Mayoral candidate Charlie Hales was awash in money from developers during the May primary raceâalmost one-quarter of his cash came from development- and real estate-related donors. After he won, Hales voluntarily limited his campaign contributions to $600 per personâas if that would dampen special-interest money. But WWâs analysis of Halesâ campaign report shows 41 percent of the 221 donors who gave the max are tied to construction, real estate or other development interests.
As if thatâs not enough scratch for Hales, he and other politicians are getting donations from Oregon Dog PAC, founded by animal activist Ron Murray to promote animal-control issues and stop the Multnomah County shelter from euthanizing animals. âIt may be a county issue,â says Murray, âbut theyâre Portlandâs dogs.â Dog PAC gave Hales $500 and another $250 to Rep. Mary Nolan (D-Portland), whoâs running for City Council against incumbent Commissioner Amanda Fritz. Murray says his PAC is ecumenical. âCan you tell me why 64 percent of treatable cats that come into Multnomah County Animal [Services] are put to death?â he says. âSixty-four percent! Thatâs not a progressive city.â
The GOP-allied Oregon Transformation Project is having fun with political billboards, using a parody of the Truth-O-Meter âPants On Fireâ graphic made famous by PolitiFact to call bull on the Portland Public Schoolsâ bond request on the Nov. 6 ballot. Turns out the folks at PolitiFact, owned by the Times Publishing Co. of Tampa, Fla., donât seem to think itâs funny. The company last week sent a cease-and-desist letter to Oregon Transformation Project officials, demanding the conservative activists take the billboards down. PolitiFact, otherwise a champion of free speech, says the ads infringe on its copyright and make it appear as if PolitiFact had rated the truthfulness of the billboardâs claimsâwhich it hasnât. âWe didnât think weâd ruffle feathers that much,â says Rob Kremer, the treasurer of Oregon Transformation Project, largely funded by Stimson Lumber. The Oregonian, which runs material from PolitiFact and writes its own Truth-O-Meter items, isnât party to the demand letter.
Sick of this election news? You can take the first step toward ending this madness by registering to vote. The deadline for registering is Oct. 16. The Multnomah County Elections office says you can register at elections headquarters at 1040 SE Morrison St., or at DMV offices, post offices and libraries. You can also mail in your registration (must be postmarked by the deadline day) or register online at oregonvotes.org. Ballots will be mailed to voters on Oct. 19. And if youâre still not sure how to vote, weâre here to help: WWâs elections endorsement issue comes out next week.