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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 2, 2006 11:26 PM. The previous post in this blog was No problem. The next post in this blog is Amanda. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, April 2, 2006

Desperate plea

Comments (30)

Didn't someone address this in your last post on the topic?

Nice graphics but wrong campaign.

CALL WITH IDEAS:

Gary Blackmer (503) 823-4078
Emilie Boyles (503) 761-2468

Charlie, you should know when to fold 'em. This one goes to the very top of the very long Sten Bonehead Move list. Bwahaha!

Didn't someone address this in your last post on the topic?

Not really. The commenters here have said that Blackmer should do something, but nobody can say precisely what he's supposed to do, and he himself says he doesn't know whether he can get the money back.

You would think someone would have foreseen this situation and set up an enforcement mechanism. But this is the Portland City Council, and so there's nothing at the moment.

Needles . . . in haystacks.

"No payment or contribution for any purpose shall be made a condition precedent to putting a name on any caucus or convention ballot, nomination paper or petition [. . .]" ORS 260.655.

Nobody is eligible. Sten gets to repay too.

If one views the city as just like any other non-profit political action committee or political party then the limit in ORS 260.655 would seem to squarely apply. So is the "clean money" ballot a different ballot than the "dirty money" ballot? The philosophical pledge to limit spending as a condition for running on the city's ticket is not unlike any other political party pledge as a condition to obtaining party funding. Demanding signatures would be OK but not five bucks. Just replace 5-from-1000 with 20,000-from-20 and reexamine the principal but using the new arbitrary values.

"No payment" sounds much more cut and dry than having a court assess whether 5 bucks is too small to measure, even in the context of free speech concerns. How about 20,000-from-20 or 100,000-from-5 or 1,000,000-from-1, to get much more?

For kicks see ORS 162.415 and ORS 260.665.

So is the city itself like "No Name City" -- the No Party Party?

Just gave the ordinances a quick read and found nothing that Blackmer or Sten can do about the Boyles' dispersal now.

Get this: A free money certification MUST be challenged within 7 days of the certification by the Auditor, but the ONLY person that can challenge it is an opponent who is also certified for free money. (See 2.10.230)

After that it doesn't appear that anyone can call a hearing - it's like an implicit 7 day statute of limitation.

But it gets better (or worse), since Boyles was the first candidate certified for that seat, Opie could not have even challenged her certification if he'd somehow been on top of things.

The seven days ran its course, so presumably Boyles is free to spend it all (as long as she keeps ner nose clean from now on).

Hee-larious.

But wait, there is a catch-all penalty provision (2.10.220) where the Auditor can impose a penalty of up to $10k for a violation of the chapter by a "certified candidate". But since Boyle's violations occurred BEFORE Auditor Fife certified her, he probably can't invoke that option either .

Regardless, $10k would be a small dent in her operation.

Just gave the ordinances a quick read and found nothing that Blackmer or Sten can do about the Boyles' dispersal now.

I disagree. The Charter gives the City Auditor the authority to review and audit "all claims for payment."

Section 2-505 Audits.
(c) The Auditor shall make the final determination of acceptability and legitimacy of all claims for payment made against the City.

The Russian Chamber of Commerce thanks you all for your support.

The signatures are not fake!

The signers simply erred with using incorrect names. Perhaps they were megrants who didn't understand the law.

Why do you insist on making a Problem out of this Issue?

"""""The commenters here have said that Blackmer should do something, but nobody can say precisely what he's supposed to do"""""""

Blacker should resign immediately for dereliction of duty.

As countless millions have been pilfered away through public-private partnerships and Urban Renewal schemes without any genuine oversight and reports, the city Auditor, by inaction and silence has relinquished all of his credibility and worth as a watchdog.

His remaining in office and subjecting the public to further insult will only prolong the arrival of an independent and legitimate auditor.

Blackmer

Just gave the ordinances a quick read and found nothing that Blackmer or Sten can do about the Boyles' dispersal now.

Did oyu obhter to read the administrative rules connected to the ordinance also?

C. Rules

1. Repayment of Fund Disbursements

a. General. The Auditor may determine that a certified candidate who has received a disbursement from the Campaign Finance Fund must repay the Fund some or all of the monies received from the Fund.

