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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 10, 2008 3:54 PM. The previous post in this blog was What the new I-5 interstate bridge really needs. The next post in this blog is Movin' on up. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Candidates Gone Wild = Zimbabwe

Last night, the voting closed for which Portland City Council candidates get to appear on stage at "Candidates Gone Wild." The winners were announced at about 3 this morning.

But wait! This afternoon, mysteriously, balloting appears to have reopened! Guess the Bus Kids and Willamette Wiener didn't get the outcome they wanted. What a very special crock.

UPDATE, 4:39 p.m.: A reader forwards to us an e-mail that purports to be from WW editor Mark Zusman to the various candidates, and reads:

Dear candidates and campaigns,

Online voting for Candidates Gone Wild will remain open until midnight
TONIGHT, as we originally said when making initial phone calls about the
voting process. There has been a network administrative error with the
voting deadline and the voting reopened this afternoon.

Curiously, the e-mail is marked "Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2008 4:45:53 PM," which is not possible as I received my copy at 4:33...

UPDATE, 4/11, 12:01 a.m.: The extended deadline has come and gone, and now Jeff Bissonnette has passed John Branam for the third and final berth on stage in the hotly contested City Council race. Assuming that's the result desired by the organizers, that should be the end of the matter.

Comments (37)

i voted for Idi Amin. he seems like a good guy with a vision.

Also, an avid cyclist.

I voted for Eydie Gourmet.

I hope the Pulitzer Committee doesn't hear about this...

The website still says:

Starting Saturday, March 15, visitors to CandidatesGoneWild. com will be able to vote —just once— for the seven candidates they would like to see onstage. The winners will be announced on April 10.

I'm betting that Streetcar Smith is going to have a strong surge about 11:59 p.m. tonight.

In a cheerful twist of fate, WillyWeek lacks the Zimbabwean Army's ability to enforce their desired outcome.

Why do they want you to pick 3 only for seat 1 and 2 for others?

To make sure Smith gets in?

Hard to announce the winners on April 10 if the results won't be known until April 11.

The whole thing is a stinking pile.

Aw, you are being awfully harsh on the Weak Week -- they are just taking cues from our city government, making up election rules in midstream.

On a related topic, has the rag in question always sucked as bad as it does now? I think I remember reading some good stories in said paper, fifteen years ago or so, or was that another weekly, in another city?

This is a serious question, by the way, I really want someone's opinion about whether the Weak Week used to serve a journalistic function.

why, one might ask, would serious candidates for public office submit themselves to this kind of public debate process?

Vote Early!
Vote Often!
Vote Adamski!

here's one way to show your support.

why, one might ask, would serious candidates for public office submit themselves to this kind of public debate process?

They're afraid of being branded "fringe candidates," and barred from more serious events like the City Club debates.

Oh, fine. If they're gonna be that way about it, I'm voting again from a different subnet.

Interesting - Out of 5 people they are within 40 votoes out of 1600 (2.5%) of each other. I thought the NBA West was tight.

somethings fishy on the "seat #1"

some of the candidates mysteriously lost some votes bringing Chris Smith closer to the 3rd place.

Who wants to bet that Chris Smith will secure a position and Charles Lewis will be bumped down to #4 and out of the debate?

Did anyone else get one of these from Erik Middaugh?

From: Jim Middaugh [mailto:jim_middaugh@msn.com]
Sent: Monday, March 24, 2008 8:02 PM
To: Jim Middaugh
Subject: Hello and a quick favor please

Dear Undisclosed Recipient,

Jim Middaugh here. I'm running for the Portland City Council. But, don't worry. THIS IS NOT A FUNDRAISING PITCH.

I'm using Portland's novel public finance system to run.

Instead, I'm writing to ask you to help me be selected to participate in an event called "Candidates Gone Wild." Our local weekly paper sponsors the event every election season to encourage young people to vote. Candidates get on stage and make fools of themselves trying to be entertaining.

That's where you come in. Because there are a lot of candidates, the sponsor is holding an online vote to pick who gets to come on stage. So, I'm asking you to take second right now and go to www.candidatesgonewild.com at vote for me. It takes about 10 seconds.

My main opponent is Nick Fish. You get to vote for two candidates for my race. If you don't mind, I'd appreciate it if you would vote for someone other than Nick for your second choice but that's up to you.

You can learn more about my campaign and sign up as a supporter at www.j[...]portland.com .

Please take a minute right now to go to www.candidatesgonewild.com and exercise your democratic right to vote for me to look foolish.

Thanks,

Jim

That explains the sudden rise of Fred Stewart.

Rarely has there been a more quasi-insistent candidate than Chris Smith.

I mean come on,,,, how dare he be required to go through an election after being a self appointed representative for years.
It's almost insulting to city hall and various agencies that he has to compete against outsiders.

MT: "That explains the sudden rise of Fred Stewart."

Well, I voted for him about five times.

I'm voting for Fred Stewart in that race. On the topic of the economy he is the only one who has said anything of substance. Everybody else starts drooling meaningless, sustainable eco-babble.

If you're undecided, take a look at Stewart.

Jim is such a great candidate.

He's all in favor of publicly financed elections and lots of candidates and democracy and all that.

