Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schrunk has joined the ill fated former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell, in making an end-of-career public pronouncement that exposes him as either a fool or a liar or both. Powell destroyed his credibility by unequivocally asserting the massing of large quantities of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq requiring a march to preemptive war. Schrunk destroyed his credibility by unequivocally asserting that the Housing Authority of Portland is above the law and therefore exempt from the Oregon Public Records Law.

We Americans continue to live with the costs in lives and treasure from Colin Powell's United Nations debacle. Mike Schrunk has now set a legal precedent in Oregon that will seriously diminish the ability of Oregonians to hold their public institutions accountable and in so doing he has provided evidence upon which citizens will rightfully view government with ever increasing cynicism.

In a letter dated March 4, 2010 Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schrunk established the following criteria related to his interpretation of the Oregon Public Records Law:

1. Requests for any kind of information from any public entity need not be addressed by that public entity unless the words, "Oregon Public Records Law" are included in the request.

2. Oregon District Attorneys may arbitrarily and with prejudice determine which citizens may or may not use email to conduct official business regarding the Oregon Public Records Law.

3. A public entity may withhold information indefinitely by merely refusing to send a letter of denial to the person requesting public documents.

4. Information kept by a public jurisdiction on a computer database is considered, "nonexistent" and cannot be compelled.

The Oregon legislature established the Oregon Public Records Law with the intent of giving the citizens of Oregon a legal tool to help them keep Oregon's public institutions accountable and their activities transparent. Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schrunk's ignorant, misguided, indeed perverted interpretation of the legislature's intent is tantamount to a revocation of the Oregon Public Records Law in Multnomah county.

Oregon attorneys, Oregon legislators and candidates for the legislature, the Oregon Attorney General, Oregon's governor and candidates for governor, law school professors and their students, journalists and every Oregonian should be concerned about Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schrunk's indefensible, albeit legal, decision making because it can have a pervasive debilitating effect on access to public records throughout every Oregon county and community.

The Housing Authority of Portland controls a publicly funded budget in excess of $80,000,000 per year which directly affects the lives of more than 700,000 residents of Multnomah county. HAP's board is appointed by the Portland city council which is not subject to election by 200,000 Multnomah county residents. Oregon law gives singular control of HAP through the power to dismiss HAP board members to the mayor of Portland who is not subject to election by 200,000 Multnomah county residents. HAP CANNOT and so it WILL NOT produce accurate, complete and timely records for its unproven claim of 33,000 public housing clients.

Public housing is a major political issue in North Portland and demands a public conversation, requiring Public Housing Statistical Data, between candidates and voters at election time, which is now.

The North Portland House district has the highest total number and the highest concentration of public housing clients of any district in Oregon. The OVERLOADING of Public housing in North Portland has a significant deleterious affect on public safety, schools, property values, the business climate and the general quality of life. Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schrunk's betrayal of the voters of North Portland and the democratic process is profound. 

Elections are about making choices. In the North Portland House race for the May 18, 2010 Democratic primary the choices are clear and dramatic. Richard Elllmyer supports Equitable Distribution of Public Housing and demands Public Housing Statistical Data from HAP to discuss the issue with voters. Tina Kotek supports HAP's long discredited and abhorrent covert policy of UNLIMITED neighborhood concentration of Public Housing and declines to press for any Public Housing Statistical Data and engage in any conversations with voters on the matter.

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schrunk's refusal to require the Housing Authority of Portland to produce legitimate and legal public housing statistical data and so elevating this public entity to "above the law" status is no less a violation of public trust than Colin Powell's unfounded, false, hubristic declaration that WMD's in Iraq were, "above challenge."

As did Colin Powell, Mike Schrunk nears the end of his career with a disgraceful, disreputable and indefensible public performance.