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Friday, April 4, 2008

The fix was in: Sten gave Middaugh a big head start

Do you ever wonder how Portland Commissioner Erik Sten's chief lackey, Jim MIddaugh, is the only candidate to succeed him who qualified for several hundred thousand dollars of taxpayer "clean money" under the "voter-owed elections" system?

Maybe because Sten tipped him off around Thanksgiving that the Stenmeister was packing it in, while he didn't tell the public about it until after the holidays. One of Middaugh's opponents, Ed Garren, reportedly sent this e-mail around last night:

On Thursday, April 3rd, city council candidate for seat #2, Jim Middaugh, offered a candid insight into his political aspirations. Middaugh knew his boss Erik Sten was going to resign "around Thanksgiving."

He shared this during a videotaped candidate interview at the Willamette Week, in front of his opponents, and WW editorial staff.

He quickly clarified that he did not actually decide to seek office until January 14, approximately seven weeks after Councilmember Sten had told him he planned to resign after the first of the year.

Later, during a candidate forum on Hayden Island, he was asked by candidate Ed Garren, "Jim, when did you know Erik was going to resign?" Middaugh's response, "around Thanksgiving." He went on to deride Garren for being a "conspiracy theorist", presumably over Garren's concern that having six weeks advance knowledge of Sten's resignation might have given Middaugh an unfair advantage in collecting contributions for "Voter Owned Elections."

Middaugh insists that his successful efforts, at collecting 1,700 contributions in ten days was completely "grass roots" and he did not engage in any campaign organization activities before his decision to run was made on January 14th.

Garren has expressed concerns that the idea of "Voter Owned Elections" did not include incumbents or their close associates using the system unfairly to hijack taxpayer money to fund their campaigns.

"I've been a grass roots organizer for almost three decades, and 1,700 anything in ten days is not what I call grass roots," offered Garren.

City Council is set to vote on how much additional funding Middaugh will get if he ends up in a runoff after the primary. The figure under consideration is $150,000 in addition to the $150,000 he has already received, making a total of $300,000. The vote is set for 9:30 AM (time certain) on Wednesday April 9th.

What sleaze. Between this and the lie that Sten, reportedly with a million-dollar mortgage to pay, supposedly doesn't have a clue as to what he's doing to do next, his career is ending in an illustrative pack of lies and manipulations. Way to go, Opie.

Comments (67)

I always thought someting was less than kosher about this guy Middaugh's collection of 1700 VOE "contributions". Anybody want to bet he had all this lined up weeks in advance of applying for election funds?

Was Middaugh lining up volunteer signature gatherers in advance of his VOE application? If so, then he clearly had material non-public information which allowed him to strategize while his competitors slept.

Given the prominent role that Sten played in designing VOE, it's only natural that a Socialist would try and game the VOE loopholes for his successor's political advantage.

It seems pretty obvious that Fish jumped into the race based on the smaller field of candidates and the increased likelihood of winning outright in the special election.

Instead, Fish now faces off with a VOE candidate with $350k in guaranteed funding (assuming Middaugh forces a runoff) makes even the relative unknown a formidable opponent. By comparison, Fish needs to persuade 3,500 people to donate $100.00 each, or 700 people to donate $500.00 each. That's a much more daunting task in a compressed election cycle than getting 1,000 signatures and $5.00 contributions.

In order to level the playing field, Fish should be allowed to "opt-in" to VOE funding if the special election requires a runoff. I assume he would have no difficulty gathering 1,000 signatures and $5.00 contributions as he has much higher name recognition and is leading in the WillyWeek CGW popularity contest.

What is the state election limit for spending money without being a declared candidate (the Dozono rule)?

I'm not so sure that Middaugh did anything wrong--don't forget that he has access to the "Sten machine," and although such a machine is small fry compared to the classic political machines, I have no doubt that a few emails and phone calls from Erik to his list of supporters could generate the kind of action you'd need to get 1,700 signatures in 10 days.

That being said, having a 6 or 7 week head start over your opponents is a pretty big deal, and pretty sleazy to boot.

My fondest dream for Erik, for what it's worth, is that back in November he worked out some deal with the Clinton folks to become a big shot with HUD in a Clinton administration, and he's slowly watching that dream slip away as her campaign goes down the tubes.

Could Sten's insider information be considered an "In Kind" contribution? VOE might work in a Socialism but Portland isn't there quite yet. Ethics and fairness cannot adjudicated. Leave it to the press and public forums.

Mr Tee: [Middaugh] clearly had material non-public information which allowed him to strategize while his competitors slept.

Here's the key: wasn't this information supposed to be public as soon as Sten uttered the words to Midaugh? I'm surprised the WW interviewer didn't pursue this with Middaugh.

Maybe Sam the Tram will cough up another $10,000 to challenge this. He loves level playing fields.

[...] supposedly doesn't have a clue as to what he's doing to do next [...]