1) A certified candidate who has received payments from the Fund shall return to the Fund any amounts the Auditor determines to be repayable. In making repayment determinations, the Auditor may utilize information obtained from audits and examinations or otherwise obtained by the Auditor in carrying out the responsibilities of Code Chapter 2.10.

ADM-2.16 - Repayment of Fund Disbursements

The signers simply erred with using incorrect names. Perhaps they were migrants who didn't understand the law.

Then there's a problem if we're letting "migrants who [don't] understand the law" decide who gets $150,000 of taxpayer money to run a political campaign.

Steve,

Don't forget that I did file for the Auditor's position. The remedy, if Gary's last act is to support the US Constitution over a contrary city charter provision, may be too much for folks to handle.

I'm like Mikey in the LIFE commercial, I hate everything and everybody. And I curse. I wouldn't be Jack's cat but what that cat dragged home as a prize all disheveled and slobbered-on . . . looking for freedom and retribution against the bond cabal, for all.

'there's a problem if we're letting "migrants who [don't] understand the law" decide who gets $150,000 of taxpayer money to run a political campaign'

Isn't there some kind of irony recognition test available for would-be commenters?

nobody can say precisely what he's [Blackmer] supposed to do

Here's precisely what Blackmer's supposed to do: work to protect Portland taxpayers from paying for fraud -- by getting all VOE funds returned by the Boyles campaign.

No matter what your opinion is of VOE, everyone who's concerned about the Boyles money should pick up the phone today and call Gary Blackmer. People should respectfully urge Gary Blackmer to do everything in his power to get the money back, even if that means going back and rereading the statute.

His number is: Gary Blackmer (503) 823-4078.

Charlie,

My position is that Gary needs to demand return from Sten too.

Gary won't acknowledge my filing as valid. He defers to his status as a someone who obtained certification from a Florida/NY outfit which includes non-US-citizen board members. (Go read a whole lot of loyalty oath US Supreme Court cases to see just how rude and invalid the restriction on accepting my filing really is.)

He need only have a two minute conversation with a top civil liberties advocate to verify that my name should appear on the ballot for the auditor position. His only alternative is to pretend as if he knows best, and that he is above the fray. He displays the piety of an incumbent that feels a sense of entitlement to his position, and is using that incumbency to his advantage; I say unlawfully, for his own benefit and for the financial benefit of others.

b!X asked:

"Did you bother to read the administrative rules connected to the ordinance also?"

Did you?

If you did, maybe you can tell me how Blackmer can get those funds back under ADM 2.16.

The only way would seem to be by revoking her certification under ADM 2.16(b)(4) which provides:

4) Revocation of Certification. If the Auditor revokes the certification of a candidate, the candidate shall deliver to the Auditor an amount of money equal to all monies distributed to the candidate from the Fund after the date the candidate was certified, plus 12% interest per annum on the total amount of monies received, in addition to any penalty and interest on the penalty. (City Code Section 2.10.220 and Administrative Rule ADM-ARB-2.14)

But the only way the Auditor can revoke the certification is through CCS 2.10.220(B) which limits revocation to violations of 2.10.090 and 2.10.190.

2.10.090 involves using the money for improper purposes (e.g., going to Hawaii or paying your children to give you political advice).

2.10.190 involves improper disclosure with paid political advertisements.

Nobody has asserted that Boyles has violated either of these sections.

Try again b!x.

Great system, Opie!

"Here's precisely what Blackmer's supposed to do: work to protect Portland taxpayers from paying for fraud -- by getting all VOE funds returned by the Boyles campaign."

Is it just me or does Blackmer seem to rubber-stamp anything his five amigos put in front of him at the city council? All of the little pet projects from Vera on that he never seems to opine on for their benefit.

Why would he want to upset Erik by making a big deal of this? At least, that is what I hear behind the hemming and hawing.

Frank wrote:

'The Charter gives the City Auditor the authority to review and audit "all claims for payment."'

What makes you think Boyles has any claim for payment from the city?

They already gave her the whole $150k, she's out spending it. The City doesn't have any right to take the money back unless she breaks some other rules.

Maybe Auditor Fife could use the charter provision as authority if Boyles makes it through the general election and asks the City to pony up $200k for her next round of caviar.

But I'd wager that the city would lose on that play in court unless they alter the rules for qualifying for the general election free money (muy pronto).

Opie got his money. I guess that's all that really matters.

