Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is keeping a high profile as he girds for a confrontation with Portland protesters.
Wheeler announced today that on next Thursday, Nov. 8, he will formally introduce his proposed ordinance to restrict when and where protesters can rally—an attempt to keep right-wing extremists and antifascists from brawling with each other.
Wheeler first unveiled the proposal in mid-October, and held a press conference to describe the plan and why he thinks it's needed. That proposal has met with skepticism inside City Hall and dismay from civil-liberties watchdogs.
Today, Wheeler announced a date when the City Council will consider the proposal and perhaps vote on it. In advance of that announcement, Wheeler went on NBC News last night to discuss his plan.
"I feel a personal responsibility as the mayor of this city to protect the public and protect the public's property," Wheeler said in his only sound bite on the evening news broadcast. (Watch the video here.)
Wheeler has increasingly found himself a figure of national prominence—and a polarizing one.
The mayor became a boogeyman of the American right wing this summer after he instructed Portland police officers not to involve themselves in a standoff between leftist protesters and federal immigration agents.
Among those who loathed Wheeler: Cesar Sayoc, the alleged mail-bomber who targeted President Donald Trump's adversaries. Sayoc threatened Wheeler on social media.
This week, Wheeler said that FBI agents told him that Sayoc had researched Wheeler's physical location.
"Our office was recently informed by the FBI that the pipe bomb suspect, did in fact research me and locations possibly associated with me," Wheeler wrote on Twitter on Oct. 30. "Our security team is aware and we are taking extra precautions regarding our safety."
It's unclear what exactly Wheeler was referring to. Did the FBI tell him that Sayoc had looked up his address and schedule? His office declined to elaborate.
"We unfortunately are very limited in what we can say by the FBI," spokeswoman Eileen Park told WW. "What the mayor tweeted is all we can reveal."