The Sam Adams recall people
While the collective nervous breakdown known as Mayor Sam Adams continues to plague Portland, the anonymous committee that claims to be running the beginnings of a grass-roots recall campaign against him has been making some waves. The other day they sent around a press release trying to put Commissioner Amanda Fritz, an unabashed apologist for Creepy Sam, on the spot. Since the taxpayers of Portland spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on her two City Council campaigns, the group said, the least Fritz could do would be to put a vote of confidence-or-no-confidence in the mayor before the City Council. Presumably this would open the door for more public testimony on why our sad leader should be forcibly removed from the office he stole by lying.
People are starting to get tired of this "anonymous committee" nonsense. Even folks like I, who want nothing more than to rid our local government of Adams and his ilk, think it's about time to get serious about who is really going to lead the charge against the teeny-bopping mayor when the opportunity for a recall officially opens on July 1. And more importantly, it's time to figure out who is going to pay for it. Websites are cheap, and anonymous blogs are even cheaper. Neither will accomplish the fumigation of Sam the Scam.
In the last day or so, at least two names have floated to the surface from the anonymous recall committee. One is Jasun Wurster, identified as a computer consultant and a spokesman for the recall group. Another spokesperson is Ally Powell, identified as "a Portland Community College student and single mother of three." I admire Wurster and Powell's initiative, but if that and a Facebook page is all they've got by the time summer gets here, the Adams dark ages are going to last a full four years, and perhaps even beyond.
To wrest his ill-gotten office from Adams is going to take money, and lots of it. He'll be bankrolled against any recall effort by some powerful moneyed interests. There are a number of folks who will defend him to the death simply because he's gay. He'll also be able to spend the next six months cutting deals with unions and developers who might be persuaded to help him monetarily in defending himself. Even the Sho Dozono downtown business set may be hesitant to throw dollars into a recall campaign against Creepy, because they may figure out that they'll get more favors out of a weakened Adams than they would from a stronger replacement. Certainly the reappearance of guys like Don Mazziotti, Bill Scott, and Jim Francesconi on the City Hall scene indicate that the smell of public money has not lost its attraction to members of the meta-Goldschmidt machine.
And so if Portland wants to cure itself of Sam-ism, some prominent people, with money in hand, are going to have to step up at some point soon. Although nothing official can happen until July 1, one would think that serious players would need to get together starting no later than the first of April to start a serious organizational and fundraising effort. Until then, anyone who thinks a viable recall effort is currently under way would be engaged in self-deception. If anything, the anonymous committee may at this point be doing more harm than good.