Isn't he going to work for Living Cities?

Attending a few board meetings and writing one (1) research paper is only considered "work" in government.

In the real world, you have to show up five days a week to collect a paycheck.

Yes, one wonders what the value is of this information.

Isn't it obvious that Middaugh was running prior to the date he announced?

Where is the Dozono outrage?

Middaugh, Fish, what's the dif?? These guys are both Opie wannabes. Nevertheless, this thing stinks. Where's Gary Blackmer? City govt is never going to get cleaned up until we get an auditor who is interested in investigating potential ethical/legal/criminal violations. When is Blackmer going to start earning his paycheck???

It looks like Ed Garren brought sour grapes with him when he moved to Oregon from California.

I believe Jim Middaugh when he stated he did not chose to jump into this race until January 14th. Even if he was not being honest. Good candidates like Ed and I can not beat Jim on the issues. If we can not put together an organization to beat Jim and Nick. Then it is clear this is not our time.

I am in this race for the long haul. I love Portland and I respect its citizens. I am going to run hard, listen well and do all I can to earn a place in leadership in this city. I encourage Ed and everyone else to join me because Portland is worth it.

After this election, I hope everyone that has concerns about Voter Owned Elections come together and address them openly and help make the changes if any needed to ensure VOE becomes a vital and trusted opportunity for people to contribute to Portland.

Last Post had a typo I better correct before Ed gets mid evile on me for it....LOL

It looks like Ed Garren brought sour grapes with him when he moved to Oregon from California.

I believe Jim Middaugh when he stated he did not chose to jump into this race until January 14th. Even if he was not being honest. If good candidates like Ed and I can not beat Jim on the issues. If we can not put together an organization to beat Jim and Nick. Then it is clear this is not our time.

I am in this race for the long haul. I love Portland and I respect its citizens. I am going to run hard, listen well and do all I can to earn a place in leadership in this city.

I encourage Ed and everyone else to join me because Portland is worth it.

After this election, I hope everyone that has concerns about Voter Owned Elections come together and address them openly and help make the changes if any need to ensure VOE becomes a vital and trusted opportunity for people to contribute to Portland.

Sten's handpicked successor is the only one who qualified for Sten's "voter-owned" election money in a "special election", the timing of which was determined by Erik Sten.

Sten designed the VOE ordinance and he is the only person to win an election spending VOE funds.

And now Jim "Medvedev" Middaugh will ascend to Erik Putin's thrown, with more money to spend than all the others combined.

The Portleningrad Weekly Workers paper is too busy smearing Sho Dozono to notice that Medvedev and Putin have just staged a coup.

The Bike Nazi/condo cartel/streetcar mafia wins again!

Homer & Company needs Middaugh and Smith to win and he's got a green light for surviving the downturn in real estate better than Donald Trump.

For the record, Ed Garren is a 'plant' personally selected by Fish to split the vote. He is Fish's 'mole' in the election and they both know he has no chance of winning. Consider everything Garren spews to be coming out of Fish's mouth. Fish is gobsmacked that Middaugh was actually able to garner so much grassroots support. Fish thought he had it in the bag. This is his...what?....6th time running for office? He is running around tearing his hair out, starting the 'rumours', trying to dig up dirt on Middaugh. Aren't politics great? Brings out the best in a person, eh?
Whether you like Middaugh or not, you have to hand it to the guy that he really and truly does have huge support with the enviro/biking/hand-wringing-for-the-homeless crowd. That's Portland folks, like it or not.
So Fish should spend less time mud slinging and get his campaign on the ball.

I've been a close friend of Jim Middaugh's for nearly 25 years and the first time Jim told me about his decision to run for office was on January 13th. Jim asked me and my wife then to commit to gathering signatures. We, along with many other of Jim's friends and acquaintances, worked hard for the next two weeks to gather about 25 signatures and $5 contributions in support of Jim's candidacy. We did so because Jim is man of integrity who we believe will be an outstanding leader for our great city. Please let go of the conspiracy theory. It is wrong.

You and a bunch of friends had to work hard for two weeks to get 25 people to pony up $5 apiece??? That's less than 2 a day. You must have gotten a whole boatload of rejections. Doesn't sound like much grass roots support to me.

This is his...what?....6th time running for office?

I believe it's his third, isn't it? And what difference does that make? At least he's had a real job in his life.

He is Fish's 'mole' in the election and they both know he has no chance of winning. Consider everything Garren spews to be coming out of Fish's mouth.

Spoken like a true "mole."

Sorry that Stendaugh is being called out for its sleaze. But that too is Portland, folks.

the first time Jim told me about his decision to run for office was on January 13th.

To me, that's not the issue. The issue is, When did he find out there was going to be a vacancy? And he heard it from the horse's mouth many weeks before the rest of us. It was kept secret from everyone else until after New Year's. By then Middaugh had a tremendous head start on the race.


For the record, your post is plain wrong.

