Murmurs: Portland's Policing Of Airbnb? Into Thin Air.

  1. An independent analysis of Airbnb’s Portland hosts reveals only 93 of 2,006 online rentals in the city show they have a city permit to operate legally. That’s just 4.6 percent. The city of Portland set a Feb. 20 deadline for Airbnb and other sites to post hosts’ permit numbers or face a $500 fine for each violation. The deadline passed and the city is…shrugging. City Revenue Bureau director Thomas Lannom says he hopes companies will make “a good-faith effort” to follow the rules. “What we’re looking for is that they are working with us and trying to comply,” Lannom says. “If they appear to be dragging their feet, that is when we can bring and will bring penalties into play.” The analysis was done for WW by, an interactive tool that compiles data taken from Airbnb’s site, and was based on Portland’s permit data as of Feb. 21—a day after the city’s deadline. 
  1. The Oregon Supreme Court on Feb. 20 dismissed all ethics charges against two prominent Portland lawyers, Lois Rosenbaum and Barnes Ellis, in one of the longest and most high-profile legal ethics cases in years. The Oregon State Bar had accused Ellis and Rosenbaum of playing both sides of a same case. The pair, then with Stoel Rives, represented FLIR Systems, a Wilsonville high-tech firm, and company executives during a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation. The bar said Rosenbaum and Ellis improperly represented both the company and employees when their clients’ interests were at odds. The ethics case lasted nearly five years and received attention from The Oregonian and WW (“Crossing the Bar,” WW, Nov. 21, 2012). The O first reported the Supreme Court’s 76-page decision that all the ethics charges be dismissed—a big loss for the state bar. Rosenbaum told WW in an email: “We always believed, and the Court found, that our representation was in all our clients’ best interests [and] involved no conflict of interest.”
  1. Mark Callahan is back. The otherwise obscure Republican candidate for U.S. Senate became a right-wing hero in May 2014, when WW kicked him out of a primary-election endorsement interview for interrupting other candidates. Video from—replayed frequently on Fox News—shows Callahan calling out WW reporter Nigel Jaquiss during the endorsement interview for writing “blah blah blah” in his notebook while another GOP candidate spoke. Callahan finished a distant third in the primary, but seems ready to get back into politics. He’s registered as a candidate for a seat on the Mt. Hood Community College board of directors in this May’s elections. It’s an unpaid position, and Callahan is currently unopposed. Asked by WW if he had a second to comment on his new campaign, Callahan said no. “I don’t have a second,” he said.

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