Readers Respond: Nothing unusual about Hardesty’s debt

Steve Duin’s column on Jo Ann Hardesty’s alleged tax irresponsibility (“Jo Ann Hardesty, on the money,” April 9), which follows Shane Dixon Kavanaugh’s coverage of her credit card debt (“Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty calls credit card problems a ‘personal failure’ and says she has started making payments.” April 1) says less about Hardesty than about the authors’ disconnection from the life of the average Oregonian.

above 80% of Americans are in debt. What’s particularly annoying about the focus on Hardesty is that she ran into debt during her campaign. The implication of The Oregonian/OregonLive’s stance is that someone who cannot afford to self-fund their campaign, or who does not have enough connections among wealthy donors and the political class, should not run for office. Do we really want a city ruled only by the rich and political insiders?

As for hand-wringing about their gambling habits, give me a break. It is a legal pastime in which she appears to participate responsibly. To add to the absurdity, The Oregonian/OregonLive publishes a list of websites where readers can find lottery results — in the print edition, it appeared just below Duin’s column.

Katelyn Best, Portland

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