May 14th, 2014 | by AARON MESH News | Posted In: City Hall, PDX Votes, Politics, Environment

Charlie Hales and Nick Fish Dip Into Campaign War Chests to Fight Water District

     
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lede_4025(scroller)HOW’S YOUR GLASS?: Bull Run Lake, sitting just below Mount Hood at an elevation of 3,162 feet, is the source of Portland’s drinking water. An 1894 city report declared Bull Run water had “purity…probably unexcelled anywhere in the world.” - IMAGE: Finetooth

With days left in the ballot-measure war over who controls Portland's water and sewer utilities, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and City Commissioner Nick Fish aren't just fundraising.

They're dipping into their own campaign funds to keep City Hall in charge of the Water and Environmental Services bureaus.

Hales' election campaign has donated $10,000 to the fight against Measure 26-156, which would create a public water district—a new elected board to oversee water and sewer utilities.

Fish's reelection campaign has chipped in another $5,000.

Those donations add to a growing war chest for the "no" campaign. As WW reported in this week's paper, the measure's opponents have more than double the fundraising of its supporters since the measure qualified for the ballot.

Among the latest contributors to the "no" effort: The Greenbriar Companies, which owns barge and railcar manufacturer Gunderson, and gas utility NW Natural. They both donated $5,000—their second round of donations.

The measure's supporters have noted that both these donors fighting against a public water district are identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as companies that may have contributed pollution to the Willamette River.

That runs counter to a narrative from the measure's opponents that the water district was crafted by "corporate polluters," a claim that does pass muster—as WW reported in an analysis of campaign advertising.

Ballots are due May 20. Learn about what's at stake here.

 
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