Bentz subtly builds influence at legislature


By Pat Caldwell

The Enterprise

SALEM – Long before most of his constituents are awake, Cliff Bentz rises in the darkness of his apartment in Salem to prepare for another day at the Oregon Legislature.
His morning routine is a familiar one for the Ontario lawmaker after spending 10 years representing the voters of District 60. During the session, he is usually up by 4 a.m., but won’t see his apartment until after 7 p.m. Every dawn signals another day where he will sit in meetings, meet lobbyists and handle concerns from voters while he works to create legislation he hopes will help his district.
“You have to be half crazy to do this,” he said with a laugh.
In his decade at the Legislature, Bentz has slowly and subtly accrued political influence.
Now, Bentz is either a member or vice chairman of several powerful . . .