Public records offer clues about what politicians are really like. Do they pay their bills, vote or license their dogs?

And what about parking tickets? All the major City Hall candidates have them and have paid them.

The leader in the parking-ticket derby is mayoral candidate Eileen Brady (87), who says she's a frequent bike commuter. But it seems that when she does drive, as her long record of parking tickets indicates, she enjoys extended stays in metered parking. Brady has an explanation.

"It's a family problem," says her spokesman Jon Isaacs. "For a long time, they had six people driving two cars."

Steve Novick (68 tickets), the City Council candidate who some people fear actually lives in his car, is one of Oregon's loudest advocates for additional tax revenue. 

"I regret overstaying my welcome in many parking spots," Novick says. "But I'm happy to have forked over a bunch of money to help the city."

We found lower numbers for Jefferson Smith and Charlie Hales, both users of alternative transportation. Hales is a streetcar pioneer, and Smith is famous for traveling by bus. 

Then there's the battle for City Council Seat No. 1: The challenger is Mary Nolan, a longtime state lawmaker known to be precise and careful, and the incumbent is Amanda Fritz, known as a stickler for the rules.

Nolan has four tickets and Fritz has three—making this one race that's too close to call.