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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 28, 2010 9:47 AM. The previous post in this blog was Dig they must. The next post in this blog is Keith Richards, mensch. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

A league not of their own

We've written about the three pieces of expensive, glossy junk mail we've received in this election cycle from the League Of Conservation Voters. Now the League of Women Voters has joined in the orgy of waste paper, pitching Portland's "clean money" taxpayer financing of local politicians' elections:

It's amazing how much private money these folks are spending to influence the election, all the while arguing strenuously that private money shouldn't be allowed to influence elections. Then there's the endless search for the boogieman:

Portland Business Alliance -- bad! Utilities -- bad! Let's run them all out of town. Then we can get all of our goods and services from greasy carts, like we do now with prepared food. Clothes carts! Dental carts! Just think of the possibilities.

"Voter-owned" elections are a flop. We've spent nearly $1.8 million on fruitless, goofball campaigns, several of which were for people who can't even get a real job, much less be elected to public office. All we have to show for the dough is Amanda Fritz. Even if you think she's doing a good job, she could have been elected without tax dollars.

The Portland "clean money" system guarantees that the incumbent will win every time, it gives the government employee unions a tremendous advantage when a seat comes open, and it hasn't changed the influence of big money on City Hall one whit.

Meanwhile, we can't buy a fire truck without a property tax increase? Get lost.

Comments (19)

Expensive ideas that "sound good" but don't work worth a darn in practice. That's the Portland way!

The per-capita on this is 80 cents a year. At that price, I'm willing sacrifice the efficiency of backroom deals between developers and commissioners.

Amanda's two campaigns have cost the city over $500,000. (Remember she lost the first go round.) She has thus far not been worthy of this investment.

Voter owned elections are a farce. A true leader within the commnity needs to build credibility through on going actions/deeds that stand out and that people on their own initiative are willing to support out of their own pocketbooks. A leader does not just appear by being able to go around and dupe 1000 people out of a nominal contributon.

A true leader within the commnity needs to build credibility through ongoing actions/deeds that stand out and that people on their own initiative are willing to support out of their own pocketbooks.

Someone like Art Robinson, for example.

League of Women Voters, once a vital part of the country's responsible discourse
lost legitimacy for me. It supported faux arguments and bogus social studies analysis that resulted in increased funding and focus on female students that accelerated the neglected of male youth and essenitally denied equal opportunity and funding for boys.

Take a look at the carceral rate and degree completion rate for males these days. It is not entirely the result of LWV initiaves and efforts, but the organization contributed to the disaster.

Roger

I am guessing Art Robinson will not win his election.

The people who have stepped up and taken a city hand out or who have attempted to do so did not distinguish themselves as leaders. History tends to repeat itself and why should the taxpayers stand for any of this. Citizens do need to do a better job of encouraging more qualified candidates to come forward. VOE seems to encourage a more "welfare" slate of candidates.

Someone like Art Robinson, for example.

If this measure passes I expect there will be several Art Robinson-type candidates qualifying for public funding in 2012.

In 2009 over 4k people to showed up at Pioneer Courthouse Square for a tax day tea party.

Q. What would happen if each of them decided to pony up $10 to support a couple of clean-money-tea-party-candidates for Portland City Council in 2012?

A. There would be enough donations to sponsor 8 or more tea party candidates with a combined pool of $1.2 million in public funds to be spent on messaging during the primary.

Go ahead and pass this measure Portland.

It's almost like you're daring them to do it.

"Voter Owned Elections:" Every voter with a water and sewer bill should simply ask themselves when casting their vote on this issue: Do I want my water and sewer bill to pay for Portland politicians running for office? I think most such voters would readily say NO. But this is how public finance for Portland city elections works now, and its not going to change.

I wish I could have got this argument against this measure in the phamplet.

What if

I myself am a coffee drinker and unfortunately most of Portland is populated with kool-aid drinkers. Getting 4k out to a rally is far different than getting 100k to vote for you come election time. All one has to do is look at how apathetic people were through 2 recalls.

teresa

Who said anything about winning? This would be worthwhile as a public service to educate the imbeciles who support VOE.

