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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Friday, April 24, 2009

Straight talk

Here's an e-mail message from a constituent to Portland Commissioner Dan Saltzman (below right) that bears publishing in its entirety:

Mr. Saltzman --

Please use your power as the swing vote to put this criminally stupid Paulson deal out of its misery so you can get back to doing the real business of the city. You know it is a waste of public assets and will never fly. You should also be aware that it will be as easy to gather signatures on three recall petitions on this matter as it will be to gather them on two. You have no idea of the breadth and depth of the outrage the Council has provoked, and there's still lots of misspent city money, both urban renewal and ticket tax, making it go.

The "expert" consultant's report is an error-ridden joke ("the airplane ate my homework" -- it's also noteworthy that his website says they've been involved in over 150 of these transactions, and then lists only four under "Success Stories"). And the city's own manager doesn't bother to look at it critically because Paulson's carefully circumscribed "guarantee" means he doesn't have to. When will this boob Logsdon be fired?

We heard all this Rainbows-and-Unicorns talk when the city made its last stupid stadium deal, with PFE, and didn't wash (or even look at) the bogus numbers (pardon me -- "trade secrets") -- our Lying Lavatory Lothario was up to his eyeballs in that one, too, as Katz's assistant. You guys are making the city a laughingstock. So please pull the plug now. If Paulson thinks this is such a good deal, let him (and Daddy) pay for all of it, and own the wonderful money-making stadiums outright (but not on the site of the Coliseum). Otherwise, let both teams share PGE Park with moveable bleachers (paid for by Paulson), or let "Major League" Soccer walk -- want to bet they don't, in this economy? I doubt they can afford to turn down Paulson's mostly borrowed $35 million. And if they do, too bad.

In addition, the next order of business should be to pull the [mis]management of the Memorial Coliseum from the Allen crowd, who obviously have no incentive to book lucrative acts into a venue where they share income. This foolish contract is the only reason the Coliseum has been allowed to decay superficially. What on earth were they thinking in 1992? A high-school Junior Achievement member could manage these valuable assets better than the Council and the well-compensated managers it employs. It would be hilarious if it weren't so sad.

If you believe I am wrong in my analysis, I would appreciate a specific refutation, not the standard "Thank you for expressing your views."

Mark Parthemer

Comments (22)

Let's carry this man around Pioneer Courthouse Square on our shoulders. Hats off to you, sir!

The writer mistakes Saltzman for something other than a politician who really, really wants to hang on to his job.

Saltzman is a smart fellow, but ineffective. He's also inoffensive, a position he carefully crafts and nurtures by letting others lead and positioning himself the "thoughtful swing vote".

in other words, Saltzman taking a firm, principled stand on a controversial issue would be like Bud Clark shaving off his beard and deciding to run for office again.

Pardon my cynicism, but I think Saltzman and Paulson are running cover on a quarterback sneak.

Meanwhile, House Bill 2531 (Major League Stadium Fund amendments) has been scheduled for yet another work session next Tuesday.

I read the Oregonian article this morning and it sounds like Saltzman is going to go along - he's just trying to cover himself by slowing things down 3 months. Then we'll get the sob stories about how much agony the decision is as they attempt to ameliorate the situation with process.

In a sense, it's already happened once as Saltzman gave a stirring speech about his concerns before approving the MLS deal.

I'm not trying to be cynical here, but one way they keep the public from ramping up the pressure, is by giving the impression that there is a "No" vote coming, when it's just an agonized "Yes."

So take this email as a call for all of us to protest in our ways. Remember the Dubai Ports Deal: If enough of the public gets mad, even the most bought and sold politicians will notice and respond.

I suppose there's always the chance that such a well-reasoned email will get though to the intellectual side Dan clearly has, and that he will do the smart thing - despite Sam's plans, but don't count on it. If brains had been used, we wouldn't be here now.

You could also note that 3 months will put us into the recall window so maybe Dan is waiting to see what happens there.
Frontrunner fans abound in politics too.

The point that this email makes that is already in play is the laughingstock clause.
I bet if you told anybody in America who's been really following the biggest financial fraud in the history of the world, that our local civic F-team was about to do business with the Paulson family, they would say, "What part of crazy don't you understand?"

Hopeful, there is not a lot of money in the state income taxes from the Paulson payroll. Is that all the state bill does -- take that few hundred thousand a year?

You could also note that 3 months will put us into the recall window so maybe Dan is waiting to see what happens there.

Absolutely. Elsewhere yesterday I read that he wanted 120 days -- well into recall time.

We're not gonna have to wait for a recall. If the AG was going to clear Sammy he would have done it by now. Sam's a dead man walking.

Did I really read that one plan was to cram the stadium so tight next to Broadway that the bleachers would hang out over the street?

Is there any point where someone on the council says, "I wonder if all this is making us look ridiculous?"

We're not gonna have to wait for a recall. If the AG was going to clear Sammy he would have done it by now. Sam's a dead man walking.

