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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 4, 2008 8:05 AM. The previous post in this blog was All muscle and heart. The next post in this blog is Do you see what they see?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Friday, January 4, 2008

Another Fish course

Lawyer and part-time TV talk show host Nick Fish is running for the Portland City Council again, according to this morning's Trib. Nick dropped the ball toward the end of his last campaign for the council, and that's how we got Sam the Tram running things at City Hall. Now the Fish is gunning for the seat being vacated by Erik Sten, who acted neutral in the Fish-Adams race but then slinked around helping Adams pull the upset.

Does this mean that the Nickster will be quitting his Sunday morning public affairs show on the CW? I can't imagine that the station will let him host while he's running for political office.

Meanwhile, as usual, the city's brilliant "voter-owed elections" system -- part of the legacy of the Sten genius -- is in complete disarray. It looks like no one running in the Sten fill-in election will qualify for taxpayer campaign funds, but hey, the boys at City Hall just make stuff up as they go along in this area, and so maybe we can burn several hundred thousand more in taxpayer "clean money."

If they're going to change the rules on the fly yet again, maybe they should take a suggestion made by a commenter on this blog in the last couple of days. He suggested that since Sten took "clean money" and then quit halfway through his term, he should have to pay it back. Hear, hear. At least half of it. How many rounds of taxpayer subsidies should there be over a single four-year term for a single seat?

Comments (19)

It's pretty outrageous that you quit for no good reason (e.g., illness) and not have to pay anything back to the city. It's clear this system remains half-baked.

Not unlike free municipal wi-fi.

So Jack, which is worse, tax-payer funded elections or corporate ownership of the elected? I agree Sten should be made to reimburse some of his election funds.
As long as the supreme courts rule that money equates to free speech we, the voters, are doomed to the whims and demands of corporate. Homer Williams, and Jack Weston, Snitzners and Zidells already have the politicos in their pockets.
Every election the voters have a sorry lot to choose from. Money and media rule the elections.

This is kind of confusing. Are you suggesting that if people qualified for public financing it is bad, but that if no one qualifies, it means the system is in "disarray?" I think the fact of people not qualifying helps demonstrate that the bar is set high enough (once the Golovan-likes get weeded out). Then again, I suppose one can always resort to: "see, the system isn't perfect, so it should be characterized as terrible."

What's in disarray -- this time -- is the fact that no one thought about vacancies or special elections, and now there's talk of making rules up on the fly at the 11th hour to allow people to qualify.

That's on top of giving Streetcar Smith his Mulligan when he broke the rules a while back.

And on top of all the fun we had last time. I think "disarray" is a fair assessment.

"and now there's talk of making rules up on the fly at the 11th hour to allow people to qualify" ...

I would be concerned about that kind of thing, too. So who is this talk from? Bloggers, commenters, "in the know" people? It always seems unfair when an interviewer asks someone "you know, people have been saying that you bite the heads off chicks ... please respond" In that vein, it would be nice to be able to gauge the credibility of the comments based on who is making them.

In that vein, it would be nice to be able to gauge the credibility of the comments based on who is making them.

It is nice, Jonathan.

"In that vein, it would be nice to be able to gauge the credibility of the comments based on who is making them.

It is nice, Jonathan."



Is there any difference to you between a minor and major violation?

What would you have suggested they do to Chris Smith? Do you think the violation required that he terminate his candidacy? Go to jail? Be executed?

They didn't anticipate special elections: that was an oversight. So now what? What would you suggest? Would you suggest NOT making up rules at the "11th hour"? Or what?

It's awfully easy to take potshots, but sometimes policies have to be adjusted to the realities of a situation, and that seems to be just what is going on here.

Finally, the suggestion that an elected candidate should "pay back" the City if he/she resigns before the end of the term is just silly.

So obviously "cc" and "Jim" have some kind of great inside track of knowledge. Perhaps that's the reason for anonymity?

Finally, the suggestion that an elected candidate should "pay back" the City if he/she resigns before the end of the term is just silly.

You're right. If only we could only pay to HAVE them resign, everything would be in balance.

So obviously "cc" and "Jim" have some kind of great inside track of knowledge.

Never mind that neither of us claimed anything remotely like that, Jonathan's 360 degree blind spot allows such an incisive comeback.

