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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


So the feds want to take a look at possible white collar crime in Portland city government? I say, bring it on -- it's about time.

With a budget that big and a bureaucracy that bloated, shortsighted, and arrogant, it shouldn't be hard to find some folks on the take.

Oh, wait, I forgot, there's no corruption in Oregon. Human nature doesn't apply here.

(Note to the mayor: The correct response is, "We welcome scrutiny by our fellow law enforcement officers. If any corruption is found, it will be swiftly corrected. We have nothing to hide.")

Comments (79)

You're wrong on this one, Jack. Five years ago, before federal government spying on citizens was on the front page of every paper, it would have still been wrong for the feds to try to plant a mole in City Hall absent a showing of probable cause. In the current climate, every bit of pushback against the police state is good, and welcome.

I don't buy the corruption cover story for one second. Potter's right to pitch a fit on this one.

Excellent response sentence...did you send that sentence to City Hall? The only addition I would add is something about balancing our Consititutional rights with the need for rooting out corruption....both can be done at the same time. Easily.

Has Potter responded to the hint from the FBI letter that the FBI may have been tipped off by a whistle blowing insider? Obviously, both parties have been dicussing this issue for a couple of weeks now, interesting that Potter goes public like this now. And why wasn't Opie in the Photo Op? Maybe some of the Water Dept fiasco lined someone's pockets? Never!

From last Sunday's Oregonian

"Developer Homer Williams is the driving force behind South Waterfront. In July 2005, his firm North Macadam Investors bought two blocks of bare land south of the condominium towers rising from the ground today. Pacific N.W. Properties sold the parcels, known as Block 46 and Block 49, for $3.1 million.
Nine months later, as part of the latest funding deal, the PDC agreed to pay $5 million for Block 49 -- about 40 percent of the total parcels, county property records show. The PDC also will clean up petroleum contamination, which it estimates could cost $100,000. Further, the city has agreed to make Williams' company the developer of the affordable housing envisioned at the site rather than open the project to competitive bids.
The PDC eventually will sell the land back to Williams' firm, but terms of the sale have not been decided. North Macadam Investors has agreed to pay about $500,000 in assessments to help pay for the tram and streetcar, Brown said.
Williams was not available for comment. He requested a list of questions via e-mail last Monday but did not respond.
North Macadam Investors' other land holdings figure into the package, too.
Up the street from Block 49 is Block 33, where OHSU will build a giant parking garage. North Macadam Investors obtained the development rights in a 2002 lease agreement with the owner, Hans Grunbaum of Sherwood.
Late last year, OHSU paid $2.6 million to North Macadam Investors for the Block 33 development rights. As part of the new package, the PDC will pay $3 million more to North Macadam Investors for the rights to build affordable housing above the garage. Williams' firm also will donate some of his extra height allowances to the PDC for its use. "

It seems a deal like this might do well with a second look.

Oops forgot the final paragraph.

"The PDC has denied public records requests for copies of South Waterfront land appraisals. But Brown says appraisals done for North Macadam Investors and OHSU value the Block 33 rights at $3.4 million or $5.6 million. The sale will close by November, but the apartments might not be built until 2010."

"Probable Cause" is Homer Williams's nickname.

Potter's response is particularly disturbing. If some poor person of color reacted that way to a PPB pretext traffic stop, he or she might wind up in the morgue.

Well fancy that.

I wonder if the Feds will look at OHSU seeking federal funding, then joining Williams & Dame, and Matt Brown in lying to City Council about the real cost of the tram.

And City Council going "Wink, Wink - approved"

Considering his remarks in voting against the additional tram funding, Commissioner Leonard shold be estatic about the possibility of an investigation.

Forget the possibility of a 'mole" in City Hall. The Oregonian article exposing this to the public several months ago would be a good place to start.

Don't kid yourselves. The feds are just trolling around, looking for payback for the Mayor's stand on the joint task force.

Hmmm, Potter speaking truthiness to power?
...standing up to the Fed power?

Don't kid yourselves. The feds are just trolling around, looking for payback for the Mayor's stand on the joint task force.
Don't kid yourself. The feds don't have the time or manpower to waste on trolls in a backwater burg like Portland. Looks to me like they already have something on somebody. Which isn't to say that they wouldn't also relish sticking it to and embarrassing Potter. When you stop and think about it, wouldn't they in advance quickly surmise that Potter would be outraged at the prospect of the FBI asking a city employee to act as an inside informant? So, that being the case, was the asking of the employee to be a snitch what that dance was really all about? Maybe the feds were just running that as a ruse. Maybe they wanted to get Potter on the record being all testy about it. Or to feel the heat. If it didn't seem so otherwise improbable, I'd be seriously wonder if Potter himself isn't the dirty perp in the FBI's crosshairs.

