Mayor 2012: One week out

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

With a week left until ballots are cast, there's lots happening in the race for Mayor of Portland.

Brady ad
Earlier this week, Eileen Brady's campaign released its fourth ad of the campaign - this one on health care.

Hales complaint
Green Party activist Seth Woolley filed an election complaint trying to boot Charlie Hales off the ballot. The idea is that he wasn't eligible to vote when he registered to vote, so his registration wasn't and isn't valid - which would exclude him as a candidate for Mayor.

Multnomah County and Portland elections officials rejected the complaint almost immediately. Seems clear to me that he's a voter now, so I don't buy the complaint. I still don't get how you can be a resident in one state for tax purposes and a resident of another for voting purposes - but hey, I never went to law school.

Brady endorsement
The Portland Tribune endorsed Eileen Brady yesterday in glowing terms, saying she had "risen to the top" of the field, that "she can bring the right mix of skills to the job", and that she had built "a coalition that includes business, community activists, environmentalists and many others":

Her business credentials extend beyond natural food stores to include a successful stint in the high-tech sector. She also has significant volunteer experience in the areas of the environment and health care that ought to reassure any voters who believe she would be solely the candidate of business.

In other news:

That's the scoop. What's your take on the race, one week out?

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      Argh. Thank you. This is what happens when I write late at night for scheduled posting in the morning.

      Full disclosure: My firm built Eileen Brady's campaign website. I speak only for myself.

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          Seems like it would be easiest to just put a header on the site that says "Blue Oregon prioritizes promotion of Mandate Media clients during elections."

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            No, BlueOregon doesn't do any such thing. BlueOregon is not Kari Chisholm, and Kari Chisholm is not BlueOregon. I am a separate human from all the other humans that write here, nor do I control the activities of the other humans that participate here.

            I happen to write what I'm interested in and thinking about -- which, no surprise, is often what I'm working on.

            It's worth noting that my clients include a majority of statewide and federal officeholders in Oregon. And this is a political blog -- so there's some natural overlap.

            But there are some 50+ people with contributor access to the site. I don't know for sure - but I'm fairly confident that more of them support Jefferson Smith than the other two candidates combined.

            I'm not responsible for their disinterest in writing about his campaign, or any other topic. (And many of our "contributors" haven't contributed in a good long while.)

            We're not paying these people, y'know. I'm not a city desk editor, assigning stories here.

            Just the other day, I contacted a friend who is a Hales supporter and asked 'em to write a guest column to support him. (Doing what's best for BlueOregon, and not my client...)

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              Just for clarity's sake, in response to this statement from your comment above:

              "I am a separate human from all the other humans that write here, nor do I control the activities of the other humans that participate here."

              I scrolled to the bottom of the page, where it says, "BlueOregon is published by Mandate Media. Learn More." I then clicked on 'Learn More' because, well, I was seeking to learn more.

              Anyone can click to read it, but here is what it says in part:

              "Legal Stuff This site is published by Kari Chisholm at Mandate Media."

              It goes on:

              "[Mandate Media] reserve[s] the right to delete comment spam or other offensive material."

              It would seem that you are at least a little more than a run-of-mill contributor.

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                Now, having said all of that, you are entirely correct to point out that this is a blog and traditional journalistic standards do not necessarily apply. The fact that so many seek their "news" from blogs and social networks presents an excellent opportunity to share information, exchange ideas, and engage in dialogue, but it also presents the potential risk of persistent misinformation and subjective viewpoints being interpreted as fact.

                You have no obligation to give equal time and as you often point out, others can post on their own and/or counter what you and others may say.

                Frankly, it is a genius idea on your part to pair political media consulting with a virtual political water cooler. More power to you.

                With that said, you do run this site and, in fact, can "control the activities of other humans" on this site.

                Whether fair or not, your role as the site manager and owner of Mandate Media means that your posts are unique from that of a guest blogger who advocates for the candidate they are working for.

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                  If you hang around here awhile, you'll notice that I take a very light touch with our contributors. We have had LOTS of stuff published arguing in favor of candidates that are running against my clients.

                  I think the proof is in the fact that these contributors still participate here. Evan Manvel, Chip Shields, Carla Axtman - to name a few - are big supporters of Jefferson Smith. If they thought I had my thumb on the scale, they wouldn't continue to participate here.

