Mayoral Race Gets Weird

Dan Petegorsky

[Editor's note: Today, we're thrilled to announce the addition of Dan Petegorsky to our stable of contributors. Dan is a longtime progressive activist and currently works as the executive director of the Western States Center. Of course, his words here are his own - and do not represent the views of any organization he's affiliated with.]

Anyone else feeling like the Portland Mayor's race has entered Bizarro World territory? Think about it: Sho Dozono, backed by corporate lobbyist par excellence Len Bergstein, decides to run with public financing; secures the endorsement of Tom Potter; rallies immigrants and peope of color to register to vote; and finds that magic in the hole at Voodoo Doughnuts. Meanwhile Sam Adams, with former Sten campaign manager Jen Yocom and progressive king maker Mark Weiner in his corner, goes on Lars Larsen and, after a fumbling defense of the Council's support for a new Day Laborer's Center, gets backed into promising to promote a crackdown on businesses that can't prove that all their employees are "legal."

Conventional wisdom has it that the candidate who runs to the left in Portland elections wins. Does Bergstein know something Weiner may have forgotten?

Comments

  • Katy (unverified)
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    Sam went on Lars Larson? When? What did he say??

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    Favorite bumper sticker: Keep Portland Weird.

  • Buckman Res (unverified)
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    The interview is up at LarsLarson.com.

    The good news is that Sam promised to introduce a resolution prohibiting city contracts to employers who can’t prove the legal residency of their employees.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    Bottom line here is simple: Sam is uptight and too easily cowed - Just like his mentor, Vera.

    Sho is more laid back and won't be cowed - especially by the police and thier forces (union or otherwise)if it comes to that (and it will).

    I would rather have Sho as mayor that someone who has a 'line of succession' built into the play. Sam is a Vera crony and always will be. Mayor Potter was right in endorsing Sho. I would too if I had uptight, cowed commissioners working along side me.

  • littlevoice (unverified)
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    Vera was easily cowed? I dare you to make less sense.

    If Sho = Potter, Sho = 4 more years of talking and zero more years of doing.

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    Hey, interesting post. Unique perspective. Why not put your name to it as you advocate your point of view? Thanks.

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    Charlie: the post was mine; my first, in fact, as an official contributor. But there must have been some glitch in having my name/photo attached, which is why it seems to have gone up anonymously, which was not my intent.

  • JHL (unverified)
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    I may not be as Portland-savvy as Mr. Bergstein and Mr. Weiner, but I gotta think that if a Democratic candidate for Portland mayor goes on Lars Larson, the politically-optimal thing to do is poke Lars in the eye and leave.

    (Littlevoice... Love the VB reference!)

  • Citizen of Portland (unverified)
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    Sho Dozono as mayor can carry on the integrity, values and inclusiveness of Tom Potter, while also bringing a sense of business experience that can help Portland to become more fiscally responsible in its operations and economic development…especially during our pending downturn of the economy. Sam Adams does not have any of those characteristics or skills mentioned above.

    Sho is taking this on because he feels it is a calling, he doesn’t need the paycheck. Sam is taking this on because he needs a job and his desired career path is the political ladder. Portland is just a rung for Sam, it’s a priority for Sho.

    And, as far as Potter’s tenure, I don’t call this list “nothing”…

    Increased citizen engagement and participation Youth engagement (Youth and Children's Bill of Rights, Youth Planner Program, etc.) Removal of PPB from the Joint Terrorism Taskforce. City-business relationship improvement School districts relationship improvement School-year funding rescue State-wide, nation-wide, and worldwide relationship improvement Neighborhood restructuring (Community Connect) City Charter improvements (three out of four ain’t bad) Day Laborer Hiring Center Creation of the Office of Youth and Violence Prevention Creation of the Office of Human Relations and Human Rights Commission Overhaul of city employee practices (Bureau Innovation Project) Improved budgeting process Promotion of Rosie Sizer to PPB chief Portland Plan development Portland Development Commission responding more to community needs (small businesses, and women and minority owned businesses, City-wide drug strategy Immigrant and refugee task force IPR outside audit Addressing racial profiling Creation of the Office of Film and Video

    This is just a brief and incomplete list that doesn’t include all of the many political fires that have been calmed or put out. If you want to see more, go to Potter's Accomplishments. (Which is still incomplete, I might add.)

