I'm a fan because of a few reasons. For one, he's my state Representative; I live in district 47. For another, he was Speaker of the Oregon House in the last Lege; he did a fantastic job there (I was most impressed by the bills dealing with reining in predatory lending–it's so nice not to see so damn many title loan companies on the streets. Any business model that can't profit unless it's charging poor people up to 300% a year doesn't deserve to survive anyway). And his issues are my issues.
Last night, at the Laurelwood Brewery on NE Sandy Blvd, I finally got the chance to meet this fellow. It was an encouraging moment for this cynical observer, and cemented my feeling of support for him. And the Workhorse I.P.A. I had wasn't too shabby, either.
The Wife™ chats up Jeff Merkley
The talk was lively and ranged over several issues. Passion was strong on immigration, and Jeff made a great point in regards to the larger issue that having Gordon Smith as our junior Senator effectively leaves Oregon with no voice in Congress–Senator Smith may love kittens and puppies, but when it comes down to votes that are important to Oregonians, he usually cancels out Wyden's vote.
Im a registered D. As long as there are people who are like Jeff who want to put themselves in the line of fire to represent me, I'll probably stay one.
The Wife™ and Witigonen's Ben DuPree
The meeting was personally notable to me for another reason; I got to meet even more faces behind the pixels, many of which, to me, are celebrities. It was a pleasure to be able to thank Randy Stapilus for caring enough to publish Ridenbaugh Press; I finally have faces to put to Witigonen, that glorious zeppelin-oriented site (Ben, you are intense, but in the good way), Sarah "Lefty" Lane, and Kari Chisholm (2nd time in 2 days), and of course, Carla Axtman. Such is my scattered-headedness that I forgot that was the Carla, late of Loaded Orygun. My bad..
You find passion in many places but finding a room full of passion personified is quite an experience. I was thrilled to be there, and prouder than ever to be supporting Jeff Merkley.
(I just checked in over at Witigonen; Ben's recounting of the meeting deserves to be read (and is a lot more articulate than Yours Truly. Lefty Lane has an amazingly passionate one as well).
(We took a few other pix of the meet; they're at my flickr account with the Mark & Dave stuff and everything else)