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                    All fair points. I did not intend to suggest that you have censored anyone, just that you have privileges beyond the average contributor. Because of your ownership of the site and your relationship with particular candidates and office-holders, it is at least understandable that folks might view your posts a little differently than those by others.

                    My other point was simply that this is a blog and people should be able to differentiate it from hard news sites (although reporting news objectively seems to be going the way of the dinosaur).

                    Kudos to you for creating the one place online in Oregon progressive politics to sustain the critical mass required for a lively dialogue.

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                You're right; for legal purposes, my firm owns BlueOregon.

                But the site is entirely produced by volunteer contributors. Neither I, nor anyone else, assigns stories.

                And when I post, I speak only for myself - not for any of the other contributors.

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                  Who can/must approve a post to actually put it up on the site?

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                    Nope. All the contributors have direct access to publishing anything they want. I don't approve anything or see it pre-publication.

                    I do review guest columns. But when I have a client in a primary race, we make sure that the other campaign(s) have an editor contact that isn't me.

                    That is the case for both the Smith and Hales campaigns.

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              Keep the great job Kari. Blue Oregon and our City needs you.

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              But BO is published by Mandate Media, Kari Chisholm is Mandate Media, right?

              It's great that the contributors often write about other candidates, and your comments ring true regarding content of posts.

              But I find it interesting that the bar usually has a Brady campaign ad in it... Anyone else would have to pay to get such prominent space on the blog, being that it's basically premium ad space. But BO uses it to promote Kari's candidate... Will we ever see an ad there for Jeff or Charlie?

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                Jefferson's first TV spot was up there for over a week. You're reaching.

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                  Hmm. My apologies. I was wrong.

                  Jefferson's first TV spot was up for just short of a week -- 2 hours and 45 minutes short of a full 7 days.

                  It went up on 4/13 at 9:15 a.m. and was replaced by the most recent video on 4/20 at 6 a.m.

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      Yes, WW forces candidates to explain themselves. That's a good thing. But it seems that that particular venue always gets the candidates sniping at each other -- and yes, I do think this set features all three candidates taking arguably-unfair shots at each other. And yes, it's all very entertaining.

      While I think the election complaint against Hales is a bit silly - but I think it's perfectly valid for voters to consider the fact (and it's a fact) that Hales paid less in taxes than he otherwise would have because he was a Washington resident for tax purposes, while he was voting in Oregon.

      It's not a "smear". It's a valid point for discussion. I don't think it should be a determinative factor, but it ought to be one consideration that folks consider.

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        p.s. A "smear" is what the Tea Party folks have been ginning up - and I think it's a bit outrageous that some other news outlets in this town have been reporting it like news.

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        It's a valid point for discussion.

        Hales lived with his partner and paid the taxes required. He voted in the place he planned to return to, as allowed by law. If you think we should change the voting laws, let's get that done.

        But the elections complaint being filed when it was is a timed political hit, aimed at generating negative media right before the election. It's nothing else.

        And it was the Brady campaign who said in a recent fundraising e-mail, "Personal attacks and distortions are harmful to democracy and have no place in Portland politics."

        Of course, what people consider a "personal attack or a distortion" is always in the eye of the beholder.

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          "A timed political hit" - that implies it was filed by one of his opponents. It wasn't.

          It was filed by Seth Woolley, the Green candidate for Secretary of State.

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          I'm not sure how you can say it's about timing. I'm running for Secretary of State on the Pacific Green Party ticket, which means issues of election integrity and voter fraud are vitally important. You can read my statement here:

          I filed it then because I was surprised nobody had filed a complaint and decided then to look into it. I personally looked up the major applicable statutes and found he apparently was not eligible to be mayor. I wrote up a 2500 word draft complaint on it and sent that draft to a lawyer I'm friends with. I asked if the theory was valid, and the reply was that it was a good theory.

          I spent the next few days drafting and following up with other lawyers, too, all experts in election law.

          All this took about a week of time. I didn't waste any time trying to time it. Time was of the essence. I wanted to ensure as quickly as possible that we didn't have an election where an ineligible spoiler was allowed in.

          Despite the reply from Scott, the law is and remains clear. Hales' response is inadequate and further worsens his position as I outlined in my reply to Scott.

