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Monday, February 6, 2006

Ray of hope

Businessman-techie Dave Lister has thrown his hat into the ring for the Portland City Council seat occupied for the last 10 years by Erik Sten. I had been thinking I might sit that race out, since neither Sten nor his best known opponent, Gard and Gerber's Ginny Burdick, promises any meaningful change from the rampant folly that has characterized Sten's tenure. The choice apeared to boil down to incompetent socialism vs. the Old Boy Network -- no thanks.

Lister, who's been a frequent commenter on this blog, seems like a nice alternative to both those candidates. He's not going to throw millions away tilting ineptly at windmills. Nor will he be on speed-dial for the fat cats at the Arlington Club who want another piece of the taxpayer's dollar. We'll see how things develop, but his arrival on the scene is welcome.

Comments (49)

Go Dave. That will make for an interesting race. But what do I know? I'm just an east side guy...

Great news-Dave, you've got my vote!

I think this is great, about time we had someone who understands what drives this economy (not only in Portland but over the entire state) jobs--generated by what? "Busines". And here's another vote for Dave!

But what do I know? I'm just a WEST side guy.

If you own a tie, I'd be happy to take you to lunch at the Arlington Club. I've never observed any overweight feline there (no housepets at all in fact), and the food is pretty good.

Good luck to Dave.


So, what is this candidates platform, and why should I support him?

I'd be happy to take you to lunch at the Arlington Club.

Ick. We are overdue for lunch together, but not there.

So, what is this candidates platform, and why should I support him?

All in due time. But we can start with this:

He's not Erik Sten.

Heard this on the radio

Jack may be right

While I certainly won't deny anybody who is passionate about civic politics their place in the race, his platform represents broad statements that almost anybody would agree with, but does nothing to indicate what he believes the solution to be. Furthermore, many of Lister's complaints about erosion of industrial jobs, salary level, etc., are systematic throughout the U.S. as a result of globalization, corporate mergers, cuts in education funding, etc. Lister needs to put forward a well-premised argument as to what Portland has done (aside from the obvious rim shots--water bureau, tram, etc) as a city that has specifically magnified the negative externalities he refers to.

Furthermore, one of the problems I think we have with Erik Sten is a lack of experience prior to office. Lister may have experience, but it has been gained on a very narrow career path built on an "unchallenging" year at Southern Oregon University (it was either SOC or SOSC back then). Psychologically, his decision making is still based on availability heuristics, just like Sten. The conceptual tools developed through a formal education are obviously lacking, based on the simple and unsupported syllogisms that characterize Lister's editorials. While he may boast of being able to make a budget and manage a small business (I think I read he has 4-5 employees and is complaining about the costly commute he has to make and failed to account for before relocating his business to the suburbs), it is extremely doubtful that any big business would hire him to prepare a budget the size of Portland's--something else he has in common with Sten.

I only hope that as the election goes forward, the citizens of Portland and the media will ask tough questions and demand explicit answers from the candidates, rather than vague replies about being "for business," or "for community," or "for leadership." That is the first step to achieving the kind of accountability and stability in civic governance that all readers of this blog hope to achieve.

The conceptual tools developed through a formal education are obviously lacking, based on the simple and unsupported syllogisms that characterize Lister's editorials. While he may boast of being able to make a budget and manage a small business (I think I read he has 4-5 employees and is complaining about the costly commute he has to make and failed to account for before relocating his business to the suburbs), it is extremely doubtful that any big business would hire him to prepare a budget the size of Portland's--something else he has in common with Sten.

Robert, they wouldn't hire you, either.

Robert Ted Hinds at February 6, 2006 06:53 While he may boast of being able to make a budget and manage a small business (I think I read he has 4-5 employees . . .

JK: But that is the most important thing: He actually HAS dealt with this stuff and HAS made decisions that WORKED. He had to, since, unlike Sten, he didn't have the taxpayers to stick with the result of bad decisions.



I don't intend to campaign on your blog... it's your blog, not mine.

I just want to say one thing:

"You know my lack of education never hurt me none."

At least I don't need to ask for my tuition money back.

"I can read the writing on the wall."

He writes for a Lake Oswego magazine called BrainstormNW and has had some interesting things to say but can he beat Sten?

It's a longshot, perhaps, but stranger things have happened. At a minimum, Lister could force a long and expensive runoff campaign -- and if "clean money" goes down in May, Opie will be in real trouble in that one.

