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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 22, 2008 7:58 AM. The previous post in this blog was Election porn champ prevails. The next post in this blog is "Clean money" jig may be up. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

An honest question

To the 17,471 people who voted for John Branam for Portland City Council:

Why?

Comments (24)

Actually, I believe Neil Goldschmidt is permitted 17,000-odd votes to deliver as he wishes -- he is a super-voter.

It was because of his keen sense of values-based leadership and passion for public service.

I'd like to know who voted for Harold Williams Two. The guy got around 5,000 votes. How? Why?

Protest votes, possibly?

Why? (Paraphrasing George Mallory)because he’s there.

It was because of his keen sense of values-based leadership and passion for public service.

No, really...Why?

I don't know if anyone caught this piece of info. about Mr. Branam, but apparently his Father was a janitor.

He only mentions it three times in his speech to the Oregon League of Minority Voters:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6G7rWree2tM

Dude is a political novice and ran an extremely akward campaign that was built on the superficial search for validation. You can tell by his pattern of speech in the above clip that even he stopped believing his drivel by the time the campaign crumbled under the weight of its own absurdity.

Many who have dealt with Mr. Branam personally were relieved to see the farce come to an end. Mr. Branam, like most people (I believe), is a fundamentally decent person. When his ego is inflated, however, he is a disgusting human being not worthy of the public trust. His challenge moving forward is to understand and respect the responsibility that comes with civic leadership. His sloppy campaign evidenced that he has no clue how to handle that responsibility.

However, we have not heard the last from Mr. Branam. He'll emerge from the ashes to remind us (perhaps four times per speech) that his father was a janitor and that his story is one of rags to riches. (He'll leave out the part regarding his Good Old Boy political connections and rampant selfishness disguised as "leadership.")

If the public money keeps flowing, expect Mr. Branam to belly up to the trough again in the coming years. His ego is like Kobe Bryant - it cannot be stopped; it can only be contained.

And as a public service announcement - it should be contained. I applaud the efforts of civic stalwarts like BoJack for pointing out the dangers presented by Mr. Branam. This blog is a blessing to the City of Portland. Reggie Theus provides his stamp of approval.

Love him or hate him, Mr. Branam (like Kobe) is one of the best in the game. Let's all be on the look-out for a back-room Pau Gasol trade that places power in this dangerous individual's hands.

The parties!!! The movies!!! Helping the kids!!! Change!!!

I didn't vote for him, but looking at his background and views, I see nothing that makes him any less qualified than any of the others. They're all poseurs in one way or another.

I know John -- he's a decent guy, friendly, personable, and I think his heart's in the right place, but he's also ambitious in the same blatantly self-serving way our new mayor is. I like him, but I'd never vote for him.

Weren't a bunch of his supposed "credentials" exaggerated and/or misleading?

Regardless, college internships and high school civic awards hardly prepare you to run the City of Portland.

Isn't "Director of Development" newspeak for "Chief Beggar"? This guy's day job is trying to sell sows' ears as silk purses, no? He was just so revved up that it spilled over into his weekends.

I like how his ad to the right says "The current Director of Development ..." You never hear people who are really committed to their jobs refer to themselves as "the current ____" -- I don't think anyone has ever heard Joe Paterno refer to himself as "The current coach of the Nittany Lions."

We share the same hometown. I knew him vaguely in school. He's a decent person, so i voted for him.

Probably a bit young and undirected to hold major office right now. But maybe in the future. He needs a more compelling and genuine reason to run.

On the flip side, it's not as if I knew any of the other candidates any better. (What I've seen about Fritz since putting my ballot in the mail makes me think I should have voted for her.)

But this town has "black box" elections. 85% of the electorate knows nothing about any of the candidates for any given local position. That's why incumbancy and name recognition is God around here.

You'd have to convince me that under such conditions, Branam was really that much of a worse pick than any of the others.

P.S. At least we know that BoJack isn't swayed by his ad revenue. Branam advertised like crazy on this site.

"Why?"

Ditto: Kroger fakir.

Ditto: Bushbutcher.

A ballot is to give vote, not take note in thoughtless rote.