To be honest when I heard about "the incident" driving home it seemed to me like the Fed Agent might be wanting to "pick-up" some of Foxworth's action by flashing his badge. The radio coverage said he had met her at Starbucks and they worked out at the same gym. After all the master of them all showed us how the stress at City Hall can drive a man to seek a little pleasure for distraction. The reaction seems overblown, and it seems a pretty silly way for the FBI to recruit "moles" lord knows I have heard enough grumbling from employees past and present who would love to tell all if they were not so afraid of the powers that be running them out of town.

Shadow: don't forget the $200M that OHSU received from the state's tobacco settlement money. Is it being properly used in all of OHSU empire building programs versus it's Mission to the Oregon taxpayers? The feds might be researching this angle too, besides the Portland Police disregard for the "fencing" operations of stolen goods. But I agree with Jack, we are too good for corruption to occur. PDC, Urban Renewal is just business as usual.

Jack, under ideal conditions yours would be a much better response although an additional small friendly gesture would improve it greatly:

".... If you work for the Portland FBI in any capacity and if you are troubled by anything at that place, be it something corrupt, abusive or downright illegal and for whatever reasons do not feel comfortable discussing it with your supervisors feel free to contact our law enforcement officers or prosecutors. City District Attorney can be reached at (503) 988-3162. Personal contact would be much more advisable for obvious reasons. Confidence assured."

I'm sure Jordan would respond likewise -- "We have a lot to hide but we welcome scrutiny by our fellow law enforcement officers. If any abuse or corruption in this organization is found, we will see if we want to correct it."


The problem of course is that they are obviously trolling in an attempt to get even with him. Or at least showing him who runs the show here. I agree with some, Potter's response has a touch of "paranoia" to it, but let's be fair to him, there is no way to respond to something like that without sounding paranoid. They know it quite well.

Potter's an old cop. The fact that he doesn't have a more polished response is troubling.

Hmm... thats odd, the progressive movement in PDX has been telling me for years that Socialism can not be corrupt by nature... say it aint so portland say it aint so.
Ive been indoctrinated that only greedy utility companies can be corrupt, not our beloved city leaders who only do what is for the good of the people... After all look what they have accomplished... "the peoples tram", "the anti-imperialist peoples condo's in SoWa" and my favorite "voter owned elections"

just wait till they find Hoffa's remains on the tram.

Tax waiver was good enough for Saltzman
Thursday, October 13, 2005
By Anna Griffin
The Oregonian
Commissioner Dan Saltzman wants to reform the city's 30-year-old program to hand out tax breaks to attract apartments to the central city.
Saltzman cast the swing vote in August to turn down Trammell Crow Residential's request for a 10-year property tax waiver on an apartment tower in the South Waterfront district. Saltzman wanted more income-restricted two-bedroom apartments to attract families than Trammell Crow could provide.
While he works City Hall for enough votes to reform the program, Saltzman himself continues to benefit from a tax waiver the council granted in 1997. Saltzman owns about one-quarter of the Village at Lovejoy Fountain apartment building that earned a 10-year waiver the year before Saltzman won election. The building sits in the southern end of downtown where Saltzman's family has owned property since the 1970s.
Saltzman says his interest in the Village at Lovejoy Fountain doesn't compromise his campaign for reforms. "I don't see it being a problem," he said. "It's pretty clean."
After his recent defeat, Robert Hinnen, Trammell Crow's senior managing director in Portland, had no problem with Saltzman's vote, either.

First off, we go thru this big sales process on VoE by saying it will prevent corruption of officials, now we have Potter pulling out the tinfoil hat and saying the FBI is spying on him by trying to find corruption?

My theory again - After the 180 Potter did on his good (well, maybe not that good) buddy Foxworth after a "reminder" from the Police Union - Potter is using this as a smoke screen in case the union does decide to dredge up some stuff by calling it dirty tricks.

If the FBI can find something, god bless them.

Sorry for the vitriol - I am upset the Mavs blew the game last night.

