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Monday, March 10, 2008

More "clean money" insanity

The administrative time and expense created by Portland's "voter-owed elections" system have just gone up -- way up. Enjoy the potholes -- we've got better things to do with your money.

Comments (9)

Funny - two filings by two candidates on the same day! What did Sam promise them I wonder?

What a waste of everyone's energy.

Clean money has its own costs, disadvantages and advantages. Problem is, most of the "clean money" critics are comparing it to an idyllic election where good candidates are supported by popular mandate rather than commercial interests, and nothing bad ever happens.

Don't get me wrong: I think that Portland's clean money system has a LOT of problems and bugs, but I think its an improvement over the alternative. Lots of folks have railed against the "Goldschmidt machine" but, without independent financing of election, those machines have power because they control the electoral money. Choosing between the two, I'll pick our current "clean money" system anytime. And, as far as alternatives, what's the solution?

The advantages have yet to be demonstrated in practice in Portland. The planner/developer cabal owns people like Middaugh and Smith -- and they get them for free. Sho Dozono is the candidate of the downtown money set -- and they get a free ride, too.

Incumbents are guaranteed tenure for life -- look at the Leonard non-race. And it costs millions. We're at $1 million for the primary, plus at least one staff person, and how much are all these emergency state ALJ hearings going to cost?

There may or may not be solutions to the problem of money in politics, but this is an expensive, half-baked money throw at the problem.


This critic opposes arbitrary government action. It is the government itself that is not to be trusted, as evidenced by the first amendment itself.

"Because of the danger of censorship through selective enforcement of broad prohibitions, and '[b]ecause First Amendment freedoms need breathing space to survive, government may regulate in [this] area only with narrow specificity.'" (emphasis added) In re Primus, 436 U.S. 412 (1978) citing NAACP v. Button, 371 U.S. 415 (1963).

I am tempted to jump in and demand return all the monies thus far distributed, even if I have to beg for donations to bring legal action . . . without running afoul of any state law myself.

No one needs to be paid to promise to limit their spending to X. Selective gifting is a funny way to distort the process so as to avoid the specter of selective enforcement of prohibitions. The CoP needs to be treated as a PAC . . . which is inherently incompatible with its role as a state actor in holding neutral elections for public office.

If you wish to advocate for the repeal of the first amendment there is prescribed process to do just that. (Which mirrors precisely an argument made by someone to the city club pertaining to the Oregon Constitution, in light of a couple rulings pertaining to free speech.)

Beryl who? Mayor of what?

Is it too late for me to file the paperwork to be a candidate for the U.S. Presidency?

Then I can add "U.S. Presidential Candidate" on my resume. Help fill in some of those "lost" years.

If only Opie's legislation resigned when he did.

No question, this is a move by Sam/Weiner. Don't let the smokescreen fool you. They must have a poll that shows that his lead is evaporating - kinda like Francesconi in 2004.

Why do we call these "voter owned elections" when the voters were neither consulted nor allowed to vote on the voter owned elections?

I was at the hearing when they enacted this funding trainwreck, testifying against it. After my friend Ken testified that they should give the people a chance to vote on it, Potter replied there was no need.

"Sixty percent of my constituents are in favor of this," the mayor said.

Let me do the quick math. Sixty percent of Potter's sixty percent was a plurality? Thirty six percent?

As I've said before, we may never get to vote on it. There is nothing binding the council to bring it to a vote.


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