    Also, there is more in the pipeline, as long as the vindictive nature of the City Council doesn’t put ego before progress.

  • Eric Parker (unverified)
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    "Also, there is more in the pipeline, as long as the vindictive nature of the City Council doesn’t put ego before progress."

    Don't forget to add 'petty' to that...

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    Thanks, Dan. Typepad can be a fickle instrument. We'll get a name on this as soon as someone with access can jump in here.

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    Hey Dan (and Charlie) -- I've fixed the post. Dan, remember to select your name on the pulldown menu when you post.

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    Dan~

    I'm glad to see more coverage of city politics on BlueOregon.

    Thanks for adding your thoughts around the old water-cooler here.

  • Joe12Pack (unverified)
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    Portland city governance entered Bizarro World years ago, long before this kooky mayoral contest. Where you been?

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    Is Sho's relationship with a "corporate lobbyist" supposed to be a bad thing? If a mayoral candidates don't have ties to the business community and a good working relationship with "corporate interests" already, it's not clear how they'll forge those necessary ties once they take office. (And yes, boosting business and the local economy is one of the mayor's primary roles.)

    Also, the term "cognitive dissonance" accurately describes the current mayor and others who give lip service to supporting government union workers but who simultaneously undermine private sector union workers by setting up a congregation center for illegal aliens that has the stated purpose of helping contractors undermine both unions and prevailing local wages. Talk about "weird." If Adams really said what you report, then good for him for standing up for working class families.

  • joel (unverified)
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    The CAUSA website has this item up criticizing Adams:

    Commissioner Sam Adams Joins Forces with Xenophobes?

    Earlier today, Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams joined forces with anti-immigrant talk radio host Lars Larson in support of a costly scheme to check the papers of all employees of every company before the city of Portland would contract with them.

    Commissioner Adams pledged to support or initiate the anti-immigrant, anti-business resolution only minutes after voicing his support for the new Day Labor Center slated to be constructed in Portland. Although he voiced support for the site, Adams was not present during yesterday’s hearing and did not participate in the vote to move the day labor site project forward.

    Larson was so ecstatic finding a supporter for a law that targets employers who hire immigrants that he gave Commissioner Adams his “Props and Kudos” Award for the day.

    <hr/>

    Um, aren't they intentionally confusing "immigrant" with "undocumented alien"?

    Lars Larson is a right-wing loudmouth, but I don't believe he is "anti-immigrant". I believe he is anti-undocumented alien. Different concept. And by the way, can we please get past the screwball idea that there is anything right-wing about (i)having borders, (ii)having immigration laws, and (iii)enforcing immigration laws? We live in a world of nation-states, people.

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    To Jamais Vu and others:

    The establishment of Day Laborer Centers is anything but an effort to undermine unions and wages. In fact, such centers have had strong support from both national and local unions - reflected, for example, in the partnership between the AFL-CIO and the National Day Laborers Organizing Network.

  • Marshall Collins (unverified)
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    The mayor's race down here in Eugene just got competitive/exciting. Yesterday our most recent former Mayor Jim Torrey, filed paperwork to get his old job back. He is a former republican and now registered independant. Our current mayor, Kitty Piercy, is a pretty progressive lady but some have said that she has spent her first term concentrating too much on pet projects and has let the city's infrastructure go. This was a highlight of Torrey's first two terms and sure to be what he run's on this time, although he received criticism for not taking on things like sustainability, downtown renewal and alternative transporation. This race went from freezer temperature to red hot overnight. There hasn't been anyone able to sucessfully beat an incumbent mayor in Eugene ever but the initial buzz is that Torrey stands the best chance of doing it.

