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Does Jefferson Smith’s driving record, license suspensions matter to you?

Posted by on August 16th, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Mayoral Candidate Jefferson Smith ride-12

(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Oregonian’s City Hall reporter Beth Slovic just published a new story about mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith’s driving record. According to Slovic, who peered into Smith’s personal driving records with his permission, Smith’s license has been suspended a total of four times since 2004:

“State Rep. Jefferson Smith, a candidate for Portland mayor, acknowledged shortly after jumping into the mayor’s race that his driver’s license had been suspended in 2004.

But newly obtained records from Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services show Smith received three additional suspensions, including one as recently as 2010.

On Jan. 12, 2010, records show that police in Woodburn cited Smith, then running for his second term in the Oregon House, for the improper display of stickers and failure to show proof of insurance. His license was suspended May 14, 2010, and Smith failed to have it reinstated until eight months later, in January 2011.”

Smith told Slovic he didn’t fess up to the other suspensions and violations because he admits his record is “embarrassing.”

Interestingly, during an interview on Twitter in June with local bike activist and journalist Elly Blue, Smith did acknowledge being pulled over after 2004. In that interview, Smith admitted that he had been pulled over in 2009 (although he didn’t remember exactly if that was the year). He told Blue that he was careless in getting the various moving violations and that he simply didn’t have the money to pay the fines.

Smith is an Oregon state representative who works in Salem and lives in east Portland; which leads many people to wonder how much driving he did on a suspended license.

Transportation activists have been a strong base of support for Smith. He earned the endorsement of Bike Walk Vote back in February and has called for a “senior-friendly” transportation network that’s safe for the “8-80” demographic. Will his record of suspensions turn off a key part of the Portland electorate? Or will most people see this as simply a trivial personality flaw that doesn’t reflect on his ability to lead?

What do you think? Does a candidates’ ability to drive a car without violating the law, and then continue to drive while the state has determined he is unfit to do so, matter to you?

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Nick
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Nick

He seems like an ADHD posterchild, which makes sense, since he openly admits to having ADHD. He clearly is a bit chaotic, but I agree with most of his views to the point where I don’t mind. I might even admire it a little bit; most politicians are so boring. Thankfully, mayors have plenty of staff to take care of accounting and things like that.

Jason S.
Guest
Jason S.

I don’t care. I care more about what he did in the legislature and with the Oregon Bus Project, and otherwise in the community.

Ted Buehler
Guest

“police … cited Smith… for the improper display of stickers and failure to show proof of insurance.”

No, it will not affect my evaluation of him as a candidate.

These are the things I would have concerns with —
* Driving 30 mph over the speed limit.
* Driving drunk.
* Running red lights.
* or otherwise endangering the safety of others.

(BTW, in my observations of the folks I’ve gotten rides with over the years, very safest drivers out there are the ones driving without a license, without insurance, or without registration ;^)

Ted Buehler

Tony Fuentes
Guest

No it doesn’t matter to me.

What matters to me is that Smith has picked up the baton for economic gardening when the city passed on that initiative in 2008, the city has come around to it since.

It matters to me that Smith was the only candidate addressing education with concrete proposal to deal with the summer gap via Portland Summers. Now that the election is less than 100 days away, we finally have a no-win proposal from another candidate.

It matters to me that Smith has been a vocal and consistent opponent of the proposed CRC.

Hales and Smith are not the same on the core policies and issues that will define the future of Portland. I care about is who is ready to truly move this city forward, I don’t think being a blast from the past is the same as being ready to lead.

Smith is who I want in the driver’s seat on the issues that matter to me.

Matt
Guest
Matt

The vast majority of us never get a suspended license, and Smith has had 4? If someone can’t drive within the law on a regular basis, then how are they going to run the city.

The first comment above mentions his possible ADHD which has me more concerned. Some folks think we already have a mayor with ADHD, I don’t think we don’t need another. We need someone with a lazer-beam-like focus to move this city forward.

