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Thursday, March 9, 2006

The City Club filters it all for you

The City Club's holding a "Friday forum" tomorrow on the race for Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman's seat.

Too bad they're not inviting even half of the candidates.

Indeed, only the incumbent and challenger Amanda Fritz will be on the platform. The other candidates, including Lucinda Tate and Sharon Nasset, are not worthy of being heard by the Nordstrom-clad City Club membership.

Well, I can understand. Those other people are from the east side. They'll never win. They and their viewpoints don't matter.

The first question I'd ask both Saltzman and Fritz is how they feel about their opposition being shut out.

Comments (23)

I got a telephone poll last week that I think was from the Saltzman campaign. Lots of detailed statements to rate--first a group of "is this a good reason to vote for him" and then a group of "is this a good reason to *not* vote for him".

Jack- thanks for mentioning the west-side bias. Apparently, any candidate from the east-side is not to be taken seriously. Too outsider-ish. Not Goldschmidt-approved.

"Dan Saltzman - great city commissioner, or the GREATEST city commissioner?"

"Uh, neither."

"Well, you have to pick one."


"Those are the only two choices. You clearly don't think he's the GREATEST, so I'll put you down for great."


"Thanks for your time." Click.

Do members of the City Club of Portland that think this is okay?
Do City Club of Portland member have to hand in their vote by mail ballots so "Clubbies" can pick for them?
They didn't even follow their own by laws which state that a candidate must have a 10% media poll?

It is the economy, there are ways to fix it, are they afraid of hearing the message?

Stenís race the same thing.
Sten is Northeast, Randy is Southeast, Sam is North, itís our chance to take Southwest out of the race.

The Oregonian questionnaire is due today.

HEY NOW! No Paranoia dang it! Neil Goldschmidt was an Eastsider back in his heyday as was his 15 year old neighbor.

--Endorsement Alert and Call to Action--

Jack asked me in another thread who I'm backing in my former race against Dan Saltzman. The answer is Sharon Nasset.

Sharon's someone who gets it. She has been active in Portland working to help our politicians get it, but they haven't listened.

There are 21 days left until the VOE deadline. Whether you're for VOE or against it, VOE is what we have right now and not participating in it is exactly what the VOE supporters planned on. Conservatives would not give $5 for political welfare and liberals will. I know this isn't a conservative blog, and, frankly, I'm not a conservative. However, VOE was touted as a way to get different voices on the ballot with an adequate voice in a local election. Those of you who are not happy with Dan or Amanda have a way of changing that outcome - go give Sharon $5. And get your friends to give her $5.

I'm giving her $5. Her website's nowhere right now. She needs volunteers. She needs speaking engagements. She needs support. If you don't like what you've got, go fix it. I would like to think that many of you might have voted for me if I were still in the race. If you were going to, I ask you, please give Sharon $5 and vote for her. Make this election a referendum on the status quo. Make this election about getting us back to our duties as a city government and actually listening to our citizens.

The one thing that got me into this race in the first place was the attitude of the local officials when it came to hearing from the plebiscite. The attitude was, "Are you done?" They make the decision and then ask for your input. I have never felt like anything I ever said to an official was truly taken into account. With the exception of the Lombard Plan that Sharon worked on and the Alexan tax abatement, I can't think of any other major decisions that werw overturned through public input.

Sharon has sat in the testimony chair. She'll listen as a council member. It's up to you to give her that voice.

Please. Change for Five Bucks?

So let me get it straight on the conspiracy theory propounded here ... in the Saltzman race, there's an anti-east side bias, and in the Sten race, there's an anti-southwest bias? Huh? If you think that there should be more candidates on the dais, then there's a discussion point (one I disagree with -- the more candidates in a debate, the more it's about sloganeering instead of a good, substantive debate). But it's not about an anti-eastside conspiracy bias. That makes about as much sense as thinking there's a weather conspiracy because the snow stuck on Mt. Tabor but not downtown.

And by the way, Jack, yesterday you said "one or two serious challengers against Saltzman" ...
but suddenly today, in response to the City Club's apparent decision that there is only one, not two, you go off on it? When you said "one or two," did "one" mean you were part of the conspiracy and "two" mean you were brilliant?

Conspiracy theories aside (which I also donít believe), my understanding of City Clubís decision is that, given this is the first year with publicly financed campaigns, they used as criteria either a minimum 10% media poll OR enough grass roots support to qualify for public campaign financing. A quick check of the City Auditorís website shows that, to date, the only candidate to qualify for public financing is Amanda Fritz. Also, the criteria used are not written bylaws of the club, but guidelines for selection. I can't comment on poll numbers because I don't know them.

In addition, I believe that City Club wants to make these debates about issues not the candidates. It is very difficult to have a meaningful discussion about issues within the 1 hour time period they have, with many candidates. If I remember correctly they tried it a while back and it really didnít go well because it was too many people in that time frame. Why only one hour? Because it fits in the time slot they have for TV broadcast of their Friday Forums.

