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Plus, Washington court ruling clouds proposed renter protection and outside, independent groups spend big in Oregon primary election.

CITY OF PORTLAND - Andrew ScottPortland Budget Office Director Andrew Scott is the 12th city leader to leave or announce their departure since Mayor Ted Wheeler took office in January 2017. Metro announced Tuesday that Scott is leaving the city to become its deputy chief operating officer.

The day before, The Oregonian reported that Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat has accepted a job as managing director of Nelson/Nygaard, a transportation consultancy with offices in 10 states and Washington, D.C.

Other affected agencies include the Portland Police Bureau, the Housing Bureau, the Bureau of Human Resources, the Bureau of Internal Business Services, the Bureau of Emergency Communications, the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, the Bureau of Development Services, the Office of Equity and Human Rights, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, and Portland Parks & Recreation.

Washington ruling clouds proposed renter protection

A recent ruling by a King County Superior Court judge in Washington is raising questions about the legality of the next tenant protection proposal being considered by Portland city Commissioner Chloe Eudaly.

As first reported by Willamette Week, Eudaly is working on a measure to require landlords to rent to tenants on a first-come, first-served basis. It is intended to prevent landlords from refusing to rent to someone for subjective reasons that have nothing to do with the tenant's qualifications.

However, a similar ordinance in Seattle was declared to violate the Washington Constitution by King County Superior Court Judge Suzanne Parisien on March 28. In her ruling, Parisien said that choosing a tenant "is a fundamental attribute of property ownership."

Jamey Duhamel, Eudaly's policy adviser working on the proposal, says they are aware of the ruling, although the Oregon Constitution may be different. She said that alternatives will be discussed during a series of workshops planned on the proposal this month.

Big spenders

Non-presidential-year primary elections usually are pretty boring, but some of the 2018 campaigns that ended on May 15 saw unusually high spending levels by out-of-state interests and independent entities.

For example, although the final figures won't be known for a few weeks, reform-minded Washington County district attorney candidate Max Wall received at least $458,000 from a Washington, D.C.-based political action committee believed to be supported by liberal billionaire George Soros.

The independent landlord-backed Project Sensible Leadership committee paid at least $369,900 to either support Democratic state Sen. Rod Monroe or oppose his challenger Shemia Fagan in the District 24 race. Liberal billionaire Tom Steyer gave $10,000 to Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown late last year. And California real estate executive John Ryan told The Associated Press he tried to keep a $100,000 contribution to Republican candidate for governor Greg Wooldridge secret by running it through his company, Daybreak investments.

The November general election might see even more independent and out-of-state spending, especially if the gun-control measure filed in the wake of the Parkland High School shooting makes the ballot.

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