I think you could easily find 4k or more Portland tea party supporters willing to spend $10 every two years just to get their message out.

The clean-money-tea-party candidates could all agree in advance to run the same commercial publicizing Portland's dysfunctional government. I bet that $1.2 million would buy a lot of air time.

If the candidates used their public funds for public service messages about Portland's corruption and waste it would be for a far "cleaner" purpose than those we've seen so far.

They could announce at the end of each tv ad:

"Portland is so f@#%ed up that this very message was funded by fees from your water bill!"

Excellent points, Jack.

Tossing our money into VOE has ticked me off since its inception. Now that we finally get to vote, I hope that it dies the death it deserves. Maybe then we can afford that fire truck.

This from the Team at Onward Oregon:
MYTH #3: The program takes away money from core city services.
FACT: The program only costs 68 cents per resident, per year and saves the city money. Commissioner Amanda Fritz, a publicly-financed candidate, has emerged as a budgetary watchdog and key vote against several wasteful city projects including a $700-million water filtration system. Commissioner Fritz would not have run for office or won a city council seat without public financing.


I beg to differ with Team at Onward Oregon. Amanda Fritz is going along with Leonard and water bureau to put us further in debt. She went along with the road to a billion dollars with debt as a result of this EPA LT2 rule based on politics, not science.

As I recall, she voted for the less expensive version – about $200 million, as if that was a great vote – her vote should have been No and she would’ve saved even more. Instead she went along with Leonard and the rest for the billion dollars, still more debt.

I would expect that a publicly-financed candidate would not only have voted no to the whole matter, but would have herself done everything possible to stand up for our Bull Run Water System. She could have gone to DC to lobby for the Waiver we need. Instead, we the public did not get our monies worth here as she didn’t really stand up for our public interests. However clever they all want to be about these figures dancing around - in the final analysis, it looks like the more complete system will be asked for anyway.

The last straw in all of this for me, is that she either doesn’t get this or doesn’t want to get this: Toxic chemicals will be added to our drinking water and much more could be written, but detailed subject here.

Is this the protection we get from a publicly-financed candidate who is also a nurse?? No real protection here of our dollars nor our health.

Commissioner Amanda Fritz, a publicly-financed candidate, has emerged as a budgetary watchdog

What good is a watchdog that doesn't bark.

I am going to be the odd man out here (again!) and just observe that, although Amanda is a bit of a socialist and density advocate, she WAS NOT bought and paid for by the Arlington Club set or the developers.

I think getting rid of the influence that causes the city to waste millions on development scams is worth a few hundred thou.

Thanks
JK

In other words, corporate donations will be by invitation only. "Green Economy" companies (whether it's a light rail builder, or a Metro approved developer) will still be permitted backdoor access to government buildings and officials, while citizens will still get screwed.

The only difference between the blue and the red is the special interests they like. Both parties hold the general citizens in disdain.

Amanda as a "budgetary watchdog" is questionable. She's getting a long list of issues that doesn't comply.

Yes, she's been asking budgetary questions, but her lobbying and voting is contrary. For example, the PGE Park $28 Million existing debt topped with Paulson's Soccer Park $40 Million debt. Then there's her support of the proposed Milwaukie Lightrail Project, that with debt service will cost over $3 Billion. Add to her list the Portland to LO Trolley-$500M, the Portland to Tigard Lightrail-$3.5 Billion, the Bike Plan costing $790 Million.

Amanda, vote your conscious. But maybe you have, even after you've sicced your dog.

Erik H.: . .Both parties hold the general citizens in disdain.

Agree.
In my opinion, disdain is shown by the candidates placed on their ticket that give us no real choice or change in a weary system.

Clarification: disdain is shown by both parties and that is shown by the way in which they select the candidates that they place on their ticket that gives us no real choice or change . . .


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