So, why the interest in our "real" names, Jonathon? Does that help you evaluate the content of our character?


My sincerest apology for misspelling your real name.

"which is worse, tax-payer funded elections or corporate ownership of the elected?"

Puh-leeze, you just think with voter-financed elections that Sam or Ted won't take call's from Neil's hey-boy Tom Imeson or if Homer happens to make a large contribution to one of Erik's favorite charities that they'll circumvent this "solution"?

You are naive. I doubt VOE will cahnge one thing as far as influence. If corporate control of elected officials is an issue, then fine, let's cut to the quick and make it so no public official can interced on behalf of a special interest or make the penalties real.

If VOE is so great, how come the only incumbent who used it was Erik Sten?

Sam Adams... no
Dan Saltzman... no
Randy Leonard... no

For a bunch of new candidates running for an open seat it isn't going to matter much. But challenging an incumbent using VOE... no chance. VOE improved the incumbents edge, which was substantial to begin with.

VOE improved the incumbents edge, which was substantial to begin with.

A thoughtful, cynical person might conclude that was the plan, no?

I like Nick Fish and I'm glad to learn he doesn't plan on using tax dollars to fund his campaign.

Why? Because I believe it's unfair that the pretenders (like Ms. Boyles) and the legitimate candidates should receive the same amount of money.

Serious candidates will attract more campaign donations than pretenders: great political talent attracts more money. Why? Because they're good at influencing others. And because a lot of donors will open up their wallets for a candidate they believe in. Not because they expect anything in return, but because they believe that government is in desperate need of better leadership.

Just because you're good at gathering $5.00 donations doesn't mean you'd make a good city commissioner. We're not trying to identify the best signature gatherers, we're looking for the best leadership.

Similarly, I don't believe that public funds should be used to procure a private income for the winning candidate, especially those who are currently (ahem!) underemployed.

Fritz, Fish and Dozono in 2008! The trifecta of change.

We're not trying to identify the best signature gatherers, we're looking for the best leadership.

That distinction is lost on many in Portland. For others, that such a distinction exists is cynically ignored.

What a great coalition.

You've got my vote for "Best Comment" of the day on that one...

...hell, of the year.


If you were grading a bar exam would you be puzzled by the lack of an author's name? Judge the argument.


It was the Auditor and Mr. Sten that thought it would be wise to substitute a private contract for public law. There was an exchange of something of value by both parties to the contract, as it is unlawful just to hand out gifts. You could read this article on the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing. Or see an application of the concept in one recent Oregon case.

The city attorney would be hard pressed to assert that it is not an "objectively reasonable" argument to make . . . at least before the only body that matters.

From Chiles v. Robertson, 94 Or App 604, dealing with a fiduciary duty of majority shareholders to minority shareholders, I like the following phrase:

"The nature of the remedy follows from the nature of the breach."

That case was treated is a dispute merely between private parties. Would a charge here of manipulation of the electoral process warrant less examination by a court? I think not. Precisely to offer some deference to the political branch? This would be silly to the point of being absurd.

Again, from Chiles, I like this characterization:

"The parties' legal arguments are like two ships that pass in the twilight: Each is vaguely aware of the other's presence, but neither actually reacts to the other."

That sounds like modern blogging, with a hint of pretense of professionalism thrown in to keep it sort of civil.

Mr. Sten seems to perceive absolutely no duty what so ever. It seems to apply both to his public contracts and his private contracts. The Auditor and City Attorney here look like enablers by not even seeming to entertain a demand for return of the money . . . or even to delay an initial vote until mid-September and to seek recovery of any public funds spent to fill the balance of his vacant term.

Is Mr. Fish just an opportunist too, or would he like to argue that the vote should be held in mid-September? Such a delay would certainly magnify the potential personal liability faced by Mr. Sten. Which leads to the obvious and allowable conclusion that Mr. Sten benefits very substantially by official council action to exclude the possibility of publicly funded campaigning now or by not delaying the first special election until mid-September.

I asked the city election officer to present to the council an alternative resolution for this coming Wednesday that schedules a special election to fill the Sten vacancy for mid-September. Such an alternative is one that no single proponent of public funding of campaigns should find objectionable.


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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
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
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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