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Fluoride fight shapes up

The two political action committees that will fight each other over fluoridating Portland’s water have now been formed.

They will do battle over Measure 26-152, which will appear on the May 21 Special Election ballot. It is the fluoridation measure approved by the City Council last year that was referred to the ballot by fluoride opponents.

The committee in favor of the measure is called Healthy Kids, Healthy Portland. It was filed with the Elections Division of the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office on Jan. 10.

The campaign manager is listed as Evyn Mitchell. She previously worked on Charlie Hale’s successful campaign for Portland Mayor, Dwight Holton’s unsuccessful campaign for Oregon Attorney General, and for the Senate Democratic Leadership Fund, which supports Democratic candidates for the Oregon Senate.

Healthy Kids, Healthy Portland is expected to be supported by medical and youth advocacy organizations that want to prevent tooth decay. It is so far reported receiving a single contribution of $1,000 from Friends of Jules, the political action committee formed to support Democrat Jules Bailey’s election to Oregon House District 42.

Friends of Jules also supported the passage of ballot measures 66 and 67 in the 2010 statewide special election that raised taxes on the higher income individuals and the minimum corporate income tax to help balance the state budget.

Opposing fluoridation is Clean Water Portland. It is supported by those who believe fluoride poses a health risk. The committee has received numerous small contributions and loans and currently has around $2,500 on hand.

Clean Water Portland is affiliated with the Clean Water Portland Initiative Committee, the group that referred the measure to the ballot. It is also circulating initiative petitions for a measure to ban the city from fluoridating water.