More About This Website


"Give me your tired, your poor

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss'd to me

I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door."

Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax


Half of the US Is Broke


The myth of the Christian country


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937


Middle East friendship chart


Corporations enriching shareholders


Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks



"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  





  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:


  • Jim Hightower:

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column

Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 

Hard Times in Oregon: 


The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   




    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People


    Connecting the dots between homelessness & hunger in Oregon and Washington County: 


•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.


•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

     In Washington County, Oregon's "economic engine," the divide between the affluent and the working poor continues.  We have a 19,000 unit gap in affordable low income rental housing.  County political and business leaders are indifferent to this crisis...   


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RAD Lines

See my FACEBOOK @ Russ


  • He lost by 2.9 million votes...

  • He's a con artist...

  • He's a pathological liar... 

  • He's a failed business man...

  • He's a fascist... 


Trump & The Mob


Trump's role models are Vladmir Putin and Benito Mussolini.  He has contempt for our checks and balances system.  He wants to "rule" not govern like a strong man, a despot.  He will shredd the Constitution anytime he feels the urge to do so and like all despots he only listens to his inner circle.  And he is paranoid and narcissistic. 


Hundreds of Oregon Corporations Escape the Minimum Tax


Half of the US Is Broke


The myth of the Christian country


Housing Needs in Oregon 




"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1940

  • "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild

  • Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha  

Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw



From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman - The New York Times

Democracy Now

The Daily Kos

Blue Oregon


"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001

    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 



"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  


"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' 

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"  

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921) 

"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."  

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11 

"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”   

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."    

- Abraham Lincoln 

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society  

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..." 

- Edmund Burke  

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”  

- Jonathan Swift 

A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  


"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison



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It’s a



"We write to make suffering endurable, evil intelligible, justice desirable and love possible." 

- Roger Rosenblatt in "Unless It Moves The Human Heart."  


     This blog is dedicated to the principle that the role of an academic, pundit and community organizer - what Ernest Boyer terms "public intellectuals" - should be to afflict the well-born and powerful and to advocate for and comfort those of lesser places in the social order.
     The RAD blog aspires to be in the tradition of such iconoclastic figures in US history from H.L. Menken - "For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong" and I.F. Stone - "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out."

    The RAD blog is also guided by the assumption that readers of blogs have a longer attention spans than a nanno second. This blog is an editorial page blog not a text message blog like most you see online. The author doesn't believe that we all suffer from attention deficit disorder (ADD).

A Primer on Political Blogging:

    With blogging, twittering, tweeting, face book & cell phones we’ve entered a “brave new world” of information sharing where the key is the reader’s own intellectual filter and compass to decipher the good, the bad and the ugly.
    Readers normally filter what they read whether in a hand held daily newspaper, listening to the radio and/or watching TV news.  But with all these sources now available online it makes the job of being a “critical reader” even more important.
    Risk factors:

•    Garbage in, garbage out
•    Attention deficit problem
•    Internal censorship
•    The echo chamber effect
•    Mobilization of bias
    What do we bring to this process?

•    Are we pro-active or passive?
•    Are we biased or open to other views?
•    Are we engaged politically so that we have some idea based on experience by which to filter claims and counter claims?

    Types of blogs and/or web sites
•    Journalist blogs
•    Partisan blogs
•    Policy wonk blogs
•    Candidate blogs
•    Lib/Con blogs
•    Commentary blogs
•    Public official blogs          

    If we assume blogs can/will replace daily journalism we are mistaken.  We are confusing the information delivery system with the need for basic day-to-day information on our local communities, state and national affairs.  This requires journalistic boots on the ground following the events of the day wherever they might take place.
    What does this mean as newspapers die and/or merge?  It means that daily newspapers which survive are even more important.  It opens up the market to community newspapers which serve regions within a metro area.  Some dailies may end up being online only focusing on investigative journalism.  It also makes PBS and its affiliates more important to plug the gaps.
    This may also force the deep pockets of the two major political parties to fund local daily newspapers as they did in colonial times through the 1940s.  The penny press was a partisan press.  Only with the onset of for profit commercial journalism did we see the emergence of the so-called politically “neutral” press. 
    Oregonians as late as the 1960s had three papers to read – the Portland Journal, a Democratic leaning daily, the Oregonian, a self-described “Independent Republican” daily and the Portland Reporter, a pro-union paper.  If the current business model no longer works for dailies how about a return to a partisan press?


