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Sources Say: Cogenlosesbig.com wasn't available

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Embattled county Chair Jeff Cogen has renewed a website he used for his 2010 campaign.Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen has refused to say if he will run for re-election next year if he survives the scandal surrounding his affair with a county employee.

But his campaign committee just reported paying $200 to a media firm to renew a domain name for a website. Although the filing doesn’t say which one, it’s probably jeffcogen.com, his 2010 campaign website. It’s still up.

The firm is Mandate Media, which received $38,595 from the Cogen campaign in 2010 for management and advertising services. That was the year he was elected county chairman. Although the campaign committee hasn’t raise any money lately, it reports having $16,576 in the bank.

Meanwhile, still no word on the schedule — let alone outcome — of investigations into whether Cogen broke state laws or county policies during his affair.

Portland bridge names for $400, Alex

Sources has long accused TriMet of planning to name the new transit bridge over the Willamette River for former General Manager Fred Hansen. But now the regional transit agency has announced a lengthy election process for selecting the name that appears to rule that out. It includes the appointment of a Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge Naming Committee, a public name submission period, and two rounds of public comments.

The process kicks off Sept. 5 with the initial committee meeting. The final selection will be announced in Spring 2014.

Let’s hope the name is more interesting than the other bridges across the Willamette River, which are either named after associated streets (Broadway, Burnside, Fremont, Hawthorne, Morrison), where they go (Sellwood, St. Johns), what they go over (Ross Island), or what they’re made of (Steel).

Does anyone really remember who the Marquam Bridge is named after? Hint: He owned much of a hill that’s going to be connected to the bridge with an aerial tram.

Kitz wants to bang gavel for PERS, CRC

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber is expected to decide whether to call a special session of the Oregon Legislature within days. If he does, it will be a high-risk affair charged with politically volatile issues.

Kitzhaber has been touring the state talking about the need to increase education spending and rein in soaring Public Employee Retirement System costs. That means he is still hoping to sell lawmakers on a grand bargain to raise taxes and reduce PERS benefits, which are paid for by state and local governments.

Democrats, who control, the Legislature, are against cutting PERS. Republicans are against raising taxes. Our Oregon, a labor-backed advocacy groups, has filed several potential ballot measures to raise taxes on the wealthy, reducing the need for Democrats to compromise with Republicans on PERS.

Complicating the session will be the push by supporters of the Columbia River Crossing to build a scaled-back version of the project. Although the Washington Legislature failed to fund its share of the controversial project earlier this year, supporters says Oregon and the federal government can build a $2.75 billion version that ends in Washington at State Route 14. Project critics still oppose it, however.