This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 15, 2007 11:24 AM. The previous post in this blog was Anniversary. The next post in this blog is Not surprising. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Tech update

My web host informs me that a server hardware failure was the cause of yesterday's kerplooey on this site. Alas, the best backup they have been able to get for me so far was nearly a week old.

I've been through something like this before, and based on what I learned then, I've been able to get all my brilliant words and images for the week reposted in about two hours' time. Comments are another story, however. I'm turning to those next. Some are salvageable, but how many is not entirely clear at this time. If you left a comment this past week and now it's gone, my apologies for the inconvenience. Please be patient, and with any luck, I'll be able to get it back before your eyes soon.

UPDATE, 6:27 p.m.: Thanks to Ron Ledbury's amazing archive, we have been able to get quite a few of the lost comments back. However, not all have been retrieved so far; there are still some missing from the afternoon and evening of Friday the 13th (appropriately), and the ill-fated morning of Saturday the 14th. If I can't scrape them up somehow, it will be a shame, if no other reason that Amanda Fritz had a nice conversation going with me and some others on this post.

Repeat with me: Nightly backups of the database. Nightly backups of the database...

Comments (5)

Paul B pointed to Warrick.

See here.

I blew it because some of the files were (for a while) somewhere in a local Squid cache, but I would have had to recompile with a patch to include a feature for folks that use Squid even when they only have intermittent access to the Internet. I instead made one change in the configuration file (seemingly applicable) and it grabbed the "new" page rather than the cached page(s), displacing the old.

Whatever you did, it saved many dozens of comments. Thank you.

I'm glad you have your posts back, Jack, that's the main thing. There are new things to chew on in the Public Campaign Finance recommendations, but we've been ruminating on the concept for a couple of years so I've no doubt we can recreate the conversation the next time you put a VOE post up.


The proposed change of running a credit check and demanding payment on all prior judgments as a precondition to obtaining public dollars cannot be squared with the prime intent of reducing the influence of big money. I had thought big money was the dirty thing – whereas poverty was noble or honorable. Still, in the context of litigation on first amendment grounds within the class of those who apply for public financing the notion of "honor" (or honoring contracts) might make sense if the funding were a loan – but not if the credit rating thing is to assure payment in the event that funds or penalties are demanded at a later date upon a finding, from within the Auditor's office, of some OTHER conduct that results in a demand of return of money, and perhaps coupled with a penalty.

Here is a guide to follow to ascertain sustainability of ANY condition. Do the terms and conditions for obtaining the public funding match, letter for letter, with the terms and conditions for running without public funding? That is, isolate out all except a _ pledge _ not to spend more than X. Even this _ pledge _ can be broken by returning all the money. I say a VOE candidate can collect the money piece meal, from the get go, to accumulate the resources to return to the public – rather than as a lump sum kind of thing that implies finding a very small number of big donors (resembling a back room deal to spring upon the public, or competing VOE candidate, as if by magic later).

A filthy rich candidate cannot be precluded from seeking public funding. Their "credit" must surely be OK, and so too their complete freedom at any point to return it all; but for the risk of arbitrary determination of some penalty for who-knows-why by some sitting official. I would also want uniformity of the risk of penalties for the rich candidate (with or without public funding) and for the financially destitute candidate. After all is said and done, given fidelity to a vast list of free speech cases, is that the risk of penalties for the poor, where they cannot afford a top lawyer or obtain the assistance of the ACLU, is enhanced relative to the rich (or politically aligned) candidate.

Instead of providing dollars, it would be OK – wise or otherwise – to demand that ALL candidates obtain 1000 signatures. And to couple that with a requirement that each must be obtained in a face to face meeting between the candidate and the signor. That is, why should the rich be exempted from the 1000 signature requirement? (Even this _ feature _ of inducing face time is not fairly placed on ALL candidates.) The court case framing of the signature stuff has arisen in the context of imposing a huge payment as a precondition to becoming a candidate. This is where a signature option must be afforded to the poor by court order . . . just to run, and quite apart from the notion of getting public dollars (or I would say subjecting the poor to greater risk of arbitrary penalties, compounded by further destruction of their "credit rating").

The only reason the penalty, as opposed to the demand for return, component of the findings pertaining to Ms. Boyles survived is the lack of a vigorous advocate in court – where the ruling would necessarily result in a near complete invalidation of the scheme, if for no other reason than the failure to demand 1000 signatures from ALL candidates. And the necessary follow-up demand/remedy for mere return of dollars from ALL VOE candidates. You included.

I would, and still might, "join" you (and Erik) as an indispensable party to illuminate the issues and to assure vigor in the case. Or, in other words, it is in your self interest to assure that the present report accurately document the circumstances surrounding my filing for the position of Auditor, and the denial of pre-authorization to collect signatures. The ONLY out – or escape hatch – for the present Auditor to continue to sit (given the City of Portland Charter) is for the state legislature to set up a scheme to certify Internal Auditors for all cities in Oregon. Such a statewide scheme would afford me the opportunity to address the policy implications of perceived compulsory enforceability of GASB related matters; where GASB itself is just another PRIVATE entity whom I believe to be a pawn of the outside bond holder community that desire to maximize their take of interest payments from local governments and therefor from the people that live within them by way of the superior returns derived from tapping into the taxing power and the simultaneous power to set (or influence) bond/credit ratings. The victim to which the SEC should be focused on is not the bond holders but the folks too whom they lend. The game of "money-lending" has never been benign (even in the context of the sugar plantation "owners" in Cuba many years ago) and entitled to a presumption of goodness, exclusively.

It would have been a tactical failure for me to demand public campaign financing, rather than removal of the sitting auditor.

A filthy rich candidate cannot be precluded from seeking public funding. Their "credit" must surely be OK

I hope you're not implying only poor people have bad credit, that affluent people never have outstanding debts, or that less affluent people always have bad credit?

I haven't yet read the proposal on credit background requirements in the recommendations. I hope someone who declared bankruptcy as a convenience to avoid particular debts (e.g., Paul Allen and the Rose Garden) would be ineligible for public funds. On the other hand, Sam Adams received bankruptcy protection and subsequently voluntarily paid back all his creditors; I hope someone with that kind of record would be allowed to qualify.

I don't think it's feasible for someone who isn't at least at break-even in their personal finances to run or qualify, since the campaign eats up huge chunks of time that would normally be spent earning paychecks.

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