Pushing the envelope

Here's a story they dumped on Friday, hoping you wouldn't see it: Former Multnomah County commissioner Sushi Jayapal, before jumping ship to run for Congress, twisted arms so that a Seattle nonprofit got a fat county contract despite flunking out of the normal bidding process.

Multnomah County Auditor Jennifer McGuirk raised concerns Friday that an elected official influenced a county bidding process to favor a Seattle-based nonprofit.

McGuirk said the elected official in question is Susheela Jayapal, who was then a county commissioner but who has since resigned to run for Congress.

The nonprofit she favored, Housing Connector, initially ranked six out of eight prospective contractors, too low to get the work, according to a memo McGuirk sent to current county commissioners and members of the media on Friday. But after Jayapal intervened, it ultimately secured a $780,000 contract, the memo says.

Here's the press release from October in which Sushi and the county chair, Chevy Vega, gleefully took credit for the whole thing. 

The auditor, McGuirk, says she couldn't find any personal connection between Jayapal and Housing Connector. But maybe she didn't look hard enough. That nonprofit, which has no track record in Multnomah County, is based in Seattle, where Sushi's sister and near twin, Pramila Jayapal, is the representative in Congress. Housing Connector reportedly relies heavily on the Zillow real estate internet platform and has at least one Zillow figure on its board. Seattle Jayapal is shown here as taking $11,600 in campaign contributions from Zillow. 

So there's that.

Given that Portland Jayapal has been front and center on the team that's run the city into the ground, there's no way anybody should want her to represent them in Congress. But now we have another reason to vote for anybody else.


  1. Home Connector's Seattle address is smack dab in the middle of big sis Pram's district. I smell a rat!

    1. The last thing we need is those two tag-teaming their way to billionaire status.

  2. Neither are our "pal"...


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