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.
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?