With Amanda Fritz poised to be sworn in January 3 as a pioneer in Portland’s public campaign financing, voter owned elections (VOE) skeptic Jack Bogdanski threw some red meat to his libertarian right readers last week.
Bogdanski simply notes the amount of public money spent, $482,227.79, which is enough to whip up a tempest in his comment teapot. He does not mention that this amounts to about 84 cents per citizen of Portland, and, for whatever reason, he refuses to see any value in displacing private money in our elections (including that of his arch nemesis, uber-developer Homer Williams) with a little scrap of well-regulated public money.
Meanwhile, on his OregonLive Portsmouth neighborhood blog, Richard Ellmyer asks of Fritz “Was she worth it?” and suggests we should base the answer to that question pretty much entirely on whether she joins him in his monomaniacal opposition to the lease of the former John Ball school site to Portland Hope Meadows, a non-profit, intergenerational housing project.
Say what you will about New Hope Meadows, Fritz is going to have a lot more than that on her plate come January 5. I’m willing to at least let her get sworn in before rendering judgment on whether she was “worth it.”
VOE allowed Fritz to focus on running a street-level campaign that is probably unprecedented in modern city council history. She ran a completely positive campaign and enrolled the help of countless volunteers. She is clearly different kind of candidate, and we wouldn’t be getting her voice at the table if not for public financing.
I was just at this postage-stamp size Euro cafe La Belle Crepe drinking coffee while these two women ate their crepes. One mentioned how she had been at a bar and when the election results were announced, a lot of people just put their head in their hands. The other woman nodded. I thought to myself, What are you bitching about, you’re eating crepes.
Well, it was down to two nail-biters in Oregon, but the late count of Multnomah County made the difference.
Democrat Jeff Merkley appears to have unseated two-term Republican Gordon Smith for the US Senate.
Bill Sizemore’s Measure 64, which would prohibit public employee unions from defending their members from Bill Sizemore’s regressive ballot measures appears to be going down by a narrow margin. That makes Sizemore a five-time loser in this year’s ballot measure sweepstakes.
My only vote that was rejected by the people of Oregon was my “yes” vote on Measure 65, which would have given our state a top-two primary for state-wide offices, which would have effectively given us non-partisan elections. This was opposed by both major parties and most minor parties, so I expected it would fail.
Here he comes, along with his family. Damn that is one fine looking first family.
I’ll save the political analysis for another day — yes I know he’s a centrist. But right now, tonight, something I didn’t think was possible has happened. We’ve elected a black man president of the United States of America.
If this is possible, think what else we can do. It’s truly a new day in America.
I’ve been posting my Oregon Voters’ Guide for a while (I think this is my third edition), and since I know a little bit about search engine optimization (and since this site has half-decent Google juice), I’m usually in the top five results for a search like “2008 oregon voters guide” (It was number four today, just after two hits from the state and one from OregonLive.)
But bogus puffery aside, I do think blog endorsements are important, and it’s great that some campaigns are starting to take notice and even tout them. They might as well, since they frequently list hundreds of individual supporters.
(Toby and I were both theatre students at the University of Iowa back in the mid eighties. He’s obviously managed to do something with his larnin’. As if that weren’t a tenuous enough connection, he played Cotton Hill on King of the Hill, a character whose diction bears a startling resemblance to my grandmother-in-law.)