Flynn, a local conservative activist who ran unsuccessfully for Metro Council in 2002, is a frequent critic of the political status quo in Multnomah County. And according to a letter he recently circulated in Southeast Portland, his concerns extend statewide to this fall’s ballot Measure 49.
That measure is designed to fix what land-use planning advocates say are flaws in Measure 37, the 2004 initiative that voters passed to create a system for compensating landowners whose property was affected by laws enacted after the property’s acquisition.
To say the least, both Measure 37 and the fix now proposed by Democrats are confusing and controversial. Flynn’s undated “Dear Neighbor” letter reads like an attempt to shed some light on the issue. He writes that Measure 49’s authors drafted “intentionally misleading information for the official ballot.”
To that characterization, however, the Rogue Desk responds, “Back at you, bub.”
Flynn’s letter prominently lists an address—3855 SE Salmon St.—smack in the middle of Portland’s liberal heartland. It gives the appearance that a Sunnyside neighborhood resident has taken the time to truth-test a complicated issue.
The problem is that Flynn doesn’t live at 3855 SE Salmon St. Nobody does. The house that’s there—which Flynn does own—has been vacant for a long time, as evidenced by the overgrown yard and “Piccolo for City Council” lawn signs covering most of the ground floor windows. (Ted Piccolo ran unsuccessfully for City Council in 2000.)
Flynn says he lived in the house 20 years ago and used the address because his wife doesn’t want him to disclose his true address to potential critics. “It’s a way people can reach me,” he says.
In fact, according to Mapquest.com, Flynn’s Parkrose home is 7.04 miles from the Southeast Salmon Street address—a distance that hardly qualifies him as a “neighbor” to his intended audience. But it does qualify his letter for his own description this campaign season—“intentionally misleading information.”