Did City Commissioner Amanda Fritz violate her campaign-contribution limits? Fritz has based her political career on her independence from undue influence. In her re-election campaign, sheâs refusing union and corporate contributions, and she capped individual donations at $50. But on June 22, Fritz announced she would increase that limit to $250. Seems there was some backdating. Records show Fritz accepted a $250 contribution June 8 from former City Commissioner Gretchen Kafoury. Fritz tells WW she decided to alter her limit after taking Kafouryâs check. But, Fritz argues, she did not violate her pledge because she didnât actually deposit the check until she had announced her campaignâs new limits. Her challenger, Rep. Mary Nolan (D-Portland), raised $344,000 in the primary. Fritz raised $229,000âalmost all of it in loans and contributions to herself.
Mayoral candidate Rep. Jefferson Smith (D-East Portland) last week joined the liberal wave opposing Oregon coal exports, calling for a largely symbolic anti-coal resolution from the City Council. If he wins, Smith can expect some largely symbolic opposition. City Commissioner-elect Steve Novick writes in a wweek.com comment that he wonât support a coal ban. Novick says coal fuels the regionâs electrical supply (especially PacifiCorpâs), and itâs hypocritical to denounce it. âIf I came out against any and all coal exports,â Novick writes, âIâd feel like a heroin addict denouncing drug trafficking.â
Want your photo taken with President Obama when he comes to Portland on July 24? Thatâll be $5,000. Details have been finalized for the presidentâs fundraising visit (as first reported at wweek.com). The noon lunch at the Portland Art Museum will cost $500 a plate. Organizers also dangle âa very intimate opportunity with him that day at a higher price pointââmaybe heâll throw in a Monet?
New fire chief Erin Janssensâ illegal-fireworks crackdown (see âFahrenheit 4th of July,â WW, June 27, 2012) didnât silence the holiday skies above Portland. But firefighters and police issued 120 citations, up from 90 last year; fireworks-related blazes fell from 19 to 12. The fire bureau confiscated two truckloads of explosives, worth $35,000. What happens to all that star-spangled loot? Bureau spokesman Michael Silva says the fireworks will be kept at a secret location until theyâre burned in a Tualatin incinerator in November (see photo). âOn the street I heard, âYou guys are just going to take those home,ââ Silva says. âNo. Theyâre going to be destroyed.â