Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Harl Haas Remembered

HAAS for AG 1980 Pin
The Oregonian reported recently that retired Multnomah Co. Judge Harl Haas passed away at the age of 80. Earlier in his career he had been elected to the Oregon House and was later appointed to the Oregon Senate. For at time Haas served as District Attorney. He sought nominations for Congress, and Governor in 1974. Later, in 1980, he won the Democratic nomination for Attorney General. While he would end up losing that race, he eventually found a a seat as a Multnomah Co. Judge in 1985 where he served until his retirement in 2001.

This article, from the Eugene Register-Guard talks about the Haas for Governor campaign from 1974. He was one of several prominent Democrats running for the nomination. James Redden, Betty Roberts, and Bob Straub were 3 of 10 eventual Democratic candidates. The campaign opened up with a three city announcement tour in Portland, Eugene, and Medford.

1974 was going to be the first election in eight years when Tom McCall would not be a candidate for Governor. It isn't surprising that so many candidates (15) from both parties sought the office.

Below are some items from his short Gubernatorial campaign an a pin for District Attorney. 
For some reason, a mystery right now to me, Haas dropped out of the race for governor and mounted a campaign that same year for the 3rd Congressional District nomination. I have yet to find out exactly why this change came about, but one could gather that with 10 candidates on the ballot Haas believed he had better chances running in a smaller field of congressional candidates. With prominent state officials like James Redden, Bob Straub and the well known State Senator Betty Roberts it is hard to know where Haas fit in the race. Democratic activists and donors would be splitting up into various camps or simply waiting for the dust to settle in the primary. He might have recalculated his decision once all the candidates started actively campaigning.
look closely at this sticker.

His legacy will largely reflect his years in the court room as a District Attorney and County Judge. He helped make modern day Oregon courts what they are today. He was in charge of creating Oregon's first court ordered restitution program in 1976. In the early 90s he started the Sanctions Treatment Opportunity Progress drug court program. This program allowed durg offenders of non violent crimes to get treatment for their addiction. It was one of just a handful of such programs in the country at the time.

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