Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
Remember Brad Avakian, the Commissioner of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries who gained notoriety when he fined a Christian baker $135,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding?
The draconian and vindictive fine eventually forced the bakery’s owners, Aaron and Melissa Klein, to shut down their business.
Well, karma just found Avakian, in a big way.
The commissioner felt like his ‘fame’ and a progressive platform focused on turning the secretary of state’s office into an overreaching progressive nightmare would win him a statewide election in a liberal state. In fact, his campaign platform called for protecting the environment, policing workforce pay, and coming down hard on corporations by auditing them, among other things, none of which define the duties of a secretary of state.
It was just a bit too much for the people of Oregon. So much so that they elected a social conservative Republican who ran on a platform of auditing public spending, former state representative Dennis Richardson, who will actually be the first Republican in 14 years to hold statewide office in Oregon.
Even the liberal Oregon newspaper Willamette Week refused to endorse Avakian, writing:
A former lawmaker from Washington County, Avakian, 55, was appointed to his current post in 2009. When he sought an open congressional seat in 2011, WW revealed he’d failed in the past to pay property and income taxes and his bills, including his Oregon State Bar dues.
Those lapses bother us less today than the impression that, perhaps more than any candidate in Oregon, he will do or say anything to advance his political career.
In this race, he’s promised to use the Secretary of State’s Office to defend access to abortions, create green jobs, promote sustainable energy, audit private corporations and bring civics education back to public schools. Every one of those aims is laudable. None of them has much to do with the job Avakian’s seeking. That leaves two possibilities: Avakian doesn’t respect the parameters of the office, or his mouth is cynically writing checks he knows he can’t cash in order to win endorsements and votes.
Avakian will be with the Oregon Bureau of Labor for two more years, but at least the damage he can do won’t be exponentially increased.
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