Here’s the Billboard Even People for Portland Thought Was Too Much

The advocacy group has targeted county officials: Mike Schmidt and Jessica Vega Pederson.

The political advocacy group People for Portland, which for over a year has made an aggressive attempt to oust Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt from office and more recently turned its ire on Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson, has sought headlines for its edgy billboards.

The first thing motorists see when entering downtown Portland from the Morrison Bridge is a billboard emblazoned with a smiling Schmidt and text that reads, “Portland is a Schmidt Show!” The progressive DA has borne the brunt of the 501(c)(4)′s recent attack ads. (The group was also pivotal in moving the Portland City Council to the right in last year’s elections.) Another billboard went up on the side of West Burnside nightclub Dante’s this month.

But even People for Portland has its limits on what it will plaster across Portland’s sky.

WW has obtained a billboard design that the group recently decided not to run. It depicts the faces of Schmidt and Vega Pederson atop the bodies of a male and a female ballroom dancer, midjig. The billboard reads, “They’re just dancing around our problems.” Additional text reads: “Billions spent, problems worse” and lists “Endless Tent Cities,” “Encouraging Drug Addiction” and “Murderers on the Street” as problems attributed to the two elected officials.

Of course, People for Portland couldn’t lose its go-to tagline, and in a bubble on the ad that never ran are the now-infamous words: “Portland is a Schmidt Show!”

People for Portland did not respond to a request for comment. When reached by phone, Dan Lavey, one of the group’s founders and a top political strategist, declined to comment.

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