I have supported Smith thus far because he has opposed the CRC, but this has me re-thinking.

are
Guest

we do not learn what the 2004 suspension was for, and this does matter. also, yes, i am very disturbed to hear that he was driving uninsured. and ted, your anecdotal observations notwithstanding, (a) there are a hell of a lot of people out there driving suspended and without insurance _because they are very poor drivers_, and (b) i do not care how “safe” a driver you are, when you hit me i would appreciate it if you had insurance, if only to cover the first $25k in harm, because hey, i cannot get UM/UIM coverage.

2wo Wheel
Guest
2wo Wheel

Stick a fork in him and turn him over…

Sean G
Guest

I think this is about the civic responsibility equal of living in Washington to avoid paying taxes in Oregon. Is it a great thing for Smith? Of course not, he’s clearly a scofflaw in this area. However is it going to change my vote? Not at all. Smith isn’t perfect, but in the areas where it counts he’s miles ahead of Hales. He’ll get the community involved and have bold ideas for moving Portland forward.

The great thing about this coming election is, despite who wins we’ll have a great mayor. Unlike most elections, it’s the choice of the greater of two goods.

Rol
Guest
Rol

If I care about Toronto mayor Rob Ford’s automotive transgressions (like DUI) then I’d be a hypocrite to let Smith off the hook.

If he works in Salem I expect him to move to Salem. And bike to work. If he does that, I’ll vote for him.

Champs
Guest
Champs

If it’s the difference between building a bridge for Vancouver or not, then no. The race is still a referendum on the CRC, if you ask me.

Brandon Rhodes
Guest

I personally don’t care if he’s a bad driver — though that *is* a bit embarrassing.

But will others care? According to one scholar, Cotten Seiler, most Americans equate the ability to drive with citizenship and selfhood-assertion/formation.

Here’s his reasoning. If the republic-self is one who is free to choose, then that person must be mobile… and therefore that person must be able to be free from locality and live above the land… in the space of flows rather than space of places. They must, in short, be able to drive. And that act of freedom-from-place that is driving is in turn a locus for self expression in consumer societies. (“I’m a chevy guy, a BMW gal, a Surly Long Haul Trucker kind of dude, etc.”).

So, all that to say: for many Oregonians, Jefferson’s inability to drive responsibly may invoke this narrative and undercut his validity as a candidate or even voter.

Dr. Seiler’s book is solid stuff… “Republic of Drivers” … http://www.powells.com/biblio/72-9780226745640-0

pixelgate
Guest
pixelgate

Who cares? Why are all these silly non-stories popping up to divert from the real issues?

Oregonian persist in electing ineffective leaders then wonder why the state is in shambles. With Jefferson we truly have a man of the people, and the kneejerk reaction is to question whether or not “improper display of stickers” should end his campaign?

Get f’ing real.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

Smith had his driver’s license suspended…four times…and people posting comments to this thread do not seem to express any particular interest in why he received the two unexplained suspensions. From the Oregonian story:

“…The records also show Smith’s license was suspended in March 2004 — something he acknowledged in September after announcing his mayoral bid. It’s not clear from the records what led up to that suspension.

The records also show Smith got two separate suspensions on July 9, 2004, and July 15, 2004, because Smith had racked up more than four driving tickets or preventable accidents within a 24-month period.

It’s not clear what specifically led to those suspensions either, however; the records go back only to 2004 because minor convictions are purged after several years, said David House, a DMV spokesman. “There must be in the previous two years other tickets,” he said. …” slovic/oregonian

Notice in that excerpt: “…because Smith had racked up more than four driving tickets or preventable accidents within a 24-month period. …”. Nobody here is interested in what he was cited for, or what his involvement in the incidents that prompted the citations may say about his competence as the responsible operator of a motor vehicle, an in general, as a person?

Here in the comments section of bikeportland stories, can be read regularly, impassioned concern expressed over people behind the wheel of motor vehicles, making all manner of moving violations that pose a danger to road users, particularly those traveling by bike. Yet when the possibility is that Portland mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith may a prime example of one of those types of people behind the wheel of a motor vehicle…it seems that quite a number of people commenting to bikeportland may be willing to give him a pass on what may…if the details about the moving violations he was cited for do come to light…turn out to be a rather dismal level of ability as a motor vehicle operator.