We now have every ballot an absentee ballot. The next improvement is every vote a write-in vote, no pre-printed names.

"When ... ego is inflated, however, ... is a disgusting human being not worthy of the public trust."

Id est, Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton, KCVO (10 January 1834 – 19 June 1902), Capricorn, commonly known as simply Lord Acton

In politics, he was always an ardent Liberal.

Acton took a great interest in America, considering its Federal structure the perfect guarantor of individual liberties. During the American Civil War, his sympathies lay entirely with the Confederacy, for their defense of States' Rights against a centralized government that, by all historical precedent, would inevitably turn tyrannical.

In 1870 came the great crisis in Roman Catholicism over Pope Pius IX's promulgation of the dogma of papal infallibility. ... The Old Catholic separation followed, but Acton did not personally join the seceders, ... in this context that, in a letter he wrote to Bishop Mandell Creighton, dated April 1887, Acton made his most famous pronouncement:
"I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
Thenceforth he steered clear of theological polemics.

The great 'Cambridge Modern History,' though he did not live to see it, was planned under his editorship, and all who came in contact with him testified to his stimulating powers and his extraordinary range of knowledge.

“[History is] not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul.”

“There is not a soul who does not have to beg alms of another, either a smile, a handshake, or a fond eye.” [You've got to serve somebody. -- Bob Dylan]

“The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or FRAUD, in carrying elections.”

"The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks." [Modern History Project - 'Secrets of the Federal Reserve'.]

“And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that. All power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

"The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern. EVERY class is unfit to govern."

"LIBERTY is not the power of doing what we like, but the right to do what we ought."

---
Sweet land of Liberty. From every mountainside, let Freedom ring. What We the Peeps OUGHT to do, is shrink government (just like rightwing-wacko's say) so small it goes down the memory-hormone-bath drain hole and NOthing remains designated 'federal' or 'nationalistic' -- no FBI, no National Security, no National Guard, no Federal Reserve ... everybody sing along ... no Federal Urban Renewal Development Funding largesse, no FCC (the broadcasting stations are ours), no FEMA, no FICA, no misanthropic nationalistic bigotted prejudiced haters of humankind, no national borders, no 'nations' but Unitied Nations.

All in balance of responsibility for our self and, as well as, responsibility for Liberty to do what we rightly ought to socialize all the resources of our Planet and the opportunities in our world as humanly possible of all we Peeps.

Depending on the outcome of the IRS complaint, Branam may have a big problem. If the feds rule that Busse was not an independent contractor, the Branam campaign committee is on the hook for the FICA, MEDICARE and FWT that was not withheld from Busse's wages. If they've already spent all their public money, they will have to spend more than the cap. That would technically disqualify him from public financing. It will be interesting to see how the city handles that one.

If he does run again, he better get a good CPA to set him up with an employer ID number and run a legitimate payroll.

Oh, and pay Tri Met. And State Unemployment. And Workers Comp. And Federal Unemployment... just like all us grownups do.

Is Branam the only candidate that paid his campaign manager as an independent contractor, instead of an employee, or is this more widespread?

If more widespread is the case, why aren't all the candidates that employ independent contractors being spotlighted on the same stage as Branam?

Ahem ... Tenty .... I think you forgot to include the obscure L(I)ARS connection in your post.

I did because I spend too much time on this site, staring at his ad on the right column.

Tenskwatawa, I dunno what you've been taking but if you've got any more drop me a line cuz it sounds like fun...

The Middaugh, Fritz and Lewis campaigns have all gone on the record that they were withholding the proper taxes from their campaign workers. I don't know about the others.

You could look at the expenditures on the Orestar system. If there are no payments to the IRS or the Oregon Dept. of Revenue that would mean those campaigns were paying people as contractors.

I voted for Chris Smith.

He smoked EVERYBODY including the soon-to-be-coronated Amanda Fritz in the City Club debate, and he's a great, smart, wonky guy with a passion for the minutiae of public policy.

I can't understand how he finished last. He's awesome.

portlandia:

He lost because people are sick and tired of paying for streetcars.

Because Branam was the hottest candidate!


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