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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 30, 2010 4:33 AM. The previous post in this blog was Stepmom fever goes national. The next post in this blog is Nothing burns money like Fire. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Is Portland loan to Homer Williams illegal?

We blogged last week about the disturbing news that the City of Portland had loaned money on below-market terms to the Homer Williams-Dike Dame outfit in 2006 to pay said outfit's share of the hideous aerial tram cost overruns. And the city had just borrowed that money from Bank of America. An alert reader points out that the Williams-Dame loan appears to violate Article XI, section 9, of the state constitution:

No county, city, town or other municipal corporation, by vote of its citizens, or otherwise, shall become a stockholder in any joint company, corporation or association, whatever, or raise money for, or loan its credit to, or in aid of, any such company, corporation or association....
Sure looks like a violation to me. And the loan's still outstanding, according to the O. Perhaps I'll send this along to the city debt manager and city attorney's office and see what kind of reply I get.

Comments (11)

It seems to me this would apply to the Timbers deal too!

Don't forget to send it along to John Kroger. It's good for at least one press release.

Here's the bizarro part: If they gave the money away, everything would be all hunky dory.

Ex. A: Portland Family of Funds (Fun fact: Don the Don is on the board of directors)

Ex. B: The Portland Seed Fund, Sam the Scam's latest attempt to be Gordon Gekko.

In both cases, the city bent over backwards to get around pesky Article XI, section 9.

Hey, at least it'll make them come up with a new cover story for this BS.

Portland City Council: "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight." Who ever heard of self-cannibalistic loan sharks? Welcome to Portlandia! Go by cash cow!

I think the constitutional provision prevents cities from guaranteeing or co-signing the debts of private corporations, but it may not prohibit cities from lending money directly to a private corporation.

In this case, it's borrowing money and lending that money.

May I kindly propose that we start just calling them the name they deserve... Portland Kiddie Council (and it fits in more ways than one....)

If the folks in Salem think that it is OK to borrow money to buy stocks in PERF side accounts with the government entities taking both the upside and downside risk, so as to pay future bills that do not come due for up to twenty years hence, then this constitutional restriction has already been declared dead.

We can borrow money to take an interest in business X Y and Z so as to pay off the fixed stream of payments on the loan itself, because such future payments would otherwise be "Unfunded." (The circularity is intended and it would reflect what is deemed acceptable to all the important luminaries that comprise our government today; and when Portland issued its first "pension obligation bond".)

This is definitely another illegal transaction that attorney John DiLorenzo can add to the pile. I hope he proceeds because this is the only way the criminality of Portland can be exposed. Citizens need to take back our City.

If you think that's bad you ought to check out Oregon Electric Co-operatives. They are state sanctioned monopolies that are private corporations when it serves their best interests and public entities when it serves their best interests much like OHSU.

Members or "stockholders" of Electric Co-operatives are captive customers who do not have the right to elect their board of directors and do not have the right to even comment on rate increases or who pays what power rate. And if the stockholders question their actions they get sued using virtually unlimited ratepayer money.

For more information check out http://www.reformwascoelectric.com


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