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Good morning, Portland! It must be election season, because last night I was routed to a Ted Wheeler-supporting PAC's website through the most inexplicably cringe-y political ad I've ever seen:
LOL this ad routed me to the United for Portland website pic.twitter.com/CRpNM9FXx6— Blair Stenvick (@BlairStenvick) October 22, 2020
Anyway, here are the headlines.
• A recently retired Portland cop has reportedly been charged with three misdemeanors for hitting a protester suspected of vandalism with an unmarked police van during a June protest. Predictably, the union for Portland police is fighting back against even this small sliver of justice, calling the victims' account of the incident "false" and "self-serving." Too bad the Oregonian has video of the whole thing!
• As of yesterday, 29 percent of Multnomah County voters had already turned in their ballots! If you're among the 71 percent who still needs to vote, let our handy election endorsement cheat sheet walk you through most of the races on your ballot.
• It's been one week since the Mercury reported on extensive sexual, physical, and psychological allegations against now-former Portland NAACP President E.D. Mondainé. Yesterday, Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who is a longtime friend of Mondainé and describes him as being like a "brother" to her, commented on the report. "My gut is always to believe the victim and condemn the alleged abuser," Hardesty said. "To the victims I say I am so sorry this happened to you."
• A new report from crisis-mapping project ACLED and research group Militia Watch has found that five states are at high risk of seeing increased militia activity during and after the election: Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and... Oregon. Presence of far-right ding-dongs, like the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer, are factored into the risk assessment.
• Oh look, discrimination is still a thing that just happens routinely and is state-sponsored:
A new Texas rule, recommended by Gov. Greg Abbott’s office, will no longer prohibit social workers from turning away clients on the basis of disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. https://t.co/otsrCuEbpv— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) October 21, 2020
• Amy Coney Barrett, who managed to maintain her image as a cypher during her Senate confirmation hearing, is now one step closer to joining the Supreme Court. The Senate will vote on her confirmation on Monday. If approved, her nomination process will have been the fastest in US history.
• If you care about criminal justice reform, you may be happy to learn that a slew of state ballot measures throughout the country are seeking to change their criminal court processes. That includes ending cash bail, granting parolees the right to vote, and ending slavery as a criminal punishment. Read more about six of those ballot measures here.
• During the early days of COVID-19, the most severe outbreaks were in urban areas, like Seattle or New York City. But now, some of the worst coronavirus outbreaks are happening in rural areas, like North Dakota and Kansas.
• Oh boy, the final presidential debate is tonight! Can't wait to hear two differing but equally compelling visions for the future of our country. You can stream it for free on YouTube, if you're so inclined.
• Just try to cast your gaze upon this cheese on a stick and not get hungry: