The backers of a May ballot initiative to wrest control of Portland utilities from City Hall are accusing a second staffer in Mayor Charlie Hales' office of undermining them on the public dime.
Kent Craford and Floy Jones, co-petitioners on Measure #26-156, to create a public water district, filed a complaint today with the state Elections Division. They allege that Hales' policy director Josh Alpert used city time and resources to give an April 2 presentation against the water district at the offices of downtown law firm Tonkin Torp.
“Mayor Charlie Hales has repeatedly flaunted Oregon election law," Craford says in a statement. "His actions evidence a disturbing trend—using City Hall employees simply [sic] an extension of his political machine."
Hales' office declined comment on the allegation.
"No, we're not commenting," says Hales' spokesman Dana Haynes—who the water district campaign previously accused of campaigning with city resources.
The enmity between the water district backers and Hales is hardly a secret.
The mayor has called the campaign "political terrorism," and said its supporters are "clowns." In his recent State of the City address, Hales described the district itself as "a costly and sinister scheme."