Jimmy
Guest
Jimmy

My policy is to vote for the least wealthy candidate.

This is certainly off-putting but it does not bother me as much as Hales’ high net worth, residence in Washington (to dodge taxes?), and the fact that he quit the council mid-term to take a high paying job.

R-dat
Guest
R-dat

Bothers me. Speaks to character and one’s appreciation for law, right and wrong, and the safety of others. Anyone can get a ticket or citation anytime (in a car or on a bike) but repeated citations severe enough to result in license suspension suggests a inherent lack of appreciation for other people’s safety and / or the rules. Not the character traits I wish to have running Portland.

David Sweet
Guest
David Sweet

I am concerned about what I see as a pattern of irresponsible behavior. If it were just a drivers license suspension, or just a state bar suspension, or a punch in a basketball game, or getting thrown out of a soccer league…. but it’s all of these and more. I learned decades ago that when hiring staff, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. When a person has a long record of apparent immaturity, continuing to the present day, one has to ask if that person should be chosen to lead this city.

I too agree with many of Jefferson’s positions on the issues. If we were electing a legislator, I might even vote for him. But in Portland’s commission form of government, the mayor is also the top manager of a very large and complex organization. The mayor doesn’t only vote on issues. He or she also manages agencies, including the Police Bureau, assigns other bureaus to colleagues, and works to forge the City Council into a highly functional whole.

We have seen how ineffective it is to have a mayor who does not command the respect of his colleagues, who responds emotionally and perhaps vindictively. We need someone with experience and the demonstrated ability to engender respect and work well as part of a team. Jefferson may develop these abilities someday. This time, I’m with Charlie.

Ted Buehler
Guest

wsbob — good comments.

I just gave it a quick read before commenting. It does appear that Smith may have something to hide, since he only disclosed one of 4 suspensions, and said he had a bad driving record.

That does sound a lot more like speeding, driving recklessly, maybe DUIs, etc., because otherwise he would probably tell us what it was.

Still, for me, I’d probably vote for him even if he had a couple DUIs, because I more interested in policy going forward rather than accountability of the past. But it would certainly be more of an issue than not bothering to put his tags on his car or his insurance cards in the glove box.

But, if he fudges repeatedly and fails to tell us the story, then it’s a mark against him.

& even so, Hales isn’t all that snow-white either, with his dual residency of convenience and good ‘ol boy politics. & while that doesn’t represent direct personal endangerment of others, it certainly represents endangerment. Like — I’d be more likely to vote for a repentant DUI recipient than a guy that wants to aim 10,000 more cars on Interstate/MLK (by building the CRC) that could easily turn me into roadkill.

Cheers,
Ted Buehler

thefuture
Guest
thefuture

ever since the o endorsed charlie hales i can’t see any of their coverage as non biased. even in this case when it is a fair issue to bring up. never got why newspapers endorse candidates.

c
Guest
c

Why is it that our next mayor is going to be so imperfect (no matter who gets elected)?

Jim Lee
Guest
Jim Lee

When I ran in 2008 I had none of Smith’s baggage.

Also a whole lot smarter.

Also no car, only fixies.

Also more knowledgeable about city government.

How many of you guys voted for me?

jd
Guest
jd

Lovely. Someone from Vancouver, versus someone who probably drives three hours a day at especially dangerous speed as mayor and is somehow way less responsible than I am with his bills as mayor of Portland. I’m certainly more apathetic than I was ten minutes ago. But I’m still voting. I guess for Smith? Yay?

ConcordiaCyclist
Guest
ConcordiaCyclist

Based on my own experiences I’d hold the pitchforks before making any assumptions on this. Back in the day when I was working 70 hour weeks I missed my tag renewal notice and got hit with a ticket for expired tags. I paid the bill at the court house and figured that was it. One and a half years later I was pulled over for a shorted out tail light and my car towed away because I had a suspended license I was unaware of. Apparently there was a $15 dollar administrative charge missed by the court clerk on the original ticket that went unpaid. License was suspended – I was never notified. And neither was my insurance company. So I drove for 18 months with a suspended license WITH insurance.

