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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Oh yeah, this is going to pencil out just great

They held a "rally" in front of Portland City Hall today in support of the plan to spend $85 million (or more) in public funds to build a new minor league baseball stadium and a reconstructed "major league" (in name only) soccer stadium. Even by the proponents' own rosy estimates, "about 200" people showed up.

Let's see, that comes to $425,000 per fan. Think they're good for it?

Comments (25)

I'm one of the few people who are arguing against this based on my love of soccer which I watch on TV. Today I saw the second half of an Arsenal-Fulham match and it was very entertaining despite ending nil-nil. By the way, that's 4 games in a row that Arsenal has played to a scoreless draw but the 60,000 fans were still into it. Of course, they grew up with the game - I'm not sure American audiences would sit through that, or Manchester United's recent stretch where they didn't give up a goal for 22 hours and 14 minutes.

I also checked out what I think was a MLS scrimmage recently. It just had a dead, pointless feeling to it - sort of depressing really. I felt like even the players knew they were just kidding with this league.

Soccer has to be world class or it slips into "pathetic" much faster than any other sport. It takes great skill just to maintain possession long enough to mount an attack, so I wouldn't watch a lesser league. If you're going to be seeing long scoreless stretches, the match really has to matter. Manchester United matters. The Austin Aztex don't.

When Pele retired from the NASL he said, "They can walk on their own now." Many speeches were made about the bright future of soccer in America and then it never happened. I'm increasingly not excited about turning over city money to millionaires to blow - not in this economy, and especially not to the son of Henry Paulson. That's like building a waterslide for Dick Cheney's kid.
If they want to convince me there's real support, have more than 200 people show up, and get a microphone.

Well, if we're going to use rally headcount as our barometer, I guess that means you'll be shutting down the "Recall Sam Adams" campaign.

You're suggesting the soccer decision comes up in July?

You just blew up theoffside.com's site meter by linking to his story.

I'm still not sure what's wrong with PGE Park... they just renovated it a few years ago. They can't change its odd/tight footprint or the fact that it's in a hole, so what kind of magic wand do they possess to transform that place into something different? No one can get behind this obvious waste of resources.

If we're going to spend money on sports venues, why not do it just once... build a new multi-sport stadium in an effort to lure an NFL team here someday. That's about the only league that can claim to be a 'sure thing' in this market. The NFL is a boon... why aren't we setting our sights higher?

Hi Roger,

Direct political action in not in the campaign plan that we are finishing up. The recall campaign is based on gathering volunteers in all of Portland's 90+ neighborhoods. We will then training volunteers to collect signatures, educate and identify voters. Currently we have ~350 volunteers. Our goal is 2000.

Please know that the only way the Recall campaign will shutdown is if Sam Adams resigns. The only way the recall will be successful is for those that want Adams removed from office to sign up to volunteer on the website.

Jasun Wurster

Oh-Yea, if you want to ask Sam Adams a question he will be on OPB's call-in radio show Think Out Loud on Monday March 2nd. We have more info on our front page at www.recallsamadams.com


What a joke of a website. Can't see comments unless you register--so dumb.
If that website is indicative of the effort to effect a recall, sam will remain in office for the rest of his term.
You are taking a profit from cafepress lawnsigns and stickers, above and beyond what cafepress charges, because you consider it "compensation for the time I spent volunteering for Sam under false pretense?" Ha! What joke. Just say you're trying to make some money in a tough economy rather than using this weak justification/rationalization. If you didn't make a profit on the signs, I MIGHT at least believe that you believe in your cause...
And I couldn't care less if Sam stays or goes, life will go on.
You rabid sam detractors and supporters make me laugh.

200 people? Add the staff roster of Shortstop LLC and Walsh Construction and that's less than 50% turnout. They must know it's doomed.


Nice try Sam

And why did all the local TV "news" stations publicize this spontaneous demonstration last night? I guess 'daddy skank' has bought those up for sonny boy too?
I am beyond disgust on this issue.
Can we nominate Sam the tram scam' for goal post? He could be placed head down on the field.

"... have more than 200 people show up ...."

Oh, but there were, there were. LOTS more. KGW TV-8, which now has installed and embraced LIARS Larson in its programming model for the masses, Saturday night reported on its 11 o'clock 'News' that "hundreds showed up" marching.

'HundredS' -- plural -- means at least 200 and maybe 300, 400, ... 900 people 'showed up' although by narrow-angle, in-tight camera focus, on the dozen front-line folks, airing 3 re-takes edited together, it was impossible to count the whole 'crowd' ... but would a KGW TV-8 blonde kewpie-doll 'news' reporter LIE to us?

Shirley this town is demonstrably demanding sock 'er?

PS: Maybe Junior Paulson's wife can make up the $40 to $80 million difference. After all she is a former hedge fund manager, according to Wikipedia.
cynical?...you betchya!


Why the LIARS Larson connection?
Especially since he is clearly against the boondoggle parade around here.

You remind me of Randy Leonard who said:

"Those opposed to the Tram and SoWa are the Lars Larson types. The same people who are hell bent on destroying our public schools and anything that has to do with government."

Well if you're opposed to the new stadium I guess you're LIARS larson type too?

Really T-Wa your irrational Lars obsession is beyond stale.

Hi misfit,

Honestly, my aspirations for the recall are to make our government better by holding elected officials accountable. For example, we feel that spending $85 million in public funds for sports stadium is very irresponsible when our public schools and courts are reducing services. Most public financing is via, TIF, which further harms the residents of Portland by stealing funds from the County which provided the bulk of health services to those in need.

In the future please feel free to call me at 503-799-7919 instead of disrespecting Mr. Bogdanski's blog and wasting others time with 'ad hominem' attacks against me.

