This week's issue of WW includes a story on political consultant Mark Wiener and his work lobbying for Uber, a setup that has raised eyebrows at Portland City Hall.
Wiener helped get Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioners Dan Saltzman and Steve Novick elected. He then accepted money from Uberâhe won't say how muchâto help persuade Hales, Saltzman and Novick to let the ride-sharing app enter the Portland market.
The story noted that Wiener brokered a meeting among Hales, Novick and Uber representatives in his Eastmoreland dining room on Dec. 13, just days after Uber started operating in Portland in defiance of City Hall. Following that meeting, Uber agreed to leave Portland temporarily as the city set up new rules to accommodate the ride-sharing giant.
The story also noted that neither Hales' nor Novick's public calendars included any mention of the Saturday meeting with Uber officials. City Code 2.12.070 requires Portland's elected officials to post their calendars of activities related to official city business.
Asked why their official calendars omitted the meeting, Hales and Novick took different approaches. "I don't knowâwe have of course confirmed the meeting since then," Novick wrote in an email, alluding to a Dec. 31 story in WW that noted the gathering.
Hales, through a spokesman, said his calendar changes constantly and some things may never be captured. "That's been true forever," said Dana Haynes, the spokesman. "The calendar is only that, simply a calendar."
After being read the requirements of city code, Haynes said he would have to check with the city attorneys. "I will take this information to the city attorney's office and ask them if they perceive there's been a violation."
Portland's independently elected auditor, Mary Hull Caballero, enforces Portland's reporting requirements, not the city attorney.