OMG! "Coffee laced with Bailey's Irish Cream"!
Those hard-hitting investigative reporters at The O were at it again on Sunday. Fresh from combing through ex-PDC chief Don "the Don" Mazziotti's expense accounts, where they found Bluehour galore, our "practically indispensable" muckrakers cranked up another front-page game of "Who had the pickle?" -- this time over at the Port of Portland.
Golly, wouldn't you know it, it looks like there were some questionable parties thrown on Port credit cards, of which there are something like 170 floating around in various Port employees' wallets. And hold onto your seats! Alcohol! Alcohol was purchased with some of them!
The level of detail that the Stickeler Temperance League went into this time is truly humorous. Gems like these:
A March 15, 2005, dinner for 14 Port firefighters during Salt Lake City training. With appetizers, steak and shrimp main courses, midnight cake a la mode and a $94.22 bar tab, the bill came to $491.53. Two weeks later, a group of 13 Port firefighters ran up a $455.08 bill at the same restaurant, including $58.75 for liquor.
Thirteen firemen spent $4.50 apiece on drinks at that second dinner -- can you believe that? And in Salt Lake City, no less. Scandalous!
The first dinner looks like a little more fun: 20 drinks for 14 firefighters --
Included in the $491.53 firefighter dinner were entrees, 13 beers, three glasses of Scotch, three Jack Daniel's with Coke, two appetizers, six desserts, three coffees and a coffee laced with Bailey's Irish Cream.
Coffee "laced with" Bailey's -- I love it. Soooooo evil-sounding. I'll bet some of the other coffees were laced with half and half! The cocktail sauce for the shrimp cocktails? Dosed with horseradish! One guy even did a line of Sweet 'n' Low on the taxpayers' tab.
Now this kind of writing is fairly harmless, and it may serve a purpose, even if it does resemble a high school newspaper project with a budget. But the sad thing is, it's as close to investigative journalism as The O ever seems to get at places like the Port. There'll be an editorial about the credit cards in the next day or so, and then our fine local daily will go back to sleep. All's well at the Port, folks, just a few no-good-niks overspending on meals. Same conclusion they tried to leave us with at the PDC.
As if the precise number of beers that the staff is drinking were all our media should be asking about. Here's a largely unwatched agency, with an annual budget well into nine figures, run by an unelected board appointed by the governor, with a strong odor of cronyism about it, doling out pork project after pork project, and the only hard look it gets is to send a reporter out to pick over some firemen's credit card bills? Ain't that the Portland way.
What next? Maybe they'll go over to Tri-Met headquarters and demand to know why the aspirin in the first aid kits is name brand rather than store brand. Other than that, I'm sure everything's fine over there, too.