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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 1, 2004 12:57 PM. The previous post in this blog was An old friend's passing away. The next post in this blog is PGE 2.0. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Wednesday, December 1, 2004


One of the topics that got lost in the Thanksgiving blur was a Willamette Week cover story profiling Portland Tribune columnist Phil Stanford. In particular, the article detailed Stanford's relentless crusade, begun when he was at The Oregonian years ago, to prove that the murder of Oregon Corrections chief Michael Francke was not committed by Frank Gable, the Salem thug who's doing hard time for it, but instead by someone connected with corruption in the state's prisons.

Stanford revved the story back up with a vengeance over the summer, shortly after the Neil Goldschmidt statutory rape scandal broke. He had been sitting on the Goldschmidt story for quite a while when the Willamette Week decided to go for it; Phil even wound up apologizing in print for not having run the tawdry news sooner himself. Apparently he doesn't want to be saying he's sorry for a similar silence in the Francke case.

Stanford's got some other pet themes that I enjoy reading. Lately he's been ridiculing the City of Portland's pollyannish plan to finance local political campaigns with tax dollars. After a couple of shots at the proposal, one fairly extended, the columnist boiled his objections down yesterday to this:

Those "Clean Money" guys down at City Hall crack me up.... If they really wanted to eliminate big campaign money, all they'd have to do is place a limit -- say $25 or $100 -- on contributions to their own campaigns. Tom Potter did it, and look where it got him.... But of course that's not what's going on here. What they want is to have all that nice, clean tax money handed to them so they don't have to do the dirty work of collecting contributions.... Can't blame them for trying, though. If I were a politician and thought I could get away with it, I'm sure I'd do the same thing....

You tell 'em, Phil! I'm all for getting developer and union cash out of city politics -- the recent campaign finance disclosures, posted on the internet for the amusement of all, have been enough to curl my thinning Polish-Irish hair -- but I can't see doing it out of property tax dollars. This is a city that's so broke that the mayor has a canned little speech for everyone (including an under-budgeted Police Bureau) about how tough times are, that there's no money for anything. It's the city with the highest combined state and local tax burden on individuals west of the Mississippi. And we've got money lying around to be on the cutting edge with this? Funded differently, it's worth a try; paid for out of property taxes, it's a disgrace.

Of course, it's going to happen, at least for a while. Commissioner Erik Sten, whose upcoming re-election bid would be one of the first beneficiaries of the new system, has got the votes on this from City Council newbies Sam "Vero" Adams and Tom "Grampy" Potter -- the first of many Brilliant Ideas that we'll see implemented over the next few years. So guys like Phil and I can howl all we want. (Meanwhile, over on Portland Communique, Christopher Frankonis, who knows from experience about the rigors of fundraising, thinks it's a great proposal, and he never changes his mind, so don't bother arguing with him about it.)

Anyway, here's to Phil.

Comments (15)

A week or so earlier Stanford blasted the "clean money" idea by challenging Sten directly, saying "so evidently you've been taking dirty money up until now". This public funding of city elections is, in my opinion, a slap in the face of Portland's electorate. If the council enacts it without voter approval we should scream bloody murder.

I like Phil's editorializing on the Clean Money proposal, too. I previously thought it was a great idea, but Stanford (and one other Trib columnist whose name I forget) managed to change my mind, at least. So good work for that.

Dave, Isn't that your name I see on some of those eye-popping campaign finance reports? 8c)

I'm far less enthused about the "clean money" campaign after this last election where the transparency of disclosure, I believe, actually worked. Francesconi's fundraising was huge, but we knew where it came from and we didn't like. So guess what? We didn't vote for him.

Something about all that sunshine hitting those reports, eh? Sten and Blackmer are to be commended for getting the listings up on the web so promptly. Now if they would just post them in a spreadsheet format (or require the candidates to do so), so that we could analyze them more easily and thoroughly...

never changes his mind, so don't bother arguing with him about it

A not uncommon affliction in the local political blogosphere.

I previously thought it was a great idea, but Stanford (and one other Trib columnist whose name I forget) managed to change my mind

The other one was Promise King, who oddly managed to have a hit column on the same subject in the same edition.