Bureaucracy happens.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

I managed to get a suspension after a ticket, not because of the ticket but due to my insurance provider failing to file the processed ticked with the DMV within 90 days.
License suspension does not uniformly indicate driver error.

Brendan Purkapile
Guest
Brendan Purkapile

If you can’t run your own life, you can’t run a city. If you want to run a city, but choose not to pay your fair share you should’t be able to represent that city. Both candidates have issues that average people would never be able to get away with, so we should make them squirm for their transgressions, make them strive to do better from a little public shame

Hart Noecker
Guest

I got several tickets for driving with expired tags/no insurance back when I lived in Michigan, and the tickets ended up being cheaper than paying the ridiculous fees and insurance, I never had a moving violation for careless or reckless driving. All of it motivated me to get rid of my car and commute via bicycle and public transit. Way cheaper, way greener, and way smarter. Whether Jefferson failed to keep up on these things matters little to me, it’s a personal matter, and does not reflect upon him as a leader and a representative in our community.

Granpa
Guest
Granpa

A hypocrite in politics!? I am shocked, SHOCKED I say.

Jon
Guest
Jon

This and a lot the other behavior mentioned in the other posts above makes me concerned about his maturity level and ability to cope in stressful situations. The poor behavior of our current mayor (relationship with a minor, personal financial issues) undermined his ability to lead the city. I don’t think we need another mayor that is not really ready. It is not really a “learn on the job” kind of positon. The Mayor of the largest city in our state is important and needs someone who is mature.

Tom
Guest
Tom

I wonder how many other things in his past that he’s embarrassed to discuss ? Brings up images of current mayor and the revelations AFTER he was in office …

David Feldman
Guest
David Feldman

So who’s perfect? The last decade or two have brought us enough media to unearth the dirty laundry of anyone in public life. As Nazi-like as my beliefs are about how drivers and driving should be regulated, Jefferson’s record seems on the mild side in terms of how politicians live their personal lives.

Chrissy
Guest
Chrissy

According to bojack.org, the tickets were for:

1) Driving 52 in a 35 zone (2002). He then failed to appear in court.
2) Driving on a suspended license (2004).
3) Driving 40 in a 20 zone (2009). He also failed to appear in court.
4) Illegal lane change on McLoughlin (2009). His father appeared in court on his behalf. He was convicted.

http://bojack.org/2011/09/smith_blew_off_court_dates_for.html

Jessica Roberts
Guest
Jessica Roberts

I generally am concerned about the character of people who are careless about the lives and safety of those around them. Bad driving can kill. So repeatedly demonstrating that you are a bad driver means that you are more likely than the average resident to kill someone in traffic through your negligence or recklessness.

Imagine if the story way, “Jefferson Smith has repeatedly had gun violations” – I think we’d all agree that’s of concern. Well, to my mind, driving carelessly, or failing to carry adequate insurance, is the same as handling a weapon carelessly.

Jeremy Cohen
Guest
Jeremy Cohen

One issue that seems relevant here is Smith’s ADHD. While the majority of comments surrounding ADHD on this site seem to treat it as an advanced form of immaturity, that is a fundamental misunderstanding of how the disorder manifests. I imagine a number of people would be shocked to find legitimate ADHD diagnoses in extremely successful, accomplished people (including Smith.) I have no doubt that Smith struggles, on a daily basis, to remember certain things that most people take for granted, but that should not be the measure of his ability to run this city. If the primary trait we were looking for in a mayor was strict adherence to schedules, well managed todo lists and perfect driving records, we would look to a well established bureaucrat. Instead, what we want is a LEADER, one with vision, passion and the ability to see the big picture. While the Mayor is in fact the manager of the city, he is staffed with top-level agency heads that were hired precisely for the traits Smith does not need to have. I am not excited about Smith’s driving record, but I also recognize that Smith has a legitimate ADA-recognized disability that would NOT hinder his ability to do the job I will vote for him to do. So, does his driving record trouble me, not really. Does the flippant and aloof, ignorant attitude about ADHD on this site trouble me–yes.

