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Monday, September 17, 2012

Portland Seed Fund: corruption waiting to happen?

It's bad enough that the crazy Portland Seed Fund -- which launders tax dollars, and then sends them to startup companies picked by God knows whom, based on God knows what criteria -- is stretching the state constitution to its breaking point, and perhaps beyond. But it gets worse. The fund is also operating in secret:

It's more difficult, however, to assess how the fund is using public money. Because of its unusual structure -- a mix of private investment and public money granted outright to the fund -- the fund isn't subject to state public records laws.

That means information the fund won't disclose, including its management fee structure and the number of applicants it receives, is unknown....

Unlike the Oregon Angel Fund -- which, like the seed fund, receives state lottery money through the Oregon Growth Account -- the Portland Seed Fund won't disclose its fee structure.

And unlike other Portland investment funds and incubators, including OAF and Wieden+Kennedy's Portland Incubator Experiment, the seed fund will no longer say how many startups have applied to participate.

The seed fund's managers say application information wouldn't be useful in judging their fund's appeal to startups, because they recruit many startups directly rather than hold open casting calls.

Unbelievable. Does anybody care about the lawlessness in this town?

Comments (17)

No one would give money to a non profit charity organization that operated like this. Why are tax dollars spent this way?

Oh yes...Jeffy and Char-LIE like the "seed fund"...

Wow. How did the world turn before this slush fund came along?

It's becoming blindingly obvious there's way too much money sloshing around out there for politicians to allocate for their pet causes instead of for basic government functions. Heck, Wheeler wants the state to go $6B more into hock for his latest.

I'm beginning to think that it may be better just to let the whole thing crash into the ground. Fighting this constant madness is just slowing the rate of crash, not reversing direction. Full speed ahead and be done with it?

Does anybody care about the lawlessness in this town?

Doesn't look like it, except maybe certain portions of the federal government. After all, Portland is known as "creative" - creative being how to separate the general public from their hard-earned savings.

Another hint that anyone with any real assets should think hard about whether or not they ought to invest them in an area where respect for ethical conduct and of the law itself is clearly eroding.

The Portland Development Commission is "thrilled" with the Seed Fund's performance, according to PDC manager Chris Harder. The PDC has not asked for information about the number of applicants, and he said the fee structure appears appropriate.

Throw money around a few start-ups while skimming around $700,000 for "management" costs is just the cost of doing bizzness these days.

And what is this performance they speak of? We don't know who. We don't know what. We don't know why.

But the PDC is thrilled. They really get a kick out of wasting public money without any accountability.

The wild west without a sheriff!

This kind of crony capitalism is pervasive in Oregon government. We've got the Oregon Growth Fund, the Wave Energy Trust, ONAMI, the Energy Trust of Oregon, and the Portland Streetcar Inc., to name a few, on top of all the urban renewal "public-private" partnerships. I'm not sure what it will take to get politicians to understand how wrong this is, but we'll probably have to sink lower before we can rise again.

I am afraid these politicians understand completely how wrong this is,
but they don't care as long as they get to keep their "career"
and be part of the inside track.

come on guys , this is how it is done in the post-crash world. Try to keep up , ol romneybot has somehow got millions into an IRA
GENIUS , he ain't gonna show you his taxes , because he don't pay any , and he thinks you should go suck a lemon. You pesky old guys with your out-of-date ideas of accountability , geez

You nailed it, we are just so out-of-date aren't we wanting accountability!
I guess our Constitution is just an old fashioned concept too!

I'm not sure what TDA nailed. Romney has nothing to do with any of the Portland-based "partnerships" discussed here. Neither does anyone else with an R behind their name, because we don't have Republicans in Multnomah County. Like the elusive Emanuel Goldstein, it must be the Republicans who keep doing bad stuff around here (even though there hasn't been a Republican in power in Portland since the days of black-and-white TV).


Yup because there are tons of republicans running government in Multnomah County...

Not sure what Mitt has to do with DEMOCRATS funneling millions of tax dollars that should be going to schools, roads, and maybe some mental-ill training for the police.

My point being tda nailed it calling those who want accountability being out-of-date.
I took it to be snarky and agreed, it does seem to be out of date these days, the spending and debt in our country, on the national and local scene.
I realize the D's are in charge in the local scene, a very disappointing lot!

Romney only gets involved in thing that can be turned around. Portland is hopeless. You guys are screwed. Time to move.

Sam L.,
Curious on time to move idea, to where would you think half of this city would be moving, as likely that many may have this in mind?

Anywhere out of Metro & Tri-Met territory.

Bend. Klamath Falls. Tillamook. Florence. Ashland.

I wonder how many might think getting out of the state would be better?

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