While the City of Portland and the State of Oregon play "go fish" with each other over who might investigate City Council candidate Emilie Boyles's alleged abuse of the city's lovely new "voter-owned elections" system, Boyles has spent about half the $144,900 in taxpayer dollars that the city paid her to finance her campaign.
According to the campaign finance report she filed today, Boyles has spent $73,711 and has $76,144 in the bank. (I'm not sure if that's a "today" number -- it may very well be as of March 31.)
As was ably reported by Betsy at Metroblogging earlier this evening, Boyles paid $15,000 to Vladimir Golovan, the signature-gatherer whose creativity has Boyles in hot water. But to add to the weirdness, she reports paying him with five separate $3,000 checks, issued one each day for five days in a row between February 27 and March 3. (She got her "clean money" from the city on February 24.) Something similar was done with Aaron Minoo, her campaign manager, whom the Boyles campaign paid $3,200 each day for four days, and $2,400 on the fifth day, for $15,200 -- plus another $800 before the City Hall gravy train pulled in.
Boyles also paid her 16-year-old daughter, who just finished high school, $12,500 in three checks on consecutive days over that same period.
Betsy's got more, but that's enough for me. I've lost track amidst the current Portland meltdown -- did the state attorney general's office ever agree to take over this case? The last I heard, the Portland police didn't want to deal with it -- they asked the state to take over. But I never heard whether the folks in Salem accepted the invitation.
I do know that if somebody doesn't act soon, the other half of the $144,900 is about to disappear. Who's in charge at this point? Do we have a name? It certainly isn't the name Sten or Blackmer, the architects of the brave new world.
Perhaps the biggest kick I got out of reading Boyles's report was her moniker for the public campaign finance system. She calls it "resident-owned elections," rather than "voter-owned," because, as she and her pals have ably shown, you certainly don't need real Portland voters' signatures and contributions to snooker $150,000 out of the City Council.