October 15th, 2009 5:33 pm | by BETH SLOVIC News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Sports, City Hall

Spoiler Alert! Merritt Paulson Lied To Us.


The Oregonian's story today about Merritt Paulson's effort to bring minor-league baseball to Beaverton included a whopper of a comment from Paulson.

At the same time he's trying to build a baseball stadium in Beaverton for his Triple-A Beavers, Paulson's working with Portland officials to renovate PGE Park for Major League Soccer by 2011. Here's the relevant passage [emphasis mine]:
At Tuesday night's meeting, Beaverton City Councilor Cathy Stanton questioned whether Paulson has secured an agreement to buy and operate the pro soccer franchise beginning in 2011, requiring a $31 million renovation to Portland's PGE Park.

"Yes," Paulson responded. "But it's conditional on finalizing the deal with Portland. And if I don't get a baseball deal done, I'm not going to finalize the deal with Portland. So MLS will not come to Portland unless I do a deal for a new baseball park."

You'll recall there's been a delay in Portland on the development agreement for PGE Park between Paulson and city officials. Almost two weeks ago while reporting that story, I asked Paulson directly if the PGE Park delay was related to the baseball stadium delays he was facing in Beaverton. (The family who owned land Paulson wanted for his stadium is unwilling to sell.)

His response was a one-word, two-letter answer. "No," he wrote. And just in case you don't believe me, here's my email exchange with Paulson from Oct. 2:

Email from WW to Paulson

This morning, I asked Paulson why he lied. Here's his response, copied and pasted below (for easier reading) and in its original form:
I lied to you beth??? Are you kidding me?? What a joke. A lie is you telling me your hot providence scoop was unrelated to deal. Or a lie is you attributing quotes from a certain commish's office to ken rust. You calling me a liar is quality stuff

Portland deal delays have not been impacted by baseball. Period. The two deals have been linked from the get go and I have been consistent from the get go on that. There was no news there other than how anyone could be surprised. But the portland deal has been delayed on the public process surrounding the multitude of agreements required.

If baseball is not set by dec, then there could be an impact

You are too much
Sent using BlackBerry

Paulson email to WW
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