Readers Respond to Sarah Iannarone’s Challenge to Mayor Ted Wheeler

"We are hosed. It’s chicken**** but I will probably just leave my ballot blank on that race.”

Arleta Triangle (Aaron Wessling)

Last week, WW published a profile of mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone ("She's Not Ted," Sept. 16, 2020). A neighborhood activist who's never worked in city government, Iannarone has benefited from the toll the protests have taken on the approval ratings of incumbent Mayor Ted Wheeler. A self-described "everyday anti-facist," Iannarone has attended several of Portland's protests against police brutality. WW's cover story examined Iannarone's outsider appeal and her decision to list her academic credentials as Ph.D. (ABD)—which stands for "all but dissertation"—in the November Voters' Pamphlet. (Iannarone now faces an elections complaint alleging she has misrepresented those credentials.) Here's what our readers had to say:

Deb Lowenthal via Facebook: "Another political neophyte, 'what have you got to lose?' candidate. I'm not thrilled with Ted, but…"

Nopojoe via "Egad, the choices. I have lost confidence in Wheeler. Not surprisingly, he fails to be innovative and flexible in response to the challenges. And no one is expecting that of him. Iannarone has had no real life experience in governance. Things are too intense for learning as you go. Two months out, I don't expect a savior to appear from the wings. We are hosed. It's chicken**** but I will probably just leave my ballot blank on that race."

Sonja Miller via Facebook: "Another mayor with training wheels, no thanks. At least Wheeler knows how to manage money and be an administrator. Whether you like his outcomes or not, he is experienced. She is able to take potshots without demonstrating any real admin or leadership capability."

@gayhouse90 via Twitter: "'Iannarone may not have any political experience, but she has a lot of ideas.' This only applies to yt ppl? This same point is used to detract from @TeressaLRaiford. She's got ideas. She's got moves. She's gonna save Portland."

@johannesolaf via Twitter: "The Ph.D. dissertation isn't some minor add-on, like an undergrad capstone. It's the main thing. I like Sarah Iannarone, but her listing Ph.D. (ABD) as a serious credential is a bit embarrassing. 'Ph.D. candidate' would have been the more standard and less misleading phrase."

Letters: Iannarone was not on the "front lines," whatever she says about her Ph.D.

The assertion that Sarah Iannarone has been on the front lines of the protests dozens of times is absolutely false (unless you mean the front lines of Twitter). People on the ground know that she showed up for vanity shots with her new helmet when the feds were here, but even then had to get that picture quickly and get out to avoid being confronted for her constant attempts to appropriate the movement. Still today, if Sarah were to approach the front lines, she would likely be confronted for accepting the assertion made by this article as truth. It's absolutely not true. This lie is an affront to all of the people who actually are on the front lines of the protests. This lie is an insult to resistance community members who risk their lives, then showing up for jail support in the morning. She is not at all part of the frontline protest community, let alone a person who has been on the front lines dozens of times. It's just plain not true.

The lie obfuscates another truth—Black women started the initial [Multnomah County] Justice Center protests. The lie demonstrates Sarah's pattern, also described in the article, of inflating her past "work" for political gain. Furthermore, this false statement projects an image of broad support for Iannarone in the protest movement, when actually, no Bloc we are aware of claims her.

Susan Anglada Bartley
Southeast Portland

In Pacific University poli sci professor Jim Moore's comment about Sarah Iannorone's use of Ph.D. (ABD), he says, "She's absolutely violating the spirit of the law….That 'c' or 'ABD' doesn't mean anything in academic nomenclature." He is wrong. The ABD is used routinely on one's C.V. to indicate a Ph.D. candidate who has completed all but her/his thesis, important info for academic search committees assessing job candidates. As for the "c"? Never heard of it.

Linda Isako Angst, Ph.D.
Southeast Portland

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Submit to: 2220 NW Quimby St., Portland, OR 97210.

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