My apologies for any inconvenience to the rest of this sites visitors,

Jasun Wurster

Nice attempt to deflect my criticism of your pathetic little group Jasun.
Maybe you should try to recall Randy Leonard, the soccer boondoggle is his baby.
C'mon, we all know why you are attempting the recall and it ain't the frickin soccer stadium. How likely is it that you would attempt this recall without the "scandal" element--not very.
I think Sam is a fool for what he did and he ought to resign or be recalled due to lack of effectiveness, but self-righteous folk like you just slay me.
Why do you think you should personally make money on cafepress materials--if the cause is so noble, why are you personally profiting? Your reasoning for this on the website is ludicrous. Sounds like in addition to moral posturing, you're out to make a fast buck.
Why do you have to be registered on your website to see the negative comments regarding your organization ("love letters"), but the rest of the site, mostly information supporting your cause, is open to everyone, registered or not? Afraid of alternative viewpoints Jasun?
Disrespecting the blog? Obviously you haven't read many comments here, my observations are tame compared with many
Wasting others time? My comments take about 5 seconds to read. Besides everyone who reads and comments on blogs is wasting time to some extent.
Cry me a river.

"Why do you think you should personally make money on cafepress materials--if the cause is so noble, why are you personally profiting? "

Why do you care?

"misfit" sounds, at best, like a moron. At worst, he is a paid political operative trying to sully the legitimately public debate on this valuable blog.

Misfit could possibly represent your city funds at work. If it's true, it is a disgrace for which "misfit" should feel deep shame.

I couldn't care less if Mr. Wurster makes $32 in cafepress ad revenues for the month of February. It's immaterial to the importance of the goal - get the wholly ineffective leader out of the way so that the city's business can get done.

At this point, it should be obvious to everyone that Mr. Adams' tainted reputation is hindering the city. He is being shunned from the most vital government work at this time - getting to the Federal Stimulus trough. Because of his actions, we will be left with reduced stimulus money. And BTW, we'll also be left with mountains of debt from the SoWhat debacle and other Adams mistakes.

Like others in the silent majority, I don't have time to volunteer for the recall, and I don't show up for rallys. But I am monitoring it all, and I will certainly make time to sign the petition. Please keep us posted via Bojack regarding when and where to sign.

I thank you for your efforts Mr. Wurster. It's important work. Even if you are not seeing immediate feedback, keep at it. There are tens of thousands like me - waiting in the wings for when our action will make a difference while avoiding potential negative consequences to engaging in open, public debate against a still-powerful man who has shown what he will do to those who speak the truth against him - ie, the Bob Ball treatment.

You are a joke misfit. Your time is limited.


I second Reggie's comments: misfit isn't sufficiently well informed to be one of Sam's lackeys. Even Beaulita offers better prose in defense of his man.

Thanks to Jason Wurster for lending his name, organizing skills, and time to the recall effort: I will gather 100 signatures in the first week based on conversations I've had with friends, family members, and colleagues.

Explanations for the "huge" crowd:

1) Those hanging chad "protesters" in Florida had been out of work far too long

2) Somebody promised a free Starbucks latte coupon to everyone willing to show up

3) Soccer moms' convention

I happened to be driving down Front Avenue, I mean Naito Parkway, about 1:50 pm on Saturday afternoon and saw the MLS rally in Waterfront Park. Here's what I posted on Saturday under the last soccer-related blog post:

"How many rabid fans and local businesses have signed up for spendy tickets to watch the Beavers and the "major league" soccer team, game after game?"

Judging by the crowd yelling and waving MLS placards this afternoon in Waterfront Park near the "McCall's Restaurant" building, about 75 rabid fans. None of the drivers honked their horns when they drove past, at least when I was driving by. Pretty pathetic rally.

Posted by Audaciously Hopeful | February 28, 2009 6:27 PM

"There are tens of thousands like me ...."

This rather ordinary (not to say 'normal') self-image is awfully often where so much good intention starts its descent into bad ends, ignoring the means of dodging bumps as it goes, mistaken for smooth pavement.

The prevalence of the (logically contradictory) 'self-fancy' seems related to the also-prevalent report from people, that the voice on the radio or face on TV 'spoke directly to me.' Related also: Asking someone later, "did you hear/see that thing on radio/TV (as I did)?" and expecting an affirmative answer; and when the answer is "uh-uh, no," then saying, "you shoulda." Related also: People mourning and feeling actual grief in the death (or defect) of an 'image' celebrity they don't personally know. In sum: Immersion in broadcast 'entertainment' creates some mental pathology which holds the belief that everyone else is immersed, too, and 'they' are getting the same information or experience in it.

The logical contradiction: First, every person is unique. Second, if the 'majority' was actually "like me" then the 'common thought' among us would have been said, and said more, before "I" got a turn to say it. Or, (as my kids laid me flat with, once upon a time), "Yes, we know (Dad), you are unique just like everybody else."

Never had a post deleted before.
Didn't think it was that bad. Oh well.

That's less per captita than the stimulus package.

Just as a point of information, it might be pointed out that in Reno, Nevada they are building a downtown AAA baseball stadium which is largely funded by the club ownership group. The City of Reno is on the hook for mostly street and infrastructure improvements only. No City bonds for boondogles there folks. Maybe the next time Mr. Paulson is at a public meeting, it might be brought up that other AAA baseball club owners can finance their own stadiums; so why does he have to pick the pocket of Portland taxpayers?

Maybe the Paulsons don't have the money. Maybe they invested their gazillions with Madoff and Stanford. Of course this would make any personal guarantees pretty much worthless considering the amounts involved. And there is probably no bank or financial institution in the world which would issue a letter of credit for any of the obligations connected with this deal. And, even if one would, who in their right mind would accept it?

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