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August 12th, 2009 HENRY STERN | News Stories
 

Should He Stay Or Should He Go?

Are any big-name Portlanders besides Tom Potter’s wife signing the recall petition? WW asks Beau Breedlove and many others.

     
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(TOP) Beau Breedlove: Supports Adams’ recall. (BOTTOM LEFT) Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle: Yes. (BOTTOM RIGHT) Jeff Cogen: Would sign.

Sam Adams’ four council colleagues have all said they’re ready to move on from the mayor’s lies about the Beau Breedlove affair and won’t back the effort to recall Adams.

That’s not the position of former Mayor Tom Potter, his wife, Karin Hansen (see QA here), former state Sen. Avel Gordly and real estate magnate Joe Weston, all of whom have come out in support of the effort to recall Mayor Sam Adams.

Chief recall petitioner Jasun Wurster says the campaign has been trying to get more big-name Portlanders to back the petition campaign. But he says he’s running up against fears by some of retaliation from Adams if they take the public step of signing.

“When people fear to participate in their democracy, we no longer have democracy,” says the always-earnest Wurster, who needs 32,183 valid signatures from Portland voters by the Oct. 5 deadline to put the recall on the ballot.

As of Tuesday, Wurster—whose group claims 400-plus unpaid volunteers—said they had collected more than 6,000 signatures. That’s well behind the pace the recallers need since those signatures are less than 20 percent of what they must collect.

We decided to ask a bunch of city pols and big-name city residents two questions:

Would you sign the petition?

And why—or why not?

With a few exceptions, most who responded to our questions said they wouldn’t sign. But those exceptions include the man at the center of the Adams saga—Breedlove—as well as two members of Multnomah County’s Board of Commissioners and Columbia Sportswear President and CEO Tim Boyle, who could be a big campaign donor for Wurster.

Here are the results:

Will Sign:

—Columbia Sportswear President and CEO Tim Boyle: “Sam Adams is a committed public servant who has admitted to having lied to his staff and the voters. I think it is important that his constituents, the citizens of Portland, be given the opportunity to express their collective opinion as to whether they believe those errors are serious enough to warrant his removal as mayor.” (Sent by email.)

—Beau Breedlove: “As I had stated previously, throughout the investigation, Sam Adams has had my support. Not because he was gay, or because of what a gay man in office symbolized for Portland’s progress, but because I felt he was a good man for the job. After what has happened, and after his continual lying, I have changed that opinion. As I said in a brief note I sent Sam after the attorney general announced his decision, I am disappointed in Sam because he decided his reputation and career was more important than mine, so he felt it necessary and appropriate to sacrifice my reputation to further his political career. As much as I never wanted to say these words, I, along with Mayor Tom Potter and many others, support the Sam Adams Recall effort.” (Sent by email.)

—Multnomah County Commissioner Jeff Cogen: “ If someone approached me and asked me to sign a petition, I would do it, because I think it’s fair to put the matter before the voters of Portland.”

—Multnomah County Chairman Ted Wheeler: “It puts the decision where it belongs with the voters. This is about the voters having a say. If I were in this position, I would want to have a clear signal from voters that I am capable of doing a good job or I would get the message that it is time for someone else to take up the reins. Either way I could move on and the community could move on.” (Sent by email.)

—KPOJ 620 AM morning co-host Carl Wolfson: “I believe he has no credibility as mayor.… Portlanders need to weigh in and vote on the recall petition. Portlanders should get another shot at it.”


(LEFT) Ted Wheeler: “This is about the voters having a say.” IMAGE: CAMERONBROWNEPHOTO.COM (RIGHT) KPOJ’s Carl Wolfson: Absolutely would sign.

Won’t Sign:

—Rep. Jules Bailey (D-Portland)

—Metro President David Bragdon: “It’s in the best interest of the city to move forward.”

—Secretary of State Kate Brown: “ Frankly, I’m pretty careful about what I put my name on.”

—Sen. Margaret Carter (D-Portland): “It would be inappropriate as an elected official to sign the petition. It’s best to stay out of it and respect what the voters want.”

