To some, charter push is shove

Mayor Tom Potter is geared up to champion a May ballot measure that would change the way City Hall operates, but critics say he's going too far.

Last week, the mayor's office issued an explanatory Voters' Pamphlet statement for the measure that opponent Chris Smith complains reads like an argument in favor rather than the impartial explanation required by state law.

Potter's statement stressed that the measure was framed by a City Council-appointed commission based on oodles of 'expert' testimony - essentially saying we should all just trust him, OK?

Not only that, but there was Potter's headline-making announcement that he wanted an independent audit of the cost overruns of the Portland Aerial Tram - which happens to be an example cited by Potter's allies for why charter change is a good idea.

If, as the mayor claimed, the audit was not intended to sway the election, 'then he should have waited until after the election to announce it,' Smith says.

Sounds like something the mayor would say

Sources Say feels obligated to report that in a recent conversation Commissioner Sam Adams uttered these words: 'We need to be really planful about this.'

Planful? Is that a word? Well, a quick Google search shows that it seems to have surfaced in just the last few years, sparking angry protests from the nattering nablogs of negativism who seem to think it's an offense against our language.

The alleged word was even mentioned in the 2005 book 'When Words Fail,' which complained, 'While seeming to describe results, it actually says nothing about them, preferring instead to dwell on preparation and process.'

Well, that sounds downright Potterful.

No war, no problem

Oregon Democrats these days are fond of claiming that the 2008 re-election chances of the state's Republican U.S. senator, Gordon Smith, are hurt by the worsening situation in Iraq.

Sources Say, however, thinks the war may be less of a factor than the Democrats think.

In summer 2005, a Sources Say operative asked Smith if the war would hurt his re-election, and he responded - with what appeared to be a knowing smile - that the question assumed that the war would still be an issue in 2008.

Similarly, earlier this year, John McCain told Vanity Fair, 'I do believe that this (Iraq) issue isn't going to be around in 2008.' And two weeks ago, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told reporters he thinks the White House has a secret timetable to pull out of Iraq.

At about the same time, it was reported that the Pentagon is laying plans to pull troops out if the 'surge' doesn't work - as hardly anyone thinks it will.

Here at Sources Say, we suspect some soldiers will begin coming home by the summer of 2008, in time to improve voters' moods in November. And Smith - one of five Republican senators up for re-election in 2008 who earlier this year criticized the war - will be well-positioned to take credit.

- Tribune staff

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