But he's sure not in favor of having his main opponent on stage with him!

Thanks Jim! So inspiring!

"Who wants to bet that Chris Smith will secure a position and Charles Lewis will be bumped down to #4 and out of the debate?"

hey, now that the results are out, where did all the "WWeek/BusProject/Chris Smith/City Hall establishment" conspiracy theorists go? and why didn't the streetcar mafia come through?

"Who wants to bet that Chris Smith will secure a position and Charles Lewis will be bumped down to #4 and out of the debate?"

hey, now that the results are out, where did all the "WWeek/BusProject/Chris Smith/City Hall establishment" conspiracy theorists go?

I think they realized that Smith is toast, but that they can sell the other effete planner type, Bissonnette, to the Bus kids and the Stennies. Jeff seems to be another streetcar man. Too bad he couldn't win in the straw vote that was pronounced "official" early Thursday morning, as scheduled.

You watch: He'll come out smelling like a rose, while they'll try their best to assassinate Fritz and Lewis.

I was following this race from the very beginning and am glad that Position 1 turned out the way it did. I want to see Charles Lewis take on Fritz - and the electorate. I really think he's electable - if not this time, the next time around.

I went to UP with Lewis many moons ago. He was a Poly Sci major and I was a history major. But at UP, those departments are really the same. So I had a lot of classes with him. He was a pretty much exactly like what you see today. he's a very real person.

Anyway, I think it's worth noting that Lewis DIDN'T make a serious push for C.G.W. votes until the last minute. Brahnam peaked too early, and that's why he'll be in the audience.

Lewis is a wily campaigner and I can't wait to see if he can upset Fritz, assuming she has the clear lead in this race.

But maybe more importantly, why the silence from you, Jack, on your attendance? Come on, spill it... have you been invited back this year?

I don't speak for all planners, but I am in fact a planner who would choose Smith first and Jeff second. I just think it's a bit much to suggest that there's a pro-streetcar+planning cabal behind the bus or WWeek. Charles Lewis, with that whole Ethos thing and hip-hop campaign parties, is a much better candidate for favorite among the bus kids. Fritz would be a good match for the anti-establishment (but popular-establishment by default) WWeek crowd.

"I am in fact a planner who would choose Smith first and Jeff second."

They both just lost my vote.

"They both just lost my vote."

Easier than thinking for yourself I suppose. I could tell you all the candidates I plan to vote for if it would help you fill out your ballot. However, I should let you know that the "planner's voting guide" is just an inverse of the "tax law professor's voting guide," so you could just ask Jack for his.

the anti-establishment (but popular-establishment by default) WWeek crowd.

Don't know what planet you've been on. IIRC, last time around WW endorsed Sten and Saltzman. Re-electing Opie was "the defining issue of our era," or some such shinola.

"I could tell you all the candidates I plan to vote for if it would help you fill out your ballot."

Nah, that's OK, I can just go over to BlueOregon and get programmed.

Believe me, this is not an easy election with so few good choices.

Lost in all of this is the inequity to the John Branam campaign. Mr. Branam should be a participant of CGW per the original deadlines. I would personally like to hear him answer some tough questions and provide the public with his blueprint for Portland's future. Based on what I've seen and heard from him thus far, I'm confident that he'd handle himself quite well. Mr. Branam has been one of the few candidates to champion the tenants that are important to most Portlanders -- equity, transparency, innovation, creativity, collaborative and bold leadership, and robust education. His youth may be holding him back a bit, but he has many of the qualities of a young B. Obama.

"tenants"

You mean tenets?

Gaming the VoE system by paying his buddy $15000 for non-work is enough to let me know what type of person he is already.

Young Obama? I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

Even Obama's coattails won't be long enough for Branam, no matter how good a defender of "Portland's Tenants" he might make.

Pointing out a grammatical error rather than the issues.

The point is: John Branam deserves a strong look. He's a proven commodity with Portland Public Schools. He has some strong, well-rounded experience. Plus, he's the only candidate that has come out in favor of robust education in PDX.

"He's a proven commodity with Portland Public Schools. He has some strong, well-rounded experience. Plus, he's the only candidate that has come out in favor of robust education in PDX."

OK

So tell me what Mr Brannam has done that will address any issues dealing with being a city commissioner. Otherwise, stay in the schoold district employ if he is so good for schools.

I am sorry if he is your best buddy, but I need a little more convincing argument,

Jack, you and I are in agreement. I may not have written it as cleverly as it appeared in my mind, but the point is that WW presents an anti-establishment facade and "challenges authority," but they somehow, as you point out, they keep picking winners. Most of the groups that would be anti-establishment in others towns, like the bike crowd, the affordable housing Stennies, etc. are the establishment.

This time around, Bissonnette is the Stealth Stennie.

hmmm, maybe. I met him and he seemed far less aggressive/activist than Sten. Maybe that is the "stealth" to which you refer. I actually saw Lewis being the more populist activist, but as you point out, he wants to pave the streets, so there the analogy is broken. Political analogies tend to be worthless and result in strange surprises. I think the Sho is the new Potter line is also, for better or worse, a poor one. If anything, they're both just the anti-Sam.


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