Ed Garren is nobody's "plant" or "mole". He has taken both Jim and me to task during the campaign. I first met him at the housing opportunity forum, where he first publicly objected to Jim's use of the term "grassroots candidate."

I am running to be a new voice at City Hall. I want to open up City Hall to everyone--and bring more transparency to Council deliberations.

I am proud of the endorsements I have received from Gretchen Kafoury, Steve Chase, Susan Emmons, Steve Rudman, and many other affordable housing advocates.

You should come to one of our forums. There is none of the negativity your post implies. Rather, five candidate are engaging in a substantitive debate about Portland's future.

Nick Fish

Meanwhile, I see that Middaugh was lying to a reporter about what he knew, even at the 11th hour before Opie's announcement.


If Ed is not a mole as you say. Lets both commit to talk to him next week about getting off the VOE crap.

Jim and you both have your carpet bagging issues. Let debate the issues that mean something to Portland. The issues Portlanders care about right now are the Economy, Education and Housing. This election is not about how incredible it is that Jim got 1700 votes in 10 days. It is about how we are going to keep Portland growing in Business, Labor, Education and Housing. We waste everyone time when we get into VOE crap or who is the biggest carpet bagger in the race.

You know more than anyone else, 1700 signed VOE forms does not mean any or most of those votes are going to Jim. Jim has to earn votes just like the rest of us. Portlanders are smart enough to figure out who they want.

Given that Fish just hosted a fundraiser with Rep. Barney Frank, I don't think he would have picked Ed Garren to "split the vote". Not if you believe that sexual orientation influences political choices.

How could Jim have had a head start on the race if he didn't decide to run for the seat until January? Criticize VOE and Jim's positions if you'd like, but Nick Fish, Ed Garren, you and some of your readers should let go of the conspiracy theory because it is just not true.

Bureaucratic Work Ethic,
Not a single person rejected my request to sign a petition and donate $5 in support of Jim's candidacy. Perhaps if Nick Fish and Ed Garren had lived in Portland as long as Jim and had been involved in the community like Jim, they too could have mustered the enthusiastic support of scores of friends and supporters like Jim did in such a short time.

Paraphrasing Andrew,

"Yur not from 'round here, are yuuuuuu?"

Middaugh is Sten's Chief of Staff. His boss tipped him off that he would be leaving before he announced it publicly. That makes Middaugh the insider candidate.

The fact he was able to game the VOE system (which Sten authored) just makes the fix that much more outrageous.

If Putin can handpick his successor, and then maintain the role of Kingmaker, why shouldn't Erik?

Because we live in a democracy, that's why. Like Putin, Erik has a newspaper (or two) in his pocket, and he never intended for this story to get out.

Middaugh's supporters recognize the stench of good ol' boy politics, and they were hoping to keep it bottled up inside City Hall. But Middaugh let the truth slip out, in response to Garren's questioning...Ooopsie-daisy!

Bike nazis and bus kids comprise the bulk of Middaugh's volunteers, but he's still trailing in the CGW polls. That's a bad omen for Sten's handpicked successor.


There is the distinct odor of desperation in your posts.


You'll note that Diane used the spelling 'rumours' in her comment. Therefore, you should refer to the olfactory impression of her posts as an 'odour' of desperation.

Let's see, who else spells that way?

Mister Tee,
Actually, boring, balding, middle-age people like me make up the bulk of Jim's supporters but thanks for loaning us both "good 'ol boy" and youthful street cred. at the same time. I feel good!

Actually, boring, balding, middle-age people like me make up the bulk of Jim's supporters but thanks for loaning us both "good 'ol boy" and youthful street cred. at the same time. I feel good!

I knew that you would.

...and it's just cred - no period.

But, seriously, which city bureau do you work for or depend upon for your livelihood?

Lets both commit to talk to him next week about getting off the VOE crap.

Yes, only City Hall insiders like Sam Adams should be allowed to crucify someone over abusing "voter-owed elections."

The good 'ol boy network is exemplified by Sten telling his Chief of Staff he's leaving and then supporting his candidacy with very "free money" that Sten facilitated with a last minute modification by the CCC and a follow on blessing from the City Council.

We all know plenty of balding middle aged bike nazis and Bus Kids ("kids" is simply a reference to their political maturity). I'm not suggesting that 12-17 year olds are supporting Middaugh: actual children were only permitted to pony up their $5 and a signature in the first VOE election cycle.

Besides, how old is Jefferson Smith now? He must be pushing 40.

We live in a city that is building skate parks and solar powered parking meters while 100 year old water mains and sewers are bursting across the city. Never mind that the Portland Building's eco-roof will have to be scraped clean to replace it's leaky exterior skin. Just ignore those leaky roofs at the Parks and Recreation facilities: they're driving on 99% pure biodiesel.

We have brand new city owned VWs and Jeep Grand Cherokees, and trolleys and trams. All gliding effortlessly past potholes that are 8" deep in the central city.

