For Policy Wonks Only

by Steve, April 8th, 2008

Willamette Week has posted video of their panel interviews of candidates for City Council seats one and four on their Web site.

Randy Leonard is a shoe-in for seat four, but seat one has no incumbent (it is Sam Adam’s current seat).

Willy Week interviewed the candidates en masse, and there are some good exchanges on streetcars vs. sidewalks between Amanda Fritz and Chris Smith. Fritz has made it a top issue for her campaign to fund basic services in the neighborhoods first, and Smith seems to be running on expanding the streetcar city-wide.

Interesting contrast, and it’s also interesting to hear from the other candidates.

Just a hunch, but it would seem WW might just endorse Fritz.

Leonard Drops the Gloves

by Steve, April 8th, 2008

It seemed like Randy Leonard was pulling his punches when he wrote to me a couple weeks ago that he “was not convinced… that the Blazers were to blame for the deteriorating relationship” in lease renegotiation talks with the Winter Hawks.

Now he’s dropped the gloves.

In today’s Portland Tribune, Leonard tells us how he really feels.

He says “I felt like I was being played,” and “an impartial observer could conclude, ‘Am I in the middle of a used-car deal, or a problem with the Winter Hawks?'”

In addition to the lack of negotiation prowess, issues surrounding the price and quality of the big screens Leonard helped get installed at the Coliseum and bluster about moving to Salem have Leonard disillusioned with the ownership group of Jim Goldsmith, Jack Donovan and John Bryant.

You’ve got to give him credit for trying, but he’s now part of the legions of disgruntled Hawks fans who are increasingly resigned to the fact that their home town hockey team may soon be folding or moving.

I still hold out hope that the league will force a sale, and we’ll get an owner group that knows hockey, knows sports marketing, and knows how to negotiate.

Hey, it could happen!