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Tuesday, February 24, 2004

The races are on

I just noticed that Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard has his 2004 campaign website up and running. He's not facing serious competition for his seat, and so he should breeze to re-election.

It's well deserved. Leonard has shaken things up at City Hall, and any re-routing of the goofy path on which this municipality has been heading in recent years is most welcome.

The other races are more problematic. It's hard to think of Commissioner Jim Francesconi as anything other than more of the same if he's elected mayor, and so I'd be interested in an alternative. Former Police Chief Tom Potter is an option, I suppose, but I don't hear him talking in brave, concrete terms as Leonard does. Guess it's time to dig in to the thick field of other candidates in the mayoral race.

As for the other open council seat, I like Fish so far. I think he and Leonard could actually become the core that could really take Portland in a new direction. Surely Sam Adams, whose claim to fame is having spent most of his career serving as the Brains Behind Vera Katz™, is not appealing in the least. But there's probably some more homework that needs to be done on that race as well.

The election's less than three months away, so I guess I'd better get cracking.

Comments (5)

Sam Adams should be ripped for his part in the PFE boondoggle. As far as i know, he took a lead role in the "secret" negotiations. He needs to accept at least partial blame and we need to remind people that he needs to do this.

I'm sure you know he's out there, but give Phil Busse a look. I'm volunteering for him because I feel that he's the only candidate who embodies the progressive traditions Portland has drifted away from in recent years.

Sam is pro-neighbourhood and wants to see the citizens of Portland gain power and autonomy, and have a better say in how development monies are distributed in Portland.

Hi, Lily. Hey, I can only judge him on what he's done as Vera's aide. And it isn't what you've described here. Maybe he's got a new agenda, but that's going to be a hard sell for him.

It's interesting, to be sure. His current proposals are full of thigns such as citizen representation on the budget committee, independent oversight and public review of any new projects, and a commitment not to vote on such projects (even if he supports them) until and unless they've had such oversight and review.

How this plays into his role in the PGE Park matter (which I'm still not up to speed on) is anyone's guess. And in the recent City Club debate between Adams and Fish, Fish specifically took aim at the PGE Park matter, saying he would never agree to waive his right to look at the financials of a deal the way City Council did on this one.

But my own awareness of the PGE Park deal is very, very murky, so I won't weigh in on either side of that one just yet.

Forgot: What's interesting about the debate also is that it was Adams who brought up PGE Park, not Fish. If nothing else, that means he's opened to door and it's up to those wo are interested in the issue to walk through it and ask him directly.

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