Councils kingmaker gets his due

Sources Say

Jefferson Smith, the first-time candidate who apparently will win District 47 of the Oregon House of Representatives, already is learning how to get along with other officeholders.

Last week Smith appeared before the City Council to support funding for a new elementary school in the David Douglas district. Before he could speak, Commissioner Randy Leonard pointed out that no other candidates had filed in the race, meaning that Smith is a shoo-in.

'I want to take credit for that, because I endorsed you early on,' Leonard said, modestly.

Although Smith could have pointed out his years of political organizing, activism and networking, he instead replied, 'I agree.'

And now, for one last dose of that vision thing

City's cop watchdog office, meet City Hall politics.

As the Portland City Council prepares to take up the future of the city's Independent Police Review division, Mayor Tom Potter has proposed a 'stakeholder' group to review the recommendations that a consultant has made.

But word has it that the outgoing mayor's bid for a public process - you know, one more for the road - is not drawing a lot of backers, and the lame duck could lose a few feathers in this one.

Fittingly, the mayor is scheduled to host a talk at 5:30 tonight in the council chambers for City Council candidates as well as the public on how Portland's government works.

Its title? 'City Hall 101.'

Talk's cheap; maybe a federal commission won't be

At first, the lengthy Wednesday news release from U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., seemed to promise solutions to several of the region's most pressing problems, including growing traffic congestion and aging water and sewer pipes.

Headlined 'Blumenauer Announces National Infrastructure Legislation,' it talked about numerous meetings the Portland-area Democrat had held on the issue, and even mentioned how global warming was increasing the need for quick action.

But a closer reading of the news release - and hey, Sources Say is nothing if not diligent - revealed Blumenauer's plan is not to raise taxes or cut spending to come up with the billions needed for infrastructure fixes.

Rather, his legislation would create a federal commission to work with state and local governments to come up with, well, a plan for fixing the infrastructure.

In hindsight, the tip-off should have been when the release said the meetings to draft the legislation were held at the Library of Congress - not Fort Knox.

-Tribune staff