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Sources Say: Here comes a new campaign

The May 21 special election is still three months away, but campaigns are already shaping up on three measures.

The most hotly contested one is clearly Measure 26-151, the referendum to overturn the City Council’s decision to fluoridate Portland’s water supply. Healthy Kids, Healthy Portland favors the measure. It’s raised $5,000 to date. Clean Water Portland opposes it. It’s raised nearly $16,000 so far.

Measure 26-150 would renew Portland’s five-year Children’s Levy that funds nonprofit organizations that help children. The Committee for Safe and Successful Children is supporting it. The committee began the year with more than $30,000 and has raised an additional $66,000.

And Measure 26-152 was placed on the ballot by Metro to raise $50 million during five years to support its parks and open spaces. It is supported by Restore Our Natural Areas, which has raised almost $23,000.

Dipping into Charlie’s personal budget plan

In the meantime, Mayor Charlie Hales is continuing to whittle away at his campaign debts, mostly by paying off his personal loans.

According to the most recent election finance files, Hales loaned his campaign $50,000. He paid back $40,000 on Feb. 1, reducing his personal obligation to $10,000.

To reduce the loans, Hales has dipped into the more than $37,000 balance from the end of last year and raised nearly $25,000 more. The campaign has about $9,000 on hand. It owes around $12,000 in other unpaid bills.

I-5 bridge brings together all sorts of folks

They say politics makes strange bedfellows and that’s certainly the case with the Columbia River Crossing, which has recently been renamed the I-5 Bridge Replacement Project. Opposing it is a mix of progressive and conservative activists. Supporting it is an unusual coalition of business and labor organizations.

On Feb. 25, economist Joe Cortright and Cascade Policy Institute President John Charles are scheduled to speak together at an evening forum organized by project opponents in Vancouver, Wash. Cortright is perhaps best known for his

paper arguing that young creatives are the key to our economic future. Charles and his free-market think tank have repeatedly criticized all government efforts catering to them.

The Columbia River Crossing Coalition continues pressing state lawmakers in Oregon and Washington to approve $450 million each to support the project. Its supporters include the Portland Business Alliance, Columbia Sportswear, Fred Meyer, the Columbia Pacific Building & Construction Trades Council, Washington State Building & Construction Trades Council and the Teamsters Joint Council 37.