For the Weed, a two-fer

Today's resignation of Shemia Fagan as Oregon Secretary of State represents a double coup for the folks at Willamette Weed & Mushroom. You wonder if they ever imagined it would be this good for them when they started in on the story.

Originally they sent out a junior political assassin, Sophie Peel, to do a number on La Mota, the weed store chain that's been cozying up to the politicians while not paying its taxes. Given the newspaper's close ties to the cannabis industry, that was remarkable in and of itself. 

One can only guess why the intrepid journalists were so hot on making La Mota look bad. We'll probably never know. The Weed's main hit man, Nigel Jaquiss, got involved, but only in a secondary role. He didn't get to do all of his customary Jack Ruby act. The main evisceration was left to young Dr. Peel.

Within a month, the story blossomed into a scandal for Fagan, whom La Mota's owners were paying $10,000 a month, directly or indirectly, for God knows what. And she's out now, probably never to return to politics, the first in what Peel doubtlessly expects will be a long line of easy targets. 

Although I always love watching inept politicians go down in flames, the takedown of Fagan is not exactly striking a blow for better government. Her departure is no doubt a great relief to the state's controlling Democratic Party machine. Fagan belonged to the party but showed little allegiance to the machine. Like John Kroger, she was a thorn that the Usual Suspects are glad to have extracted from their side. They don't particularly need people enforcing those pesky rules all the time.

Another troubling part of the whole thing is the prospect that Peel's usual misguided bleats about Portland city government are about to become even more insufferable. 

Anyway, it will be interesting to see what the Weed is able to do with the story in the weekly edition that comes out in the morning. Tuesday news is the most inconvenient news for them. It wouldn't be surprising if Fagan timed her departure announcement with that in mind.

For me, the next question to be asked is whom else in government La Mota might have been paying for "consulting," or whatever. Do you think it was just Fagan?


  1. My interest in this story developed when I realized that nobody in Oregon’s media was curious enough to get involved.

  2. like shooting fish in a barrel. how many more does Sophie need to take down before, like Nigel, she earns a Pulitzer?

  3. rapid unscheduled disassembly
    (of shemia fagan’s political career).

  4. koin 6 was interviewing la mota’s
    principles on camera when a publicist told them fagan had resigned.

  5. It's no excuse, but maybe Oregon should pay more than $77K for such an important post.

    1. Office title sounds important. But, I think staff does all the work.

    2. 10k a month for 15 hours of unspecified "work" ya that's right out of the Goldschmidt handbook.
      She should stay on with the pot company - - oh wait, she's of no use to them now, without her government powers.

  6. I was a constituent of Fagan's when I lived in the numbers. Folks kept praising her, but the Weed would whack at her fairly regularly for not taking her job seriously. It's always stuck with me. The whole "leaving for family" thing struck me as odd at the time, as did storming back to take out the senate DINO. Just weird.

    The story shocked me but didn't surprise me. This is who she's always been.

    So now I have a couple questions.

    1. How blind were/are Oregon Democrats that they thought she'd make a good governor let alone senator? If they believed SHE was the star-in-waiting, how awful is their bench?

    2. I wonder what kind of side-hustles Brown might've had going during her time as SoS.

    Bonus question: Are the knives out for Gatsby in 2028?

  7. Not sure Fagan really qualifies as some kind of maverick among Oregon Dems. They dusted her off to oust a moderate and was the handpicked by SEIU (the main reason she stepped down was down to their pressure) to stop Haas from coasting to SOS because he actually has some scruples when it comes to public employees. She’s a standard bearer.


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