The MHLW 2008 Portland, Oregon Voters’ Guide

by Steve, May 6th, 2008


Flip a coin. The business candidate who can’t articulate a single policy proposal (or pay his rent and taxes on time) or the career insider in the hip pocket of the big condo developers who will bring nine-story “green” towers and rich white people on bikes* to a gentrifying neighborhood near you. Dozono may be the best hope for a break from big-time public subsidies to the Homer Williams set, but don’t expect him to utter the words “rent stabilization” or “gentrification.” If you’re a renter, working class, poor, black or brown, you don’t have a dog in this fight. You can write me in if you want.
*I support equal rights for bike riders on our roads. Don’t take this statement as a repudiation of the bike community.

City Commissioner seat #1

Amanda Fritz. Transit nerd Chris Smith would turn the city into one big Pearl district he could. Charles Lewis? Meh. Not impressed. He seems quite angry, and quite willing to use his non-profit as a platform to jump into a higher-paying job. (Of course it’s all for the good of the children!) Jeff Bissonnette? Nice guy. Doesn’t have a chance. Mike Fahey? Grumpy old man; not running a serious campaign. John Branam? His campaign seems to be a jobs program for unemployed alt-weekly editors.

City Commissioner seat #2

Ed Garren. Of all the candidates running for city government, Garren gets gentrification the best. I’ll give Nick Fish a green light, too. He understands neighborhood issues, and he’s the candidate with a real chance to beat Sten’s anointed successor Jim Middaugh.

State measures

These were off my radar until I got my ballot. There are no arguments in opposition for any of them, but the arguments in favor scare me. Kevin Mannix. Crime victims’ rights groups. District attorney’s groups. My knee-jerk reaction is to vote against them, based on who is in favor of them. Use your best judgment on these. I got nothin’.

Democratic primary

I’m not registered Democrat, so I don’t get a vote in these, but here’s my take on the races:


Flip a coin. I like Novick personally. But policy-wise, there’s not much space separating him from Merkley. Either one would be to the left of Wyden, not to mention Smith. There seems to be a battle going on for the heart and soul of the state party, and it’s a freakin’ ugly fight. The old circular firing squad, as third-party spoiler John Frohnmayer called it. Frohnmayer, a former Republican, is coming into this race as a populist progressive. He will likely hand the race to Smith, regardless of who wins the Democratic nod. Like the mayor’s race, it’s a sad state of affairs. (I’m just reporting what I see, folks.)


Obama, simply because I don’t think Hillary stands a chance against McCain. Both Clinton and Obama are closer policy-wise to Bush than they are to me, and they are both bought and paid for by Wall Street. I strongly suspect the Democratic party is going to figure out a way to fuck up yet another in a string of gimme elections, and we’re going to be stuck with a McCain/Lieberman White House in January. Obama has an insurmountable delegate lead, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the party bigwigs throw it to Hillary.

One Response to “The MHLW 2008 Portland, Oregon Voters’ Guide”

  1. Comment from Wacky Mommy:

    “Women get the vote, my wife’s voting same as me!”

    Yeah, pretty much.

    I love bikers who actually are “real” bicyclists, who take it seriously and are not trying to be hip about it. What I don’t like are the poseurs who are spandexed and day-gloey looking around like, “Look at me! See me! On bike!” etc.

    Would. Not. Ride. If. No One. Was. Watching.

    I would like to put in a word here for The Bike Farm. Goooooooooo, Bike Farm! I’d vote for them for mayor. They could run it as a collective. Go look at how cute they are!

    Tell me — you think we’d see many ugly-ass condos with this crew in charge?