"It's deja vu all over again," said Yogi Berra. And that's what we have in the Patricia Roberts recall election. As Joe Gamm reported Friday, Clatsop County District 3 voters received calls from "pollsters" last week.
But the "pollsters" were not seeking information. They were spreading misinformation as part of an intentionally damaging campaign ploy, asserting that Roberts' opponents were "anarchists." In other words, it was a push poll. And if that sounds familiar, it's what went down several weeks ago in the Ann Samuelson recall election.
There is no denying that the push polling is under way. But Commissioner Patricia Roberts claims to know nothing about who is doing it. Given what we know about the funding of Ann Samuelson's expensive recall campaign, Roberts is probably telling the truth. The push polling is likely being run by Pac/West of Portland, a political consulting firm that offers "polling" on its menu of capabilities.
Pac/West's involvement in the Samuelson recall election was described in Editor's Notebook last Friday. By funneling money from a so-called 527 organization into Roberts' defense, Pac/West gives Roberts what the spin doctors call "deniability." She can claim that she knows nothing about this dirty trick that's being executed in her behalf.
This push polling is a measure of two things. It tells us how much Texans (meaning Northern StarLLC) will do to save its reliable LNG puppet on the Clatsop County Commission. And that tells us the extent to which Roberts is bought and paid for with LNG?money.
For the Texans behind NorthernStar LLC, this is all about money. Big money. It's not about Clatsop County's prosperity. It certainly isn't about Columbia River salmon runs. It is about the return NorthernStar will make on their investment when they flip the LNG?terminal after it is built.
The long-term message to Clatsop County voters is: Don't be naive. Anyone who doubts these Texans intend to control our county politics absolutely - by buying our commissioners - isn't paying attention.