You can drive less than 5 miles from City Hall to find sand and gravel neighborhood streets that cannot be improved without an LID, but the B.E.S. (or NW Natural Gas) have no qualms about cutting into them and making them worse.

We can provide million dollar subsidies for condo towers, public art and ballpark or theater renovations, or a public utility acquisition effort. But not one penny for neighborhood sidewalks without a new tax on our water bills?

I call that political immaturity: an inability to distinguish between wants and needs. It's no different than a 22 year old kid driving a new BMW and living in his parent's basement while maxing out their credit cards.

We can gerrymander a new high school for the Pearl District (located 10 miles away?), or subsidize a hippie commune, but we can't chip in for a Sellwood Bridge replacement because of the "jurisdictional issues"?

I call b***s***, and hope that Nick Fish will do the same. A homeowner doesn't buy art or a new jacuzzi if the roof is leaking and the siding needs to be replaced. But the City of Portland has, and will continue to do so until our elected officials start thinking and acting like grownups.

If you want more of the same, vote for Middaugh. If you want leadership and the voice of reason, vote for Fish.

Mister Tee,
I'm glad to see you mostly drop the conspiracy theory talk and actually write about real issues facing the city! I hope the rest of Jack's readers (as well as Nick Fish and Ed Garren) will now do the same.

It's a conspiracy allright: Sten picked his Chief of Staff to replace, and then gamed the system accordingly.

That's evidenced by the facts, not by theory.

A few thoughts here worth noting.

I don't think Jim is lying, or "cagey", but did it ever occur to anyone (including Jim) that he may be a pawn in a much bigger chess game, that even he is not aware of?

Even Jim admitted to me that he was surprised by the groundswell of support that quickly surfaced for his campaign. I guess he didn't consider that it might have come from sources that extended beyond his own circle.

We also know that Erik "made a few phone calls". Did any of the other "Voter Owned" candidates have a City Commissioner make "a few phone calls" on their behalf?

It also turns out that (Phil Stanford in Friday's Tribune) Erik was looking for a new job last July.

The real issue here is not just about Jim, or Erik, or whoever else may be moving pieces on this chess board. The real issue is that the integrity of "Voter Owned Elections" has been seriously compromised by some people in city hall who had months to set up the game before inviting in the other players.

A few people have said to me, "This isn't the Portland I grew up in (or remember)." To that I have offered that once Portland popped up on the national real estate scene, everything changed because the stakes are much higher. After decades in Florida and California, I can assure you that the things some people will go through to make money off of prime real estate are really God awful.

Don't take my word for it, rent and watch the John Sayles movie, "Sunshine State" and take a glimpse into the world that I grew up in. Then maybe you will understand why all of these recent revelations look so familiar to me.

As for "conspiracy theories", I would offer that as someone who spent most of my 58 years in places like Florida and California, where political double dealing is the norm, I might just be ahead of the curve. I watched the Republican party systematically discredit Gray Davis, and then install "Arnie" as governor. All so that big electricity could jack up electric rates four fold and "big oil" could do a bait and switch on electric cars and other genuine sustainability and try to sell us the "Hydrogen Highway." Check out "Who Killed the Electric Car" for the details.

This "mole" talk is absurd. When I filed my candidate papers I had no idea who Nick Fish OR Jim Middaugh were. I actually filed on January 11th, before either was in the race. I ran for City Council in West Hollywood in 05 for the same reasons, developer greed pushing moderate income people out of their homes. We have other issues here, like solar panels on every roof, sustainability, establishing renter protections, and a host of other issues that no one else has articulated. If you bother to Google search me, you will find that I have been a social, economic and environmental justice activist a lot longer than this race in Portland. I am not working for anyone, nor am I a "mole" for anyone.

The first time I met Jim and Nick was at the CDN housing forum. I sat between them and was struck by Jim's bragging about how he got 1,800 (then, now 1,700) signatures in ten days. It did not set right, and I challenged him about it. While he has offered to let me look at his signature pages, I have not had time or interest to do so. After many years working in offender rehabilitation, I can smell something rotten a mile away.

As a gay man who has watched more bovine fecal matter go by in my life than most can conceive of, I am confident that a lot more is going on in this election than meets the eye. To my younger "activist" friends, I would suggest you consider that my four plus decades of social change experience might have taught me a few things. One of those is that there is more to Jim Middaugh's candidacy than we have been told. The first clue was his omission from his web site that he had worked in city hall for years, or was Erik's chief of staff. The Mercury pointed that omission out to him, which he immediately ascribed to a staff error. It goes on from there. Sadly, I think Jim, who I believe to be a good hearted man, with very good intentions, and a good history with his issues, has been "played."

The larger question is, are these the sort of people that tax payers want managing the city? When I think of how many meals for homeless people, or pot holes on the streets could be fixed with the $300,000 that is being hijacked from the city, it really pisses me off. I don't think I'm alone.

