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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! If you're a real Mercuryhead, you might be pretty confused right now. Me, writing the MONDAY morning "Good Morning News" post? I understand if you're shocked, confused, and horrified. But we like to keep things interesting over here. 

Anyway, the weather is set to be pretty nice today (70 degrees!) but we're on for some rain throughout the week. And right now, YOU'RE on for some very interesting news...if you keep reading this article.


• Maxine Dexter, one of the top candidates in the race for Oregon's 3rd U.S. House District, has been the recipient of quite a bit of shady donations. There are, of course, the millions in spending from dark money super PACs with suspicious connections (we covered this earlier this month). But more recently, Dexter's campaign has reported hundreds of thousands in spending from individual donors, mostly out-of-state, many of whom have connections to pro-Israel PACs and far-right candidates. One donor who contributed the maximum amount allowed to Dexter's campaign is a guy from Denver named Larry Mizel. Mizel was one of Donald Trump's biggest Colorado supporters in both 2016 and 2020, and served as a campaign finance chair for Trump in 2016. Now, of course, Dexter may not be at all involved in soliciting these funds—but if a former Trump campaign finance chair was giving me a bunch of money so I could win a congressional seat, I'd feel the need to do some soul-searching. Read more about Dexter's big spenders in the Mercury's latest story, and do it quick—the election is TOMORROW! 

• Speaking of the election tomorrow, all of you procrastinators can find out who the Mercury thinks you should vote for in our very handy endorsements report. While we recommend you use the guide to figure out who to vote for—we did put a ton of research into the endorsements and think we picked some pretty solid candidates—I've also seen some people say they'll use it as a guide for who to vote against. And, you know, ouch, but we get the clicks either way. HA! 

• Guys, VOTE! Right now, Oregon is on track for low voter turnout in tomorrow's primary...which isn't crazy considering voting in the presidential primary race doesn't matter at all, but there are some very important thing on the ballot. I'll stop talking about voting now, but turn in your ballots! It's easy here!

• Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced Friday that 39-year-old Jesse Calhoun has been indicted by a grand jury on second-degree murder charges for killing three women in the Portland area in 2023. The women, 24-year-old Charity Lynn Perry, 31-year-old Bridget Leann Webster, and 32-year-old Joanna Speaks, were all found dead in remote, wooded parts of Portland. Investigators say they're still looking into the deaths of two other women, whose cases are also potential murders and may be connected to Calhoun. 

Calhoun's case is especially controversial because in 2021, former Governor Kate Brown commuted his prison sentence, which he was serving after being convicted in 2019 for stealing a car and burglary. After serving as a firefighter, Calhoun and 40 other prisoners were released early. What is often missed when discussing the controversy, however, is that Governor Brown's commutation only allowed Calhoun to be released about a year early—before the first woman he is convicted of killing was dead. Also, most people who are convicted of more minor crimes (like burglary) don't go out and become serial killers. It's terrible luck, to be sure, but not necessarily an indication we should keep all prisoners locked up forever.

That being said, the deaths of these women is tragic, and their stories should be prioritized at this time. I hope the victims' families feel some justice has been served and can find a bit of peace in the aftermath of such a horrible situation. 


Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and several other senior officials in the country were declared dead after a helicopter crash this weekend. Raisi’s death comes at a time of heightened political tensions in Iran and in nearby countries. Last month, the country’s leaders launched a retaliatory drone-and-missile attack on Israel, and Iranians have been amping up protest for years about women’s rights in the country. 

• In some unfortunate union news, Alabama Mercedes workers voted "no" to joining the United Auto Workers (UAW) union—an unusual setback for UAW given their string of recent success including organizing Volkswagen workers in Tennessee and pulling off a major, fruitful strike against Big Three carmakers last fall. However, UAW President Shawn Fain—who is currently one of the country's biggest union rockstars and should probably run for U.S. President in 2028—says Mercedes "engaged in egregious, illegal behavior" to intimidate and harass workers in order to convince them to vote against joining the union. According to workers, Mercedes began routinely showing employees videos about the perils of union membership, and hired union-busting lawyers to text workers and pull them into small group meetings. If the government finds Mercedes illegally meddled in the election, the company may be forced to bargain with the UAW after all. 

• But in very good union news, Disneyland characters—or the human beings who played them—have voted OVERWHELMINGLY (953 to 258) to join the Actors’ Equity Association. Their union, which they’ve dubbed Magic United, will focus on bargaining for better wages. Currently, actors are only paid $24.15 an hour, which is woefully insufficient when compared to 1) the high cost of living in Southern California near Disneyland and 2) the absolutely preposterous wealth of Disney CEO Bob Iger and the other C-suite staff at the company. Also, in researching the new Disneyland union I discovered workers at Disney World in Florida have been represented by the Teamsters for decades. Who knew?? 

• Finally...a bunch of Irish kids wrote a song about creativity to promote Ireland's upcoming annual "national free day of creativity for young people"...and it literally rocks. Like, it's a GOOD song, and their Irish accents are the cherry on top. Please listen.