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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 21, 2008 4:11 AM. The previous post in this blog was Streamin'. The next post in this blog is Creeped out in the Pearl. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Did Lewis make it to the runoff with Fritz?

As the curtain falls on Election Night, it's still not clear who won the right to take on Amanda Fritz in the runoff for the Portland City Council seat formerly occupied by Mayor-elect Adams (gag). Our favorite son, Charles Lewis, leads lightweight John Branam and planner wonk Jeff Bissonnette by less than a thousand votes. Before the mainstream media folks satisfied their corporate bosses and headed off to Cassidy's for a nightcap, the return numbers stood as follows:

From the Associated Press, via KGW:

Amanda Fritz50,76944%
Charles Lewis14,66913%
John Branam14,05212%
Jeff Bissonnette13,90212%
Mike Fahey12,22010%
Chris Smith11,0739%

From Multnomah County, which includes almost all, but not quite all, of the City of Portland:

Amanda Fritz51,669 43.22%
Charles Lewis14,979 12.53%
John Branam14,336 11.99%
Jeff Bissonnette14,26611.93%
Mike Fahey12,52410.48%
Chris Smith11,2599.42%

Based on these figures, it appears that the Chuckster did in fact make it to the runoff with his arch-nemesis Amanda come November. But his margin of victory over Branam has hovered at 500 to 800 votes all night, and we may have to wait until whatever mysterious force finally calls these things to see who finally emerged.

Comments (17)

Out of curiousity, how much in city funds did each vote cost the taxpayers? Did Chris SMith spend about $12 a vote?

I'm very happy Amanda won. Hopefully she'll be able to use her powers of good to marginalize Sam's power of wasteful spending.

And just to clarify, I know there's still a runoff. I'm pretty confident she'll be elected.

Steve,

The proper comparison is the public matching dollars to that of each of the first 1,000 accepted signatures/fives. Roughly $140 each.

The stage is now perfectly set to obtain an injunction against delivery of new dollars to Fritz and Lewis. There is no adequate remedy at law because the filing officers at both the city and state level refuse to recognize and enforce state law.

The question is what is it worth to you to obtain such an injunction. Twelve bucks, 100, 140, 500?

A 500 dollar gift would be less than the cumulative illegal public gift attributable to each member of Fritz's party-of-1,000.

I am trying to decide between accepting free-speech-bucks up front versus asking only for pledges that are not "morally" due until I successfully obtain the injunction. It should be greater than $99 so that the SoS gets sufficiently worked up.

I've been clicking around for a comprehensive list of the results that doesn't require me to click individually on each race (whatever, KATU). So I headed over to the new daily online Trib, since their news is usually well-presented. Apparently, I wasn't the only one, since here's the message you get if you try to view election returns:

"Could not connect: Host 'pamplinmedia1.securesites.net' is blocked because of many connection errors; unblock with 'mysqladmin flush-hosts'"

Looks like someone's online dialy newspaper needs to start caching their database or upgrade their DB or both...

Jeez - Am I going to have to buy a paper?

A run off with Fritz will be fun.

Amanda is no shoo in in a a runoff

Did Amanda's campaign file the IRS complaint against Lewis or not.Amanda's cohort Tim Crail, who seems involved in this to some degree, is a lawyer with extensive campaign experience as a legislative aid to former Rep Rasmussen. He is certainly capable and experienced enough and given his history of self interest in SW portland politics he should be asked directly if he did it or knows who did. this question needs to be answered immediately by Crail. if not Amanda needs to be taken on.

wow. only in Portland can you get four times as many votes as your closest opponent and still need a "runoff".

^ Haha, that's an excellent point. They ought to define whether a runoff is required based on the number of votes or the percentage between #1 and #2. If it's over 30%, I'd say that's pretty overwhelming. This makes even more sense because public financing is involved.

Amanda is no shoo in in a a runoff

Hard to imagine how she loses. She only needs to pick up about 1 out of every 8 votes that was cast for someone else to get over 50%. Barring a major gaffe, she'll win in November.

Oh, if only it were true that "only in Portland" would you need a runoff after such an overwhelming plurality victory ...

Sadly, this is the case nearly everywhere -- we use two elections to do the job of one because we cling to the voting technology of the 17th Century, the "vote for one only" method that evolved from the days when voting was conducted orally and publicly in English boroughs.

An American professor devised a much more intelligent system, one that lets the voters rank their choices in order of preference (hence the name), 1-2-3 ... and so on.

Lately called "instant runoff voting," this system -- which the Oregon Constitution explicitly guarantees us the right to use -- eliminates the need for an expensive runoff and second round of fundraising (or public financing) by the candidates. Further, where it has been used, a distinct improvement in the quality of the campaigning is observed -- candidates avoid the negative attacks that alienate the supporters of other candidates in hopes of winning those voters' 2d and 3d choice votes.

The Portland City Council races and especially the Democratic Senate nomination races are perfect examples of where IRV would be a huge improvement -- for city council, there'd be no need for a runoff -- Fritz would likely have attained her majority last night and could get to work. And Merkley could go into the campaign against Smith as the candidate with majority support instead of the guy who couldn't even show that majority support within his own party.

The combined results of the three counties, which each state that 100% of the vote has been counted, give Lewis a 670-vote lead over Bissonnette, and Bissonnette a 127-vote lead over Branam. The votes in Washington and Clackamas Counties aren't enough to affect the Portland results unless the election is a lot closer than this one: Lewis, Bissonnette, and Branam together received 49,139 votes in Multnomah County, 84 votes in Washington County, and 42 votes in Clackamas County. (Amanda Fritz won in all three counties.)

Amanda won in all three counties? I thought she was running for CoP or did I miss something?

George Seldes, that sounds like a brilliant idea. What are the downsides?

Amanda won in all three counties? I thought she was running for CoP or did I miss something?

There are little bits of the City of Portland in Clackamas and Washington Counties.

The downside to instant runoff voting is that the Big Two parties prefer safe soviet-style gerrymandered districts with no competition to any sort of election where voters don't have to worry about "spoilers" and vote-splitting problems.

IRV makes it possible for multiple credible candidates to run for a single-winner office and the major parties lose the ability to threaten voters with having their vote backfire on them. With plurality, your vote for your favorite candidate may well help elect the candidate you most dislike. With IRV, you don't have any problem -- just rank 'em as you prefer 'em.

See fairvote.org for lots more information about instant runoff voting, including information about this fall's vote in Memphis TN to adopt it.

so far, IRV seems to have merit to me.


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