Yesterday, Evan Manvel posted the TV ad that went up late last week from the Jefferson Smith campaign - focused on the CRC. Also late last week, the Eileen Brady campaign released a new spot in which she talks about her priorities - and a desire to "get things done". Check it out.
By my count, that's four spots for Brady, two spots for Smith, and
two three spots for Charlie Hales.
Of course, Hales was forced to pull
one two of the spots after the Oregonian's Janie Har blew the whistle on his claim of helping avert a school funding crisis, calling his claim "flat wrong". As Har noted, it wasn't a small error.
Here's a video compilation of the numerous times that Hales claimed to have partnered with Mayor Vera Katz to avert a four-week early school closure by committing $10 million of city funds to Portland schools.
As you can see, this wasn't a slip of the tongue or a brief misstatement. Over and over, Charlie Hales tells a rather detailed story about the choices they faced, the "controversial" and "tough" decision that he had to make, how he worked closely with Mayor Katz to get it done.
This story has been a central proof point - an anchor - of his claim to have the kind of inside-the-city management and budget experience that the next mayor will need.
The Oregonian's Janie Har uncovered a huge story in the mayor's race -- that one of the candidates had a huge falsehood right in the middle of their core storyline. And yet, what did the Oregonian do with that story? They buried it. Back on page B2. And with a headline that minimized the story - "Hales errs in TV ad; admits mistake"
[A]sk yourself if Hales is really owning up to this whopper when he says, "I apologize for not being accurate. It appears that what happened is I merged in my mind the whole series of times when I voted in office to help schools with another time when I was advocating for schools but out of office."
Har knows it's a big story. Duin knows it's a big story. So why is the Oregonian burying it in print? Is this yet another one of those examples where they've decided it's too close to the election to actually cover the news?
It seems to me that getting a date confused is easy. Confusing a few facts or figures is easy. I'm hardly unbiased, of course. But how does someone have an entire memory with interesting details and political intrigue of something that never actually happened?
And this isn't the first time, either. Remember last June when Hales told Willamette Week's Corey Pein that he'd always paid his taxes in Oregon?
In an interview with WW last week, Hales said he had always been an Oregon resident for tax purposes, and had lived in his Southeast Portland home since purchasing it in 2007. "I've never changed my residency for tax purposes," Hales said on Thursday.
It was only after WW uncovered the tax records that showed he'd been a Washington resident from 2004 to 2009. Five years! I have no idea how someone who claims be a hands-on manager with expertise in budgets could be confused or mistaken about where he lives and files his taxes.
The best part of all this? Steve Duin takes note of one self-important quote that Charlie Hales surely wishes he had back.
"I went to the University of Virginia, where there is a single-sanction honor system that the university is rightly proud of, where if you lie, cheat or steal and you're found guilty of those things you're off the campus in 24 hours. I still believe and respect that kind of clarity about how we operate."
Of course, there's one obvious explanation that we're probably all overlooking. Inception.