Why Mike Reese? Why now?
The announcement that Portland police chief Mike Reese may run for mayor has tongues wagging. Given the checkered track record of the police bureau under Reese and his political patrons, the Sam Rand Twins, is he kidding? Federal recognized brutality, off-duty drunkenness and crime, bankrupting pension liabilities -- and now he wants to run the whole city government?
It isn't going to happen. Reese may run, but he can't win. And now every move he makes in running his department will be filtered through the lens of his suddenly emerged ambitions for elective office. Yesterday he e-mailed out to various residents a questionnaire about strategic planning for the police for the next five years. In his cover message, he said:
When I first became Chief of Police I committed to four strategic initiatives that I believe will create better relationships within our bureau and the communities we serve. These are:
Building community trust – the Bureau has implemented steps to build healthy productive relationships with all Portland communities, particularly with those communities that are underserved.
Positive work environment – the Bureau is striving for a work environment that is positive and supports all our members, sworn and non-sworn by setting clear expectations, recognizing the exceptional work of our employees, holding employees accountable and creating career opportunities for them.
Maintain a safe city – Portland is one of the safest cities in our nation and crime is at a historic low. However, the Bureau, as a lean organization, needs to be agile in responding to emerging trends.
Being good fiscal stewards of public dollars – during tough economic times, all city bureaus must manage their dollars appropriately. With that in mind, the Bureau created a realistic financial snapshot of this organization while reviewing the bureau’s benchmarks and performance results relative to expenditures.
It's hard not to see this mailing as mayoral campaign literature.
Reese says that important people are asking him to run. Who would that be? Our guess is that it's the people who engineered, and have since enjoyed, the Adams administration -- the people who stood in the foyer of City Hall to support the Creepy One after it was revealed that he had stolen the election. John Russell, Bill Scott -- that sort. They want somebody in the mayor's office who will keep the flow of the average guy's money going up to the West Hills. Charlie Hales would be ideal for them, but now it looks as though he can't win. Eileen Brady has a mind (and well heeled patrons) of her own, and Jeffer-Sam Smith is way too loose a cannon to be trusted with real money.
And so the Portland Money types need another candidate to do their bidding. This week, they're thinking that maybe it's Mike Reese.