J-R
Guest
J-R

Basically Smith lied about his driving record because it was embarrassing. I also disagree with those who give him a pass on his violations because they were not serious or dangerous. He also failed to renew his bar registration. It doesn’t seem that he has a high regard for society’s rules and can’t keep his own life in order.

I think it is both a character issue and one of organizational ability that is needed to run this city. I was initially tempted by Smith because of vitality and charisma, but not anymore.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

I remember reading in some rag this spring that we were blessed with 3 excellent major candidates from which to choose. Ha! I think we had 3 highly flawed major candidates, and Jefferson Smith was the least flawed.

If the multiple suspensions are because Jefferson is sometimes not a very detail-oriented guy, or maybe too easily distracted and/or forgetful (which might be consistent with his ADHD diagnosis), I don’t necessarily see that as hindering his ability to lead as mayor. A good leader is humble enough to recognize their weaknesses and HIRE people who can help make up for them. So far Smith has done the recognizing-the-weakness part, so I trust him to hire assistants and advisors who will complement him.

More concerning could be his moving violations, especially since unlicensed drivers tend to be more dangerous: I’ve been hit by one myself, and have witnessed more than one crash caused by one. Unfortunately we don’t know the specific violations or the degree to which he willfully endangered others.

We DO know that Charlie Hales deliberately chose one address for voting and one for filing taxes. IMO even if you’re lucky enough to multiple homes, you need to declare ONE as your primary residence and accept the implications. To me he’s done something even worse than driving without a license. Everyone seems to be worked up about this as an act of tax dodging. That bugs me, but the bigger problem I have with it is that it looks to me like one of the few documented acts of voter fraud in this country.

As Tony Fuentes so eloquently pointed out above, this election isn’t just about character. There are issues at hand too, and there the choice is pretty clear to me. It is still possible that Smith will turn out to have done something egregious behind the wheel. If so, I’m going to have a serious voting dilemma on my hands.

MossHops
Guest
MossHops

4 times in 8 years? I can’t believe how many commentors are giving him a pass on this because they agree with his politics. 4 times is definitely a pattern. Furthermore he was less than straightforward on the initial disclosure and he is being very cagey about whether he was actually insured when he failed to show proof of insurance. Alsso ADHD doesn’t absolve him of this. There seems to be signs of moral failure in the suspension and subsequent handling of it.

This should deeply concern all of us as the mayor definitely has a say as to how aggressively the police will pursue traffic violations.

At the end of the day, I probably will still vote for him, but this is incredibly disheartening to hear and its not hard to see a definitive double standard with regards to how the Portland bike community is responding to this.

BURR
Guest
BURR

with a driving record like that, he should get a bike and go car-free

Nat
Guest
Nat

It’s difficult to believe that he was driving while suspended unintentionally. This offense is very much different than forgetting to put on tags or not noticing a school zone sign. http://bojack.org/images/smithticket2.pdf

dwainedibbly
Guest
dwainedibbly

I would let it bother me more if I thought that Hales was acceptable.

Annee
Guest

I’m more interested in his active transportation record – does he have the perspective of being a cyclist/pedestrian or only a motorist?

Pete
Guest
Pete

Jefferson’s inattention to the traffic code, to his annual state bar fees, and to the finances of the Bus Project (according to Beth Slovic’s report in The Oregonian) may not matter much for a state legislator where good ideas count for more than attention to adminstrative rules and where individual bad judgement is diluted by the votes of others. As Mayor, adminstrative rules matter a whole lot more. The Mayor isn’t just the “idea guy,” he’s the primary administrator of a multimillion dollar enterprise. I’m not thrilled with Charlie, but Jefferson has a very steep hill to climb to get my vote.