  • Sam Adams (unverified)
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    The context for my conversation yesterday morning with Lars Larsen was the City of Portland's Day Labor Center. I absolutely support the Day Labor Center. Lars Larsen, I'm pretty sure, does not support the Day Labor Center. The Day Labor Center might not be the perfect answer to what is a difficult federal issue but it is a necessary, humane and compassionate local response. It had support by City Council as well as union representatives.

    Regarding the issue of city contractors not being allowed to use undocumented workers on city projects. I had an opportunity to follow up on the topic of this blog post with the Portland City Attorney Linda Meng. She feels that the current language required to be included in all city contracts already follows Federal law and prohibits city contractors from using undocumented workers on city contracts. I believe this makes unnecessary the need to take any additional city legislative action on this issue.

  • Terry Parker (unverified)
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    While Sho Dozono may have the backing of a corporate lobbyist, the Sam Adams camp includes freeloading bicyclists and the BTA who want a free ride poached from motorist paid tax dollars, streetcar and transit advocates that want huge taxpayer subsidies and to socialistically control how people move about, and probably some fat cat developers who want the surge of public dollars to continue to flow in their direction so they can reap increasing profits by constructing high density urban heat islands. In other words, while Sho chose the public campaign funding route, Sam has chosen his own traditional route of receiving campaign funds from the groups that he financially supports with public dollars and are part of his personal special interest agenda.

  • Bob R. (unverified)
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    So Terry, does that mean you've finally come around to support public financing of campaigns? I thought you previously decried public financing as "socialistic", but in the context of your remarks, above, it appears you see that as a positive trait for Sho's campaign.

    PS... As I'm sure you're aware, since you've been told hundreds of times by dozens of people, "freeloading" bicyclists pay taxes and have the right to vote, too.

  • Terry Parker (unverified)
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    Now Bob, I am sure you are aware that bicyclists do not pay any bicycle user tax, license or registration fees thereby financially subsidizing the roads motorists drive on when they pedal push their two wheeled vehicles through the streets, on to exclusive bicycle infrastructure and in bike lines. At the same time motorists are paying fuel taxes, registration and license fees, direct transportation infrastructure user taxes, that pay for the roads they drive on in addition to subsidizing the freeloading pedal pushers’ specialized infrastructure. Therefore, only when bicyclists are directly taxed with a bicycle tax that helps pay for roads in addition to bicycle infrastructure is your comment valid. Property taxes and income taxes in Oregon for the most part do NOT pay for roads. Just saying a bicyclist owns a car is a lame excuse and you and I both know it. Furthermore, many bicyclists do not own cars but still use the infrastructure.

    As for public financing of elective offices, I do not recall ever taking the position of being for or against the issue. However, I may have commented related to a concern or candidate using it or regarding the process. To that point my biggest concern is how much effect the public financing of campaigns has on the City budget. Conversely though, Sam throws around more of the taxpayers money from his personal special interest agenda for bicycle infrastructure, streetcars, curb extensions, couplets, development subsidies, etc, etc, etc, than could ever be totaled up by public campaign financing.

  • joel (unverified)
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    Sometimes even the churlish quasi-libertarians are correct. Terry Parker is correct about Adams modus operandi. Adams is extremely clever and thorough. He dribbles out the public goodies to selected interest groups (such as bicycle advocates and the folks who work in/near downtown and like to ride streetcars) to attract their votes. However, those folks are unlikely to bankroll his campaign, so he then turns around and with his City Council colleagues (and a boost from the Portland Development Commission) cuts deals for wealthy developers.

    Oh, but I forget, how dare I criticize Mr. Adams, who grew up poor.

  • littlevoice (unverified)
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    At the same time motorists are paying fuel taxes, registration and license fees, direct transportation infrastructure user taxes, that pay for the roads they drive on in addition to...

    ...choking me with their noxious fumes, driving unsustainable land use here and around the nation, driving up obesity rates, tearing up public rights of way with heavy cars that require constant and expensive repaving, and apparently driving around with a sense of entitlement as if they don't have to get along with others.

    <h2>Cyclists are free loaders? Get over yourself.</h2>

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