Judging from tonight's election results, it's fair to conclude that the voters of Oregon, and especially those inside Multnomah County and the city of Portland, have become resigned to the
Lost in the shuffle of yesterday’s most recent installments
of Portland’s ongoing psychodrama was this article, explaining the difference
between the lies told by two different mayors — and why one of them is a
criminal and the other is not. The crux of it seems to be this: one transgression
happens to be explicitly spelled out in statute, and thus is punishable; the other
sin is not, and thus is not subject to legal reproach.
Let’s compare and contrast, as they say in academia. On the
one hand, a candidate fibs about her educational bona fides, is elected, sworn
in, and later confronted with the untruth. On the other hand, consider the
other candidate, who consorts with an underage person, has sex with said person
when it becomes legal, is accused of having the affair, lies about having the
affair, wins the election, is sworn in, and after admitting the lie acknowledges
that he lied because at the time he feared the knowledge would affect the
success of his campaign. Think long and hard about this: exactly how many votes
do you think were swayed in each case by the presence of untrue and admittedly
It appears the mayor's mendacious ways continue unabated, by the way, which brings to mind a bit of courtroom procedure, wherein, at the end of a trial, a judge instructs jurors to evaluate the credibility of
each witness, and to weigh (or discard) the testimony of each witness based
upon his or her credibility. With this standard in mind, take a look at the latest episode of the Liar in
Chief, and ask yourself: Can this man possibly be telling the truth?
We've long said that the problems at City Hall have less to do with any lack of skill, ambition or actual power. Those teem in abundance, actually. No, the real problem is the leadership vacuum. While there are many well-meaning people who try to argue otherwise, the fact remains that the mayor's initial record of lies and obfuscations alone are to blame for the reality that here in the so-called "City That Works" no one is really in charge, nor has anyone truly been in charge during the last wretched year of the current administration. The mayor was crippled from Day 1, and everyone knew it. It's axiomatic that when there is a vacuum those with the smallest and narrowest agendas will rush in to fill the void. We need look no further than $20 million ditch projects and power breakfasts for the spandex class to realize how far the city has wandered from its core mission of public safety, infrastructure, parks and recreation, and services to seniors and other at-risk populations.
People scratched their heads when WWP circulated recall petitions (twice!). Today, a small vindication: He was asked three times by persons who had declined to sign the recall petitions if they could sign now. (Sorry, too late. Where were you!?)
People scratch their heads at why he so vigorously supports the candidacy of Mary Volm for city council. ("She's too edgy." "What a loudmouth." "She doesn't know her place.") Well, you know what? Either you like the way things are (and good luck with that, whoever you are), or things have to change. There is only one real change candidate on next week's ballot, and that's Mary. I'll take her unvarnished candor over smarmy half-truths any day -- even if it's hard to hear, rattles some chains and unnerves the political sensibilities of Stumptown's faux gentility. (To say nothing about a vast number of folks, mostly men, it seems, who are averse to strong-minded, vocal women.) Well, screw the naysayers. WWP says: Bring. It. On.
Meanwhile, what to do, or say, about the present clusterfuck that is Portland, Oregon? Chief Sizer, despite her flaws, had an impossible job and was never really supported by the mayor or the commissioner ostensibly in charge of her bureau. Despite her missteps and misstatements, she comes out of this as possibly the only sympathetic character in the bunch.
Saltzman? Screwed. Thrown under the bus. Time to check out the vacation brochures, Dan.
The mayor? Good luck, your honor, in achieving squat without the support of Saltzman. (You do know how to add, don't you? Any student of Political Science 101 could have told you this in advance.) If the mayor was a lame duck before, he is cooked goose today.
And the city and her citizens? Well, we've finally learned that when it comes to City Hall, there is room for only one liar. And his name is Sam Adams.