2012: Portland Elections Roundup

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Here's the latest in the campaigns for Mayor and the two seats on the Portland City Council.

On Monday, Charlie Hales released his first two TV spots - one on parks and schools and the other on potholes.

Meanwhile, Eileen Brady released a TV spot that was produced as an in-kind donation by members of Portland's burgeoning film and television industry. The ad pokes fun at the Portlandia image of Portland and makes a serious point about the real Portland that we all live in. Beyond that, I won't try to describe it - you just have to see it.

Over in the City Council races, the Oregonian endorsed Steve Novick and City Commissioner Amanda Fritz.

Of Novick, the O writes:

But with the right mayor and mix of commissioners, Novick could be a powerful vote and effective voice on the council. He is creative, dogged and famously smart. He cares more about finding good public policy than protecting political turf.

Of Fritz, the O writes:

Fritz is principled, smart, thoughtful and conscientious. She is willing to challenge conventional wisdom, even when that means questioning a colleague's pet project. She thinks more like a citizen than a politician, and she hasn't lost her regular-person appeal after nearly four years in power.

Meanwhile, in her race to unseat Fritz, State Rep. Mary Nolan has won the endorsement of former Mayor Vera Katz - who also made the leap from legislative leader to City Hall.

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

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    I think the theme of both of Charlie's ads is "proven leader."

    Is the Brady campaign actually airing the ad above? Or is it just running on the internet?

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    I'm pretty sure Charlies Hales' signature line in one debate was that his transportation policy was "Anything But Cars;" that's a little different than arguing that you can pave roads now for the same price you could 20 years ago, when he was in office.

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      And... 2002 becomes 20 years ago, how? Hales was in office from 1993 to 2002. But yes, I'd love to see someone crunch the numbers behind the numbers in the ad.

      For me, his signature line at the transportation debate was the prune juice test.

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        I guess a number crunch would be interesting, but about as similar to someone saying "my contractor built my house 19 years ago for half of what it would cost to build today." Wouldn't we all say, in response, "no duh?"

        His answer at the transportation debate, juxtaposed with this ad, suggests a candidate who will say what he thinks it takes to make a room like him, i.e. talking to transportation wonks? tell 'em you hate cars; talking to the average voter? tell 'em you love paving roads.

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          The ad claim is "paved five times the number of streets with half the budget Portland spends today," right?

          So that's paving at one-tenth of the cost.

          Inflation from 1998 (halfway through his time in office) to 2012 was about 40%, so that means paving streets at about one-seventh the cost of today.

          Which is a really big deal.

          Is the paving quality different? Labor costs or capital costs different? Lane-miles different? Paving different streets (i.e. wide streets vs. narrow streets, arterials vs. neighborhood streets)? Different levels of administrative and management costs?

          As a transportation wonk, there's a whole lot I want to know about those numbers.

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            I may be wrong but isn't street paving paid for largely with the gas tax? It should come as no surprise that in the 1990s, early 2000s, there was lots of money in the coffers due to the SUV craze. Now it's the Prius and fuel efficiency, which has made the gas-tax insufficient for paving roads. Not sure how Charlie's ability to pave roads in the late 90s applies to today's reality.

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              There's not an easy flow chart of source of money to source of expenditure, but the City Club report did a pretty good job of tracking and explaining it, I think. http://pdxcityclub.org/content/moving-forward-better-way-govern-regional-transportation

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            I think the squish there comes in the "budget" item. What does the transportation budget pay for now, vs. later. It would not be surprising if the transportation budget now pays for a lot more non-road-paving projects than it did 19 years ago. But those projects would be the "anything but cars" that Hales said would be his mantra. So, it would still be a contradiction.

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            a quick phone call to PDOT informs one that asphalt prices have gone up 500% in the past 15 yrs.

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    Love the visuals on Ms Brady's Portlandia ad. But what's with the accusation posted Thursday (4/12) by Tom Potter on her website accusing "someone" of preparing a "negative campaign" against Ms. Brady, but naming no names. Doesn't a passive aggressive accusation like that in itself amount to a smear campaign against the candidates who aren't preparing negative ads? We've gotten from happy job-creating birds to major nastiness.

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      Oregon does not require those who conduct polls to identify their clients. So, it's possible to know that someone - either an opposing campaign or am outside party - is readying a smear campaign, without having any idea who it is.

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    I don't think this exchange went well for Brady at all. As someone who was hugely skeptical of this building, it really undercuts her argument for good management and fiscal responsibility. Gotta give Jefferson and Charlie props donor handling the question far better.

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