I've been reading around about the Portland City Council race for Erik Sten's seat, and it seems to me it's not looking too good for Ginny Burdick. All the baggage she's carrying with her because of her employment at Gard & Gerber -- the official p.r. firm for the aerial tram, Neil Goldschmidt, PGE, OHSU, etc. -- is just too heavy. She can't beat Sten. The only hope to unseat the guy is to sell yourself as an agent of change, and let's face it, you can spend all the king's treasure and you still won't succeed in painting the Gard & Gerber crowd as that. Just ask the Scone.
If the downtown old money realy wants to get rid of Sten, it ought to take a look at Lister, and soon. Granted, he'd be a longshot in a head-to-head against Sten, but any of them will be. I'm convinced Lister would have a better chance of winning one-on-one than Burdick or Boyles. If he can get in a fall runoff with big bucks to spend, he'd be a heck of a candidate. He's smart, and he has an honest, appealing message.
Some of the business folks may figure, hey, I'll vote for Burdick in the primary, but if Lister gets in the runoff, I'll switch to Lister. Flawed reasoning. If Sten runs against Burdick, Sten will surely win 55-45, with a lot of disgruntled Portlanders sitting it out. Against Boyles it would be 60-40 or worse. At least with Lister, you'd get a real fight.
While on the subject, I understand that Lister's taking some heat for not spouting the prevailing party line on the homeless last week at the City Club. Sten apparently paints himself as the champion of the downtrodden. But ask yourself, folks, after 10 years of Opie in City Hall, are Portland's homeless better off or worse off than before he got there? To me the situation appears as bad as ever. He's had his chance, made 10 years' worth of speeches, and he's gotten next to nothing done.
Then there's his line about "I'm the only one who says he loves Portland and loves the direction it's heading." Nice try, bud. I think we all love Portland. The only question is the direction. It's pretty clear that most folks feel it's wrong these days. And you, sir, are a huge part of the problem.