Itís not a perfect world but I think City Club is doing its best given the constraints and their desire to focus on issues. I hope Lucinda Tate and Sharon Nasset get the support to achieve public financing because I am all for more choices in elections. But I am also sure there are plenty of opportunities for them to get their positions out to the pubic, City Clubís forums are just one venue.

Jack, yet again you lead with insults and accusations which you canít prove. And really, both of those diminish your valid point about inclusion into a whining and bitching session.

either a minimum 10% media poll OR enough grass roots support to qualify for public campaign financing

What poll?

And why was the poll taken before the deadline for filing a declaration of candidacy?

And long before the deadline for qualifying for "clean money"?

I stand by my post. For you guys to come on here and insult me, then blame me for insulting the City Club, is rather humorous.

I'm glad I got your attention.

Lets look at the Eric Sten race. Ginni Burdik is another candidate, both are liberal to the core. One (Eric Sten) is a socialist liberal the other is just a conventional liberal, but is being rented by downtown interests for this race.
Neither contrasts much with the other, except for VOE and PGE. Emily Boyles is the VOE supported Democrat in the race.
DAVE LISTER on the other hand has a different perspective. Dave Lister is running against Sten because we need ACCOUNTABILITY AND EFFICIENCY and true philosophic DIVERSITY on the counsel.

DAVE LISTER FOR CITY COMMISSIONER because we need a SMALL BUSINESS voice in city hall.


Maybe its as simple as scheduling? But that would go against the conspiracy theory where City Club is broadcasting radio waves into our brains to make us all believe that the east side is evil. I'll get the tin foil out to save myself.

Glad you found humor in my post.

Insult you and blame you? I did neither. I simply asked how you justified saying -- yesterday -- that there were only one or two serious contenders to Saltzman's run, but then today making fun of the City Club for deciding that there was only one.
God forbid that a law professor acknolwedges his obvious mistake.

"With the exception of the Lombard Plan that Sharon worked on and the Alexan tax abatement, I can't think of any other major decisions that werw overturned through public input."

Uh. The St. Johns/Lombard Plan was adopted. With very few changes. Nasset's activism almost derailed DOWNZONING in the neighborhood around Cathedral Park. Check it out here:

I simply asked how you justified saying -- yesterday -- that there were only one or two serious contenders to Saltzman's run,

I did say that. But if I were holding a candidates' forum, I would invite everyone.

Part of me wants to remove your needlessly argumentative and uncivil posts, but I'll leave them up to show why I have banned you. The kind of tit for tat that you want me to get into with you has grown quite tiresome.

I'll get the tin foil out to save myself.

Yes, anyone who questions the almighty City Club is a kook.

It's been fun having you here, albeit very briefly.

Jack --

After you ask Saint Amanda and Big Pipe about how they feel about having the others shut out, I suggest a couple of other questions, specifically for Saint Amanda, who is both far less and far worse than she appears:

1. Did she actually make a speech at the West Portland Park Neighbrhood Association in July, 2005 attacking the City Council's decision to pay for 57 jail beds to combat the meth and burglary epidemic on the east side, stating that the City would be better served giving that money to OHSU to expand the psychiatric unit where Amanda works,
so that the tweakers, cranks, cooks and clouters could be "cured"?

Saint Amanda is at least consistent. Never misses a chance to try to get her hands on city tax dollars to put to her own use, whether its for campaigning for elective office or trying to get more money to pay her salary at OHSU.

2. Would Saint Amanda have voted in favor of last year's ordinance increasing the "welfare for artists" program, where the 1.3% for art at city funded construction projects was increased to 2% or more?

Say, didn't Saint Amanda also cheer the recent turn over of hundreds of thousands of dollars in city funds from the Water and Sewer Bureaus to the "farm project" on SW Boones Ferry Road near Tryon Creek Park. You remember, the project that took more than a million dollars in property values for vacant developable land off the tax rolls and funded the purchase of the "farm project" property by a property tax exempt and income tax non taxable 501 c 3 entity?

Again though, Saint Amanda is consistent. She worked for years to get state tax dollars and city funds to get another million dollar plus property bought up as a "park", again taking more vacant, developable tax paying land off the tax rolls.

Thats also the same Saint Amanda who constantly bemoans the lack of additional local
taxes to fund PPS.

Saint Amanda is far less and far worse than she appears. Amazing that so many anti Sten folks are so fooled by and enamored of Saint Amanda. If you can't afford Opie, you sure as heck can't afford Saint Amanda.

I take it, then, that you won't be voting for Ms. Fritz?

Jack --

That would be a safe bet.

It seems like each organization holding endorsements/events has a different strategy for who is invited. At the Community Development Network forum last month, the invited candidates were Dan Saltzman, Bruce Broussard, and me. I used some of my allocated time in my opening statement to ask the organizers to let Lucinda Tate speak, since she was there and Saltzman wasn't - he chose to go to a Business Association meeting instead of talking about affordable housing.