PanchoPdx,

Suppose I made sure that every City of Portland employee had the option of taking the component of pay that is attributable to PERB demanded "employer contributions" and city-union designated health care as straight pay instead. Call it an opt out thing, applicable to all future work. Would the city-union have a subsequent claim to retrieve that pay, or perhaps merely off-set that claim against future pay, so as to compel that employee to pay their wages to third parties, arguably for their own good but against their individual will?

By confining your scope of inquiry to the City's code itself you are sounding as if you would say that the MC4 could themselves define marriage all on their lonesome. I am truly puzzled. Have faith.

If Ms. Boyles became a city commissioner then the city could try to withhold her pay to cover the city's arguable claim. This would then put Ms. Boyles in the position of demanding that she had a contractual right to a benefit derived from the failure of the auditor to perform the duties of his office. This does sound a whole lot like so many other things in this great city. An unlawful gift does not become lawful by the passage of time -- to borrow a phrase from someone notable that once said that an unconstitutional law does not become constitutional by the passage of time.

If I withheld Sten's pay what could he do? I could put on my Jim Carrey Mask, my public servant mask, and just grin from ear to ear.

Opie's and Gary's conduct is worth far more than what 150 grand could buy.

I noticed that Opie and at least TWO MEMBERS of his staff (including Bob Durston) were listed as $5 contributors to the Tate slightly soiled money fund. I didn't read every page, but their occupations jumped off of the page to me.

I guess they aren't rooting for Saltzman to win it in the Primary.

Frank wrote:'The Charter gives the City Auditor the authority to review and audit "all claims for payment."'

Pancopdx asks: What makes you think Boyles has any claim for payment from the city?

If you had a claim on the city for $100, and the City somehow screwed up and cut the check for $100,000...you think you get to keep the $100,000 just 'cause a check got cut?

If the Boyles check got issued by a "mistake" (i.e. no one caught the fraud the first time around) then I don't see how that's any different.

Then again, the point is that folks expect the City Auditor to oversee City spending. That's why the Auditor's signature is imprinted on all the checks. You use what tools you have at your disposal, including Charter language about your roles and responsibilites, and don't complain that you can't do anything.

It's good to see the Auditor step to the plate on this. It'll be better to see what really comes of it.

Boyles has doubtlessly spent much of it, and likely has no way to pay it back. I'm sure old Vladimir's "consulting fee" is long gone. What the hey, like the "clean money" proponents have said all along, it's nothing compared to the millions Sten & Co. waste every day on other garbage.

What "mistake"?

They already checked her contributions and certified them as good. The challenge window is over. Unless they can prove Boyles was behind the fraud, they have no civil remedy.


The only way I see them stopping her is if they get the DA to help them out of this jam. Shrunk could threaten Vlad until he implicates Boyles. I'm not sure what they can threaten Vlad with, but if it's bad enough then he'll make up whatever story he needs to make it go away.

If Vlad implicates Boyles, then I imagine she'll make a deal to withdraw from the race and return any unspent funds to avoid the threat of prosecution.

What happpens if they don't have the leverage to prosecute Boyles? (Perhaps Shrunk, who owes Sten nothing, would rather watch Wonderboy eat some more crow).

In that case, Boyles can spend every last dime of the $150k pointing out Opie's faults.

Best political use of public funds we could hope for.

There's still time for Opie to do one other completely stupid thing before the election. What do you think it will be?

If Sten opens his mouth about any topic in the next month it could backfire.

He can't afford to say anything about Boyles or Clean Money - "the police are investigating, next question..."

Tram? He'll have to take a vote on the 26th with the rest of them. He may end up doing something close to the right thing on that vote just so he can use it against Burdick (or insulate himself from Lister).

He can't wave around the bloody shirt of Enron anymore, since PGE is a free-standing entity once again.

His handlers should send him away somewhere outside of the public eye. they can encourage his devout followers to maintain the whisper campaign against Lister (he doesn't have an answer for homelessness, he liked M37, etc).

If there's a runoff, Sten wants to face Burdick. She's only the only one with more baggage than him.

Back in the day, they might have threatened Vlad's immigration status, but not today.

Hey, I've got an idea: let's reduce the 1000 signatures and $5 dollar requirement to 100 signatures, a two rubles/pesos/euros each. That will make it even more inclusive: not so dollar-centric.


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