The temp

Yesterday's big "news," not at all unexpected, is that Susheela Jayapal is quitting the Multnomah County commission after less than five years, to run for the cushier office she always really wanted, U.S. Congress. If elected to Earl the Pearl's seat, Sushi would join her younger sister, who's a representative from Seattle.

As soon as she files to run for the higher office, if not before, the elder Jayapal will have effectively resigned from the county commission. Her position will be filled in a special election in May. If the county elections office gets its act together in time, it could be by "instant runoff" rank-choice voting, but if not, there will be a primary, and if needed, a traditional runoff in November. No surprise there, either.

But get this: Under county rules, in the meantime, Sushi's hand-picked successor takes her place. And according to this story, that will be... 

Come on, take a guess... 

Think about it...

What kind of person would she pick?

Who will continue her disastrous agenda, or lack thereof (besides joining her sis in D.C.)?

Who's all about the "equity"?

Of course, the president of a nonprofit! 

And a highly political one at that.

His name is Jesse Beason, that's his photo up there, and he's the head of something called Northwest Health Foundation. The foundation appears to be a lovely pot of money that gets granted out on a regular basis to other "nonprofits" to "fight" for "health equity," while Beason gets paid a cool 200 grand a year or so to ladle out the moolah. The organization's latest filing with the IRS that is available online is for 2021, when his salary was more than $193,000 before benefits. Prior to getting this gig, he was a minion for Sam Adams and worked for Metro. Classic Portland.

When I dig a little deeper into the foundation Beason runs, what strikes me is that it's got a fair amount of money, and it has no qualms about getting involved directly in politics. Northwest Health Foundation writes regular checks for $500 or $1,000 to the campaigns of politicians, including several made out to the election fund of the "right to rest" queen, Khanh Pham. You also see names like Tina Kotek, Kate Lieber, Lew Frederick, and Tawna Sanchez among the recipients of these political contributions.

But the foundation's biggest political donations in recent years were $50,000 shelled out to push the ill-advised city charter revision, through an organization called Portland United for Change

Northwest Health Foundation also reported paying $328,000 in 2021 to an Ashland company called Dancing Hearts Consulting, LLC, whose website shows a largely one-person political consulting firm. Golly, it's almost as if people are using the foundation as a way to make anonymous political contributions. In 2021, one person gave $900,000.

Meanwhile, the foundation was the sole owner of a real estate holding company, called Philanthropy Center, LLC, listed as worth $4.3 million. And it owned interests in limited partnerships booked at $26.2 million. I can't tell what any of that is about. It would certainly make for a fun afternoon for an IRS agent, if that agency policed nonprofits the way it's supposed to. (It doesn't.) Or maybe Ellen Rosenbum's office would give it a hard look. Ha! Ha! Only kidding.

Anyway, if you liked Jayapal's bungling on the county board, you're gonna love six months to a year of Beason. Let's hope that's the extent of it. But who with any common sense can win an election in District 2, which is North and Northeast Portland? I certainly couldn't. Maybe Jo Ann With the Bullhorn will burn through all her newfound money and stage a comeback.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post identified the foundation as a section 501(c)(3) charity. In fact, it files as a section 501(c)(4) organization, commonly known as a “dark money” fund.

UPDATE, November 10: No, wait – actually there are two "Northwest Health Foundation" entities. One is a 501(c)(3), and the other is a 501(c)(4). More on that here.


  1. Two questions.
    Is the DA condoning this?
    What’s the money source of these nonprofit conglomerate organizations?

    1. One person alone gave $900K in 2021.

    2. Any name surfaced?

    3. The publicly disclosed form does not give the name.

    4. Mikey, the DA, “investigate”? HA
      Fat chance! He’s probably waiting for his re-election campaign check!

  2. I wonder why this nonprofit activity in Portland isn’t reflected by some “investigating reporting” by the local media. The activity has major consequences in all phases of our government. Yet the press seems happy to limit their involvement to rewriting PR releases.

  3. Fred Engels would be comfortable in Portland today.

    1. Difficult to impossible to compare 1848-1895 Manchester to Portland today…

      Funny, I thought the (remotely) modern day equivalent of a competent industrial manager of a Manchester mill & German 48er troop is kinda the thing we’re lacking; attracting practical-minded flexible adaptable talent and focus?

      Last I checked, industry & talent was leaving & it was a bunch of grifters, old people, CA retirees, divorced dads & yuppie scum, but what do I know?

      So many currents of history are larger than individuals & the currents point toward decline & ‘common ruin’ more in the communist manifesto more than anything, but I sort of think of Engels as the sort of guy we’re pushing out or not attracting?

      Sure, the family enterprise Engels ran was ‘on the make’ at that time rather than us scrambling over the crumbs and arguing about stuff rather than materially doing much…
      … more room agency then…

      The clicks and lame political political psychodrama is more the thing now, more mass media, more complexity, more people with the means voting with their feet or voting out of spite rather than any actual positive vision regardless of the face cards/branding…
      …who doesn’t like modern medicine & comforts, but also aperture individual agency is so much shrunken, no?

      Didn’t Engels have ~4million bux at his death split 8 ways & fund publishing and outreach that still resonates ~2centuries later, it’s hard to even imagine what such a project would look like today if feasible…

  4. NW Health Foundation started out as a nonprofit health insurer (HMO-- remember those?) which was sold for a bunch of money, and they took that money and put it into the foundation. See


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