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Sources Say • Library politics stuck in a bind

Some Multnomah County library supporters are probably kicking themselves for not pushing harder to put a measure to create a funding district on the Nov. 18 special election ballot.

At the time, the idea was proposed to give voters a chance to approve the district without risking next year's budget. If the district went down to defeat, the Multnomah County Commission could then place an extension of the current operating levy on the May 15, 2012 primary election ballot.

But the commission chose not to place a library measure on the November ballot, and now Chair Jeff Cogen is only willing to put a measure on the May ballot to extend the existing levy for three years, even though passage could result in a 10 percent service cut.

Last June, 67 percent of county residents told pollsters they would vote or lean toward voting in favor of a library financing district.

Cogen defends his position by saying more recent polls shows such a measure would not pass now. The polls were commissioned by The Library Foundation, which has not released the results.

The commission must decide by Jan. 15 what to put on the May ballot.

This joke's on you

Turns out that 'Portlandia' star Carrie Brownstein thinks Portland is a little full of itself. The New Yorker has an article on the show in its Jan. 2, 2012 issue that includes Brownstein saying, 'In general, things in a place like Portland are really great, so little concerns become ridiculous. There are a lot of people here who can afford - financially but also psychologically - to be really, really concerned about buying local, for instance. It becomes mock-epic.'

Such insights prompt writer Margaret Talbot to conclude 'Portlandia' is 'an extended joke about what Freud called the narcissism of small differences: the need to distinguish oneself by minute shadings and to insist, with outsized militancy, on the importance of those shadings.' The article is 'Stumptown Girl.' The issue should be out now. Or you can read it for free at www.nyr.kr/tkB59a.

Wanted: More Republicans and such

Metro continues adding participants to its Opt In online survey program. Launched in January, with a goal of recruiting 10,000 participants, it added the 8,000th in late December.

Metro admits the demographics are still skewed toward well-educated middle-age Democratic white females in Multnomah County. A review of the sign-up data shows that Republicans, males, minorities, the young, the old, those with less than four-year college degrees and residents of Clackamas and Washington counties remain underrepresented.

Metro is using the online survey results to guide the elected Council on issues ranging from the urban growth boundary to transportation and the Oregon Zoo.

The next survey will cover business and the economy. To enroll, visit www.optinpanel.org.

Mayoral campaign by the numbers

In the Portland mayor's race, Eileen Brady has so far raised far more money than either Charlie Hales or Jefferson Smith.

The numbers may not be as significant as they appear, however, because Brady has also spent more money than Hales or Smith, without reserving significant TV or radio time.

According to the most recent campaign finance filings, Brady has raised slightly more than $447,000 in cash and in-kind contributions, compared to almost $238,000 by Hales and just around $160,000 by Smith.

Brady only has about $162,000 on hand, while Hales is sitting on around $106,000 and Smith has nearly $105,000 in the bank.