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Sources Say: A kingmaker collects his due

During the run-up to the November general election, Portland political consultant Mark Wiener was vilified as a behind-the-scenes kingmaker by Oregon Progressive Party secretary of state candidate Bob Wolfe and supporters of mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith.

A quick search of the current computerized campaign filings shows why. Not only did Wiener work for winners in those races, he collected checks from numerous other campaigns during the 2012 primary and general elections. Most of them won.

It’s hard to know exactly how much money Wiener pocketed because his firm, Winning Mark, was paid for both management services and such cost-intensive support as printing.

But even a small sampling shows a lot of money flowed his way. For example, incumbent Secretary of State Kate Brown, who was re-elected, paid the firm more than $115,000. And Mayor-elect Charlie Hales sent more than $63,000 Wiener’s way and still owes him more than $36,000.

And Winning Mark

also received more than $155,000 from the Portland art tax campaign, more than $341,000 from the Multnomah County library district campaign, and more than $316,000 from the Democratic Party of Oregon on behalf of various legislative candidates, most of whom won.

The most notable loser was City Council candidate Mary Nolan, who was defeated by Amanda Fritz. Nolan still paid Winning Mark more than $144,000 and owes him nearly $10,000 more.

This (election) won’t hurt a bit

Moving the anti-fluoridation vote from May 2014 to May 2013 could have several benefits for the Portland City Council.

For starters, it means the divisive measure will not appear on the same 2014 primary election ballot as incumbent commissioners Nick Fish and Dan Saltzman, both of whom voted for the measure to fluoridate Portland’s water that was quickly referred to the ballot by opponents. Both Fish and Saltzman say they are not worried about opponents running against them on the issue.

Then again, why take

chances?

Moving the vote up one year could increase the odds of the council’s vote being sustained. Relatively few voters usually take part in special elections. Fluoride supporters are already planning their campaign. And the council has placed a measure renewing the Portland’s Children’s Levy on the May 2013 ballot. It will be backed by many groups that service children and advocate on their behalf — and fluoride prevents childhood tooth decay and disease.

Was Nike vote Jefferson’s final hurrah?

Political insiders at the recent special session of the Oregon Legislature were wondering what to make about the performance of state Rep. Jefferson Smith and his father, Joe.

Jefferson Smith, who represents part of east Portland, lost the Portland mayor’s race amid press reports about his personal behavior in previous years. But the defeat didn’t reduce his visibility in the last week’s session, which will be his final one.

Although Smith was not appointed to the joint committee that reviewed the Nike-related bill, he was one of a handful of legislators who testified at the hearing and offered amendments on it. At the time, Jefferson’s father sat next to him in a front row of the hearing room.

Jefferson Smith also spoke against the bill on the House floor and was one of only five state representatives to vote against it.