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Saturday, October 30, 2010

When Amanda met Karl

Among the last-minute election porn arriving on our doorstep is this one. It's the fourth -- count 'em, fourth -- mailer from the people pushing Portland's wasteful practice of financing local politicians' campaigns with property tax dollars:

I love the part about Karl Rove. Yeah, Karl's really throwing his weight around in Portland.

The fingerprints of political manipulator Mark Wiener are all over that one. As well they should be -- this ballot measure will have us taxpayers making Wiener a nice retirement. Mark loves to point to Bush as being in favor of whenever he's been hired to oppose. Works like a charm with the sheep of Portland.

Also in the snail mail pile is another one from the folks wanting to carve out state lottery loot for the birds and the bees:

I may still vote for this thing, but I think this argument is complete garbage. Measure 76 supposedly does nothing more than make the status quo permanent -- insuring that the current dedication of lottery funds to open space and the environment can't be changed. If that's the case, how does it "create" even a single job, much less thousands? It may preserve some existing jobs -- even that's arguable -- but keeping things the way they are by definition doesn't "create" anything.

Season of lies, season of dirty, dirty pool. Thank heaven it will be over in three days.

Comments (15)

Amanda and the voter owned election sheep, according to the latest campaign spending reports, the dems and liberals are outspending conservatives by over 20%. Your ad stating "conservatives dominate" is false.

I can't see how tying the hands of our elected officials so they can't exercise their judgment and discretion over the allocation of public rev. . . Oh. Never mind.

It was over for our household two weeks ago - we voted and returned our ballots the day they arrived.

While it has done nothing to stop the mail, it did stop the phone calls.

I may be showing my age here, and/or maybe it's JUST old age showing on me. But when we FIRST introduced the lottery, weren't ALL the funds suppose to be ONLY for schools? But looking at that big pot of money other interests (Economic development - a BIG JOKE, State Parks - if it was REALLY and TRULY used properly it would be one thing, and 'problem gambling' - if you have a problem with it, then DON'T gamble, problem solved) kept saying, oh, just a small percent to us. Government just can't stand looking at pots of money.

Actually, you have it backwards. The Lottery originally was to fund only economic development. The Legislature - led by then-State Senator Gordon Smith - added education.

I voted "no."

I voted NO on the lottery in 198? whatever year that was because it's a predatory, dishonest, disingenuous way to raise state revenue. I'm voting NO on M. 76 because budget issues don't belong in a Constitution.

I'm voting yes on your Multnomah County Casino because I think it's hilarious.

You've also got it completely backwards on Mark Wiener and Voter Owned Elections, Jack. Someone may have hired him to do this mail piece, but keeping the system in place will actually cut into his income, since VOE has dramatically brought down the cost of campaigns in Portland. When candidates spend less money campaigning, consultants like Wiener make less money.

On M76, the whole structure just seems like trouble. My issue is with, we'll give a group 15% of lottery proceeds guaranteed, whether they need it or not. Which means a higher tendency to fund things that aren't really needed.

Of course, this'll come out of the things that do need to be done. Then we'll get another locked in spending requirement which leaves little manuever room - which may not be bad after all.

Perplexed, would you care to provide proof that "VOE has dramatically brought down the cost of campaigns in Portland"? There is none. When you said "campaigns" that is all campaigns.

LW: There's actually plenty of evidence that having Voter Owned Elections has not only limited campaign spending by participating candidates, it's also affected how non-participating candidates raise and spend money.

As it happens, the non-participating candidates have also (a) limited contributions to $500, and (b) limited their overall campaign spending to roughly the VOE LIMITS.

Common Cause Oregon has the most extensive documentation:

The League of Women Voters has additional documentation and resources:

So, yes, having this system in place has indeed lowered campaign spending in Portland elections.

Perplexed; thanks for proving my point-where's the evidence?

The Common Cause Oregon data only relates to the mayoral campaign, which there has only been one since VOE inception. It doesn't evaluate the city council races. The League of Women Voters cite doesn't even have any data to prove your claim. It refers to Common Cause.

When over 8 times more money is being spent by those supporting VOE in this election, then you even wonder more about your claim. If VOE is such a wonderful idea it should stand on its own without 8 times spending.

The extensive charts and data Common Cause has posted refer to all the races, not just the mayor's race - so please pay attention to the facts you asked for. If you're too lazy to look at them and want to just argue from your gut, go ahead - but the numbers are the numbers.

Without "clean money," unelectable clowns like Jesse Cornett, Emilie Boyles, and John Branam wouldn't be able to raise $50,000 apiece. Instead they get, something like $125K of taxpayer money to hand to people like Wiener.

You've got a lot of arguments, but so far no valid ones.


Having a fresh batch of VOE virgins with $150k burning a hole in their pockets every other year will enhance the pocketbooks of political advisors generally. Keeping his incumbents safe (until they run for higher office) is what benefits the Weinermobile, not the Rubes with public money.

Well, Jack & crew, once again you're showing you just don't care to look at the facts and numbers. Not only is spending in individual city races down, overall spending is down under VOE.

So, what is a valid argument for you? One devoid of actual facts and supportable data?

Can you say with any semblance of a straight face that the prevailing system of privately funded elections fares better? No, clearly only honest, smart and civically-minded candidates run for office, and they raise and spend their modest sums of money in transparent and accoutable ways, with none of it finding its way into your dreaded Mark Wiener's pockets.

Conveniently, there are many bridges in this town I could sell you. Want to make a deal?

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