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Scrap of carpet is relic of a lobbyist tradition

Ken Armstrong, public affairs director for ODF, is a former lobbyist as his father was before him.

PARIS ACHEN/CAPITAL BUREAU - Ken Armstrong, public affairs director at the Oregon Department of Forestry, stands next to scrap of old carpet from the governor's ceremonial office at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem. The framed carpet is in his office at ODF in Salem.Sitting in the office of Ken Armstrong, spokesman the Oregon Department of Forestry, it would be easy think the scrap of old carpet framed on the wall is emblematic of the agency's mission to manage forests.

The carpet, depicting a fir tree, actually comes from the floor of the governor's ceremonial office in the Oregon State Capitol. It's a relic from what you could call a family business — lobbying.

Armstrong's father, Ward, was a lobbyist at the Oregon State Capitol for decades. Armstrong eventually followed in his father's footsteps, before switching to a career in government public affairs.

Ward Armstrong, coincidentally, lobbied for the Oregon Forestry Council, as well as the Association of Oregon Counties.

Ken Armstrong's lobbying portfolio included: Oregon Fire Chiefs Association, county juvenile departments, Oregon Ports Association, Volunteer Firefighters Association, Oregon Juvenile Department Directors Association and the City of Tualatin.

Their time as lobbyists overlapped for only a brief period. Before Ward Armstrong left the lobbyist club, he obtained the scrap of carpet, apparently sometime when the carpet was being replaced.

Ken Armstrong now keeps the scrap on his wall in his ODF office in Salem.