I really doubt that, I think if the AG was going to do ANYTHING, he would have done it. The AG is part of the cabal. Nothing will happen from that office.

Where's Nick Fish in all this mess? He is usually a voice of reason in a crazy world. I hope he hasn't swallowed this malarkey.

Jack - As I've written in previous posts, I'm not entirely sure how the bill works. It amends the Major League Stadium Fund law. It's not easy to read and it's still being worked on.

Here's how I think it works: the ESTIMATED incremental income tax revenues are figured for up to a 30-year period and the legislature, if it decides to do so, appropriates that total amount from the state's General Fund and puts it in the Major League Stadium Fund. The money in the fund will be disbursed to grantees periodically and any interest earned on the fund accrues to the fund which could add up depending on how much is in the fund. Yearly adjustments will be made based on the ACTUAL annual incremental income tax receipts from sports players, employees and spouses.

So, if I'm understanding the statute, which is already on the books and is just being amended by House Bill 2531 to include soccer a soccer stadium and possibly minor league baseball income tax revenues, the legislature will be asked by the City of Portland to appropriate millions of dollars from the state's General Fund during the current legislative session for transfer to the Major League Stadium Fund. How many millions? Good question. Here's a link to the Revenue Impact statement which legislative staff prepared for the first hearing on HB 2531.


Representative Kim Thatcher asked Merritt at that hearing on March 17, 2009, how much this would cost the state. He gave an evasive answer which pretty much parroted the language of the Revenue Impact statement.

The audio is out on my computer so I can't listen to the hearing and work sessions on the bill. Maybe someone else who has the time and inclination will do it.


Radicalized? This is actually pretty tame stuff compared to the radical subjects I'm looking at.
Oh, and all my idols are musicians.

I hate this "deal" but if you think that sending a letter to an elected official that reads like a blog post is going to get responded to, or even read, you are mistaken. The "lavatory lothario" quips may be mildly amusing here or on the radio, but when signing your name to a document it helps to act like a grown-up.

What we've got is a private business trying to take the city for a ride. It has garnered the support it has because a number of people are extremely enthusiastic about its product. That confounds me some. Being a huge fan of a product shouldn't mean that you blindly support that company that makes it when they try to raid the city coffers. I love beer, but that doesn't mean the city should buy the folks at Widmer a nice new brewery. The city should cooperate with responsible business who want to develop on their own dimes, but those seeking a handout should be denied.

Let me also be clear: I don't blame Paulson here. He's a businessman. His job is to make money and reduce risk for himself and his investors. That's what he's doing. The job of the Mayor and members on the council is to protect the interests of the city, and to reduce the risk to which it is exposed. There they have failed. The Paulson crew is much like the proverbial scorpion begging for a free ride across the river. Of course it will end with a sting; that is the nature of the scorpion, just as maximizing its own benefit is nature of any business. I blame those who voted for this boondoggle for their foolishness in believing that any other outcome was possible.

I'd take 3 more months of stall and keeping it alive - This will help the recall campaign.

If Sam tanks, then this thing will die and Randy will be silenced (for a while longer at least) like he is now. Acutally Randy has been uncharacteristically quiet. Has the epiphany occured in his mind?

Mark should have written his letter like it was meant to persuade, rather than writing it like a blog comment.
Rainbows and Unicorns?
Lying Lavatory Lothario? Spiro Agnew?

A few words of explanation - If I thought those supporting the deal were amenable to Sweet Reason, I'd have written a legal brief. But, as Bill McDonald noted, if brains had been used, we wouldn't be here now. Recall is something they understand, and the energy for that comes from outrage; that's what I wanted to convey, with a grounding in fact. Anyone who thinks he or she can write a better letter is probably right - Please write many letters! And 'Lavatory Lothario' is not great humor, but it fits Creepy to a 'T', and it's mild, almost 'grown-up,' compared to what could be said.

Dave, kudos to you for a very good post.

There will be a recall, and this time, it's going down on Sam, and maybe Randy is quiet for a reason..OUT OF SIGHT OUT OF MIND.

Are there any people interested in getting a "RECALL SCAM ADAMS" bumpersticker? I'm thinking of having a couple thousand printed up.

I have some "ALLERGIC TO KATZ'S" stickers left over.

The editorial boards of local papers that called for SAM ADAMS to resign, the talk show host's that called for, or are working for his recall, the real people in this town...LEFT/RIGHT/STRAIGHT/ GAY/ ALL in between, have got to look in the mirror.

Good people who have a "BLOG" with a counter running to the day in July, when recall signatures can be gathered...MUST, come to the front, and band together...just once, to prove that "WE THE PEOPLE" still means something.

It matters what you may think that this mayor, and at least one other council member has acted wrongly in the best interest of this city in these times we are in right now.

It's all there...the excess, the lack of faith, the lies...the lack of maturity, the non-focus on the strict basics of government that in today's times is all we can afford.

I ask you as a citizen of this city for we ALL to do the right thing, and send a message.."SAM, YOU'RE FIRED!!!


Jack Peek

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