If Erik wanted to run Jim, they should have made those phone calls and asked for real contributions. With 1,700 $50 contributions, they would have raised $85,000 which is more than Nick has raised so far. They could have honestly put Jim's candidacy on the ground last summer, when Erik started looking for a job. They didn't. And that's why a lot of people are concerned about what else may surface next.

Regards, Ed Garren

Well said.

"actually write about real issues facing the city!"


Mr Middaugh was Erik's hey-boiy when he blew money on the water billing computer, "free" wi-fi and chasing PGE.

Tell me why Mr Middaugh isn't mini-Erik?

We need change and potholes fixed and Middaugh is more of the same.


If you are unsuccessful in advancing to the runoff, would you consider endorsing either of your opponents?

Also, it is my opinion that California's electric rate debacle preceded Arnie's entry into politics by more than 2 years.

Gray Davis (who presided over the failed implementation) and Republican Governor Pete Wilson (and Democrat Steve Peace's) pet project, which was passed by a Democrat controlled California Legislature. It was made possible by changes approved by the Clinton Administration's FERC.

In short, they capped the rate charged to consumers (with a cost plus pricing regime), while doing nothing to regulate the cost of producing electric power. In effect they privatized a guaranteed profit for the utilities retail business while socializing the risks/cost of generating or buying wholesale power.


I challenge you to take the time and make the effort to prove your accusation that Erik's people are behind Jim's support and take a look at Jim's Records. I was there when Jim offered you the opportunity to go through his VOE receipts and verify for yourself that his supporters with a few exceptions are his and not Eric's. Ed you turned him down and I have to say I was very surprised.

Lastly, I expect Nick Fish to jump in on this and support Ed and his people investigating Jim and reporting back to Portland via this blog on the who and how Jim developed his support.

Ed I expect you to start this week so there will be plenty of time to report back to Portland before the ballots are sent out. Bottom line, Ed, you will either find the smoking gun or you will owe Portland an apology.


prove your accusation that Erik's people are behind Jim's support about if something is too good to be true? Good enuf for me.

To answer Mr. Tee and Fred:

In the Willamette Week interview, I said I would vote for Nick (because I know a lot of people who are supporting him and we all have the same ideals) and Fred Stewart said that he would vote for Jim.

I'm not on here promoting or defending Nick's candidacy, so I have to wonder why Fred is on here defending Jim's candidacy?

As for California, a ballot measure was put forth, and blindly supported by many "PC" types that required the electric retailers (SCE and PG&E) to sell their generators. When it passed, they had to sell, to Enron and Reliant energy, who it turns out had supported the ballot measure. Four days after Bush was declared the winner, a state that had the highest per capita surplus of electricity, suddenly had shortages, black outs and brown outs. The stated reason was "maintenance". When it was all over, the state got hijacked, and my electric bills increased four fold.

It went on from there with a two bit Assemblyman, Darryl Isa running a re-call effort, and two days after they got enough signatures, Arnie jumped into the race, along with about 200 other contenders, including Gary Coleman, and a couple of female porn stars.

Lastly Fred, when any citizen, or candidate is censured for asking legitimate questions about power, and the possible abuse of it, we no longer live in a free society. I have said my peace and we now know the truth, that Jim had prior knowledge. If anyone is culpable here, it is Erik, not Jim, who increasingly appears to be an unwitting pawn. I plan on offering public comment at the vote on Wednesday, because I think the people of Portland deserve someone asking tough questions when circumstances warrant it. I don't have time to look for any smoking guns, though I suspect others do, and may be looking for them now.

I grew up in an era where Black people risked lynch mobs and having their homes bombed and burned so that they could vote and have a voice in the political process. Many of them were my friends, and are now part of my "acquired family."

Our vote, and our electoral system is sacred, and any shenanigans or double dealing of it are of extreme concern to me. I'm sorry you don't feel that way too, but I don't owe anyone an apology. Government should belong to everyone, not just a chosen few.

Regards, Ed Garren

"If anyone is culpable here, it is Erik, not Jim, who increasingly appears to be an unwitting pawn."

Thank you Ed Garren for apparently accepting that Jim Middaugh did not manipulate the VOE rules to get a head start in the election for city commission. Nick Fish, if you are out there, are you now prepared to call Andy Dworkin and Anna Griffin at the Oregonian to repudiate your comments reported yesterday asserting that Jim got a head start on the election? Nick, your integrity is on the line. Please step up and take responsibility for your untrue comments.

Middaugh got a head start. He bald-faced lied to the Merc about what he knew. Those are irrefutable facts. Andrew, think about whether you are actually helping your buddy prolonging the agony on this blog.

