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Adams backer still can find a flaw

Sources Say

Although former Mayor Vera Katz is co-chairing Commissioner Sam Adams' campaign for mayor, she's not exactly unqualified in her support.

Speaking with KPAM (860 AM) news Thursday, Katz said Adams' major opponent, Sho Dozono, also would make a good mayor.

And Katz questioned the wisdom of Adams' plan to spend $5.5 million to turn the old Sauvie Island Bridge into a pedestrian and bicycle path over Interstate 405 in Northwest Portland, saying the city should consider saving the money to deal with the effects of the recession - the same point Dozono has been making about the controversial project.

A nod's as good as a wink - but it's still not a wink

Last week, Sources Say noted that Commissioner Randy Leonard had tried to recruit Jim Middaugh for the Portland City Council seat being vacated by mayoral candidate Sam Adams, and it also reported that Leonard is 'supporting' Amanda Fritz.

Well, in our quest for brevity, we sacrificed clarity, so here is a clarification, as requested by the most combat-ready commish:

Although Leonard repeatedly has said on the radio and elsewhere that he is rooting for Fritz in that race, he has not formally endorsed any candidate.

Happy now?

PSU candidate pool looks like a party of one

Is there something about the city that caused two of the three finalists for Portland State University president to drop out of the running after visiting the campus?

Jim Francesconi, the Oregon State Board of Higher Education member heading up the search, swears it wasn't the rain, ongoing downtown construction or hard feelings lingering over the tram. Instead, they simply felt it wasn't their time to serve, according to Francesconi.

'It was never intended to be a horse race,' he said. 'It's all part of the process.'

Now, the only candidate the board will consider next week is Wim Wiewel, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of Baltimore. If he's turned down, the search will begin again, Francesconi said.

Ethics reform begins at home, and in the House

Portland isn't the only place where political scandal, conflict of interest and other ethics issues can arise.

Take all the hand-wringing from rural officials, including those from Wallowa County, about disclosing their financial interests under a 2007 state ethics reform.

One of the scandals leading to the ethics reform was Wallowa County Republican Mark Simmons' decision to take a job as a nursery-industry lobbyist while he was serving as House speaker.

Simmons even sat in on endorsement interviews for the powerful trade group. As legislative candidates came forward to get the trade group's nod and campaign cash, Simmons had control over their House committee assignments and other perks.

- Tribune staff

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