And the Mercury Endorses: Amanda Fritz for City Council
It's endorsement week at the Mercury. That means, for the next few days, we'll be releasing endorsements in one or more selected races here on Blogtown. Think of it like a slow buildup to the unveiling of our pick in this year's mayoral race, which won't be revealed until the paper hits newsstands later this week tomorrow (or even as soon as this afternoon, depending on where you pick the paper up). Today, we announce our choice in the race for Portland City Council's Position No. 1. Read all the rest in the paper or at www.portlandmercury.com. Amanda FritzHere’s the choice in the only city council race featuring an incumbent: Should we keep Amanda Fritz, a citizen politician and devoted tax-dollars watchdog, whose independence and quirkiness and zeal for process has sometimes left her on the outside of consequential city hall decisions? Or should we dump her for Mary Nolan, a sharp-elbowed former Oregon House majority leader who boasts city bureau and private-sector experience—but who’s also run a negative, whatever-it-takes campaign and has big support from all the city unions who don’t much like that they haven’t been able to co-opt Fritz after all these years? We’re going with Fritz. She’s the more careful candidate on issues like whether to invest in the Oregon Sustainability Center—a shiny, multimillion-dollar present for green economy zealots that could sink an already-strapped city budget already further in the red. “It’s nice, but we can’t afford it right now,” Fritz said during our endorsement interview, perfectly illustrating her worldview. Fritz helped kill an unnecessary water filtration plant, saving Portland hundreds of millions of dollars that would have been paid through sky-high water rates. She asks annoying, yet valuable, questions during city council meetings, emerging as Randy Leonard’s best frenemy. And she’s been a champion for publicly financed elections, riding the now-defunct system into office in 2008. This time, she’s accepting no more than $50 per contributor—even as Nolan has collected thousands from the unions she’ll have to negotiate against. (But let’s not forget that Fritz has had to spend, as of mid-April, $82,000 of her own money to stay in the race.) [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]
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May 02, 2012
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