"When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school,
it's a miracle I can think at all..."
Hey, as long as we're in "Before they die"-mode,
why not Simon and Garfunkel at the Super Bowl?

Jack, that's not true. Been there, done that. And I just got hired on a project that could reach the billion plateau in a couple years. I am under confidentiality agreements, so I can't mention specifics. Actually, I thought it was kind of a tribute to you personally that you have candidates weighing in on your blog, along with the likes of Randy Leonard. I thought that was pretty amazing about your blog. It offers a service that is not readily met in our community. Generally, I agree with your positions on things, but if I don't agree with you on something, that should not warrant personal attack. To suggest that I wouldn't be hired to do something I am qualified to do (and was just hired to do) is really unfair. My commentary regarding your friend Lister's qualifications was objective. I have little elected government experience. That's a perceived weakness I must overcome, and it's objective. Lister never got past his freshman year in college. That's objective. I've worked on multi-billion dollar projects. That's objective.

The easiest thing for me to do would be to concentrate on my own personal enrichment, but I really care about what is going on in the world and here in Portland. I believe the Constitution of the United States is under attack and I'm doing my part, in my own little corner of the world, to fight for what I believe in, which is The Bill of Rights, and fair governance at all levels within the context thereof.

I am in the "anyone but Sten" camp.

I think his proposal of the "PGE buyout plan" put him in a category all his own. I don't even think Neil Goldschmidt or Vera Katz could have dreamed that one up. (In fact, I think a bum off the street would have been hard pressed to get that idea, even on fortified wine.)

Sten has cost the city millions of dollars with nothing to show for it. To re-elect him would simply encourage him to explore the option of "buying the Bonneville Power Administration." I'm sure he could find out-of-state consultants to weigh in on that plan, at the cost of several more millions of our city dollars. Of course, at the end of the day, nothing woud have been accomplished.

We need City Council members who can propose reasonable solutions to the city's problems. Sten's outrageous behavior disqualifies him from any thought that he can participate in a City Council needing to reclaim its financial footing and the confidence of Portland's citizens.

Robert Ted Hinds slams Dave Lister with objective facts.

Hey Robert Ted, how is this for objective: (from you website two minutes ago) "...Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Ferdinand Lundberg, Muhommad Ali, Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy..."

Which name is not spelled correctly?

Hint: floats like a .... stings like a ...

A college degree is a "terible theeng to waist"!!

Lister never got past his freshman year in college. That's objective. I've worked on multi-billion dollar projects. That's objective.

And you are done posting around here for a while. That's objective, too. Good luck.

"The conceptual tools developed through a formal education are obviously lacking."

Hey Robert Ted..

My lack of conceptual tools allowed me to start a business 21 years ago and run it in the black ever since.

My lack of conceptual tools allows me to write a monthly column for a magazine subscribed to by over 40,000 business decision makers statewide every month.

My lack of conceptual tools allows me to serve on the city's small business advisory council for two years and draft an economic development policy that makes sense and creates jobs in Portland.

My lack of conceptual tools gets my phone calls answered from every city commissioner, every city commission staffer and every bureau head in the city of Portland.

My lack of conceptual tools gets my phone calls answered by most of the reporters at the Oregonian, the Tribune and the Willamette Week.

My lack of conceptual tools gets me on most talk radio shows by virtue of my making a phone call.

What does your posession of conceptual tools get you, except to pull forty dollar words out of your left ear that mean nothing to anyone?

I'm sorry Jack, he p***ed me off.

Don't let it bug you Dave,

I'll vote for a guy who pulls himself up by the bootstraps and makes something of himself over some schmuck who thinks highly of himself because he is able to access the online thesaurus when he writes.

Thanks Travis,

I guess a good politician doesn't lose his temper. Problem is, I'm not a politician.


Mr. Hinds's comments suggest that he's not someone whom mainstream candidates and voters need worry about.

Dave: you've got my vote.

Free piece of advice: stay above the fray. Summarize your beliefs in the shortest sentence possible. And take the time to smile. Never speak in paragraphs, speak in sentences. And smile: people trust a candidate with a nice smile.

More free advice: don't webate (web/debate) the crazies, because it makes you sound crazy. Use short sentences. Stay above the fray. Smile.

Penultimate piece of free advice: never use the word heuristics. The PhD's will know you're not one of them, and everybody else will think you're a prick. Say "gut instinct" or "common sense" or "trial and error" if you have to, but never say hueristics. No crazies. Short sentences. Smile.

