Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Monday, October 17, 2016

Two peas in a partisan pod

The other Democrat running for a 
position in Lake Oswego:
Theresa Kohlhoff for City Council 

In her own words and actions, Kohlhoff has indicated she has a strong affiliation with the Democratic Party and as brought it into play in her bid for a seat on the Lake Oswego City Council.

Why this is bad:  It does not matter what political party a candidate does or does not belong to, but elected offices in the city are all nonpartisan.  Getting help from the Democratic Party in money, membership lists and organizing assistance is going beyond the spirit of nonpartisanship.  Being nonpartisan means remaining above the divisiveness of the party system in order to better represent ALL of the citizens of our city.

Two candidates are turning to the Democrat Party machine for help this year:  Jon Gustafson and
Theresa Kohloff.  Kohlhoff is an attorney and Gustafson is experienced in local politics, and both have an experienced political machine to guide them, so the paractice is probably LEGAL, but that doesn't make it RIGHT.  Who's agenda does Kohlhoff represent?  What does she know of the hearts and minds of Lake Oswegans?

With both candidates and other party members contributing to the new Friends of Lake Oswego PAC, this looks like a practice that is sure to continue.  (Perhaps the FOLO PAC organizers believe party affiliations can be disguised in this manner, but that would be very hard to do.)

Who is Theresa Kohlhoff?

It appears that few outside her circle of friends know much about Theresa Kohlhoff - which government or civic positions she has held, what involvement she has had with Lake Oswego government and supporting committees and commissions, and so on.  Kohlhoff's financial backbone comes not from local residents, but from outsiders.  A quick search of the LO website yields nothing save for her election registration. As someone who wants to be a City Councilor, Kohlhoff's interest in local politics seems to be very recent, and her representation and agenda suspect.  (More about the Democratic agenda later.)

To my knowledge, and after many years of involvement in City government, my friends and I have never seen Kohlhoff at a City Council meeting or a Planning Commission meeting (both videotaped and shown on TV).  I have never seen or heard her name listed on any of the City's boards or commissions or stakeholder advisory committees.
  • Kohlhoff's bio says she has been "active in the community" but does not say in what capacity. (Kohlhoff's Voters Pamphlet bio lists 2 civic experiences - one for the Oregon Bar, and other for an OHSU advisory committee.)
  • Her Facebook bio lists her as a graduate of the Emerge program training for Democrat women seeking public office. (See below)
  • Her main contributors are not from Lake Oswego but are chiefly lawyers who live elsewhere in the Metro area.  
  • She is an enthusiastic supporter of Jon Gustafson.
  • Principal local endorsements include Democrats Jon Gustafson, Joe Buck and Judie Hammerstad.  (More peas in that crowded pod.)
From Kohlhoff's Facebook Page:
"Kohlhoff wants to address our infrastructure and service needs, further housing and transporta-tion opportunities for a wider range of citizens, and work towards an efficient, responsible but also generous Lake Oswego. With her 36 years of experience being an attorney, small business owner, and a mother and grandmother, Kohlhoff brings her skills in analysis, problem solving, advocacy and negotiation to the Lake Oswego City Council.
Theresa will fight for our city, and ensure that our infrastructure, service and civic needs are met."

Emerge: "IT'S MY Party And I'll RUN if I Want To"
General Information
Emerge Oregon recruits, educates and inspires Democratic women to pursue elective office. We make a long-term investment in these future leaders by honing their political skills, expanding their knowledge of local issues, and connecting them with mentors.
Emerge Oregon recruits, trains and inspires women to run for elected office and engage in public policy and politics.

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