Thank you for allowing me to voice my opinion on your blog. I believe that I have proven my point. I also believe that this so called story will be a turning point in the election as Jim's many grass roots supporters will work even harder for him now that their commitment has been unfairly questioned by Nick Fish and Ed Garren. I will now take my leave from the comment section (though I will continue reading your posts regularly as I have for several years) and canvas my neighborhood for Jim. I hope to see you soon.

It's great to have some of the candidates debating here on this blog. Reading between the lines here - and based on what I've read elsewhere - a vote for Middaugh, Stewart of Fish is a vote for more of the same at City Hall. Vote for Garren if you want something different. Thanks fellas for helping me make up my mind.

Jack and others,
I appreciate that the venom towards Sten here is very strong and nothing will ever change that. But the accusations being thrown around this thread about Jim Middaugh are simply not true. He isn't "sleaze", hasn't misused any system, and didn't get any "unfair head start".
Jim started his campaign on Jan. 14 after spending the weekend gauging his chances of both winning the election and first obtaining the 1000 signatures necessary to qualify for public funding. How do I know all this? I was one of the people Middaugh consulted with that weekend.
Just one week earlier, Jim had contacted me about a job opening where I work, and we met for lunch to discuss that position and future career options for him. He did not bring up running for city council, though we had a wide ranging discussion of every other possibility under the sun.
What Jim told the Oregonian is 100% true:
He decided to run on Jan 10 and didn’t start his run or make any attempt whatsoever to prepare to run or gather signatures to qualify for public financing until Jan. 14. Better reporting by the Oregonian would have easily corroborated Middaugh’s version of what occurred.
Nick Fish suggests that Middaugh “had six extra weeks to assemble advisors, reach out to friends...prepare for what’s going to be a short sprint.” This is a theory with no basis in fact. Actually it is complete and self-serving lie.
I can understand that Fish, a perennial losing candidate, would be threatened by Middaugh’s ability to gather 1,700 signatures and qualify for public financing in such a short period of time. The interesting plot here is not an early unfair start, but Middaugh’s ability to almost immediately mobilize a remarkable network of enthusiastic supporters. This was possible because of Middaugh’s long and distinguished community service as a champion of Portland’s neighborhoods, clean water, healthy fish runs, and the environment. A lot of people have had the pleasure of dealing with Jim and as a result now believe in him. I enjoyed gathering signatures for him and was eager and happy to help qualify him.
To "Dave A" and others who conclude Middaugh must have had all the signatures lined up for weeks - sorry, not true. It was a crazy mad dash that began on Jan 14, and any trip to Jim's house during that 2 week signature gathering period would have convinced anyone how spontaneous, chaotic and crazed it was trying trying to pull this off so quickly.

You don't have to agree with Middaugh's policy stances. You don't have to like him And I realize few regulars here will vote for him. But to accuse him of cheating is ridiculous.
And a p.s. to "Steve": Middaugh didn't work for the water bureau and joined Sten's staff long after the computer software problem. You might do a bit more homework before posting things that are easily verifiable through some simple due diligence and not even close to true (you missed by only about 6 yrs). Though I recognize that one of the tenets of the blogosphere is to never let the facts get in the way of a firmly held opinion....

"Middaugh didn't work for the water bureau and joined Sten's staff long after the computer software problem. You might do a bit more homework before posting things that are easily verifiable through some simple due diligence and not even close to true (you missed by only about 6 yrs). Though I recognize that one of the tenets of the blogosphere is to never let the facts get in the way of a firmly held opinion...."

Fine, answer my one main question, why isnt Midaugh just another Erik wanna-be with big ideas and poor execution?

Moreover, Middaugh knowing since Thanksgiving adn doing absolutely nothing about running until Erik had a heart-to-heart over lunch with him relaly stretches credulity.

IN addition, if Erik is behind most of these shennagins and Middaugh is his hand-picked successor, that doesn't really do a lot for me to endorse him.


Simply put. Either back up what you have accused Jim of doing as fact or simply admit that you are a fake and a fraud.

Portland deserves leaders that will not spread rumors or tell tales. It is clear honesty is not a big deal for you as your actions during the campaign and on this blog tells me you are the beast that you have struggled to slay.

If you and Nick can not take the time to back up your words, then you are sending a clear message to Portland that your word means nothing. That you can not be trusted.

I have other problems with you Ed and I have voiced a few with you already. The subject of this thread is not about the problems Fred has with Ed. Fred's problems with Ed will be addressed at another time.

Keep in mind, I have nothing to gain and a few things to lose by jumping into this thread. I choose to speak up because I see in justice. Having 3 white men tear each other apart has it advantages. I am only speaking out because I know you are wrong and I am so disappointed in you and Nick for dropping this lie on Portland. Both of you are better than this.

Portland is my home town. It is where my friends and family live. I always understand what I say means something because I am talking to the people I care about the most and the community that I am committed to serve. One day Ed, I hope you and Nick develop the same affection and appreciate for Portland.

