This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 4, 2012 7:41 AM. The previous post in this blog was They say this guy's been busy. The next post in this blog is A guest post from Dave Lister. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, May 4, 2012

They hear you -- they just lie to you

When folks like us scream about the crazy spending priorities of local government in Portlandia and vicinity, most of the neighborhood politicians and bureaucrats act as though they're not paying attention. Their attitude is that we critics are in such a small minority that we're not even worth acknowledging. But when election time rolls around, the pols always have a sound bite or two that makes it crystal clear that they've been listening. And now they're ready to tell us what we want to hear, at least for the moment.

Take the current TV ads by Charlie Hales, candidate for Portland mayor. He tries to come off as a guy dedicated to core public services. He fixed the potholes; he'll look out for your water and sewer bill, "delivering the basics no matter what neighborhood you live in." Meanwhile, the recent mailer from Dave Hunt, running for Clackamas County chair, proclaims: "Stop borrowing money and mortgaging our future."

Of course, there's more than a little hypocrisy here. Hales and Hunt bear significant responsibility for the twisted, spendthrift agendas that dominate our local scene. While on the City Council for roughly a decade before quitting, Hales (along with Vera Katz and Sam Adams) set Portland off on its current path of bottomless developer welfare and budget-busting projects such as the city's inane streetcar lines. (Hales then left and made a nice living touting streetcars to unsuspecting cities around the country and the world.) All the while, the council ignored the crippling pension liabilities that will trash basic services for many decades to come, if they don't bankrupt the city outright.

In the legislature, where he's more or less being shunned these days, Hunt has championed many questionable outlays of public money, most notably borrowing $250 million against future lottery collections to build the misguided Milwaukie MAX line. And there's no doubt he'll be pushing "urban renewal," density infill, and other debt-fueled Blumenauerisms on Clackamas if he wins the county chair.

The false lines that these guys are currently delivering from beneath their makeup are reminiscent of 2004, when Admiral Randy Leonard bragged in his campaign ads that he had "stood up to Pearl District developers." Once he was safely re-elected, his posture vis-a-vis the developer crowd turned out to be quite a bit different from standing up. Then there was his city council colleague Jim Francesconi, who tried to sell a message of "we need to get back to basics" in his heavily bankrolled mayoral campaign against Tom Potter. The voters were smart enough to ask, "Hey Jim, haven't you been on the City Council for the last six years?" And that was the end of him.

We can only hope that the voters will be just as perceptive this time around. It's a shame when deceitful politicians get away with using the voters' own outrage against them.

Comments (11)

It doesn't stop with Hales. Read the Novick hagiography in the WWeak. Some quotes:

"It’s not so much that no one is listening—it’s that few are challenging his proposals."

"If anything shows the measure of Novick’s confidence, it’s his proposal for parking meters. Lots and lots of new parking meters."

"Novick recalls Sten saying, “with a heck of a lot more time to focus on what particularly interests you."

"“What do we spend too much money on in this society? Health care. What’s another thing we spend too much money on? Prisons. If you can’t get money out of the gas tax, where can you go? Parking.”

This is the guy everyone says is such a genius and that Randy hand-picked and he worships Sten. His economic plan, open jails, get more state money for health insurance and more parking meters.

I'm missing the intelligence part, I guess. With Novick, it looks like more of the same, crappy schools, more potholes, higher/more fees and more URDs.

Over/under on the debt/capita crossing $15K by mid-2013?

Charlie is very clever with words cherry picking and putting out what sounds good.
I perceive the sound bites by the top three are why they are considered the top three.
I don’t think the insiders want an in depth candidate or conversation or have someone straying from the agenda.

At the recent KGW debate, of course Charlie was very much for putting personal issues aside. I guess he knows people like apologies and he did that, another great sound bite.

Things are too serious nationally and locally to have elections determined by sound bites.
As long as we the public bite the sound bites, we get just that - bites while the big meals are taken by vested interests.

Another huge lie for Hales was his claim that he got the MAX line to the airport done.


Bechtel came here and made a deal to trade the engineering work for land (which used to be owned by the public).

Hales No!

Jack, you called it right: "Lies", "hypocrisy", "false lines" in regards to Randy.

When Randy was running he pandered to neighborhood associations like Homestead, CTLH, inner eastside NAs, and SWNI about SoWhat. He pretended to be "flabbergasted" about the process of the formation of the URA and its Agreements. He said he would be a leader in monitoring the giveaways of SoWhat. He agreed with citizen objections to heights, density, Greenway encroachment, lack of transportation improvements, the potential fallacies of 10,000 biotech jobs, the Tram, etc. But look at how he voted. He didn't stomp his feet on any of these issues before Council.

Your charges apply to Franseconi too, maybe even worse since he was there before the 1999 formation of SoWhat, up until 2004. He was party to every rewrite addition to the SoWhat Agreements that reached 9.

I forgot a significant fact on "Lies". Charlie Hales was on Council from 1992 to June 2002. Right in the middle of SoWhat and it's Lies.

Your right, we should look at all the present candidates "false lines". Charlie's present "false lines" compared to his comments and votes concerning SoWhat is scary in itself.

Hales' new ad touts him as "expanding transit". Yes, if you're downtown and already have so much transit...oh and he opened up that new MAX station at Parkrose/Sumner.

If you're a bus rider (like the majority of TriMet's riders are), or are in a bus-only neighborhood (like the majority of Portland's residents are), I find it hard to even claim that transit service has increased since prior to Hales' time on City Council. It is a fact that we have far less bus service today than 10 years ago...while fares are close to 100% higher than 10 years ago.

So who do we vote for in this mess?

Wait, I just saw the pics on the sidebar...

For awhile I though that Hales was who I could hold my nose and support out of the Big 3.

But now I have real fears of him being a trojan horse who will quickly reveal himself to be another advocate of the streetcar/urban renewal/bioswale/let's not pave the streets status quo.

I'm concerned he's selling a line right now.

In the primaries we have protest votes for the other candidates. In the run-off???

So who do we vote for in this mess?

Scott Fernandez, Max Brumm, or Bill Dant.

In his commercial Hales has someone claiming that "transit makes us safer" how the hell do you get away with saying that. How are we safer because of transit?

What I see is that Portlanders have no standards - they want someone who is "nice" not competent. And - they want entertainment - like Candidates Gone Wild and going to VooDoo eating doughnuts.

We have serious problems in this city and they will only get worse. I don't want to be any part of paying for the stupid choices people here make. Maybe I'll pack it in and head to back east.

Sadly the three leading candidates are narcissistic elites - they will do well and many of us will get flushed. Pathetic.

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