This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 26, 2004 8:40 PM. The previous post in this blog was Just say no. The next post in this blog is Too much information. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Nick of time

It's been a big day for Portland City Council candidate Nick Fish. He's been endorsed by The Oregonian, which today changed its mind from the primary, when it backed his opponent, Sam Adams.

It's a big deal to be endorsed by the O -- especially when you've also gotten the nod (at least so far) from Willamette Week. And while scoring the vote of an editorial board is always a coup, having a newspaper reverse field and withdraw an endorsement of one's opponent is sweet indeed.

It couldn't come at a better time for Fish. Although his campaign is displaying extreme confidence at this point, my own intuition is that the race is very close, and that Adams has closed the sizeable gap from the primary to virtually nothing. The talk I'm hearing is all of Adams, and while the Fish lawn signs appear to have dwindled in number, the Sam signs keep popping up wherever I drive. And the ballots will be hitting the mailboxes any time now, won't they?

The new Adams signs are funny to me. In the primary and all summer, the font and format of his lawn placards was totally West Hills chic -- stately and dignified, like something out of a Rejuvenation catalog. All of a sudden, the new ones are straight outta 82nd Street -- "We trust Sam to SHAKE UP City Hall!" in a font reminiscent of an early Superman comic.

Apparently Adams's camp has finally figured out that the voters of Portland are sickened by the junk coming out of the Council Chambers the last few years, and that the only way to win this race is to disown all of it. Of course, for Adams, whose years as mayoral aide has earned him the title of the "brains behind Vera Katz," to tout his "outsider" status is ridiculous. But that's what he's selling this month, and I think people are buying. (BTW, if you put those brains in a bird, it would fly backward.)

Everybody says what a close call it is between Adams and Fish. Both would be worthy of the seat that they're seeking. And if Adams were to run against Dan "Nemo" Saltzman, I'd vote for him in a minute.

But this is Fish's time.

The O also endorsed Jim Francesconi today, a hopeless cause if there ever was one. (Oh yeah, I hear there's a poll that that race is suddenly close, but there was also a poll before the primary that gave James Posey 10 percent of the vote.) Interestingly, the editorial supporting Fish based its rationale in part on the more likely outcome that Tom Potter will be elected mayor. Apparently, the O prefers Potter-Fish "chemistry" to Potter-Adams. Potter-Adams would be two "insiders," and the O would rather have one "outsider" in the mix.

I agree. As much as Potter's backers see him as an agent of change, that's a doubtful proposition. As the Willamette Week suggested the other day, if Potter is elected, there's a good chance that Commissioner Erik Sten, Mr. Consummately Inside, will be the de facto mayor. Potter doesn't know his way around most city bureaus at all, and he'll likely count on Sten, whose endorsement propelled his candidacy, to sweat the details. And so to me, a vote for Potter is only a mild statement of displeasure at the current state of affairs at City Hall.

All the more reason to try to say something with a vote for Nick Fish. When it comes to breaking the stranglehold that the developers and the West Hills Old Money have on Portland, he at least looks as though he may be the real deal. He and Randy Leonard have the potential to be the most dynamic duo that the council has seen in decades.

(Elsewhere in municipal election news, the latest campaign finance disclosures are reportedly due tomorrow. It will be interesting to see who pungles up the dough to finance these races -- or has their secretaries do so.)

UPDATE, 9/27, 10:25 p.m.: Nick Fish's latest campaign contribution disclosures really worry me. If he's going to shake up City Hall, you couldn't tell it from the many moneyed interests here in town who are bankrolling his campaign in the general election. I've toned down some of my high praise for him in this post accordingly, and I'll have a separate post about this shortly.

Comments (7)

In fact, the reportedly-forthcoming poll apparently puts F at 41% and P at 38% with 21% undecided.

As you point out, however, it's also apparently the same company and the same sample size as a primary poll, which had F at 27%, P at 16%, Posey at 12%, Busse at 6%, other at 5%, and 24% undecided. The actual primary results were 42% for Potter and 34% for Francesconi.

So who knows.

Meanwhile, KGW teased its late-night newscast by saying "big endorsement in the Portland mayor race." Why it's big news that The O endorsed Francesconi, just as it did in the primary, escapes me.

Back in the day, the TV stations around here made high-profile endorsements of their own. Now they don't know or care enough to do so. It's also interesting that KGW refuses to take ads in certain races, including Fish-Adams, while they gladly accept them in others, such as the ballot measures and Wu-Ameri. The whole TV industry is run by accountants, which is why people are going to continue to turn to places like blogs.

Great post. Thanks.

You would think F and P would get the clue (I think they have) that the stank of multiple years of City Hall is what is hurting them.

I really hope Fish can get elected and perhaps infuse some new ideas before this place looks like Vancouver BC lite and adopts the official PDC look replete with subsidies for the sanctioned developers.

With Potter, you're right, he will probably have Sten's hand up his back.

Sorry, I meant Franscesconi and Adams have the stank . . .

I'm an unabashed Fish Fan! Another reason I really like him is that he showed up to so many Dean events and met the people who were new to politicking and getting to know their community's issues and really listened to them.

As for the O endorsement - it did them a lot of good in the primary to go for F (not) - but I tend to concur with you on P's negotiating of the political sharks once he gets in office. He's a guy with vision, but I don't know that he'll be as bold once he gets there. But in any event, he's a hell of a lot better than F.

The reason the Fish/Adams race is more engaging is because we get to vote for someone inspiring instead of voting against the worse evil, which is most common in our various elections.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Nick of time:

» Mass Confusion Among Polls In Mayoral Race from The One True b!X's PORTLAND COMMUNIQUE
There appears to be some serious weirdness going on in the world of polls in the Mayoral race between Jim Francesconi and Tom Potter in recent weeks. [Read More]

Clicky Web Analytics