Ultimate piece of free advice: if forced to use the word heuristics, never put a noun in front of it ("availability heuristics"). Even the PhD's will have to look it up, and will return nothing except an ad for "premature ejaculation" which is never a positive association, and then they will have to google it and wonder, "why didn't he say making decisions on limited data sets."

Short smiley no crazies sentences.

Alice... I love you. I am gut laughing right now! Thanks!

It looks like R. Ted Hinds has some syylogism on his tie.

Is that a clip-on?
Boon, come check this out.
Ninety percent rayon! Very nice.
Did your mother buy that for you?

I hereby vote for Alice's post to be submitted to the Comment Hall of Fame. Tops!

I herby vote that we all ask Bog to set up an "ask the candidates" means on his blog.


Advice for Dave: Keep it clean. Don't respond to Robert Ted. Despite what Potter thinks vision is a noun and visioning is nonsense.

Advice for Robert Ted: Drink a big cup of STFU ( before you post. Think of writing as walking through a minefield: the quicker you get there, the safer you'll be.

Alice, I don't know who you are but I think I love you.

If there is anything at all Dave needs to learn, it is to stay off the internet while running a campaign. We all can remember the incredible massive meltdown of that one fool, Clevenger (or something like that) over at Portland Communique.

Statements like "I'm sorry Jack, he p***ed me off" can and will come forward in the media during the height of the election and instead of Dave's economic prosperity for Portland message coming across, he will be left defending statements like "Go on a three day bender. Scotch is best. Kill the cells that are causing you problems." a comment that was made by Dave on the 6th of September last year at Portland Communique.

But, if Robert's comments about Dave's lack of experience actually do come to the head I'm sure Dave's comment:

"and I'm not screaming free speech, I'm just seeking an education..."

could probably be used as his answer.

All of Dave's comments I posted above were probably taken out of context, I even shortened one; but in the world of fast media, nasty campaigns, and sound bites, having emotional outbursts online will certainly bite you in the butt in our 21st century world.

I know Dave understands that because at Blue Oregon he said: "I told the complete story to both the Tribune and the Oregonian , just as I described above. Unfortunately, it's the newspaper writers who decide which part of the story to print. If you're ever interviewed you'll find that out."

Another lesson, if you are running a campaign, it's best to stay on the media's good side.

You're right Jack, this is going to be an interesting race!

"The PhD's will know you're not one of them, and everybody else will think you're a prick."


Lister is bad for Portland. After reading through his site I was frankly rather ill at his arrogance in his statements of contempt for the people of Portland. I was also surprised by his rhetoric harkening back to Katz and Fransesconi days. Portland is not bad for business; as a small business owner I'd say Portland is great for business. What the people of Portland have grown tired of is corporate give-aways by the state and city governments to attract large corporations. My vision of Portland is the city of small business and great strides are being made toward that goal. If those working toward that goal are successful Portland should be virtually immunized from the disastrous federal fiscal policies while other cities struggle and scramble to create what Portlanders are doing already.

Lister's "Poor By Choice" diatribe shows his biases and disconnects from the actual working tax-payers of Portland, who despite his assumptions to the contrary showed in great numbers to the JTTF hearings (and yes there were many business owners like myself there, parents of school children, and almost every person was a hard working tax-paying citizen of this city, which Lister may have known if he'd bothered to actually talk to any of us). Not only does Lister not understand the desires of the people of this city I believe he has nothing but contempt for those that do understand. That is why I believe he is bad for Portland. I would however encourage people to vote for anyone but Sten and Saltzman in the primaries so they don't get a relatively free pass. But if the choice were between Sten and Lister I would vote for Sten, despite his incompetence and his desire to be a career politician.

TC: are you paid by the Re-Elect Sten fund, or just volunteering?

Alice: Perhaps you should actually read what I wrote before commenting:

"I would however encourage people to vote for anyone but Sten and Saltzman in the primaries so they don't get a relatively free pass."

Yes, I'm sure Sten will pay me the big bucks for that one.

My point is that Lister holds views that are in opposition to the majority of the citizens of Portland who support the resolution against the occupation of Iraq and who disagree with the vast majority of the current policies of the federal government. Now, that in and of itself is not a deal-breaker for a candidate to run on a platform of integrity saying, "I don't agree with the beliefs held by most of the people living in this city but here's what I think I can do for this city" and outline some clear proposals. However, not only does Lister not agree, he appears to hold the majority in contempt for their beliefs. A politician who feels contempt for his constituents is apt to be a bad one in my experience.


