Dillweed, A*s-Hat, Putz… of the Year Awards

Kurt SchraderOur field of candidates this year was especially worthy. They have all made Oregon either look like somewhere in the deep South or made our august state somehow less than it could be. Our editorial staff has worked long and hard winnowing through binders of bastards and bastard-ettes, knowing we only have five Dillweed Bouquets to impart.

In the end, we believe these are the most deserving of the candidates. You will note there are in fact six selections—the tie for fifth place proved unbreakable, even after several drinks and umm, err, such. So without further ado, Oregon’s Dillweeds of 2015:

1. U.S. Congressman Kurt Schrader Was Awesome, Until Now
Congressman. Farmer. Veterinarian. Former advocate for common sense. Kurt Schrader has been in the hot seat as U.S. Representative for our very own Oregon’s 5th district since 2009. A Democrat, Schrader has a long history of Getting It Done for Oregon and Fighting DC Gridlock. He cuts through red tape like an angry moose in a Thanksgiving Day parade. He has kicked DC partisanship right in the ham ‘n’ eggs on multiple occasions. Remember that government shutdown? He was all like, hell no. He also donated his own salary to the Oregon Food Bank to help keep it open after people ignored his “hell no” and shut the government down anyway.

People in Woodburn know Kurt Schrader, because he fought to fund the desperately needed interchange. What about those fools out in Salem who got a fat stack of improvements to the Mill Creek Employment Center, vacuuming jobs into its orbit? They know Kurt Schrader. As do the members of the Polk County National Guard, who are hangin’ tough in the new armory Schrader helped hook up. Hell, fellow Oregon lawmakers Greg Walden and Democrat Peter DeFazio known him as the guy who had their backs when they passed some amazing legislation, increasing jobs in the federal forestry somethin’ or other, also helping to keep old growth forest out of the hands of greedy corporate lumberjacks.

The list goes on. The fact is, Kurt Schrader is a good guy and, by and large, an asset to the people of the fine state of Oregon. And that’s why it pains me so, so very much to bring you this new. Ladies and gentlemen, Kurt Schrader is a dillweed. A bonafide, unmistakable, cataclysmic dillweed. But how?! Why?

The How. Kurt Schrader voted with a ton of Republicans (and a few Democrats who thought they were voting for something else) to block Syrian and Iraqi refugees from entering the country unless a “top national security official” signed off that they were not a threat. As we all know, that caveat is designed to look like they’re open to letting people in… but not really. I believe the bill was nicknamed “inexcusable, hypocritical, anti-humanitarian cowardice,” but I could be wrong (I’m not).

The Why. Every dillweed commits their first act of dillweedness sometime. I guess Kurt Schrader is just a really late bloomer.

2. Vance Day Judgey Day
A*s-hats off to Marion County judge Vance Day, a man who’s found fame through his sociopathic attempts to escape the red tape and rubber-stamping of bureaucracy. The demonic Day, who once refused to take down a portrait of Hitler that he hung in the Salem courthouse, now awaits the state Supreme Court’s ruling after being heard on 13 different counts of violation of ethical codes.

Having facilitated Day’s justification for abusing veterans, refusing to marry gay couples, bullying his son’s soccer coach, and giving a gun to a convicted felon, the First Amendment may be the only friend the judge has left.

Here’s hoping Oregon will see the little pair of horns growing out of self-proclaimed “benevolent dictator” Day’s forehead, and saw them off before he has the chance to start smiting the earth.

3. Patrick Collins Negotiate? Ain’t Got Time for Dat
Kyunam Kim was heartbroken. After nine years of successfully operating Young’s Kitchen, his landlord booted him without warning, conversation, or even an opportunity to make a bid for staying. Now occupied by national sub sandwich chain Jersey Mike’s, the building is owned by NexGen Enterprises, and their principal is Patrick Collins.

At the time we reported that Kim offered to match the rent the next tenant will pay, somewhere in the neighborhood of $5,500 a month. The deal breaker was when NexGen’s counsel responded that the new tenants were planning to invest $200,000 into the property for “site improvements.”

In fairness, we hear good things about Jersey Mike’s, even if we’re addicted to the subs at the locally owned Natalia & Cristoforo’s. But, we cannot help but wonder about the landlord as Kim laments, “Local business owners can’t compete legally or financially with out-of-town chains.”

4. Numerous 2-89 English Language Mutant Proponents
Citing echoes of Hitler and damnation to Nazism if our food system continues as is, proponents of 2-89 came under fire for a local ballot measure that said no government or corporation could use genetically engineered organisms in Benton County anymore. In other words, it would have been curtains for some lifesaving OSU medical research, local biotech drug firms, and even local implementation of some medical treatments.

The measure’s proponents tried selling the white parts between the words as meaning the law didn’t really say these things, but too many people actually read the black parts—like the staffers at both local newspapers and all three county commissioners that came out against the law—some even saying that they would have otherwise supported a ban for farm use.

Some proponents claimed money would be set aside to defend people against their own measure, which was probably not a good sign—not to mention it wasn’t in the language of the proposal.

The vote was: No 73.13%; Yes 26.87%.

5. (tied) Brian L. Roberts, an Offer You Can’t Refuse
Comcast is the racist grandparent that you want to stand up to but can’t because of familial loyalty, and Brian L. Roberts is the one laughing his way to the bank because of it.

As the CEO and president of the most consistently criticized Internet service provider in the nation, Roberts is an admittedly easy target. But with Comcast’s horrid customer service, consistently shady practices, and their local monopoly on Internet service, he is more than deserving of the crap we’ll fling at them.

In the last year alone, Roberts’ company has called its customers a*sholes, consistently surprised said customers with hidden fees, and, just recently, enacted plans to place horrendous data caps on various regions in the nation.

Just this September we reported on Comcast partnering with OSU and then bypassing the university’s rules when it threw a shindig and dinner for professional student staff in an attempt to recruit them as brand ambassadors for the price of some freebies.

Comcast has a chokehold on our city and it doesn’t look to slacken its grasp on us just yet. But there’s only so much we can handle before we’re forced to take the net back for ourselves.  Roberts may have scored higher, but some staffers believed voters could take charge with a municipal Internet ballot measure.

5. (tied) John Kitzhaber Likes His Woman Bad
During his inaugural speech beginning what was supposed to be a historic fourth term as governor of Oregon, John Kitzhaber said it would be the last of his political service, saying it would “complete the arc of my political career.”

Well, he was right about that: a month later, he resigned in disgrace.

People said his biggest mistake was in not “distancing” himself from the corrupt activities of Cylvia Hayes. That would have been tricky, of course, what with her being his fiancée.

Trying to delete all those emails was a dillweed move, too, Gov.

Kitzhaber may have scored higher, but there are some number of staffers that view new Governor Kate Brown as sufficiently hot to make up for the whole thing.