Steve B
Guest

I’m definitely concerned by Smith’s driving record.

bojack
Guest

It’s not just his “driving record.” Smith was busted for driving while suspended, and he also blew off court dates for his traffic offenses. Bad behavior indeed from a lawyer. http://tinyurl.com/bs4aqj7

Doug Klotz
Guest
Doug Klotz

As a alternative transportation activist in Portland for 25 years, I do not see Jefferson as having a very strong grounding in the issues. I agree with him on the CRC, and wish Charlie’s position were stronger. But I don’t see Jefferson understanding the essential land-use issues that, beyond individual sidewalks or bike facilities, really determine how people get around. If you have sprawling, single-use neighborhoods, you’ll never reach the goal of motor vehicle trips being the minority. On the other hand, if you permit and/or create incentives for density, specifically along Frequent Transit streets and commercial corridors, and specifically without auto parking requirements, chances are better you’ll reach the goal of reduced auto travel. I worked with Charlie on these issues for several years, when he was the Commissioner in charge of Planning. He understand the land use and transportation connection. I expect that Jefferson is studying up on these issues. But to me, right now, Charlie is the candidate who understands transportation in this race, understands the importance of reducing auto travel, and has experience in doing that.

Vance Longwell
Guest

Of course Mayoral Candidate Smith’s driving record, license suspensions, “…matter to [me]…”. But I wanted to point out that the question, as posed, is super vague. For instance, Smith’s traffic infractions, they are all infractions, and not crimes yes?, “matter”, to me; but certainly not all that much. And they matter in as much as the records of these infractions are public. At that, I still find the observation rather more invasive than is warranted in the case of a Mayoral election; made even more-so by the relative innocuous nature of the violations being discussed.

I’d be more interested in observing his political record, and then comparing it to his driving record. If, hypothetically, Smith voted for, helped author, or was involved in, traffic-safety legislation, or committee action concerning same, and subsequently exhibited aberrant driving behavior…? This hypothetical is clearly demonstrative of hypocrisy, but it also reveals a possible conflict of interest. Moreover, regardless of the relative seriousness of his lapses, Smith is fairly indicating via his actions a disdain for law and order in the community which he and I share. While the rules violated steam me, the inherent arrogance of even presuming the law(s) don’t apply to one individual, or another, at any given time, for any given reason, is infuriating. I’m sure that, given the opportunity, Smith would argue that his actual intentions may have been innocent, but all that really proves is ignorance.

As to some of the comments, and their treatment of a man’s illness: Yeah, I, personally, don’t place much stock in pretty much the entire field of psychology, let alone bear any particular heed concerning ADHD, alas. This is a person’s misfortune, and regardless of the manifest form of that illness, it remains my responsibility to avoid treating Mr. Smith any differently. Acknowledged, diagnosed, medicated, ADHD=Non-issue.

I’m not voting for Smith because I know, personally, too many customer-service professionals, of too many walks, employed in too wide a variety of markets, and under too many circumstances, which have complained to me that Smith is an incredibly difficult customer. I’m not voting for Smith because he lacks maturity, and professional poise. I’m not voting for Smith because I think these personality quirks will impede his ability to perform on a diplomatic level within the office he seeks. I think he’s a pretty hard fellow to like, let alone work with.

I’m not voting for Hales because he feels to me like a tourist. Just another foreigner, with foreign agendas, and entirely too much political focus for a job that requires personal flair, and stylized leadership qualities. This guy’s a bureaucrat. Not to mention, more traffic, and parking congestion. More real estate development with inadequate parking. More money down the drain on go-nowhere environmental policy. And so on.

Yeah, I’ll be writing myself in…again…

jim
Guest
jim

I am surprised to hear about this. I find the news rather disturbing. This shows a lack of character about Smith. I am having a hard time trying to decide which of the candidates will do the least damage to the city. I guess if we look past the real person of their aspects and look for what actual good they can do for Portland we will just have to put up with what ever. We sort of survived the pedophile mayor. Jobs are going away, Industrial neighborhoods are being gentrified into art neighborhoods, nobody knows where the city is spending their budget money anymore. They are like a crack whore that you give lots of money to all the time and at the end of the year they say it’s not enough and they want more….

