portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements portland metro

police / legal | political theory

We need a candidate for Sheriff!

Open call for Sheriff candidates! Nominate someone!
There seems to be a lot of support for the idea of us lefty activist types stealing the next sheriff election. We have about a year to get someone in office, and need 80,000 Multnomah county votes to do it.

Just think how much better things would be if we RAN a policing agency here, rather than having some powerless "citizen oversight board" or other neutered group of people. The problem? We have to chose a candidate!

So line up the nominations. We need a non-felon, non-domestic abuse convict who is a citizen of the US and lives in Multnomah county. Someone who is on "our" side, but is clean cut enough to get the votes. Someone who has enough cash or charisma to fund a campaign (estimates run around 150,000 bucks to win this election, but a lot of that can come from each of us giving a buck or two each). Ex-cops, veterans or retierees that have a decent political view would work out great. We also need to think of the elected judges, we can take over a few courtrooms too!

So, start listing names! Let's start begging people to run!

This is no pipe dream, we do not need everyone to suddenly fall in line, we can use the current system to TAKE OVER ! ! ! ! !


D.I.Y. 31.Aug.2003 10:31

anonymous campaign-school@pacificgreens.org

Have you thought about running yourself? Sometimes the best candidates are the ones taking up a call for action like this. In any case, the Green Party is running a Campaign School this weekend, for candidates, campaign staff and volunteers. It might be a good chance to figure out if you could do it yourself and how, or how to go about recruiting a candidate and planning their campaign. You can go to  http://www.pdxgreens.org/campaignschool.html for the info.

pic for feature 31.Aug.2003 19:02

pdx indy graphics drone #6082

googled and adjusted for indy

Wrong Guy 31.Aug.2003 20:26


It would be impossible to find a electable person willing to do this task. It's a bad job. Guisto, recruited from Gresham, hasn't been a bad sheriff. He hasn't even been in office for a year. Prior, Noelle was actually a very good sheriff, especially in his speaking out for more and better help for people with mental illness and addiction caught up in the criminal justice system. Guisto has appointed smart progressive civilians to high posts in his administration.

There was a liberal sheriff in Portland's recent past - Don Clark. He also formerly a county commissioner (perhaps chair?) and then formed what later became Central City Concern. Quite a guy and not forgotten.

No, there wouldn't be much change getting a new sheriff - if you could get one. There's no one in the Department now who would be better. Since this is an ELECTED position and not an APPOINTED position, experience and positive public profile means everything.

But there is are two elected positions that greatly effect the quality of justice in Portland which desperately need new blood.

District Attorney and City Auditor.

DA Mike Schrunk's most likely contender would be John Bradley. Not a move in a progressive direction. For this position you need an administrative attorney with a criminal bent, with a clean character and clean record, willing to work in the public sector (about 1/2 the pay of the private sector.) Don't say Alan Graf. He would laugh at you too.

Auditor Gary Blackmer's record has been largely exemplary - until the fiasco with the Independent Police Review Division, especially with sticking to a bad idea. Blackmer has quickly lost all the credibility he had gained. It's a melt down and everyone involved in protecting the status quo is vulnerable.

Bernie has not been a good sheriff, he has been a barely acceptable one 31.Aug.2003 22:02


I am not saying he is a bad guy, I have never met him, but he has sat by and watched as numerous civil rights abuses occured, has allowed the PPB to use his jail as extrajudicial punishment, has delayed the release and processing of protest prisoners and lends his deputies to the PPB when they want to close a park and banish a peaceful group of protestors. Just because he has managed to avoid actually killing anyone himself does not make him a "good" sheriff.

Fact: the sheriff has jurisdiction over Multnomah county. Fact: The sheriff can incestigate and arrest PPB cops who exceed their authority and break the law. Fact: Guisto has not done this.

As for me running, I do have some of the things that would make me electable, but I am only in my late-20s, don't have the cash and am a fairly recent immigrant to Portland from out of state. I am not too convinced 82,000 people will vote for me.

HAHAHHAHAHA 31.Aug.2003 23:24

Big Daddy

"Rancho Rajneesh 2" hahahahahhahahahaha........you'd have the feds down your back in no time flat. HAHAHAHHAHAHAHa. I am gonna go to sleep laughing.

I disagree about Blackmer 01.Sep.2003 15:14


I disagree about Blackmer. I don't think he's done an exemplary job. The city is broke, he should have run up the flag over the water bureau fiasco earlier, there is blatent corruption at city hall and within the PPB. Blackmer has kept his head down and attempted to hide from public scrutiny. Well the cat's out of the bag now. He's in the spotlight and not very comfortable. Take a radical from the private sector who "can run the city like a business" and you'll whip that punk like the three legged bitch he is.

I nominate anyone from Citybikes.

Whoa! 01.Sep.2003 18:33


Yikes! "... you'll whip that punk like the three legged bitch he is." Awful mean. But, perhaps you're right. I was mostly thinking of his time with the County. Off with his head! Get Dick Tracy in there to - no, you won't get that one... Hmmm.


BTW, for GPFX, I'm not convinced anyone will vote for you. Your grasp of the keyboard and logic are both sincerely weak. Better stick to the day job.

Not mainstream 02.Sep.2003 09:04

WatchMan perspac@yahoo.com

The elected posts of Sheriff, City Auditor and District Attorney are involved in mainstream politics. They are "non-partisan", meaning only that candidates can't attach their names to parties when they campaign.

The Green party is trying very hard to assume some political legitimacy in Oregon and elsewhere. The very last thing the Greens want now is someone trying to hijack their nomination process and paint their party as being associated with anarchists, or any other non-serious political direction.

The counter-culture seizing power via the mainstream becoming disenchanted with their current leaders is a fine late-summer night's dream, but nothing more. The only places in the world where this has happened have unstable political processes anyway, and are never more than a few barricades away from revolution. The U S of A is not going in that direction, so the process here is: start your party small, find out what passes for legitimate politics and get involved in that, playing by those rules, establish a track record, THEN go to the voters and ask to be elected.

The counter-culture has a lot of legitimate grievances with the current political system, but can presently count on only the votes of it's own members, and has no chance at elected politics. The Greens are trying to rise above their counter-culture beginnings, and will never go back into them.

This gamester's advice: forget the heavy symbolism if you are planning a try for Sheriff. Get a copy of the Sheriff's budget, start attending all his forums and workshops, volunteer for some of his civil committees. Get immersed in what it takes to be a Sheriff. If you don't, you will be laughed off the election stage.

This ain't California (fortunately)

The WatchMan, thinking through the political game for 45 years.

Oscar Zeta Acosta 02.Sep.2003 10:53


In the early 70's Chicano Militant Lawyer Oscar Zeta Acosta ran for sheriff of Los Angeles County. He said that if he was elected he would abolish the sheriff's department altogether. He barely spent any money on the campaign, but came in a somewhat close second-place.