Jim's record of accomplishments is long. His career has been one long series of successful executions of large and complex projects - from hydro issues with the Power Planning Council, to endangered species issues with the city, to housing issues under Sten, etc. He's a staunch environmentalist and by far the most progressive voice in his race, though a tough minded pragmatist with a lot of street smarts.
You can reject him for his association with Erik, but he is no more a carbon copy of Sten than Adams is of Katz, or Gore is of Clinton, of any other two other independent people who have worked together...and Jim hasn't worked for Sten for very long. Though I personally don't view working with Sten as a bad thing.

"no more a carbon copy of Sten than Adams is of Katz"

Not a good example, since Sam learned his best tricks off Vera.

I realze as a co-gvot worker you need to do anything to keep really new and progressive thought out of govt in the form of a candidate who hasnt spent his entire life as a bureaucrat.

The number of coincidences and Middaugh blaming the vast right-wing (oops, did I say that?) conspiracy for evne being critical of his moves reeks.

Fish, a perennial losing candidate

This mantra is a perfect illustration of the viciousness of the Stennies. And why I would never vote for anyone on whom even a little bit of the p*ss-poor judgment and ugly passive-aggressiveness that is Erik Sten might have rubbed off.

Let's not forget that Fish beat Tram Boy in the primary, which sent the Wienermobile and Sten into Hyperslime.

Does anybody remember the faux "Voter's Guide" that suggested Potter had endorsed Sam Adams (when he had not)? That was mailed together with the ballots, leaving precious little time to correct the record.

Also: regarding Ed Garren's comments above? He said he's voting for Fish (rather than himself)? I assume he's referring to any runoff election, given that he's still in the race, it's unlikely he's not voting for himself in the Special Election.

You confronted Jim and he has offered you the opportunity to look at his records; if hes given you a chance to look over the signatures yourself and possibly dispel of this 'conspiracy theory' why do you choose to pass on it? As a citizen I wouldnt mind knowing that his signatures are on the up and up. Then we can get back to the real issues that are facing Portland and start focusing on deciding who the best qualified candidates are to work for the welfare of Portland and its citizens.


I'm being "vicious" in my first post? You are now tarring me with "the "viciousness of the Stennies"? [whatever the heck that means].
This is pretty comical coming from a guy who in this thread alone used the following words about Middaugh: "fix was in", "sleaze", "chief lackey", "bald faced lie", and about your favorite whipping boy Erik Sten: "his career is ending in an illustrative pack of lies and manipulations. Way to go, Opie."
Gee, I didn't think I was being anything close to what might pass for "vicious" in this here neighborhood. Sorry if I offended you somehow; seriously, it was furthest thing from my intent.

I wrote a long, 100% factual post, with significant first hand knowledge, but you only cherry pick and respond to my one passing shot at Fish, a snarky perhaps but factual statement that Fish is a "perennial candidate". I don't have much to say about Fish, he seems like a decent and reasonably capable guy to me. But my issue is with him accusing Middaugh of gaming the voter election rules when he didn't and there is zero evidence he did anything wrong.

I do genuinely appreciate however, you allowing me to post some important factual information about what a great job Jim Middaugh did getting qualified for campaign funding, as I know that a lot of media and others read this blog. I don't want all the baseless accusations and misinformation here and in the Oregonian to go unanswered.

Yes, everyone else is lying, and Erik Sten is telling the truth....


accusing Middaugh of gaming the voter election rules

I'm not sure Nick ever said that. He did say that six weeks' advance knowledge that the race would even be happening was a tremendous tactical advantage. Which it was.

Lying about what he knew to Amy Ruiz on the eve of Sten's announcement, over a month after he was informed, was not a smart move on Middaugh's part.

The real gaming of voter-owed elections is when Sten picks up the phone, calls his bureaucrat union and bike club buddies, and suddenly people that have never even met Middaugh start throwing their five dollar bills. "Enabling new faces to challenge the insiders," my a*s.

Desmond is right, Jack.

To suggest that Erik Sten, who Anna Griffin called "City Hall's savviest politician" and "something of a local kingmaker", might try and hand pick his replacement?

That's just downright mean and nasty. You should devote the rest of evening to bible study and quiet contemplation.

As written in the good book, (Psalm 79:8) Do not hold against us the sins of the fathers; may your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need.

Opie is working on his legacy, now: no more insider politics. Middaugh may be the fruit of Opie's loins, but that doesn't mean he won't bring a new brand of Socialism and pet projects entirely distinct from the heavenly departed incumbent.

Perhaps a Nice Week would be in order?

Actually, who knows what Opie's going to do for a living next? I'm sure he's had it lined up for months, but he's got to conceal it. Honesty and openness has always been too much for him.

jim desmond is not only telling the truth but i can provide his original email asking for support for jim middaugh on wed. jan. 16th. because i respect and trust jim d. so much, i did the grass roots work to collect 19 signatures prior to the deadline and help jim middaugh to qualify for public financing. anyone suggesting some sort of early notice or a preexisting organization is a liar. A LIAR. nick, i voted for you against sam in 2004. as a result of you conduct thus far in this race i will certainly never vote for you again.