The FBI's demonstrated ineptitude and internal dysfunction are much more troubling and dangerous to us all than any whiff of local government corruption or low style marks for the Mayor. Why should the Mayor treat a clumsy attempt to recruit an informant as if it were a formal investigation? How, in light of the FBI's long, troubled history (J. Edgar Hoover, crime lab scandals, secret investigations of the sex lives of public figures like Martin Luther King, Jr., persecution of Wen Ho Lee, fumbling the Moussaoui investigation for the sake of CYA internal politics, inability to develop a reliable, computerized information system in the five years since 9/11 or anytime before that) can anyone have confidence in any aspect of the FBI's activities, other than its capacity to abuse its power?

Every mayor's office in the country ought to be bugged!

the city has agreed to make Williams' company the developer of the affordable housing envisioned at the site rather than open the project to competitive bids.

Hmm....I thought "no-bid" contracts were only within the "evil Bush Administration" bailywick?

can anyone have confidence in any aspect of the FBI's activities, other than its capacity to abuse its power?

Allan, I think you want the Indymedia site...

"Every mayor's office in the country ought to be bugged!"

And every other home and office, no doubt. After all, we have nothing to fear unless we have something to hide.

The part I liked was that Potter had his office searched for bugs. Isn't that a little paranoid? Does he think that there is something going on in his office worthy of an FBI bug?

And better still: the search was "inconclusive?"

How can a search for bugs be inconclusive? Does that mean they didn't find any but can't say for sure?

Isn't that pretty much how every search after a school bomb scare turns out? Imagine if they declared after those searches that it was "inconclusive."

Come on back, kids.

Why are moles needed in City Hall? Aren't the rats enough? Potter searched his office for bugs and found a stash of roaches.

This is an amazing circus.

There are so many ways corruption is likely thriving around here on so many levels it staggers my mind that so many see absolutely no signs of it.

Considering that a mid level staffer in West Linn walked off with $1.4 million because NO ONE watches anything I can't even imagine that a far worse environment and problem doesn't exist in the CoP. Among other jurisdictions.

Given that there is no legitimate accounting (budget/spread sheet/list of payments to whom) available for such things as SoWa and other large expenditures, for anyone public or private to study, the safest and most reasonable assumption is there is much to hide.

The FBI should have been investigating the Port, PDC, TriMet, Metro and city agencies long ago.

My computer is stuffed with countless red flags similar to this brazen example of official maleficence, money laundering and tax evasion.
If it can happen at the Zoo,,,,,

September 21, 2004

Summary: Financial irregularities involve $1.5 million in the past three years,

* The zoo improperly transferred $719,415 of taxable zoo income to the foundation, which then returned the money to the zoo. The zoo treated the returned money as a donation, which saved the zoo $56,489 in excise tax that otherwise would have been due to Metro."

Don't forget this little episode in Portland's history from http://www.portlandcopwatch.org/PPR37/secondhand37.html

"Portland Police Hands Off as Second Hand Shops Sell Stolen Goods
FBI Investigation Includes Sting, Possible Officer Corruption
The FBI recently disclosed that Portland secondhand stores were accepting new merchandise which had been stolen, some of which was then sold for cents on the dollar. The stores, in turn, sold the goods in various places including on eBay. While members of the press and the community have concerns about methods used by the FBI in this sting, such as using infor-mants to drive "boosters" to various states to steal goods (Willamette Week, November 9), the greater concern is that at least two police detectives may have been involved either directly or by turning the proverbial blind eye. The two detectives charged with oversight of secondhand and pawn shops, William Carter (#8766) and Steven Swan (#14388), have been reassigned by Chief Derrick Foxworth.

According to an October 2 article in the Oregonian, top police officials were told at least two years ago that there were serious problems with Portland area secondhand shops receiving stolen merchandise. The stores were taking advantage of a loophole in the law which exempts them from recording the receipt of new merchandise. "

Potter is one of the cadre of local oligarchs who would deny it if he were crushed and bleeding, run over by the probable cause truck.

But what is even worse are the cheerleaders who contnually insist there is no corruption in Portland, even in the face of strong evidence, not realizing that their own land could be stolen in the bankruptcy or probate courts and they'd have nowhere to turn to remedy the problem. La enforcement is just part of the favor-trading culture in these parts.

That's law enforcement.

The head of the FBI Portland office has been demoted twice, while his widebody hack flack has been suspended once.

Nuff said.

Another incisive, cogent comment from the flower child.

