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SOIL + DIRT = MUD

When ballots were mailed two weeks ago, Position Two in East Multnomah County Soil and Water Conservation District had no candidates. But then, Erik Sten's office began to spearhead a write-in campaign for Jada Mae Langloss, a longtime homeless activist who died two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, two other local voters were inspired to jump into the power vacuum--Kendra Kimbirauskas, who works with Sierra Club, and H. Richard Berry, a drummer for Mission 5.

A volunteer position, the job demands monthly meetings and helping out with projects like pesticide abatement and wetland protections.

Kimbirauskas responded to a Mercury request for an interview, telling us, "the way for a place to be protected is for citizens to first have an understanding and appreciation for the area." Kimbirauskas added, "water quality is one of my passions."

That's enough for us: The Mercury endorses Kimbirauskas for Soil and Water. PB

BIGOTS' BANKROLL

All told, about $1 million has poured into Oregon from national organizations to help defeat Measure 36.

The Defense of Marriage of Coalition (Measure 36's sponsor) has tried to portray those donations as acts of desperation. In radio ads, DOMC has said that out-of-state donations show that gays and lesbians are trying to hijack our constitution.

But that hasn't stopped DOMC from soliciting out-of-state funding themselves. With the DOMC thousands of dollars in the hole, the Colorado-based Focus On The Family has sent off $80,000 to help the campaign "protect" marriage. SCOTT MOORE

DEPT. OF CLARIFICATIONS

Last week's Mercury carried a story about a voter registration organization that was tearing up anyone's form who checked the Democrat box. The group called itself America Votes, but they should not be confused with the real "America Votes"-- an organization that has fairly registered thousands of new voters. The rogue AV is apparently an offshoot from Sproul & Assoc., a Phoenix-based marketing company. According to business records, Sproul & Assoc received more than $500,000 in direct donations from the Republican National Committee. Sproul is a former director for the Christian Coalition. PB

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