Oregon governor's race hits home

A house in Camas has become one of the hottest political issues in Oregon.

Camas is in Clark County, of course, which should make the city a non-factor in Oregon politics. But that changed when former Portland Trail Blazer center Chris Dudley became the Republican nominee for governor.

Dudley has acknowledged buying a house in Camas during the 1990s so he wouldn’t have to pay Oregon taxes on all of his income. The move helped him avoid paying taxes on things like capital gains, investment income and endorsements.

A commercial aired by former governor John Kitzhaber, the Democratic nominee, scolded Dudley for living in Camas to avoid supporting Oregon schools and health care. Dudley’s campaign countered by saying that he paid more than $460,000 in Oregon income taxes on his Trail Blazer salary from 1993 to 1997.

In 1996, The Columbian did an extensive story about Dudley and his then-fiancee in their Lacamas Shores home. Former sports writer Ken Vance‘s story mentioned that Dudley took her out in a canoe on Lacamas Lake for a picnic, and then proposed to her. Vance’s story also mentioned that several rooms were unfurnished, interpreting that to mean that Dudley was not into possessions.

Now the discussion has taken another turn, with reports that Dudley continued to reside in a Portland home while using the Camas address to establish Washington residency.

Oregonian reporter Brent Walth, who did cite The Columbian’s 1996 story about Dudley, also talked with the couple who bought his Portland home in 1997. They told him it looked like Dudley had been living there. There was food in the fridge, clothes in the closets and basketball equipment that Dudley could use to practice shooting free throws.

Dudley was among the worst free-throw shooters in the NBA, by the way. So maybe you can draw your own conclusions about how much time Dudley spent in his Portland house.

Tom Vogt

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