Whoa. Randy Leonard blasts Charlie Hales as a "showboater" that claims credit for others' work

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

In a letter-to-the-editor in today's Oregonian, City Commissioner Randy Leonard hammers Charlie Hales for taking credit for the 2003 school-funding solution.

Here's the full letter. It's the closing couple of lines that are really damning:

I was surprised that mayoral candidate Charlie Hales had a TV ad taking credit for negotiating a Portland Public Schools teacher settlement in 2003 ("Hales errs on schools claim, and he admits it," PolitiFact, April 29). Not only was Hales not on the City Council then, but I initiated the search for a compromise after replacing Hales, who had resigned midterm for the private sector.

That year, Portland Public Schools and its teachers were negotiating a contract with no success, and 24 school days were at stake.

One weekend, I drove between various school board members' homes and the teachers union office in search of common ground.

When Mayor Vera Katz became enthusiastically involved, we were able to reach a deal that benefited not only PPS, but also the other five school districts in Portland, and included the city restoring about 15 days of school. Teachers agreed to work 10 days without pay. It was an extraordinary compromise that took great leadership on all sides.

I've not spoken of my role in these negotiations because politicians who are "showboaters" often claim credit for successes that they had little or nothing to do with.

Unfortunately, Hales has demonstrated that characteristic to me repeatedly over the 20 years that I've known him.

Southeast Portland

Of course, Leonard and Hales have a long history of animosity and Leonard long-ago endorsed Jefferson Smith. But it seems that the facts are strongly on Randy Leonard's side on this one - and I, for one, think he's entitled to some outrage here.

What do you think?

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

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    Randy Leonard's endorsement of anyone is enough not to vote for that candidate. His term cannot end soon enough.

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        Kari: I agree with your passive/aggressive statement and I like combativeness in politics. I just simply don't like Leonard

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        Randy Leonard could have been a great commissioner; while he may "understand" council dynamics (seriously, anyone who's spent time in any kind of negotiation gets it), he's alienated too many people by making it the Randy show. Big-talkers make better Senators that City Commissioners.

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          Making it "the Randy show" makes it a show of one. You need three votes to get your show aired. Never spent much time in any kind of negotiation, eh Jonathan? ;)

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            Complex analogy, I guess. A show of one still gets aired, but just not many longstanding viewers. If a single commissioner is always talking about how great they are, and how much they get done, I suspect they won't count to three very often. Which (I gather) is something less-successful commissioners have learned, firsthand.

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    There's a difference between candor and combativeness and mean spiritedness, and this one falls on the mean side of the fence for me.

    I don't have a problem with Randy revisiting the PolitiFact finding, but that's all he's really done here. The rest of the letter is pretty incoherent. It mainly revisits Randy's role in the 2003 events--no showboating there, eh?

    Then he charges Hales with being a showboating politician for the last 20 years since he's been out of office for 10 of those years.

    Message received. Your endorsed candidate is trailing in the polls and it's time to start the mud machine.

    Not so much "whoa" as "d'oh!"

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      Well put.

      Interesting actions of Eileen Brady's web strategy dude (yes, he is speaking only for himself) writing a post about a letter to the editor written by a Jefferson endorser flinging mud at Charlie Hales.

      With the Mercury's endorsement today, things are looking good for Hales and all the other candidates can't help but tarnishing an impressive record as a public servant.

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        Well, a sitting City Commissioner blasting a candidate for Mayor is quite clearly news, no matter what you think of what he had to say.

        (Especially here on BlueOregon, where Commissioner Leonard was one of our founding contributors.)

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        The Mercury's "endorsement," if you can call it that, toys with the preference of writing in Sam Adams. Perhaps that's 1% of the voters, then, that are in line with the Mercury.

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        AND impressive public servants don't quit mid-term. Hales and Sten both did it, and neither should try and come back in the revolving door.

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            Jesse, as you know, I too support Jefferson Smith for Mayor, but it does bother me that Hales resigned from the City Council in the middle of a term. Call me old-school but I think that when you are elected to a term of office you need to fulfill your term unless there are really extraordinary circumstances. Wanting to make more money is not all that extraordinary.

            I can't help feeling this way.

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            In 1992, he didn't run for a 10-year term. And in 2000, he ran for a 4-year term. He committed to that term. But then he got bored, stopped showing up to meetings, and got to the point of describing his job as a prison sentence, and quit. For a candidate who claims his experience at City Council should lead people to vote for him, it's a damn important issue.

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    I confess I am brand new to the Portland area by 16 days, moving from Minnesota for a job transfer. I have been following the mayoral race ever since I got out here. One thing I can say for certain is this...you guys and gals here have three candidates unwilling to throttle the throats of the other candidates - and holy cow is that refreshing.

    I come from the land of Michelle Bachmann and the conservative think tank which would like nothing other than to hand over control of the country to the corporations - because who else would fund such a notion.

    I have seen enough from these three competitors for the mayoral position to realize that if nick-nacky items such as have been brought about them (Hayes living in Washington, Smith's relapsing his credentials by accident), and that's all anyone can dig up on them, then I would have to say you have three solid, very personable candidates of which to choose. They all bring something different to the table from different perspectives - and that's a good thing. If there were a way to use all their collective strengths together to be the next mayor - you'd have something special here.

    Point being....be happy this mayoral race is all about making Portland better and not how slimy each of the candidates are....realize how rare that is these days. I know I'll be proud when I can officially consider myself an Oregonian (but I have to learn to enunciate your words properly - LOL - my Midwest accent stands out here)

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    Basically, what I have seen is that Randy Leonard tends to make enemies pretty much everywhere he goes. I assume that if he st-talks someone, it's probably a pretty good sign that the person being st-talked isn't so bad. I stand by my vote for Charlie.

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