Daphne- Rightly so the FBI people were demonted and diciplined, that Brandon Mayfield thing was really scary, but Cynthia makes some valid point, and I wonder if there is anywhere folks can go to get justice in this country anymore if they don't have money. Remember they didn't call it the Great Recession and the same old deal, we faced the same issues in the last generation after the progressive era was defeated by the Hooverites, I hope we can mitgate them again and our version of Elliot Ness may not be in this group, but Mr. Fitzgerald who took on Chicago and Illinois corruption, and is now and equal opportunity investigator is scrutinizing Cheney and Carl Rove, after exposing "Scooter", is my kind of guy, and hopefully there are a few more out there like him that can help swing the pendulumn back towards where the institiutions worked for the good of the common man rather than a prividged few.

Jack you kicked a guy out a few weeks ago for using the S word and allow the posting of the links to porno sites?


Potter's response is dead-on. If there was a legitimate lead, the FBI would be justified in pursuing it using search warrants, informants, and other legal law enforcement tools. But the FBI says it does not have a lead, it was just fishing. And every American needs to be terrified of Clinton OR Bush's FBI trying to place informants in local government (and businesses, and opposition groups, and law schools) just in case anything happens to come up.

A principle of American democracy is that we don't allow the government to investigate citizens in the absence of probable cause. I am amazed that Jack and others are so willing to give up that principle, just to stick it to the Mayor.


One of the problems in Portland I see is that whistleblowers are officially mischaracterized. Yesterday's paper had a story about an exclusion order banning animal activist Gail O'Connell Babcock from the county animal shelter. I know her and her work and she is right on the money about statitistics being manipulated out there. She has a PhD in psychology, is an excellent writer and analyst, and possesses a wicked Irish wit. The crowd at the Oregonian has known, since at least 2001, that there are task force recommendations that agency isn't taking seriously. But that doesn't get into the paper which seems to prefer holding up official sources even when they are only about perpetuating themselves contrary to a public mandate. Is it worth my time writing a letter to the editor? Probably not, though I am an optimistic masochist and probably will.

As for the Elliot Nesses among us, kudos. If even a few more professinals would cease with their infernal a*s kissing, I would be encouraged.


That's "nuff"?

I can only assume you have severe conflicts of interest or other ethics disabilities.

Much like city hall which operates on the wholesale disregard for their fiduciary repsonsibilities among other incompetancies and covered up activities.

What I didn't hear from Potter was any encouragement for those in city buearuracies who may have knowledge of wrong doing to come forward.

God forbid if an elected official around here actually encouraged or maybe even facilitated whistle blowing.

Quite the contrary is standard operating procedure around here. While the mind-your-own business music plays in every government office
the electeds such as Potter and Commissioner Sam continue to reject and/or ignore repeated requests for information which long ago should have been in full public view.
Now on Sam's web site he declares, "I would like to believe we have nothing to hide"
A remarkable statement since he has, at the very least, knowingly enabled much to be continually hided.

Of course with the usual supects, such as Daphne, providing the daily comforting excuses, praises and distractions the business as usual it's "nuff" for commissioners (and other electeds)to play make believe all they want.

Mayor Potter states, "Spying on local government without justification or cause is not acceptable to me. I hope it is not acceptable to you either."

The operative phrase is "...without justification or cause..."

Oregonian reporters Ryan Frank and Jeff Manning provided justification and cause in their April 2, 2006 article,

"Tram's price tag unrealistic from get-go."

They provided justification and cause for an immediate council requested investigation. Mayor Potter never called for one. Other council members didn't call for one. Commissioner Leonard came the closest in his remarks supporting his vote against additional tram funding.

Such an investigation should be expected from those who are entrusted to oversee the proper use of public funds. It never came. Why?

Could it be that council, the Mayor and certain city officials, are in a conspiracy to defraud the public for special interests?

In a May 21, 2006 editorial, the Oregonian laments, "Philip Morris should pay a lot more than $168,514 for hastening the death of an Oregon woman by lying to her."

We haven't heard of such a request from the Oregonian to recoup the $35 million plus of public funds distributed on the basis of a purposeful misrepresentation.

So is the FBI pusuing a "suspected wrongdoing?"

If they read the Oregonian on April 2nd they should have received their "...specific tip..." to cause them to suspect "...public corruption and white-collar crime..." at City Hall.

Correct spelling:

So,is the FBI pursuing a "suspected wrongdoing?"

My apologies

But the FBI says it does not have a lead, it was just fishing.

Ok, isnt the local police also "just fishing" when they drive around the city?

Bojack likes to say all the powerful people of Portland, of both sides of the aisle, read this blog.

Okay, if anyone anywhere on Earth has ANY shred of evidence that the Mayor or City Council is corrupt, BRING IT ON!

BoJack would print it in a New York second.

So, kiddies, please pony up the info or admit y'all see black helicopters taking Homer Williams to Edgefield to spawn with Vera on the back nine.