          In summary, Scott considered his current residence. That was wrong. He didn't look at the correct statute when he looked at past residence (he needed to look at the statute he used for the current residence), and he used "may consider" items that don't count when the "shall consider" subsections (1)(a)&(d) already applied to determine his residency as dictated by his sworn statements to the Department of Revenue. Moreover, his use of the temporary claim (also contradicting sworn statements) doesn't apply because he had a fixed, not non-fixed residence and furthermore he didn't file at his last address, but a totally new address. Both of those are required in respective sentences of the section Scott and Hales tried to invoke.

          You can read the law for yourself. It's pretty clear to me and to every person to whom I have shown it.

          "Some bureaucrat dismissed it, that settles it" is an inadequate argument when the law is clear enough for any reasonably intelligent person to read.

          Full Disclosure: I have not taken or given any money from or to any candidate for mayor aside from Cameron Whitten who I gave some Internet advertising agency help to that one might value at $500, although it cost me nothing and really, it'd take something special for him to end up in the top two.

          I have taken Cameron, Smith, and Brady bumper stickers (as the Greens endorsed all three) and placed them on my bicycle. I asked Max's mom for one too, but haven't received it yet.

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          I'd also like to point out that there's no way I've found that a Washington resident for tax purposes can legally vote in Oregon. Jack Bogdanski, who is an expert tax lawyer and law professor, said essentially this himself in his blog, but I've looked over both sections myself and cannot find a way it can be done.

          Maybe I missed something.

          Can you point me to how it would be done in any hypothetical case? I hope by asking that question you'll take a closer look and in that analysis you'll then be able to wrap your mind around "the Hales Loophole" and either how absurd it is or how wrong I am.

          I have family in the Vancouver area, so maybe I should be looking at a second property. If you could help me out here, maybe I could use the "Hales Loophole", too. Much appreciated in advance.

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    I'm totally confused- I thought the election was in mid-May? By "cast" do you mean mailed to the voters or due at the elections office?

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    Ballots must be received at the elections office by 8 pm May 15th (unlike Washington state, where postmarks count).

    But yes, Kari meant to say there is one week until voters receive their ballots (except for overseas voters, etc. who've already received theirs).

    Expect yours in your mailbox around April 27th.

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    I disagree with Evan's high-handed dismissal of Mr. Hales' residency issues. Whatever the cause for his disdain, he is wrong in his contention that it is a non-issue; Chris Dudley found to his chagrin that taking residence in a state with no income tax while maintaining the fiction of Oregon residence can haunt you when you go back and claim you have an abiding interest in the welfare of Oregonians.

    How wrong is it to be granted the cover of supposed residency without the responsibility of paying local taxes simply by swearing you'll be right back and not being stupid enough to register to vote where you live?

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    Voters' pamphlets are out. I'm disappointed in the statements of the three leading candidates. As I blogged (here):

    "The three leading candidates make no mention of any international dimension to our jobs or educational futures in their voters’ pamphlet statements. I think each knows better, but each, in appealing to voters, thinks the voters do not want or care to hear about Portland’s international future. Portland has a very local-focused political culture. It is crippling our economic future. We need better."

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    I might be able to shed a little light on tax home vs residency. It's been a long tax season, so I'm just going to touch on the basics:

    Your tax home is where your main place of business is. It is possible to have a tax home in another state. As long as you maintain your home in Oregon, return frequently, have a family member that lives in your Oregon residence and you expect to come back to Oregon permanently you can remain an Oregon resident.

    However, the important thing to remember is that Oregon taxes all sources of income if you are an Oregon resident and taxes all Oregon source income if you are a non resident. So if Mr Hales was an Oregon resident, he paid Oregon tax on all of his income. BTW this is not a question for a lawyer; unless they are a tax lawyer...when it comes to tax I would ask a CPA or Licensed Tax Consultant.

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      The salient facts regarding Mr. Hales' residency is that he filed as a nonresident for taxes for 5 years while living in Washington and maintaining Oregon residency for political purposes.

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      It's a blog. It's not supposed to be unbiased.

      That said, I spent about 20 minutes looking for a positive news story about Jefferson. Tough sledding. I would have asked you (or your staff) directly, but it was 2am.


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