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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Diagram of an illegal move

Portland needs a nonpartisan watchdog group to uphold the Oregon Constitution. We're still mystified as to how the city can be lending money to, and buying stock in, small businesses, when the state constitution seems to forbid that sort of thing. But it's doing it -- and now it's floating a procedure for the program. Good idea or not, it's not what state law seems to permit.

Comments (10)

Whoa, that's some "patient capital" there -- a WHOLE 90 days! Whoo-hoo! In other words, we've got this thing set up to CAUSE startups to adopt the hyperkinetic short-term focus that has worked so well for us (from China's perspective).

Meanwhile, all that is needed for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. (Attribution lost, often incorrectly given to Edmund Burke.)

The absence of any suit against this kind of foolishness persuades me that (a) either the best legal minds in Oregon have looked and can't find an angle to give them standing; (b) can't find an angle that they think would win a suit against it; or (c) are happy with this.

George -

Economics of Litigation - 101 is not taught in law schools.

I'll volunteer to be the nominal plaintiff. You pay the attorney's fees to litigate the case through the Oregon Supreme Court.

Remember that in a declatory judgment / mandamus action, we can't my recover attorney's fees against the city when we win.

If we lose, we owe the City the "prevailing party fee" which is still almost noninal, and don't owe the city its attorneys fees.

But after yopu spend $ 50,000 getting through the Oregon Supreme Court, we'll all feel real good about establishing the principle.

Economics of Litigation 101.

Jack that silly constitution is just a piece of paper standing in the way of the great minds at City Hall.

Jack --

The seed fund was created by an outright grant from the PDC, so the city doesn't hold any stake in the companies the fund invests in (nor can it collect any return).

My understanding is that doesn't fit the definition of "equity," in the state constitution. I'm not a lawyer, though -- you and some of your readers are. I'd be interested in thoughts on that subject.


And, of course, Oregon's Attorney General is nowhere to be seen. Didn't the AG run on a "Tough on Corporate and Environmental Polluters" platform? Of course, stepping on the toes of the PDC might anger some entrenched interests wouldn't it?

Especially if Kroger thinks he can dislodge Dudley from the governor's mansion in 2014.

"The seed fund was created by an outright grant from the PDC, so the city doesn't hold any stake in the companies the fund invests in "

I supposed that is accurate. However that PDC grant was borrowed TIF money that is paid back with interest from proerty taxes.

Ben -- the money actually comes from the city's general fund, an annual allocation to the PDC for economic development purposes. General fund dollars may not be an improvement over TIF money if you're skeptical of this enterprise, but I wanted to clarify.



How much per year does the city allocate from it's general fund to the PDC?

And do you have any link/source?

Although Adams has always played the game that PDC TIF money can't be spent filling pot holes and other maintenance he shifts money whenever he wants.
The allocation from the general fund would be money that could go to anything.

Ben --

Here's the article in which I originally reported that money's source. I supplied a little more detail down in the comments.

I don't recall how much, specifically, the city allocates each year from the general fund. I believe it's at least double what went into the seed fund.


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