This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 12, 2009 4:47 AM. The previous post in this blog was Bad penny. The next post in this blog is Condo bunker banker goes under. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

The challengers

It's hard to believe, but two guys have already thrown their hats into the ring for the Portland City Council seats currently sat in by Nick Fish and Dan Saltzman. The primary election isn't until May 18. Fish will be up against Jason Barbour, a student and "transit activist," and Saltzman will face Spencer Burton, a self-employed stone mason and avid follower of politics. And no doubt there will be others -- if there aren't, the incumbents should coast. The filing period opened on Thursday.

Comments (6)

I heard Thom Hartman tell his national audience that Portland has publicly funded elections for their city council races and "it works really well".

Is that right?

I was under the impression it's a phony waste of tax dollars.

What impressed Hartman?

Who knows? I guess he never heard of Emilie Boyles. So far we've burned upwards of a million, and for that we got Amanda Fritz, who could have won without it.

Hartman's not as smart as he thinks he is.

It's possible, of course, that Fritz could have won without it, but would she have wanted to do what it takes to win (read = raise money continuously).

The real difference that public financing makes is who it allows to run. The suck ups to the suits will allows have the gelt to run, but public financing allows folks who want to serve the voters (without "servicing" the voters) to have a decent shot.

No panacea, of course, there are never are. But if Boyles is a reason to junk public financing then how much more of a reason are Goldschmidt and Adams to do away with elected offices entirely? Bottom line is that politics attracts folks for a lot of reasons and some of them are bad. But, as Churchill said, it's the worst form of government except for all the others. I think public financing makes it a little better. One key sign: the rich HATE public financing. Anything that enables people to run and sometimes win without being in debt to the rich is something they hate. More the reason to support it, with eyes open to the fact that it too will sometimes disappoint us.

There are so many other things that government should be doing around here that it isn't -- trying to stop money from owning politicians is not a good investment ever, but particularly under these circumstances. Look at Streetcar Smith, pathetic lapdog of the developer weasels. We paid for his futile candidacy, and I'm sure it wasn't the last time.

What doesn't the City of Portland Pay For

From the Urban Dictionary: The Sidam Touch --The opposite of The Midas Touch, which turns everything to gold, The Sidam Touch breaks and or ruins everything.

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