A History of Bullying

John Ludlow wants to be the Chairman of the Clackamas County board of Commissioners.

John’s campaign is funded in large part by Nevada millionaire Loren Parks and out of county Stimson Lumber.

John and his gang of self described “Clackastani” warriors would like to take Clackamas County back to the good old bad days of the 40s and 50s.  The days when men could do what ever they wanted.

Before you cast your vote, here are some things you should know about John. 

You should determine for yourself whether Mr Ludlow has the temperament or skill set necessary to be the head administrator of the third largest county in Oregon.

For starters, people have been calling John Ludlow a Bully for decades.

John Ludlow started as Mayor of Wilsonville in 1989. By the summer of 1990 the recall committee formed. They called him "rude, discourteous, biased, belligerent and bellicose to citizens." By February of 1991 he was done. That's right. Two years into his term John quit. People were relieved. They were happy they wouldn't have to listen to him "berate" the other councilors anymore. (Wilsonville Spokesman Feb. 6, 1991).

Sorry, No Respect For The Little Guy

When Wilsonville wanted to close an entrance to a mobile home park in 1990, the park’s residents objected.  The reaction of the then-Mayor Bully prompted a recall effort as park residents accused him of being “a bully, verbose, and he ignored the citizens.”  He openly engaged in side conversation as people tried to testify. The Bully would resign before the recall gathered steam.

My Way Or The Highway

Outvoted by his Wilsonville city council on a vote of no-confidence against the city manager, The Bully was two years into his term in 1991 when he up and resigned without finishing his term.  That night he took the city manager to a Blazer game and surprised him by buying a flattering statement on the Big Screen at the game.  So much for the citizens or the council.  That’ll show ‘em!

Let’s Try The Planning Commission.

Appointed some 10 years later to the Wilsonville Planning Commission, The Bully made people so mad the city council voted 3-2 to toss him off that board. His reaction was to sue the city. (Oregonian 2002) Detractors called him rude and belligerent and others said “fascist dictator” who “verbally shoves aside those who disagree with him,” said The Oregonian.   He has never finished a term to which he was either elected or appointed.

The Bully’s Anti-Charlotte Lehan Vendetta is 20 Years Old

The Bully tried to mount a recall against then-Mayor Charlotte Lehan when she proposed using urban renewal to build a new Wilsonville City Hall.  Lehan also voted to oust The Bully from the Planning Commission after bending over backwards to his supporters and appointing him despite his reputation for disruptive and rude behavior.

Just Skip Paying Those Taxes This Year, Honey

Three years without paying federal income taxes brought a $73,469 lien against The Bully and his then-spouse in 1997.

Better Yet, Let’s Just Claim Bankruptcy

Which is what he did in 2000.  No doubt part of his debt was the second mortgage he took out on his house to pay the federal lien three years earlier and perhaps finance his kids college education (read on).

Chapter 7 bankruptcy: Nothing Like Doing A Job On ‘The Man’

We all know the only way to pay back a college loan is years of hard work or by dying.  Bankruptcy doesn’t cut it.  But when The Bully needed money to help his kids through college, do you think he co-signed a college loan for them?  No way.  Instead, he took out a personal loan, applied the money to their college needs Then when he declared bankruptcy, the debt was gone.  Cute trick.  Wonder if he’d be up to those kind of shenanigans with Clackamas County money?

Know Them By The Company They Keep

When State Rep. Matt Wingard’s sex-for-employment scandal broke earlier this year, he was working as a campaign consultant to The Bully.  His reaction?  Wingard is a “great advisor”, he told The Oregonian, and gave Wingard a check for $10,000.  This is the same guy  (Wingard) who ten years ago pleaded guilty to hitting his seven-year-old son with a screwdriver.

If You Don’t Get Your Way, Just Sue Those Guys

That’s a favorite ploy of The Bully and some of his supporters.  In this case, it’s the Maletis brothers who own the Langdon Farms golf course property between Charbonneau and Wilsonville.  They want to turn it into a warehouse-laden, heavily paved industrial park or a casino.  Sorry, say various agencies, can’t be done.  Illegal.  So what do you do when it seems you can’t win?  Sue!  They filed a suit against Clackamas County, Metro and the State Land Conservation and Development Commission.  But if The Bully were elected County Chair, you can bet he’d help his pals re-develop the golf course in a heart beat.  After all, they’ve given him $10,000 for his campaign.

But Wait, Officer, I’m An Important Guy

Most everyone has had a traffic ticket or two.  But The Bully, who has certainly had his share, tried to throw his weight around when a cop pulled him over in Vancouver a few years ago.  Getting into his best “I’m one of you, an authority type”-roles, he confided to the officer that as the former mayor of Wilsonville maybe the cop could cut him some slack.  Yup, its on the record.  The cop wrote the ticket.  So much for trying to be a big shot.

Breaking The Law Now, Will He Break It Later?