And I still haven't had the chance to do an actual breakdown of it, but if you compare what Stanford and King allege about the proposal with what the proposal says, and the experiences of other places that use similar systems, you'll notice that what the allege doesn't actually stand up and/or is easily countered by arguments of an at least as compelling nature.

So, in the end, Stanford and King haven't actually advanced a thoughtful debate on this proposal.

b!X, no offense intended with the "never changes his mind" crack. Just a statement of fact. When you're right, you're right, as I demonstrate here on a daily basis... 8c)

So, in the end, Stanford and King haven't actually advanced a thoughtful debate on this proposal.

Now that's downright smug. I haven't read King's column yet, but Stanford's got a lot of people suddenly thinking about Sten's motives, which are quite relevant. That's "advancing a thoughtful debate," albeit on the side opposite to the conclusion you have reached.

Theres another local blogger who never changes his mind either. His name rhymes with Schmogdanski.

Just statin a fact here.

b!X - Sorry, I don't understand giving public funds to people already in office so they can get their job back.

If they want the job so bad, use their own money. They can still take kickback funds regardless of this measure outside the electoral process, so I don't think it addresses the cleanliness issue.

In addition, they get more free money that could be spent on schools. Don't forget Mr Blackmer would also qual for $250K after spending a grand total of what - $200? to get re-elected.

Enough welfare for these guys.

b!X - Sorry, I don't understand giving public funds to people already in office so they can get their job back.

If they want the job so bad, use their own money. They can still take kickback funds regardless of this measure outside the electoral process, so I don't think it addresses the cleanliness issue.

In addition, they get more free money that could be spent on schools (or Mr Leonard's Police/Fire Disability boondoggle.) Don't forget Mr Blackmer would also qual for $250K after spending a grand total of what - $200? to get re-elected.

Enough welfare for these guys.


You probably did see my name on some campaign finance reports, but the figures weren't what I would call eye popping. Our business contributed $375.00 to the Francesconi campaign and $500.00 to the Adams campaign. At a fundraising auction for Adams, I was the high bidder on a piece of artwork for $1250.00. (By the way, don't drink wine at an auction). Earlier on, I think I wrote a check to the Adams campaign for about $200.00, but I don't have my check register here at the office so I can't say for sure. That adds up to $2325.00 in total for the race. It's not exactly chump change, but it certainly doesn't put me or my company in the heavy hitter category.

Now, the question is, did I think those donations would influence anyone's future vote? Of course not. Did I think those donations would buy "access" to those folks? Maybe, but it was really a moot point. I've found that I've been able to access council members via e mail and telephone from well before the campaign and have always received responses and been listened to.

So why make the donations? Because those were the guys I wanted to win, pure and simple. We don't do business with the city and never have. We're too small of a company to undertake software projects of the scope the city would need. Nor do we need to be located in the city, it just so happens that we are. The general health of the local economy does, however, affect our business and I thought Jim and Sam were the two that could do a better job on that score.

I have two main objections to Sten-Blackmer. The requirement for 1000 individual contributions of $5.00 stacks the deck in favor of the incumbent. One thousand is a whole bunch of contributors. I'll bet Francesconi's million dollars did not include that many individual contributors. But you take an incumbent who is cozy with the police union, or the teachers, or the firefighters... they might have an easy time of it. The second objection is that they are going to use taxpayer money. That means everyone contributes to the candidate, even if it is not the candidate of their choice. Why should I or anyone else pay for the campaign of someone we oppose or disagree with?

I like Sam, as you know. But I've heard that he seems to be in favor of this scheme. He and I are going to have a serious disagreement if that's the case.

Sorry for the length of this post. I hope it clarifies the thinking of at least one less than eye popping political contributor.


For what it's worth, David's explanation of why he contributed to campaigns is consistent with my experience being on the other side receiving campaign contributions for years: Contributors don't try to influence how you'll vote, they try to help you win because they already know you're likely to vote their way (at least, more likely than the person you're running against).


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Phil-anthropy:

» How to finance City Council campaigns from Isaac Laquedem
I have followed with great interest the discussion about the proposal to provide public money from the City's fisc to finance campaigns for the Portland City Council. [Read More]

» Phil Stanford keeps on keeping on from
Jack Bogdanski has a post about one of my favorite columnist and investigative reporter. The post is about Phil Stanford. [Read More]


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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
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Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
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Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
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L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
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Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
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Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
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Conundrum, White 2013
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The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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