Nothing like kicking a dead strawman for the umpteenth time.

anyone suggesting some sort of early notice or a preexisting organization is a liar. A LIAR.

Middaugh himself has admitted publicly that he had early notice.

And you're right, he's also admitted lying about it.

It's amazing to see what a nerve we've hit here. When you catch Sten jerking people around, his minions come screaming.

The commissioner seat #2 is heating up! Name calling, finger pointing and innuendo. What took so long? Of course Middaugh had inside information and a 6 week advantage over the other candidates. Of course Ed is Nick's *** boy and fall guy for calling Middaugh to task over his integrity of the VOE process. Of course it's mean to call a Fish a multi time candidate loser, boo hoo. Of Course Middaugh has the support of the Erik Sten's rolodex, duh.
Fish and Garren are out of touch with Portlanders. Name dropping and referencing out of state history shows just how much of a stretch they are trying to make. Reaching out this way will not earn the respect of Portland voters. Fellows, thanks for pointing out things we already know here in Portland. Take the condenscenion out of town. We get enough patronizing from the elitist that run city hall.
If true change is what Portlanders desire to break the collusion of city hall, then the only candidate that will make that change happen is Fred Stewart. I pray the rest of Portland will figure out during the primary process that Fred is the smartest one in the bunch. Seat #2 is the housing bureau. Fred Stewart is the only candidate that has real world business experience in selling real estate, developing real estate with extensive experience in mortgage banking.
Let the carpet bagging, narcissistic cheats point fingers and call each other names. Start listening to Fred. He's doing it the right way. He will build the community the position demands.

Seat #2 is the housing bureau.

Gee, I would have thought that a hometown voter like yourself would know that the bureaus will be re-assigned by Mayor Adams, any way he wants.

Let the carpet bagging, narcissistic cheats point fingers and call each other names.

Funniest line of the thread by far.

"It's amazing to see what a nerve we've hit here."

Amen, true said.

"i can provide his original email asking for support for jim middaugh on wed. jan. 16th. because i respect and trust jim d. so much"

How about the emails prior to 16 Jan?

I now have two active anbody but candidates - Adams or Middaugh. I really believe Portland's future hangs in the balance here. Your choice - adult Disneyland downtown or paved roads and reasonable utility costs.

"*** boy" ?

We certainly have deteriorated fast here. Another anonymous author weighs in.

Jim popped up on my radar because of his bragging. He was bragging in the CDN housing forum, and he was bragging again during the interview with the teachers union. When people who have access to power start waving it around, it doesn't feel good. Jim was bragging about the $350,000 he was going to get, and using it as a reason as to why he is the most viable candidate.

After decades of working in non profits, which constantly go begging to help people with shoe string budgets, all I can think of is how may pot holes can be fixed or how many meals to homeless can be bought, with $350,000.

It's one thing to make a system for genuine grass roots candidates to get elected. It's another to hijack that system for reasons that remain very questionable.

As for any "Fish/Garren" connection, I never met Nick until our first candidate forum. I was impressed by his smarts, and I guess he was impressed by mine. Most of the people I know in town had told me they had a long history with Nick, and it was easy to understand why. My "vote for Nick" comment was in reference to a run off, not the primary.

I've stayed in this race because no one else is articulating issues like Rent Stabilization (though Fred has agreed it's a good idea lately) and living wage jobs. I don't know if any of my other opponents started out life swinging a pipe wrench and fixing gas appliances, but I know what it feels like to do trades work every day, and many of my supporters do as well.

I am also staying in the race because I think there are some simple and easy things we can do NOW to increase sustainability throughout the city. Details are on my web site:

Apparently I'm asking the most questions about the status quo as well. I don't think most Portlanders believe in the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy, so expecting us to believe some of the "truth" we've been told is a bit of a stretch too.

From Fred's posts, it might be determined that one is only a genuine citizen if one has lived here all of one's life. There is no response to that except that Portland is also a city of people who were smart enough to move here, not just people who were born here.

At least this election is not boring, and that is it's own merit.


You are not a challenge to the status quo. You are just a guy trying to join the status quo. Nothing more, nothing less. You lie to Portland like you are already a member of the club.

All these claims that Middaugh hadn't decided to run until the 14th just because he didn't leave a paper trail are meaningless.

Jim would be pretty stupid, as one working for the architect of VOE to start fundraising prior to the deadline.

But that is not evidence that he did not start planning, accumulating lists of potential fundraisers, feel out confidants informally (sorry andy and jim you are not in the powerbroker category).

There is LOTS of planning that goes into a race like this and Middaugh had a 2 month start. And these are the people who gave us a brave new world of fair Portland campaigns?

All the faux outrage against Dozono rings awfully hollow now.


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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