Jrdpdx
Guest
Jrdpdx

He drives poorly w out insurance or a license. He “can’t afford” to fix this. He does not tell the truth and his priorities are himself. He states he is ADHD, he has another likely diagnosis, narcissism. Similar to most politicians. I am less likely to vote for him as time goes on and we find out more about him.

Tony Fuentes
Guest

There are a number of themes on this thread but there are two threads that I am compelled to comment on.

The first is implications that that Smith has been dishonest about his driving record. He has been honest about this matter.

He did not make up any stories about this in talking to Slovic or any reporter (or any member of the public as far as I know). He was straightforward and embarrassed about it. Calling him a “liar” directly or equating this with Mayor Adams very real lie is unfounded and unfair.

Second is implying that having ADD or ADHD makes you unfit for a leadership position. Simply put, I find this patently offensive. I am certain we all know someone who has this challenge and I applaud Smith’s willingness to put it out there that he (like 5 percent of the population) has ADHD.

Moreover in this particular case we are talking about someone who dealt with this ADHD untreated for many years. And what did he do during that time? He earned a Law degree from Harvard, founded and managed a non-profit organization – The Bus Project – which has since grown beyond the borders of Oregon into other states, and he was elected and has served with distinction in the state legislature (two key things for me in that regard was Smith’s championing of grassroots economic development being an active voice in getting the state’s budget back in order and more efficient).

He did all that BEFORE he figured out he had ADHD and started managing it. Now that he knows what’s up? Clearly, I am ready to see that encore.

Here is my bottom-line on this, if you have a legitimate, well-reasoned concern about how someone’s crappy driving record equates directly to being an effective mayor, have at it. But please pause and reflect before you hit that “post your comment” button.

It is really easy to use the mighty internet to call people names and perpetuate a bunch of bullshit about what people with ADHD can or can’t do… so lets do each other a favor and keep that nonsense off bikeportland.org

Peace.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Thanks for the update and link, Paul. EVERYONE should read it. There are 11 moving violations since 1993. You have to be a really, really, really freaking bad, dangerous driver to get that many tickets — especially in Oregon, where we have the lowest patrol density in the West.

A lot of people are bothered about the suspensions — and I am, to some degree, but the the violations that disturb me most are the speeding tickets. ALL of them were for at least 15mph over the limit; four were for more than 20 over the limit.
– 1994: 95 in a 55 zone.
– 1995: 69 in a 45 zone.
– 1995: 80 in a 65 zone.
– 1995: 80 in a 55 zone. Yes, third one in the same year.
– 2002: 52 in a 35 zone.
– 2003: 75 in a 50 zone.
– 2009: 40 in a 25 zone.

As I read through the list, I was all set to dismiss the tickets from the last century. But unfortunately the pattern continues. It may be that the 55 and 65 zones where he sped were out in the country where there’s less risk to others, but 35mph zones (as in the 2002 ticket) tend to have a lot more vulnerable users and he was going 1 1/2 times the legal limit.

And although the 50/35 ticket was a decade ago, I’m really concerned about that 2009 ticket:
1. It’s very recent, and therefore relevant.
2. To me it’s BY FAR the worst of this decidedly egregious list of moving violations. A 25 zone probably means a residential neighborhood or somewhere where there are a lot of pedestrians. I can only imagine someone going 40 down the street I live on. Unbelievable that he could be that oblivious to the risk that he caused others by doing this. At 40mph a driver with typical reaction times will travel nearly 120 feet — more than half a block — before their foot even touches the brake pedal, and stopping distance is 2.5 times longer at 40mph than at the 25mph speed limit. At that speed, a kid crossing the street isn’t going to be looking far enough down the road to see him coming.

Now I don’t know WTF to do. Good thing I’ve got a couple months to decide. I’m going to need the time. I don’t know how I can bring myself to vote for Charlie “voter fraud” Hales because of HIS integrity issues, and now this. I’m glad he didn’t hurt anyone, but with this record of violations it’s only by divine intervention that he didn’t. Maybe I’ll write in someone else (no offense Vance Longwell, but it won’t be you either).

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

You’re right, spare_wheel. Jefferson got caught doing what many motorists do every day.

Again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again.