      This blog is a non-commerical endeavor compared to many blogs which use advertising to subsidize their habit.  RAD is an unpaid blogger and therefore untainted by money and its addictions.  I also don't take posts by other contributors and/or bloggers unless I know them personally.  

Tom McCall Forum

2007: Lee Hamilton & John Bolton
2006: Tom Daschle & Pat Buchanan
2005: Howard Dean & Richard Perle
2004: Molly Ivins & William Kristol
2003: Bill Bradley & David Gergen
2002: Newt Gingrich & Ralph Nader
2001: Alan Dershowitz & Ralph Reed
2000: Mary Matalin & James Carville
1999: C. Everett Koop & Joseph Califano
1998: Haley Barbour & Leon Panetta
1997: Dan Quayle and Robert Kennedy, Jr.
1996: Mario Cuomo and Lynn Martin
1995: James Carville & William Safire
1994: Pierre Salinger & John Sununu
1992: Jesse Jackson & Peter Ueberroth
1991: Geraldine Ferraro & William Bennett
1990: Carl Bernstein & Michael Deaver
1989: Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. & Robert Bork
1988: Pat Schroeder & Jeane Kirkpatrick
1987: Robert McNamara & Zbigniew Brzezinski
1986: Andrew Young & Arthur Laffer
1985: George McGovern & James Watt
1984: William F. Buckley, Jr. & Dick Clark
1983: Mulford Q. Sibley, Howard Phillips & Admiral Noel Gayler
1982: Cal Thomas & Sam Brown 

Reflections on the McCall Forum: 

     As the founder and coordinator of this event I was adamant that this event was for Pacific students and not just a PR event.  That's why I opposed until 1992 moving the main event to Portland.  And it's why every year our guests came to campus to begin the day with a campus Q&A and often lunch with students, who also attended the banquet.  

     My goal for the Forum was to enable students to see national figures up front and personal, to ask them questions, one on one and to make politics a lively topic on campus.  Students were hosts to our guests, introduced them and were members of the panels at the main event in the PAC or at the Schnitzer. 

     Over the 25 year history of the Forum there are many experiences that stand out.  When we went from a small audience of several hundred in the University Center to a larger audience in the PAC plus a banquet preceding the event in 1984, the Forum became a major public affairs event in the Metro area and in Oregon. 

     Watching William F. Buckley, Jr. - the patron saint of modern conservative thought - enter the banquet in the UC of over 400 people, was akin to seeing the room being levitated.  In the debate with former Senator Dick Clark (D, Iowa) over whether liberalism was dead - you could see the lights turn on in students heads realizing they were a liberal or conservative.  

     I've often been asked what were the "best" debates? 

     I'd start with the least seen debate in 1983, which coincided with the last episode of MASH.  The only 3 person debate introduced us to the concept of "high frontiers" which later became known as the Reagan "Star Wars" military buildup.  This was followed by the 1987 debate on "Star Wars" by Robert McNamara & Zbigniew Brzezinski.  The PAC was filled to the brim and you could hear a pin drop given the audience's rapt attention. 

     The 1988 campus Q&A featuring Pat Schroeder & Jeane Kirkpatrick was more memorable than the debate because both women recalled with our students how being a woman affected their lives at a time when women were not encouraged to enter political life.  Kirkpatrick as our UN ambassador was the first woman to ever enter the Situation Room in the White House.  Schroeder who graduated #1 from Harvard Law was told she'd never make it.   

     The 1989 Forum featured Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. & Robert Bork, who had just been turned down by the Senate as a Supreme Court justice.  Again, the large audience was captivated by a very erudite discussion of the Constitution and the debate over "original intent" which still goes on today.  As an event which was begun to enliven the level of political discourse on campus this was most rewarding to see. 

    The 1995 Forum between James Carville & William Safire was memorable for many reasons.  In his interview by local radio and TV media in the foyer of the Heathman Hotel, Carville did it in his running shorts having just jogged through the Park Blocks with several Pacific political science majors!  Carville and Safire, one of the oddest pairings in the Forum's history, drew clear Left/Right lines in the sand for the audience at the Schnitzer.

