How much did Occupy Portland influence Police Chief Mike Reese's decision not to run for mayor? One clue can be found in one version of the statement Reese issued saying he will not run. In it, he wished the other candidates good luck with their 'camp' when he meant 'campaigns.'
Although Reese never formally declared for mayor, he ran enough of a campaign to realize how tough it would be. He was forced to withdraw from two campaign-related events because of the demands of his job, which probably made him understand he would have to resign to be a serious candidate. And he got clobbered in the press for mistakenly suggesting the police had delayed responding to a rape victim because of Occupy Portland protests.
Now those people who urged Reese are running out of time to find someone else to support for mayor. The deadline to file for the race is March 6. And it could be decided at the May 15 primary election if any candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote.
Meanwhile, back to the real candidates
As Reese wrestled with his decision, the other major candidates for mayor just keep raking in the cash and in-kind contributions. New Seasons co-founder Eileen Brady has raised more than $287,000, but has spent nearly two-thirds of that.
Former City Commissioner Charlie Hales has raised more than $193,000 and spent just over half, including $22,000 on EMC Research for polls and surveys.
State Rep. Jefferson Smith has topped $120,000 and spent just $20,000 of that. Many of his larger contributions are coming from out of state.
The downtown business community, labor unions and environmental groups are still noticeably absent from the contribution lists, however, giving credence to rumors that they are still looking for a candidate to support - or just biding their time.
Limiting contributions and chances?
Meanwhile, Commissioner Amanda Fritz has voluntarily limited her contributions to $50. As the only City Council member elected with public funds from the now-defunct Voter Owned Elections system, Fritz's limitation is consistent with her opposition to private campaign financing. But it also prevents anyone from finding out who is giving her money because only the names of contributors who give $100 or more need to be disclosed under state election laws.
The limitation is putting Fritz at a fundraising disadvantage compared to her major opponent, state Rep. Mary Nolan. Fritz has raised only about $36,000, including a $25,000 personal loan.
In contrast, Nolan already has brought in more than $115,000.
Gulf book draws on group's work
Love, tragedy, despair and hope. The just-released book, 'Oil and Water,' captures the epic story of the 2010 BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico with a biting sense of humor that doesn't disappoint.
The hardcover graphic novel by Oregonian columnist Steve Duin and New Yorker cartoonist Shannon Wheeler tells a fictionalized account of the adventures of the PDX2GulfCoast group, a posse of 22 Oregonians - including the Trib's Jennifer Anderson - who spent 10 days in the gulf in August 2010 to witness the impacts of the disaster on the local people, ecology and economy.
'Oil and Water' includes quotes straight from Duin's notepad, sketches from Wheeler's sketchbook, and introductions to real-life characters the group encountered in the gulf.
'The book puts a human face on this event and makes it clear that while the beaches were cleaned quickly, the effects will be felt for years to come,' says Alex Dueben, of Comic Book Resources.
Duin, Wheeler and editor/project leader Mike Rosen will discuss the book and sign copies at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Powell's City of Books on Burnside, 1005 W. Burnside St.