Anyone who drives their car in Clackamas County has seen one—and some would say, one too many—big 4 x 8 political signs urging support for The Bully and his amiga, Shootie Smith.  Most of those signs are in clear violation of county—and often city—ordinances.  That’s right, both by size and by lack of permit.  Wonder which laws they’ll want to break if they get into office?  By the way, the county can’t enforce its sign ordinances due to lack of adequate staff.  (Great!  Let’s cut the budget further!  Everyone loves our signs!)

Fighting Against New Jobs For Wilsonville

Just last year The Bully battled the notion of tax breaks and urban renewal to bring 500 Solo Power manufacturing jobs from California to Wilsonville, calling it a waste of taxpayer money.  When it appeared the city council was pressing ahead despite his views, he threatened a full-scale public vote.  Disgusted at the unnecessary controversial delay, Solo Power went to Portland instead.  “I don’t have time to mess around,” CEO Tim Harris told The Oregonian.  “We’re burning money” waiting to go ahead.  Solopower is now offering employment in Portland at an average salary of $55,000.

Sorry, I’m Not Standing by My Guns

The Bully was a leading proponent of a big urban renewal project in Wilsonville in 1990, when Ludlow dismissed critics of the plan. Many taxpayers and the school district opposed. So did the voters.  After the measure lost, The Bully lost the courage of his convictions and voted against it when it came before the council.  So much for believing in what you’re fighting for.  Sort of like leading by following.

First You Say You Will And Then You Won’t

Should a women’s prison be built in Wilsonville?  Hell, no! Said The Bully in 1996 when the state first announced its plans.  He led the opposition, forming “Stop Any Future Escapees This Year”.  (S.A.F.E.T.Y.  Clever, huh?)  Unfortunately, it was a cheap trick as only three prisoners had escaped from all Oregon prisons since 1971.  Nothing like a little inflammatory rhetoric to stir up the troops.

Gee, It Sure Is Hard To Be Consistent Sometimes

The Bully is real good at opposing stuff.  When Republican Governor Vic Atiyeh wanted to put a men’s prison in Wilsonville in the early 1980’s, he came out in strong opposition.  Fifteen years later he fought the construction of the women’s prison, too.  This after telling The Oregonian he voted for a ballot measure in support.  But, hey, voting is private.  So after leading people against it, he did a 180-degree flip-flop and supported it.  Hard to keep up with The Bully sometimes.

Intimidation Works Every Time

When facts don’t work, use The Bully’s favorite tactic—intimidation.  That’s how he got Clackamas County to fork over more than double the market value of some Stafford Hamlet property it wanted to acquire for the roundabout at the intersection of Stafford and Borland Roads in 2007.  Valued at $58,500, he got $123,790 from the County for his client’s parcel.  How come?  Shrewd negotiation?  Maybe.  Intimidation?  Probably.  But giving his client, Ruth L Hanson, a ton of your county taxpayer money was a good thing. So was his commission, just ask The Bully.  

Conflict of Interest for The Mayor?  No Problem

Wilsonville’s need for a new fire station got the attention of The Bully when he was mayor.  After all, he is in the real estate business.  When a city council member questioned the possible impropriety, The Bully took the high ground, citing how the $270,000 site was ideally suited and located.  Of course.  Let’s see….6% of $270,000…$16,300.  Sure is nice being mayor.

The Bully Would Bar Council Candidates From Talking to Union Members

Wilsonville City Council candidates were invited to attend a union-sponsored “candidate’s fair”—to meet and greet voters.  “You may wish to reconsider your attendance,” The Bully Mayor baldly announced to candidates prior to the event.  One outraged candidate felt the statement was blatantly anti-union while another said, she felt “like he was trying to intimidate me, as though I would act inappropriately or unethically.”  She added, “Frankly, it made me want to attend the event even more.”  Just The Bully up to his old tricks.

Let’s Make The Decision In Private…Nobody Will Know

When Wilsonville city staff decided to unionize in October, 1990, then-Mayor Ludlow announced that the Friday after Thanksgiving, which was a traditional “doors closed for the holiday” at city hall, was off.  City Hall would be open Friday.  He called an executive session, behind closed doors, and, lo and behold, when he and his henchmen on the council voted on the issue, it was a done deal, in pretty darn near clear violation of state law against deciding public issues privately.

Great Idea!  Let’s Have The City Sponsor Public Psychic Sessions!

Yup, that’s exactly what Wilsonville did in May, 1990, paying Madeline Allen, a West Linn psychic, money from city taxpayers to conduct sessions entitled, “Metaphysical Experience” and “Journey Into Oneness.”  When a Baptist minister objected on the grounds of separation of church and state, The Bully pooh-poohed the whining, suggesting other religious groups could suggest classes, too.  Yeah, sure.

Steamrolling voters is bad

But we think raising taxes is worse. As mayor John tried to raise taxes twice. TWICE IN TWO YEARS. First he wanted to increase the tax base by 47-cents per $1,000 of assessed value. When that didn't happen he tried to increase the tax base by 46-cents per $1,000. (Oregonian and Wilsonville Spokesman 1990) Will you give us a penny for our thoughts John? We think our taxes are already high enough.