Although candidates have until March 6 to file for the 2012 Portland mayor's race, the field may have been all but set this week- with the exception of incumbent Sam Adams.
After months of speculation, Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen took himself out of the race on Monday, leaving New Seasons co-founder Eileen Brady and former City Commissioner Charlie Hales as the two major announced candidates. Commissioner Dan Saltzman proclaimed Brady and Hales both strong candidates, saying he would not run for mayor as long as at least one remains viable through the fall.
Perhaps remarkably, with Congressman Earl Blumenauer and former City Commissioner Jim Francesconi taking themselves out of the race, no other serious candidates for mayor are on the horizon. Unless something totally unexpected happens, the only question is whether Adams announces for re-election before Brady and Hales lock up all the endorsements and donors.
Gloves come off in Wu race
Normally when a Democrat announces he's taking on the special interests, he means a Republican opponent. But on Monday, Democrat Brad Avakian denounced Democrat David Wu as cozying up to special interests.
Avakian, the state labor commission, is running against 1st District Congressman Wu in the 2012 Democratic primary election. In a press release comparing their fundraising efforts, Avakian said 95 percent of his contributions came from Oregon while 92 percent of Wu's donations came from out-of-state individuals and 'D.C. special interests.'
According to the most recent campaign filings, Avakian raised around $195,000 and Wu has raised $230,000 in the last quarter. State Rep. Brad Witt, D-Clatskanie, has also filed for the Democratic primary election but not yet reported his fundraising.
Better late than never
Never let it be said that Sources is only interested in gossip and snide comments. Primarily maybe, but not exclusively. In that spirit, we must point out that Mayor Sam Adams kept a promise when the City Council approved the first of a series of updates to Portland's emergency management plans on July 13. The city code revisions were a response to shortcomings revealed by a May 2010 audit that Adams had requested.
The updates prepared by the Portland Office of Emergency Management create a new Alert and Warning Appendix and revise the city's Basic Emergency Operation Plan, the Flood Response Appendix, and the Terrorism Appendix.
That said, Sources has to point out that it took more than a year for the first major updates to pass the council. And, as Adams noted on his City Hall blog, POEM will be submitting more updates in coming months.
Teachers union leaders heads to LA
After three years, the Portland Association of Teachers is coming under new leadership.
Union president Rebecca Levison is leaving town to move to Los Angeles, to work as deputy director of the Leadership Lab at LA's Gay and Lesbian Center. Levison said she's making the move after her partner was offered her "dream job" to build low-income senior housing for LGBT elderly in L.A.
Levison's last day on the job is July 21. She's ending her term one year early. Beginning Aug. 1, current PAT Vice President Gwen Sullivan - a longtime PPS librarian and teacher - will take over as president of the 4,000-member union.