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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 28, 2008 1:27 AM. The previous post in this blog was Make up your own punchline. The next post in this blog is The ultimate mystery. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Thursday, February 28, 2008

"Clean money" tab for May: $841,254 and counting

The cost of taxpayer handouts for the campaigns of the politicians running for two Portland City Council seats in the May primary now stands at $841,254. The current tale of the tape is here. And that is not counting a couple of additional items that could raise the total public payout for this spring's municipal campaigns well over $1 million.

Additional Item 1 is mayoral candidate Sho Dozono. If he doesn't somehow pull himself out (or get kicked out) of the "voter-owed election" pool, or otherwise self-destruct, will likely get close to another $200,000.

Additional Item 2 is the extra bill that the taxpayers will get handed if the "unclean" candidates in various races raise more money than the "clean" ones are initially awarded. Unless the city has changed these rules on the fly (which seems to be an almost daily occurrence), if "dirty money" folks raise more than the "clean money" allotment, the taxpayers get to match the excess for each "clean money" candidate in that race. So far we know of at least two candidates who are going to rake in big dough from the usual suspects: Sam the Tram for mayor and Nick the Fish for council. If they decide they need to blow past the "voter-owed" limits, we all get to pay more for their opponents' junk mail and robo-phone calls.

At least one City Council race is virtually certain to head for a runoff, and so there's some more hundred thousands out of the taxpayers' pockets this summer. But hey, it'll be worth it, because now the people with money in Portland will no longer control City Hall.

Uh huh.

Comments (14)

Don't forget the hundreds of hours of staff time devoted to signature verification, fielding inquiries from the candidates and interested parties, prepping for the CAC, and "whadda think" discussions with the City Attorney.

All things that would be unnecessary if VOE didn't exist. I wonder home come nobody is using VOE to challenge Fireman Randy? Mmmmmmmm.

Here's where the irony gets rich and smoothy: what if the winning council includes the Incumbent Fireman, Tram Boy, Son of Opie, Streetcar Smith, and the incumbent Big (silent) Pipe.

Women and minorities encouraged to apply. Here's some money: go buy yourself something pretty. Just don't get your hopes up too high. You go girl.

Unless Amanda Fritz wins (which seems unlikely, given the vitriol), the CoP Council will still be all white and male, with their gonads still firmly in the palms of the unions and condo/streetcar mafia.

Anybody know any good municipal bankruptcy attorneys?

I'd rather see the the public campaign money go to pay down debt or something else basic. I'm not seeing much actual change in the city's direction and relations to business because of this so called "voter-owned" elections regulation. Now that Sten is leaving and the other encumbents are not taking public campaign monies (supposedly), why do we have to wait until 2010 to vote on it?

As I've pointed out before, we may never get to vote on it. The council that enacted VOE had no power to bind a future council to put it on a ballot. That was one of the reasons Randy Leonard was the lone no vote. I would like to hear the current candidates make a pledge to bring it to a vote, but so far I haven't heard that.

Given that VOE is focused on long term change, I don't think it's realistic to expect change in one, or even two cycles. Then again, it looks like we'll have a couple VOE beneficiaries on council this next term, and it will be interesting to see what effect it has on them.

One other interesting political sidelight of VOE is similar to the analysis of Senator's Clinton's spending -- which city council candidate accepting public funds can claim the mantle of efficiency and "bang for the buck"? Seriously, given that members of city council are responsible for economic efficiencies, one very real issue for me is how each of these candidates spend the public money they are being given to run for office. (This isn't too far from the questions about Comm'r Sten's obligations with regard to his VOE money.) In fact, it may be more important for me to see how they spent their money, than it is to hear about their platitudes on green spaces.

Given that VOE is focused on long term change...

Even were I to accept your assertion, which I don't, how many "cycles" would you suggest as realistic before we see the yearned-for "change"? Put another way, how much money are you willing to p*ss away on this farce before you judge its merit.

And what will be the objective measure of its success or failure?

And will you please stop making sense about efficiencies - it throws me off.

That's further off, to you, Allan...

My guess is that we'll be able to evaluate whether it's created real change as soon as those winning with VOE don't have to constantly talk about VOE, and we can instead look at (a) whether people are winning who would normally never have the financial connections to get in the game, and (b) those winning create a more interesting City Council. As an example, I know Jack hates Chris Smith, and Chris certainly is focused on a very specific set of issues, but I'll bet he'd be a good person to have on council.

On an analogous front, related to my first point, I think it's kind of ironic that there's the ongoing skirmish between McCain and Obama about whether or not to take public funds. No one is bitching about publicly financing the election, because everyone's used to it.

I know Jack hates Chris Smith

I don't hate Chris Smith. I do hate what he stands for.

No one is bitching about publicly financing the election, because everyone's used to it.

No one bitches because everyone gets to opt out if they don't like it. Indeed, they have to opt in on their tax returns, and most people don't.

The other small difference is, the federal government gets to print more money whenever it wants.

You know what they say:


So what else is new?

As I've pointed out before, we may never get to vote on it. The council that enacted VOE had no power to bind a future council to put it on a ballot.

Technically you're right, Dave. But I really doubt that VOE won't come up for a vote in 2010 (is that when it's scheduled?). Those who support VOE won't want to break the promise, and those who oppose it will want to see it referred. We know Leonard will support the referral, so he only needs two of the remaining four to send it to the ballot.

The irony is that I think Portland voters would have supported it had it been referred two years ago. Given how it's been administered so far, though, I think it's chances diminish with each election.

Given how it's been administered so far, though, I think it's chances diminish with each election.

WTF were you expecting, Miles - given who's administering it?

Well, VOE is all about "change". There's no indication that the "change" must be positive - or negative. As long as there's "change" of some sort, everybody should be happy.

I thought VOE was about enabling the candidacies of women and minorities, and those who speak truth to power?

With the exception of Amanda Fritz and (ahem!) Emilie Boyles, it looks like we're just attracting the same candidates as before. Perhaps the Voodoo Donuts guy and Sho Dozono wouldn't have come forward without the promise of free money, but should free money be a source of great motivation to any candidate?

The successful candidate is going to make a six figure salary (plus whatever he can steal), which is a fairly attractive wage to many of those who are underemployed or underpaid. Perhaps we've made it too easy to get $145,000.

Good candidates will always attract private donations: I don't think the same can be said for roads and sewers.


Arrow to the heart!

According to Jack's rules, succinct is good - that was perfect!

Well, since they all read this blog I will ask them:

Candidates for mayor and council, will you pledge to bring VOE to a vote in 2010 as promised, if not before?

Enquiring minds would like to know.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

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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