The FBI can enter City Hall anytime they want. They can even ask anyone they see if they know of any corruption. That's the equivalent of the police driving around looking for crime.

In this case, it seems the agent was trying to recruit an informant to provide ongoing, continuous spying on Portland elected officials and staff. That's the equivalent of the police asking your neighbor to keep an eye on you and report anything you do that's questionable. Would you be okay if that was standard police practice?

To the Shadow, I would point out that incompetence is not criminal. The way financing for the tram has been handled is indefensible, and folks on this blog have rightly pointed that out and kept the issue alive. But I sense this latest support for an FBI investigation stems from frustration that Portland voters didn't see it the same way and returned the two incumbents for another term. You may disagree with that outcome, but that's not a good reason to give the FBI carte blanche to plant informants throughout public and private organizations.

"see black helicopters taking Homer Williams to Edgefield to spawn with Vera on the back nine."

Actually, they aren't black. They're INVISIBLE...

There is a saying in this town to the effect that one shouldn't allege a conspiracy when an explanation of incompetence will suffice. But shouldn't we be asking WHY all the high level incompetence? Too much goes on behind closed doors. That said, I can prove a couple of rip offs in the court system that no one will touch.

I still think this should be Oregon's slogan: "There is no corruption in Oregon. Anyone who thinks there is any corruption in Oregon is insane. Have a nice day." But Oregon is for dreamers, and I guess I am one of them.

That's the equivalent of the police asking your neighbor to keep an eye on you and report anything you do that's questionable. Would you be okay if that was standard police practice?

It seems that keeping an eye on your neighbor is what is known as "Community Policing." Since that is one of Major Tom's pet projects why would he have an issue?


It doesn't matter whether or not you like the tram. The issue is do you condone conducting public policy based on lies?

How do you think the so lauded public/private partnerships will work in the future if such an attitude is now accepted procedure at Council?

City council had a chance to investigate. They choose not to. If the Feds are interested in how federal money is used, so be it. They don't need an informant in City Hall. They don't need to drive around looking for crime. They just had to read the April 2nd article and start from there.

Perhaps they did.

Daphne: Many times on this blog, I and others have posted the "shreds of evidence" you request:

Tram's PATI Citizens Advisory Committee letter to PATI and City Council two years before building of tram-stop and reconsider cost of tram;

Planning Commission advising the Council to reconsider the tram;

Non compliance of PDC to state law requiring annual accounting of urban renewal districts-North Macadam;

Non compliance to NM URAC request for life-cycle costing for the tram from PDC and Council;

Non-recognition of NM URAC and it budget subcommittee on latest 5 year budget for NM-no acknowledgement of concerns;

Shady "paybacks", "backscratching" in Amendment 7 and 8 of NM Agreement;

Buying/Selling of land in NM without lawfully required appraisals between public/private entities.

Exclusion of public bidding on public projects in NM to the benefit of one private party;

Misuse of federal funds in NM according to the requirements attached to the given funds-transportation dollars, toxic cleanup funds,etc.;

Testimony before Council from City Staff, PDC, PATI,OHSU, Homer/Dames that the tram would only cost $15M when there is evidence that it was known the price was higher.

the list goes on.

Now, how do you prove the "corruption" aspect of these facts? Is it only "imcompetence" when it keeps repeating itself?

"It seems that keeping an eye on your neighbor is what is known as "Community Policing."

What nonsense! Community policing is police presence and accessibility in communities with their assent and co-operation, not Gaulieters and secret informants.

Small wonder we're losing our civil rights when people long past the age of infancy have no clue what they are.

Gauleiters. Verdammt.

Did someone earlier actually say Potter is part of the Oligarchy??

Give me a friggin' break. Going into his election, he had about as many connections as I do. (not very many)

Rusty thinks the FBI folks are too busy to find the time to be vindictive toward Portland's Mayor. He might be right:

Give me a friggin' break. Going into his election, he had about as many connections as I do. (not very many)

I beg your pardon, he had a lot of the Public Employee Unions in his corner and that is enough to carry this town.

Community policing is police presence and accessibility in communities with their assent and co-operation, not Gaulieters and secret informants.

I think that would include police asking the neighbors if they see something suspicious to call in which is what the FBI guy did.

When were you Chief of Police TK and how often do you get advice from the PSU planning set?

allow the posting of the links to porno sites?

It's just comment spam. I clean it out eventually. Today I was on airplanes.