     The 1999 Forum between C. Everett Koop & Joseph Califano was less a debate and more of a discussion of health care reform which made the case for reform to be mirrored in 2008 by Obamacare.  Those in the audience who wanted to see blood flow were disappointed, RAD was not!  Like the Forum in 2003 with Bill Bradley & David Gergen it was nice to see comity rule over partisanship if only for a moment.  

     Other memorable moments: 

     My colleague Joe Story and RAD riding in separate helicopter trips from PDX in 1991 with William Bennett & Geraldine Ferraro, respectively, landing on the old Pacific football field.  Ferrarro loved the experience, Bennett didn't seem as pleased!   

     Spending the entire day in 1992 with Jesse Jackson in Portland as he made stops at events in Portland which concluded with him in a solo Q&A on campus in the UC with over 600 Pacific students at noon.  Had a similar road experience with Ralph Nader in 2002. 

     Picking up the ebullient James Carville & in cognito Mary Matalin at PDX in 2000 and watching them in the town car ride to campus exchange cell phones in animated conversations with TV news notables about the South Carolina GOP primary that day.      

     The "shoe" at the  2005 Howard Dean & Richard Perle Forum when a fellow threw two shoes at Perle, then was tackled by Dan "the Man" James with "assists" by the President and Chair of the Board!  Fortunately the thrower's aim was bad.  It got worldwide headlines. 

     Last but not least - working with several generations of my students and Pacific university relations staff on this event. 

     My favorite people -

     George McGovern for sheer decency.  What you saw on TV was the same person you saw up front.  Michael Deaver who was amazingly minus a big ego and who understood what I went through in managing this event.  James Carville, the most fun to be with and the only person who was invited back with Mary of course in 2002.

     Others of note:  Arthur Laffer, Molly Ivins, Pat Schroeder, Leon Panetta, Bill Bradley and Howard Dean.  

     The most brilliant -

     Bobby Kennedy Jr. who trashed Dan Quayle in 1997 in the campus Q&A and the forum.  And surprise, surprise, Newt Gingrich who in 2002 faced off with Ralph Nader, not exactly a dummy himself.   Others of note - Zbigniew Brzezinski (1987);  Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. (1989), Mario Cuomo (1996) and David Gergen (2003).  

     My most terrifying Forum moments - 

     William F. Buckley's secretary calling my home at 7 a.m. the day of the 1984 Forum, asking where is Oregon in relation to Detroit and Dallas?   Only a New Yorker would ask that question!  Mario Cuomo bailing out 4 days before the 1991 Forum and then his co-debater, George Will pulling the plug too!   We had a sold out banquet and Schntzer!   

     Funniest moment at the Forum - 

     Mario Cuomo in 1996 launching into his formal remarks at the pre-debate banquet in the Grand Ballroom at Portland's Hilton Hotel.  Clearly he hadn't read the timeline script for the event.  Finally, after President Gabelnick and I stood up with our rain coats on he got the point.   The banquet audience didn't seem to mind.  At least this time he was here and couldn't bail out on us again!   


    RAD earned his B.A. from Whitman College (1964) and M.A. (1969), Ph.D. (1973) from the University of Minnesota. At Whitman Russ focused on American politics under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Y. Fluno. At the University of Minnesota Russ studied political philosophy under the mentorship of Dr. Mulford Q. Sibley. But as one looks back on a 39 plus year career, my true mentor in things political was my father, Charles A. Dondero.
     When not blogging, teaching or lobbying, RAD can be found on the golf course.  When the rains come RAD will be in the train room running his S-gauge model train empire. RAD is a UW Husky true believer and a Seattle Mariners fan. As RFK once said "politics is a sport played by adults" so RAD is never far from the field of dreams on the course, in the stands, in the train room or in the spin zone!


1Hole in One, Ghost Creek, Pumpkin Ridge GC, #11 July 27, 2007

More on RAD:

  • B.A. 1964 - Whitman College (Major: Political Science)

  • M.A. 1968 - University of Minnesota (Major: Political Science)

  • PH.D. 1973 - University of Minnesota (Major: Political Science)

Teaching Career:

  • Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA: Assistant Professor 1969-74

  • Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR: Assistant to Full Professor, 1974-2005

  • Portland State University, Portland, OR: Adjunct Professor, 2005-2009

  • Oasis Adult Learning Center, Portland, OR:  Lectureer, Fall 2010

  • Lewis & Clark College, Adjunct Professor, Fall 2010


  • Recipient in 1996 of the Honor of Merit award for his founding and leadership of the annual Tom McCall Forum, now in it’s 24th year

