puget Sound shoreline.Sound Action, Friends of the San Juans and...

Facelift of Seattle's Space Needle nears completion

SEATTLE (AP) — Tourism is booming in Seattle. Just take a look at the Space Needle.The family-owned landmark is set to unveil the biggest renovation in its 56-year history next month, a 0 million investment in a single year of construction that transformed the structure's top viewing...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Man charged with shooting at black teen waives hearing

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — A white suburban Detroit homeowner accused of shooting at a black teenager who came to his door to ask for directions will stand trial.Jeffrey Zeigler was bound over Tuesday to circuit court after waiving his preliminary examination on assault with intent to...

GLAAD study finds LGBTQ representation in film fell in 2017

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Despite high-profile Oscar wins for art house films like "Call Me By Your Name" and "A Fantastic Women," LGBTQ representation in films from the seven biggest Hollywood studios fell significantly in 2017 according to a study released Tuesday by the advocacy organization...

Black man ordered to pay [scripts/homepage/home.php],000 for racist campus graffiti

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A former Eastern Michigan University student who admitted to painting racist graffiti on campus has been ordered to pay more than [scripts/homepage/home.php],000 in restitution.The Ann Arbor News reports 29-year-old Eddie Curlin learned his punishment Monday after earlier pleading guilty to...

ENTERTAINMENT

Soccer star Brandi Chastain or Gary Busey? Fans pan plaque

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Social media is finding little to like about the likeness on a plaque honoring retired soccer champion Brandi Chastain.The Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in San Francisco unveiled the plaque on Monday night. Chastain said, "It's not the most flattering. But it's nice."On...

Woman accuses R. Kelly of sexual battery, giving her herpes

NEW YORK (AP) — Singer R. Kelly sexually abused a woman, locked her in rooms and vehicles for punishment, and infected her with herpes, the woman said in a lawsuit filed in New York.Faith Rodgers said in the suit filed Monday that she met Kelly about a year ago after a concert in San...

A farewell to the road for Paul Simon

NEW YORK (AP) — Farewell tours don't always mean farewell, but are a ripe time for appreciation and appraisal. Paul Simon's concerts and a new biography offer the opportunity for both.Simon's "Homeward Bound" tour began last week in Vancouver and takes him across North America, to Europe and...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Soccer star Brandi Chastain or Gary Busey? Fans pan plaque

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Social media is finding little to like about the likeness on a plaque honoring retired...

Woman accuses R. Kelly of sexual battery, giving her herpes

NEW YORK (AP) — Singer R. Kelly sexually abused a woman, locked her in rooms and vehicles for punishment,...

APNewsbreak: Pentagon adopts new cellphone restrictions

WASHINGTON (AP) — After months of debate, the Defense Department approved Monday new restrictions for the...

Brazil leader won't seek re-election

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil's President Michel Temer is ending speculation that he might seek re-election...

Rights group: Rohingya insurgents massacred Myanmar Hindus

BANGKOK (AP) — Amnesty International said Wednesday that Myanmar's army was not the only group that has...

Romania court acquits Senate speaker of lying under oath

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Romanian court has acquitted the Senate speaker of making false statements...

Oregon Republican Secretary of State candidate Dennis Richardson, left, and his wife Cathy Richardson take a phone call during a primary election night gathering for supporters in Portland, Ore. May 17, 2016. With a Republican threatening to take a state-wide office for the first time in many years in Oregon, the battle for secretary of state has become the hottest state race. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer, file)
ANDREW SELSKY, Associated Press


SALEM, Ore. (AP) — In 2003, Brad Avakian and Dennis Richardson came to the state House as freshmen lawmakers.

Thirteen years later, they are fighting in Oregon's hottest election battle to become the state's second-ranking official.

The campaign for secretary of state has become bitter, with each candidate accusing the other of hitting below the belt.

In a video on his Twitter site, Avakian paints his rival as "extreme, like Trump." Richardson retorts that Avakian has a history of not paying his bills.

He also highlighted an article in Forbes.com alleging that his Democratic rival was campaigning on state time while working as the state's labor commissioner, and that a couple of his staffers were too.

Sec state APHOTO: Democratic candidate for Oregon Secretary of State Brad Avakian stands with supporter Linda Campbell at a primary election night gathering in Portland, Ore. May 17, 2016. With a Republican threatening to take a state-wide office for the first time in many years in Oregon, the battle for secretary of state has become the hottest state race. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes, file)

Oregon Republicans haven't won a statewide election in over a decade, but — if polls are to be believed — Richardson has a good shot of becoming secretary of state. He lost the gubernatorial election to John Kitzhaber in 2014 as the GOP candidate by only about 6 percentage points.

The secretary of state is first in line to succeed the governor and is the auditor of public accounts, the chief elections officer, and the administrator of public records.

In a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Thursday from his southern Oregon hometown of Central Point, Richardson said he would not let his conservative values play a role in his duties if he wins on Nov. 8.

Richardson has been racking up endorsements from numerous newspapers, and even from two politicians from Avakian's party.

"If I'm secretary of state, you won't be able to tell if I'm Republican or Democrat," Richardson said. "I will take laws as they have been passed and implement them in a nonbiased manner."

Avakian, in a separate phone interview from his campaign offices in Portland, said the secretary of state, as chief auditor, will inevitably audit Oregon's health plan, which provides abortion services for low-income women. He questioned how Richardson, who is anti-abortion, could carry out those responsibilities in a neutral manner.

Avakian said he would bring his long experience as a civil rights attorney to the position. He noted he has promoted same-sex marriage and raising the minimum wage, and opposed a measure that would have made it harder for minorities and low-income citizens to vote.

Richardson said being chief auditor of the state would be the most important task, if he wins.

"I would ensure the people's money is well spent," he said.

Richardson said there should have been audits of state projects that misspent taxpayer money, like the Columbia River Crossing to build a new bridge. Almost $200 million was spent before it was abandoned without even a "shovelful of dirt dug," he said.

"It's been a process of collusion, where you don't audit projects because it could become an embarrassment if (the facts) became known," Richardson said.

Avakian said it would be important for him, if he wins, to "make sure every Oregonian has a voice in their democracy." He advocated inspiring people to be civically engaged and to want to vote, including by expanding civics education in schools.

Justifying his campaign ad comparing Richardson to Donald Trump, Avakian said his opponent "has been running from his extreme Republican record the entire time."

Richardson said the ad is "totally irrelevant, a desperate attempt to slander me by association."

Richardson has not been meek with his own campaign ads. One notes that Avakian had paid his income and property taxes late.

"This is an example of the kind of personal smear campaign Dennis is running in order to hide from his own extreme conservative record," Avakian said, adding that he and his wife had financial troubles before, but all their debts were paid.

His campaign manager has said the article by Forbes.com took information out of context and was a hit piece engineered by Richardson's supporters.

With incumbent Gov. Kate Brown — who was secretary of state and assumed the highest office in 2015 with Kitzhaber's resignation — having a comfortable lead in most polls over Republican challenger Bud Pierce, the secretary of state race is the one that has garnered the most interest.

Avakian said that 13 years ago, he and Richardson "differed seriously on policy issues and worked together well."

With this high office at stake, those more collegial times seem distant.

 

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