Maybe we're mincing words here, but Oligarchies rarely warm up to schollars or their educated opinions. Oligarchies favor monied interests over the common good. Sorry, those monied interests aren't schollars or policemen... they're usually preoccupied trying to stop the monied interests.

Potter was an outside-looking-in candidate for the majority of his campaign. And didn't he refuse to take contributions over $25 because he couldn't compete with big-money candidates?

No one is saying that corruption can't happen in Oregon. It's just that most cases of corruption don't involve liberal dems with policies favoring the common good. Would you claim otherwise?

Oh the irony... meant 'scholar'

TKreug: Sorry, no dice. Corruption happens across the political spectrum equally. For most of his career, until he got corrupted, Neil-Baby was the quintessential "liberal dem with policies favoring the common good." And we all know how that turned out. Presently, as their 2006 campaign theme, the Dems want very badly to paint the "culture of corruption" meme on the Reps, then, dag nab it, along comes William Jefferson right smack dab in mid-sentence while they're making that accusation and ruins it all. Such is life.

It's just that most cases of corruption don't involve liberal dems with policies favoring the common good. Would you claim otherwise?"

At one time I would have been in almost complete agreement with that statement and perhaps, in most cases, it is still the case. But the Goldschmidt machine is a horse of a different color; I learned that the hard way, presuming the above.

I see the idea of a faceless machine discredited by some, but I believe there is something to that: politicians become almost interchangeable and stick with the agenda at hand. And cops don't always serve the public good; many do, but we often hear of them as servants of an elite. I have come to believe that party labels don't guarantee as much as we might hope.

I do not believe most of the planning scholars from PSU would intentionally hurt the public, but my hunch is that many may feel powerless to question the agenda, even though monitoring results is a crucial step in the process.


Neil lost his liberal credentials long before he moved into mahonia... Plus, he's become more conservative over time. His lobbying days and big money deals began after he left office. You do the math.

And are you kidding me about the William Jefferson thing? This guy is a bit player, working alone. Tom DeLay, Dennis Hastert, Duke Cunningham, all these GOPers were THE government. The Bush-era GOP is unquestionably the most corrupt... the first and most expensive stop for corporate lobbyists. By the way, the Dems actually turned in their own guy because they suspected it. The GOP actually changed rules just for DeLay's 'predicament'!! Yes Rusty, the Dems lost ALL credibility on the corruption front.

Amazing how quick the Republicans were willing to get on the case when it's not one of their own. Yet FOX gave the GOP scandals the "Kidnapped Blonde Story Du Jour" treatment. Sorry, corruption is a huge liability for the GOP this year. It has been and always will be the party of dirty tricks. Just follow the money.


The only way your arguments work is to grossly rationialize and to equivocate the term "corruption" to exempt your own personal pet politicos.

For every Duke Cunningham I can quickly and easily name a prominent Democrat equally corrupt. Tit for tat. Back and forth. We can do that in perpetuity. By your own admission you opt to ignore corruption as long as it soothes you by cooing in your ear words that advocate "liberal Dem policies favoring the common good." But one need look only so far as every Democrat's favorite politician, Bill Clinton, to find someone who thought nothing --nothing-- of selling access to himself, renting out the Lincoln Bedroom, and selling pardons to all manner of international fugitives of the worst order, selling all that stuff and more, for quick cold cash. And at the same time I've never met anyone who voted for him who didn't run the gauntlet of mental contortions and ethical gymnastics to rationalize, justify, and otherwise defend him and explain away his sleaze, which I just somehow know you are going to do next.

Two things to take to the bank:

1. All serious politicians, liberal Democrats AND conservative Republicans, in their own minds and to their supporters advocate "policies which favor the common good." For anyone to believe that it's only their side that does so and it's the the other side that is thoroughly corrupt is engaging in partisan myopia.

2. Greed and avarice are human traits, not political traits, and they don't come pre-labelled D or R.

Potter is an up-front guy. If I wanted to ask him something I'd make an appointment and walk through the front door.

Rusty: the feds don't have time or manpower to waste. Tell Brandon Mayfield that. and, NeilG may have been the 'quintessential Dem' in public life, but his corruption went way back. had he not a penchant for girls we'd probably erect a statue with his name on it. Finally, I agree Greed and avarice are human traits but in my limited experience (even with young D's & R's) the D's want to directly help the disadvantaged while the R's think they'll eventually catch up, or it's their own fault.

But what do i know? i'm just an idealisti portlander who thinks the party system stinks. Can someone tell me why the party system makes sense? Why can't I, as a Pacific Green, vote for whomever I want in a primary. Put 'em all on ballot and may the best woman win.