  • Honored in May 2002 by an anonymous alumi donor for contribution to Pacific University establishing - “The Story-Dondero Chair for the Study of Politics & the Economy”

  • Honored in February of 2005 by Pacific political science alums with the founding of the "Dondero Scholarship" fund for internship support

  • Honored with rank of Professor Emeritus of Politics & Government by Pacific University, Commencement 2005

  • Honored on November 7, 2007 upon his retirement as founder/coordinator of the Tom McCall Forum

Fields of Teaching:

  • Parties & Elections

  • State & Local Politics

  • Politics & the Media

  • The US Congress

  • The Presidency

  • Politics of Education

  • Politics of Health Care

  • Political Philosophy

  • Mentor to 50 plus student interns (at Dickinson, Pacific & PSU) leading to successful careers in public service;

Administrative responsibilities:

  • Founder/Coordinator, annual Tom McCall Forum - 1981 to 2007

  • Project Director, $450,000 per Hewlett Grants 1998-2004, phase I and II

Past Service (partial list):

  • Served as Chair, Department of Politics & Government 1980-1998, 2001-2002;

  • Chair, Division of Social Sciences (1994-97);

  • Chair of the Campus Governance Council (predecessor to University Council;

  • Chair of Arts & Sciences Faculty;

  • Member of the University Council, the Judicial Council, the Standards & Advising Committee, the Admissions Committee.

Scholarly & Related Activities:

  • Member Pacific Northwest Political Science Association since 1974,

  • President PNWPSA 2003-2004;

  • Occasional participant in regional and national political science professional meetings including the APSA and WPSA

  • Frequently interviewed and quoted by TV, broadcast and print media in Oregon and beyond relative to Oregon politics…

  •  Columnist for Forest Grove News-Times, 2009 - present


  • 2001: A co-author of 2 chapters on the media and interest groups in a book about Oregon politics published by the University of Nebraska Press (2005) - book jacket below

  • 1999: Contributor to Outside Money: Soft Money & Issue Ads in Competitive 1998 Congressional Elections, A Report of a Grant Funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, edited by David Magelby, BYU – the basis for a major text on this subject

  • 1999: Consultant project/analysis on neighborhood sustainability in Racine, Wisconsin and San Diego, California for McKeever/Morris

  • 1983: Sabbatical, City Commissioner Margaret Strachan's Office, Portland, OR. Produced Report Analyzing Staff Relationships In Commissioner’s Office

  • 1980: Staff Writer of Community Correction Task Force Report, Washington County, Oregon

  • 1976: Lilly Grant Intern to Alan Weber, Office of the Mayor, Portland, OR. Produced Report On Community Participation For Mayor & Staff

Faculty Internships, Consultantships & Related Experiences:

  • 1976 - Sabbatical - Office of the Mayor of Portland, OR. 
  • 1979 - KBOO-FM, Community Radio, Portland, OR. 
  • 1983 - Sabbatical - City Commissioner Margaret Strachan's Office, Portland, OR. 
  • 1984 - Staff Writer, Washington County Justice Task Force Report 
  • 1991 - Sabbatical - Low Income Housing Advocate
  • 1991 - 1997 - Member of the Housing Lobby Coalition
  • 1993 - Chair, Housing Task Force, Washington County 
  • 1994 - Chair, Citizen Participation Task Force, Washington County
  • 1997 - 2014 - Member Housing Alliance 
  • 1999 - 2008 - Washington County Housing Authority Advisory Council,
  • 1999 - Sabbatical - consultant with McKeever/Morris
  • 2007 - 2008 - Leadership Group of Washington County's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness
  • 2006 - present - Washington County's Interfaith Committee on Homelessness, IFCH
  • 2009 - present - Washington County Thrives
  • 2009 - present - Washington County Homeless Plan Advisory Committee, HPAC
  • 2011 - 2017 - Chair (retired) Washington County Citizen Action Network - WC-CAN
  • 2014 - Retired Member of TRIA - Taypayer Return on Investment Act Coalition
  • 2015 - Retired - Member of Air Quality Advisory Committee -AQAC
  • 2015 - present - Board Member, Pacific University Center for Peace & Spirituality

Contributor to the definitive book on Oregon politics: