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Friday, June 19, 2009

"We're with Sam" bandwagon emptying out

Here's a hint from a constituent who writes about personal finance and used to be proud of you: you've got to take care of your financial basics first, before you go out and party with the kids, yes, before you hire a pricey attorney to clear your name. We love to proclaim our weirdness, but a homeless, triply-disgraced mayor is just a little too weird for us.
The whole thing is here.

Comments (24)

Weird ≠ Creepy

First there was the teen sex scandal, in which you probably didn't have sex with a teenager...

Huh? A 17-year old is a teenager. So is an 18-year old.

and ...the citizens of Portland are letting Mayor Creepy/Icky run a billion dollar business???
Too weird!

I recently was a guest on the Mark and Dave show, KEX 1190, 4 to 7, and I wondered how weird this would get with the Mayor.

First, Sam's financial problems have cleared up one mystery: Why were Sam and Beau in the restroom at city hall? It's because Sam can't go home. The banks are looking for him.

I also noted that Beau had done a nude photo spread - obviously for money - and I suggested that maybe Beau will hook Sam up with his contacts there.

Sam's desperate for cash. How long before our Mayor poses nude for a magazine?

The big question is

Where has Creepy's money been going?

That's personal.

Let's be proactive. Let's start a pledge drive / collection - we'll collect enough money to bring his mortgage(s) current if he'll resign, sell his properties and leave town. Seems like a bargain to me!

I am not religious. Every so often a pattern of events emerges that does suggest God is real. My response to this post is to thank you God, for making sure this guy self-destructed.

I make 80% less annually than the mayor's salary.

My mortgage payment is 200% of the mayor's.

We're both single.

I make the payments with no problems each month.

Oh, I forgot that I'm actually a responsible person, with a working logic unit in my brain. Silly me.

Can we fire this guy before he ruins the city with a crushing load of baseball, soccer, and convention center hotel debt the same way he's ruining his own financials with three mortgages he's not paying?

Sam's mortgage problems changed my opinion of him. I'm in his corner now because he's just as stupid with financial priorities as all the rest of us.

I make 80% less annually than the mayor's salary.

My mortgage payment is 200% of the mayor's.

I make the payments with no problems each month.

So pretty much 100% of your pre-tax pay goes to your mortgage? It doesn't seem like you would have enough to pay the mortgage and your federal and state income tax... You do mention both, so I assume that the other person must make up the difference.

My statement was off. I meant to say that I make 80% of what he makes.

The sentiment still applies.

This "keep it weird" manta of Portland is cute, if not original(think Austin). Look where it is getting you.

Maybe sane, rational and "normal" should be given some play now.

I have company visiting from the midwest and they can't believe that we let Leonard and Adams stay in office. They are REALLY astonished that we let a slimy carpet-bagger like Paulson come into town and start dictating timelines and conditions. Always interesting listening to an outsider's observations...

Wait, our image isn't being enhanced by dealing with Paulson? How can that be? What about the international prestige and stuff?

I loved it on the news just now watching Sam say we've gone from a deal about 2 stadiums and 2 teams to a deal about one stadium and one team, like he has to explain to us what's going on in case we can't follow the brilliance.

Thanks, Sam. You're putting on a clinic in good government leadership skills here! Portland is damn lucky not to have a total loser in charge. We don't want to be a national joke, right?

Yeah those folks from the midwest are a lot smarter than us. They elect people like Daly and Blagoevich and Quayle to represent them. We sure are a lot dummer than them.

Let me see if I understand.

Today we have two teams that play in the same stadium. Attendance is low, but people are happy.

With Paulson, we were going to spend almost $100 million to two teams in two stadiums. Attendance would be lower, but Paulson and the construction companies would be happy.

Now, we will have no teams and an empty stadium. No one is happy.

What's the opposite of the Midas Touch? I think Adams/Leonard have it.

This "keep it weird" manta of Portland is cute, if not original(think Austin). Look where it is getting you.

Maybe sane, rational and "normal" should be given some play now.

HEY NOW ! Lay off of my home town. Seriously, though, I was just in Austin. They complain about 6-7 percent unemployment there; such numbers are almost unheard of. I was in downtown Austin on a Monday night, it was jammed full of people spending money.

The city there is chock full of gay people and artists with funny colored hair, but the key difference is that the city seems to understand that in order for government to function, it has to let business thrive so that revenue can come in...

They do not have a bus mall that cab drivers are forbidden to pick up or drop off on, under threat of a $300 fine, like we now have here.

Permits for cab drivers are about one tenth the cost of Portland. No State income tax. No county income tax.

Yeah, that place is looking better and better...


No slight of Austin intended. I love that city. The reason it works, as you pointed out, is that underneath the 'weirdness' lies Texas sensibilities. I lived in Houston for a year, and despite the snarky elitist comments from the chattering class, it really is easy to make it in Texas.

What's the opposite of the Midas Touch?

George W. Bush

The reason it works, as you pointed out, is that underneath the 'weirdness' lies Texas sensibilities. really is easy to make it in Texas.