I won't be using any of my three minutes tomorrow to question the City Club's choice, because as Ken points out, I'm the only candidate in the race who's qualified for Voter Owned Elections (VOE) funding. The City Club has been a strong supporter of the system, and it would be incongruent for them not to use early qualification for VOE funds as one of their criteria for invitations.

I'm saddened to read the comments regarding eastside-westside, northside-southside. It's no wonder those currently in power keep it and spend city money on their priorities, when neighborhood folks buy into the divide-and-conquer strategy. I'm running to represent neighbors all over the city. We need to become "The City That Works Together". I collected donations to qualify for VOE from 90 of the city's 95 neighborhoods. I've done volunteer projects in 78 neighborhoods. I helped start the Citywide Parks team, initiated jointly by the SW and East Portland parks committees. I'm used to hearing the standard put-downs of "just a mom", "just a nurse", "just a volunteer".... please don't add "just a SW resident" to the list.

jeff at March 9, 2006 07:23 PM : Uh. The St. Johns/Lombard Plan was adopted. With very few changes.
JK: Were you at the open houses and neighborhood meetings that preceded the DRAFT version of the STJL plan? Sharon was. And she was relentlessly defending the neighborhood's livability.
Did you compare the draft version of the STJL plan with the final plan (your link is only to the final version)? Some of those changes were a result of Sharon's work.
Did you attend any of the town hall meetings that Sharon organized to oppose some of the livability destroying features of the plan? See for pictures of one of the meetings. You might also want to go to for some news clippings of that effort and her efforts to fight traffic congestion.

jeff at March 9, 2006 07:23 PM : Nasset's activism almost derailed DOWNZONING in the neighborhood around Cathedral Park.
JK: Care to explain just how this occurred?
Are you really If not please give us your real name so that we will know that this is not just sour grapes from one of the planners that had to back off their scheme because of Sharonís work.
By any chance are you one of the planners that want to put 50% more people in St.Johns without increasing road capacity? Are you one of the planners that want to drive out family wage jobs in St.Johns to make room for high density condos? Are you one of the planners that want to line Lombard, the areaís major 35 mph arterial, with sidewalk cafes, bubble curbs and giant, probably tax abated TOD, apartment complexes, soon to be followed by 20 mph limits, further driving out commerce and jobs? Perhaps you are one of the Planners that want to reduce the number of parking spaces in Portland (per capita)?
Are one of the planners that gives a higher priority to accommodating bikes that to reducing congestion?
Or are you a Citizenís Advisory Committee member that just happened to own land that just happened to be included in a proposed new high density area that just might, co-incidentally, jump in value? (Sortta reminds you of the PDC.)
Also, do you happen to be working, paid or unpaid, for any candidate?

Amanda: . . and it would be incongruent for them not to use early qualification for VOE funds as one of their criteria for invitation
JK: Will they have another forum after Nasset and Tate qualify for public money? Or will it be just too bad?

Thanks JK (unpaid Nasset campaign helper - these are my words, not the campaignís)

Based on the telephone poll I received, the Saltzman campaign thinks Fritz is the only opponent.

I listened to the debate and it seems to have been fairly even. I thought the comment that the 96 neighborhood associations wanted to vote on every council measure and the analogy that they would all sit in the gallery at City Hall with a thumbs up and thumbs down Romaneque call on all the ordinances made a fantasy mental picture of what council meetings could be like.

Ms. Fritz brought out what you did in your blog a while back, that while she was with the planning commission that board objected to the TRAM going forward.

The fire and police disability discussion was an interesting one.

The problem is that the isses are complex, and just like most businesses have three sets of books, one for the stockholders, one for the IRS, and one for the PR people. I think most politicians operate that way too, they have one set of explainations for the public and another for the powerbrokers and some interal chip pile of favors they keep and use to play the game to stay in office.

I was wondering for example, and this is purely speculation, I ran accross an article the other day I had clipped years ago about Interstate MAX and the UR district taking $4.5 million and Bev Stein wanting the City to fund the program they would have to cut because of UR. What happens is the Children's initiative. Where theoretically less children are served better by private funding, but if the county hadn't lost the $4.5 million all kids would have been served equally. It would be interesting to do that cost/benefit.

You wonder if our public school system is going to be the legacy of the TRAM, in that it seems to have totally demoralized voters.

Other stuff goes on and it seems like the kids and common folk bear the brunt of the flash and circumstance.

I would like to see some fresh blood in council. I think Fritz and Lister would balance eachother and keep the progressive tone, they are a bit more ying and yang than Sten and Saltzman, with Randy in there it would certainly make the council meetings lively. I think of the movie DAVE with my favorite Kevin Kline, when I look at Lister, and think about his buddy the accountant coming in and making sense of the budget.

Well its early in the morning and I'm already rambling too much.


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Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
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Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
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Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
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Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
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Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
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Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
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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
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