Rusty, you've backed yourself into an ideological corner and you don't have the sense to know when to stop. The issue over what party lets corruption reign is only in play on right-wing talk radio. The rest of society has already moved on from this settled fact. You can't possibly go tit-for-tat, naming off liberal dems for every GOPer. It can't be done. And while you're at it, keep bringing up Bill Clinton. We all need to reminisce and get a little perspective of what it's like to have a president with much less sleaze and a substantially better economy. I thought it would take more than one or two terms for the public to come back around on ol' Bill, but Bush is making America sentimental.

You say that both parties lay claim to the words 'for the common good', but you have to know better here. Rusty, do you actually pay attention to the legislation coming out of congress?? Actions speak louder than words and the GOP, controlling both elected branches of government, has had several years to show us what they could do without those pesky Dems in the way. What do they do? Tear down consumer protections, environmental protections, put prominent campaign contributors into prominent government posts, remove oversight, obstruct, lie us into war. All while piling up the biggest amount of budgetary pork EVER.

The Dems cozy up to corporate interests far less than GOP, and affects the liklihood of being corrupt, thusly. If you had any decency or common sense, you wouldn't hitch your ethics wagon to that rotting post.

The trouble with catching politicians for corruption is that the system is corrupt, so you have to wait till they do something really sloppy. This William Jefferson clown should have done what many other Congressmen do: Start a charity and then pay family members big bucks to run it. The net result is the same: money goes from special interests to your family but you don't have to stash it in the freezer. And with summer coming on we'll need more room for ice cream.


Can't we all calm down a bit on this one? The agent's boss said he was amateur in his approach, and the city employee felt like he was "hitting on her."

There's no hidden agendas here...the FBI is trying to cover for a rookie mistake (possibly borne of a bit more arrogance than the rest of us would like); the mayor is calling bullshit on something that is...well, bullshit. A little louder than some of us might like. But seriously...this one's gonna blow over. Next story...

From the Oregonian story linked above:

"This approach was probably more direct than anybody would have liked..." Nielsen said.
Meng also called Robert Jordan, the FBI special agent in charge for Portland. He asked whether the agent might have been hitting on the city worker, according to Potter's letter.


I registered as an independent in 1972. Been one ever since. No axes to grind. But you're an unabashed partisan. Try rising out of the muck.

Systemic corruption IS key imho; it's funny how one starts to feel sorry for guys like Jefferson for being so sloppy.

As for Meng: thinking the FBI guy was hitting on her: What is it with the egomania in this town? These types must feel like they are pretty hot with everyone stalking them. Then they go to their bosses to fight their battles. Portland is on beyond ludicrous that way.

If a person is attentive to politics and formulates a stance on issues, they're going to be partisan. That word has been co-opted by the conservative pundits and used whenever Dems call them on their BS with actual evidence. DeLay calls the evidence against him a "partisan witchhunt", and D.C. insiders refer to the blogoshpere as "partisan". It's not a coincidence, just a calculated framing of the debate in a attempt to negate anything of substance. However, outside of the beltway vaccum, the tactic doesn't even pass the sniff test...

Potter's response (finger wagging news conference followed by "out of town" silence) reminds me of the old beat cop standing on the corner after after a fight:

Nothing to see here, kids. Show's over. Move along.

Partisan is is as partisan does.

Politics is about power. Power is what leads to corruption. Period. D or R, doesn't matter which.

The Rs control everything now. They own the seats of power. And they get corrupted.

But how quickly the Ds want to forget about when they owned those same seats of power, the days of the House Post Office scandal, the House banking scandal, when Dan Rostenkowski had to resign and went to prison, House Speaker Jim Wright and his phony books, the Keating 5, four of which were prominent Democrats, ABSCAM which involved numerous Democrats on the take, the one Republican had his conviction overturned on appeal, and on and on.

If you think it's one side or the other, then you're a myopic partisan.

And I'm now done on this thread because of Jack's rules.

What are Jack's rules? How is this conversation even an issue?

I realize the argument could go on forever, but I'll leave you with this: your political views have a significant role in determining the liklihood you'll become corrupt. Rarely am I enamored with beltway Democrats, better known as 'GOP-lite', but I'll take them anyday because their policies inherently favor citizens/voters rather than corporate interests. That's not myopic, that being realistic and attentive.

Well, this "Portland is corrupt" post has been up two whole days and no one has entered a shred of evidence of any corruption in City Hall. Just black helicopter stuff.