—Food crusader Harriet Fasenfest: “ I think the whole thing is hopelessly annoying and trivial.”

—Former City Commissioner Jim Francesconi: “I’m staying out of it.”

—Chef John Gorham

—Former City Commissioner Gretchen Kafoury: “ It’s not a simple issue for me, but I want this city to move on. He’ll be up [for re-election] in three years, and people can do something about it then.”

—Former Mayor Vera Katz: “I am loyal to my former chief of staff, and I’m not interested in the recall.”

—Former City Auditor Jewel Lansing: “ I just don’t think it’s going to do anything good for Portland. It’s too divisive and unsettled.”

—Former City Commissioner Mike Lindberg: “ I really believe Sam is doing a good job as mayor.… And from a practical standpoint, it’s not an effort that’s going to succeed.”

—U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.): “ The Senator has said Mayor Adams will have to work to restore the trust of residents of Portland. The Senator is not going to substitute his judgment for the voters of Portland.” (From a statement by his office.)

—Sen. Rod Monroe (D-Portland): “I’m staying out of it.”

—Ex-Gov. Barbara Roberts: “ I think Sam acted without the best of judgment, but I don’t think that’s worthy of a recall.”

—Multnomah County Commissioner Judy Shiprack

—Former City Commissioner Margaret Strachan: “I think what Sam did was really stupid, but I don’t think it’s worthy of a recall.”

—Developer Homer Williams: “ It’s time to get this in back of us. The bottom line is, there’s a point where you’ve just got to let this guy do his job.

—U.S. Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.)


(TOP LEFT) Secretary of State Kate Brown: Nope. IMAGE: Soma Honkanen (TOP RIGHT) Metro President David Bragdon: Wants to move forward. IMAGE: vivianjohnson.com (BOTTOM LEFT) State Sen. Margaret Carter: “It’s best to stay out of it.” (BOTTOM CENTER) Ex-Gov. Barbara Roberts: Adams’ actions unworthy of a recall. IMAGE: CHRISRYANPHOTO.COM (BOTTOM RIGHT) Ex-Mayor Vera Katz: “I’m not interested in the recall.“ IMAGE: Amy Ouellette

Other:

—Former City Commissioner Charles Jordan: PROBABLY NOT. “With all the challenges Portland is facing, I would feel a little more secure if Sam was in there,” Jordan says, adding that he has had his fights with Adams and might have rethought his answer if somebody had emerged as a viable mayoral alternative.

—Multnomah County Commissioner Deb Kafoury: UNDECIDED. “I’m torn between keeping a positive working relationship with the mayor but understand the frustration of citizens who think we didn’t have fair elections.”

—U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.): PROBABLY NOT. “I generally don’t sign petitions of one sort or another.”

(LEFT) U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden: Probably not. IMAGE: CHRISRYANPHOTO.COM (RIGHT TOP) Deb Kafoury: Undecided. (RIGHT BOTTOM) Wade Nkrumah: No comment.

Refused to answer:

—Former City Auditor Gary Blackmer: “I’m keeping that to myself.”

—Modest Mouse lead singer Isaac Brock

—Rep. Nick Kahl (D-Portland)

—House Majority Leader Mary Nolan (D-Portland)

—Former Adams spokesman Wade Nkrumah: He cited as the reason for his “no comment” his pending litigation against the city over comments Adams made after Nkrumah’s resignation.

Did not return WW’s phone call:

—Sen. Ginny Burdick (D-Portland)

—U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.)

—Rep. Ben Cannon (D-Portland)

—Bruce Carey, owner of Bluehour, Saucebox and 23Hoyt (and Breedlove’s cousin)

—Former Mayor Bud Clark

—Rep. Michael Dembrow (D-Portland)

—Sen. Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland) —Former City Commissioner Charlie Hales

—Ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber

—Rep. Tina Kotek (D-Portland)

—Sen. Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland)

—Rep. Chip Shields (D-Portland)

—Police Chief Rosie Sizer

—Rep. Jefferson Smith (D-Portland)

—Portland State University President Wim Wiewel

James Pitkin, Allison Ferré, Katie Litvin and Aaron Mendelson contributed to this report.

 
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