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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 12, 2005 10:41 AM. The previous post in this blog was Game report: Rockets 100, Blazers 86. The next post in this blog is Tri-Met now on Google. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, December 12, 2005

Opie's in

Word is out that Portland city commissioner Erik Sten wants another four years in City Hall. And he'll be running for re-election on the taxpayers' dime -- he says he's taking the "clean money" route, under the controversial public campaign finance system he and his current colleagues (excepting Fireman Randy) put in place without a public vote. ("Clean money" will likely be on the same ballot as Sten's seat in May.)

Given all the grief I've given Sten on this blog over the years, readers might expect me to be ready to endorse his opponent. Unfortunately, his only credible challenger is Ginny Burdick, a state legislator who's gone over to the dark side at Gard and Gerber, the official p.r. firm of the West Hills Mafia. It's a classic showdown between incompetent socialism and highly effective corruption. I'd have a hard time voting either way.

One thing I am looking forward to are Burdick's campaign advertisements, which will be paid for by copious gobs of the traditional "dirty money." Given Sten's many, many missteps over the past four years, I've been saying that the attack ads will write themselves. If Burdick can't come up with several howlingly funny TV spots, she doesn't deserve anyone's vote.

Comments (12)

I think that photo is crying for a caption contest.

"Erik Sten, center, stands with a team of combat-trained accountants as they prepare to examine the billing records for the City of Portland Water Bureau."

How about, “Clean Money, my ass!”

Great turn of a phrase there, Jack: "...classic showdown between incompetent socialism and highly effective corruption."

I know how I'll vote: I'm going to write in Jack Bogdanski.

So, what's it cost taxpayers to write in Jack Bog?

There must be a fee, somewhere.

i enjoy your opinions Jack, especially offering something sharp on local candidates that often look quite similar on the surface

Congratulations, Erik: you are the first politician in the United States to receive taxpayer campaign funding without taxpayer approval. Feels kind of wierd, doesn't it?

What's the current wait time on 911 calls? Any idea how many additional operators could have been hired on the night shift for $150,000? I guess it just depends on your priorities. Maybe we can forward the 911 overflow to Chris Smith's house: he seems like such a nice boy.

Ironically, Commissioner Sten was the driving force in support of voter subsidized political campaigns, and now he is the first (and only?) incumbent city commissioner scheduled to receive the $150,000 subsidy which he approved.

The powers of incumbency will destroy the "also-rans" who naively agreed to respect the spending cap. They cannot possibly compete against the name recognition and "bully pulpit" of the incumbent. Every televised City Council meeting or work session will air unpaid "Reelect Erik" commercials. Every neighborhood association he visits will draw the friendly locals who want to bend his ear. It makes more sense to vote for the guy who gets things done than some nobody, right?

Ginny Burdick may stand a chance if she is able to gather more than just the "anybody-but-Sten" votes. If she is only (as Jack suggests), a PGE mouthpiece, or the lead candidate of the West Hills Mafia (there was one?), then Socialism will carry the day.

Photo Caption idea:

Commissioner Sten and his CLEAN MONEY bunnies prepare to give the city a giant barium enema.

Erik noted, "It's the only way to get all that Dirty Money out of our pipes!"

Eric commented when voting for the last round of building sizes and spacing changes in SoWa,
"I'm not sure if the buildings are too tall or not but I'm voting yes to allow then to be bigger and closer together"

On the Alexan Tax abatement in SoWa, Eric voted along with Tommy to give away $10 million in property taxes and get nothing in return. He was concerned about developers having predictability.


Eric seems to be a nice guy, but doesn't the city deserve some expertice, some savvy and little more skill?

Now remember, everybody, it's not "clean money". It's "voter owned elections". Of course, they decided not to let the owners vote.

Bruce,

Boldface aside, you are incorrect. Amanda Fritz was the first to qualify for taxpayer money.

Correction: I should have said

Congratulations, Erik: you are the first incumbent politician in the United States to receive taxpayer campaign funding without taxpayer approval.

It's worth noting that Amanda did not have the dubious honor of voting in favor of her new entitlement. Erik did: he's padding his own pockets under the guise of progressive politics.

Jack, I just want to congratulate you for all your support during my stint at the Trib.
You know there's an Africa proverb that says an hunter who's tracking an elephant does not stop to throw stones at birds.
That elephant for me is the 'City Hall'. Much thanks to Commissioner Saltzman and Jeff for giving me the opportunity to learn about our city's seat of political power.

Promise King


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