Yeah, the same sensibilities that give Texas a poverty rate far higher than the Oregon or the US as a whole. If you think Portland politics are a joke, read some of Molly Ivins's writing about the members of the Texas Legislature.

give Texas a poverty rate far higher than the Oregon or the US

Have you ever been to Austin in specific, or Texas in general ? Do you understand the difference between 13 percent unemployment and 6 percent unemployment, and how this is reflected in an economy ?

Is your livelihood directly dependent on Oregon's business climate, and if so, how much of a percent decline in revenues have you seen over the past year ? A direct answer, please.

Oregon is great if you are soaking up welfare or a government employee. Those of us who pay your salaries see it a tad differently. So, yeah, I won't let the door hit me in the ass on the way out of this desperate, pathetic state with it's ruined economy. Just gotta somehow save money to do it with...

Have you ever been to Austin in specific, or Texas in general ? Do you understand the difference between 13 percent unemployment and 6 percent unemployment, and how this is reflected in an economy ?

Is your livelihood directly dependent on Oregon's business climate, and if so, how much of a percent decline in revenues have you seen over the past year ? A direct answer, please.

In order: No, never been to Austin. Yes, been in Texas, although I don't know if El Paso counts as "in general".

Can't say for sure if I understand the difference between 13 and 6 percent unemployment, but I certainly know from personal experience the difference between, say, 20% and 8%, having lived through the Reagan years in a timber town. Unemployment rates alone don't indicate the health of a local economy. Large numbers of poor people don't show up on the unemployment figures.

What kind of a moronic question is is "livelihood directly dependent on Oregon's business climate"? Aside from the fact that I've been mostly working as an independent programming contractor for fifteen years, worked in the printing industry before that and in retail before that, there's not anyone in the state whose job is that divorced from the business climate.

As for an answer to the last, I've seen practically no decline in revenues in the past year. You can't go far down from practically nothing. My revenues started crashing with the tech bubble in 2001, then the ex-governor of Texas flew the economy pretty much the way he flew jets for the next few years and it got so bad that I started looking for a regular gig with a software company. When I found one, it lasted about eighteen months before the company laid pretty much all of their staff off two years back. A bunch of my former clients from the early part of the decade -- many of them from California and Washington -- are out of business or not hiring out any substantial amount of work any more. They weren't affected by the Oregon business climate. The company I took a job with was in Vancouver. This economy's been headed for the crapper for years and it's got fuck-all to do with weird old Portland. Is that direct enough?

It's funny. I've got an old co-worker from my printing days who's lived in Austin for years. I haven't talked to her for a decade or so and last week she drops me a line and asks how things are back here in Portland and whether there's any work...

What kind of a moronic question is is "livelihood directly dependent on Oregon's business climate"?

A pointed one. I'll refrain from calling your answer moronic, because it's not. My income is directly dependent on how healthy the economy is...people are hurting, they don't go out. It's funny you mention the boom years when Dubya was president. As much as I loathed that moron, just about everyone I knew here in PDX was doing quite well. This was much more a function of the bubble economy than something as simple as who was President...such an assumption would be, well, moronic.

Are you attempting to insinuate that after the end of the 2001-2002 recession, that jobs were hard to come by in Portland ? Like, circa 2003-2006 ? Come on...the place was booming, Dubya bumbling around in the White House and everything, everyone knows that.

Do you think that there might be a casual connection between the governance of Oregon and it's terrible unemployment rate (much higher than the national average) during recessions ? Lack of poverty compared to Texas and all ?

You are right about the large amounts of people that never show up on the unemployment rolls...I've heard that the true figure is between 5-10 percent higher. Still, it is *one* barometer of the economic health of a region, and having a ton of friends and relatives in Austin, as well as having spent time in that city recently, I can assure you that it's citizens, while they are hurting, are not hurting like people here are.

There aren't 97 people applying for one part-time graveyard cake decorating job at a Donut shop in Austin.

There aren't over 300 people applying for one part time waitressing gig at a comedy club in Austin.

I talk to a great deal of people in my line of work...long time residents as well as newcomers. They tell me their problems. Lately, many of them have plenty of problems. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of them, from every walk of life. I may be a moron, but I would hazard a guess that this allows me to take the economic pulse of a region with equal or greater accuracy to the efforts of, say, a computer programmer.

Things such as taxation rates and layers of City bureaucracy, as well as the, to use a moronic phrase "overall business climate" of a city, as strange as it might sound, do impact it's economic health.

It's so perfect that we have a Mayor who has never had a job outside of Government in his life, who cannot even pay his mortgage while making more money than anyone I know, or anyone in my family, has ever made. It's so fitting...

I may be a moron, but even I can see this.

It's funny you mention the boom years when Dubya was president.

In case you haven't noticed, the boom was an illusion based on creative accounting -- sort of like the Enron scandal that broke at the beginning of the Bush years (and was allowed to grow during the Clinton administration).

You and the people you know may have been doing well -- and a lot of people I know did pretty well themselves -- but the poverty rate and the percentage of Americans who are uninsured rose during your supposed boom. Portland didn't cause the bubble to burst.


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