Are you Vera. You appear to be an expert in holding people in contempt.

Speaking for the majority of Portlanders you are NOT.

Your lobbing rocks at Mr. Lister is the stuff which perpetuates the Erik Stens.

Please clean up your old tired Portland act.

Lister is fresh and needed.


Please tell me you think the foreign policy opinions held by Portland's City Council candidates is going to be a critical factor in their ultimate success or defeat in the May primary.

At the risk of sounding impolite. You didn't answer the above question: do you work on Erik's staff (either CoP or Friends of?)?

There's nothing wrong with ripping the other guy, but I think we have the right to know if you have a vested interest in the outcome of this election.

If you want to know the truth, I think Dave Lister is in love with Erik Sten.

I'm surprised that anyone would sincerely believe that someone advocating against voting for Sten would be paid by the Sten campaign. No, I don't work for any candidate or campaign, nor am I employed by the city. I will certainly not be voting for Sten or Saltzman in the primary and I continue to advocate that others do not as well. Perhaps others here can make similar disclosures about their own vested interests. Does anyone want to respond to my point, or do I need to reiterate it?

I think "Anybody but Sten" is the clear front-runner in this race. If Dave Lister can stay focussed on the stuff that matters (and ignore the stuff that doesn't, like Iraq), then he probably wins.

My point is that what matters is not what Lister thinks of Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, or Bush, but the fact that he obviously, from his own writings, doesn't like or respect those citizens with whom he disagrees. I think the city made very clear in the last election 1) what beliefs are held by the majority of citizens and 2) how they felt about politicians who define themselves as Lister does above by citing how powerful and well-connected they are. I don't believe this city is looking for another Francesconi.

Francesconi was as liberal as Portland pols come, but that didn't prevent him from alienating people across the political spectrum for a variety of reasons.

I would suggest Francesconi's position on a non-binding resolution against the War in Iraq was one of the lesser factors in his electoral defeat (and I say that without knowing how he voted). Personally, I was going to vote for Jim until he pissed off the police union at the last minute with his demogogue inspired anti-Potter ads.

Dave Lister may be less "business as usual" than the rest of the City Council: that should not imply that he is disrespectful of voters with whom he may disagree.

It is Lister's writings that imply, strongly in my opinion, that he does not respect or like those with whom he disagrees. His “Poor By Choice” rant, apart from being filled with lies, is one long character assassination against the taxpaying citizens on this city. I was at the recent JTTF meeting, and I sat next to a nice couple with their school aged children, and I doubt there was hardly a soul who was not a hard-working tax-paying citizen. The fact that he misstates the nature of Leonard's resolution makes me wonder if he is incompetent, a liar, or both. To me he appears as Francesconi or Katz, bragging about his connections and telling people that he knows what's best for them.

Didn't I see something about ad hominem arguments in the blog comments policy?
The just-posted above is a dramatic illustration of ad hominem rhetoric.

Particularly the comparison to Katz: an odious comparison and totally unfair.

Ad Hominem would be (roughly) "Lister's claim is false because he is a bad person." I'm presenting evidence that Lister would make a poor politician for this city based upon his writings and what can be gleamed from them and my perceptions that Lister operates from a mindset similar to past politicians whom the voters have rejected. I could also point out that his claims about Leonard's proposal are false because that proposal was not, as Lister claims, a proposal to withdraw from the JTTF.

Dave has stepped into the middle of what was supposed to have been a straight-up throwdown between the inept socialism of Opie and the highly efficient corruption of the Goldschmidtters. He'll be attacked bitterly by both crowds, I'm sure -- and in keeping with the traditional Portland backstabbing ways of both establishments, most of the nasty stuff will be anonymous.

The presence of self-proclaimed businesss genius Hinds won't be making matters any more civil, either. Where's Extremo the Clown when we need him?

Since the gloves appear to be off--

"...the highly efficient corruption of the Goldschmidtters.."

Is this a reference to Eric Sten, Ginnie Burdick, Dave Bragdon and hmmmm-else?

I agree with prior JK comment requesting a q & a with the candidates! Wonder which candidates would be nervy enough to participate?


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
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Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
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Stephen King - 11/22/63
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Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
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Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
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Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
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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: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run 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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