And memo to FBI -- next time you want to plant a mole in City Hall, try someone other than Potter's attorney's office -- that's a Keystone Kops kinda screw-up, folks -- typical for an FBI that could not find the 9/11 hijackers even when they were living a few blocks away from NSA HQ and were listed in the phreakin' phone book.

Daphy: If you post about black heliocopters enough does that mean they will suddenly appear to you? Imho, this makes YOU look silly, not the rest of the posters.

TK: your "facts" are unfounded, but I don't want to get into tit-for-tat. For each party person you want to name , like VP Cheney and his "oil connections", I can cite VP Gore with his "oil connections". What does your kind of argument prove?

lw- you can't be serious. Are you saying Gore's oil connections run so deep that he'd produce a documentary about global warming, ranting to whomever will listen that our energy policy is inherently flawed? Contrast that with Tricky Dick Cheney and his secretive 'Energy Task Force', featuring the heads of oil companies, Ken Lay from Enron, and other distinguished 'concerned citizens'. I'm sure they were trying to convince him that our policies don't do enough to protect citizens or the environment. Riiiiiight.

Daphne: In an above post I listed nine cases of potential "corruption" just in NM URA. The courts determine if it is "corruption"-not you or me.

Take just one of the accusations-buying and selling land in NM. City law requires the public bidding for sale of land, and appraisals when purchasing property. In NM in regards to Block 49, the city purchased property from Homer Williams/Dames without appraisals. Property value just a year ago was approx. $1.7M- toxic cleanup having to be paid by city-taxpayers. On top of that a condition of the sale of the property, Homer/Dames is given the right to be the developer
of the public housing on the site without city law requirement for public bidding on the project. Two violations of city law in one transaction. Is it corruption?

And there are many other transactions, etc. in the NM Agreement and Amendments that are contrary to city law. Please read Oregonians May 21st article on NM.

Daphne: I forgot to post that Block 49 was bought by the city/taxpayers for $5M. Taxpayers lost $3.3M

Jerry: My guess is that Daphne understood you the first time. And a point for you to ponder: If the courts say this is fine will you cease to have questions?

One of the features of a political machine is that it has influence on public bodies, including the courts. People on the East Coast to whom I have spoken, trying to get a handle on these matters, seem to understand this better than we do out here.

Cynthia: I hear you. I would probably still have questions if the courts did not develop the truth. We might have to rephrase the questions and present the evidence differently. But I do have hope and believe more citizens are connecting the dots; and understand how one "misuse" of public dollars affects there own daily life.

I am hoping the citizenry gets to the place where it won't presume the courts are independent, but the bar works hard to create this perception. I have heard OSB president, Karen Garst, make the statment "perception is everything"; a similar statement was made by German propagandist Josef Goebels. If the public perceives the courts to be godlike, then they are?

My experience gives me an opposite perspective, that the courts are controlable, and controlled, by a cabal of Oregon lawyers, some of whom I angered early in the game. It got so I could not win, even when I had the best witnesses in the country. The perception this was supposed to create, I believe, is that I am stupid and substandard. Also mean, nasty and "uncivil". Sometimes my clients were called by well-meaning friends to suggest this, but since they generally trusted me, I was told. I would exceed the word limit if I detailed all the set ups I saw. I eventually had to get out.
I am not the only one who understands this is a nasty, nasty game that isn't promoting the public interest. A guy who used to hang out in the Multnomah County Law Library, who did research for small-time lawyers, would get very excited about some of my cases; when they went "south" he let me know in subtle ways. As one lawyer put it, I was "between the hub and the wheel of what makes the system run", trying to represent the common man im the "get rich quick" land use arena. The press won't deal with it, because they have, imho, a kind of junior high school mindset. "You must not be credible; you are not respected by your peers", when the above-mentioned crowd, that could persuade a rock to dance and sing, is considered a valid peer group. They use this as a litmus test so they don't have to dig into the record and get to the truth. They don't understand and they don't care. But I am comforted by what a client, an old-timer, once said: "You are so credible that you always will have trouble in Oregon">

Cynthia, I went to a memorial yesterday for Ann Bradwell, a long time neighborhood advocate from CLTH. She served on many commissions, committees throughout the years. She was a very credible person with morality. We will always find those who think that an idea or person is credible only if it is liked by the norm. I find that there are many credible facts, ideas in our city that are not expressed fairly by the media or the politicians and city bureaus. But if something is credible it will come forth, eventually; no matter who the messenger is. Ann spoke many times directly and honestly, and that is one of the most memorable things that so many people cited at her memorial.

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