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Sources Say: Fluoride fight stirs strategy

The campaign supporting the fluoridation of Portland’s drinking water is raising more money than the opponents. But perhaps more important, supporters also appear to be mounting a sophisticated get-out-the-vote operation.

Healthy Kids, Healthy Portland supports Measure 26-151, which will appear on the May 21 ballot. It has reported a $5,000 contribution to Our Oregon for the progressive advocacy organization’s “voter activation network.” That is a sophisticated database of registered voters that includes such information as who is most likely to vote in May special elections held in odd-numbered years.

Healthy Kids, Healthy Portland reports raising $56,715.

The measure’s opponents, Clean Water Portland, has reported raising $21,849. None of it has gone for voter registration lists.

Then again, the opponents collected signatures from 43,236 Portland voters to refer the measure to the ballot. Just getting them to vote might be enough. Only 38,861 Portlanders voted in the May 19, 2009 special election in which LaVonne Griffin-Valade succeeded Gary Blackmer as city auditor.

Wyden continues reaching out to the other side

Oregon U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden is continuing to embrace some of his Republican counterparts, despite the heat he has caught for it in the past.

Last week, Wyden was the only Democrat to visibly support libertarian-oriented Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul during his 13-hour filibuster against CIA nominee John Brennan. The focus of Paul’s ultimately unsuccessful protest was the Obama Administration’s increasing use of drones in the war on terrorism — and its reluctance until then to rule out domestic strikes.

Wyden has successfully pressed for the release of the legal justification for the U.S. government targeting American citizens abroad.

Some Democrats criticized Wyden for working with Republican Congressman Paul Ryan on a version of Medicare

reform after Ryan was picked as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential nominee. Wyden eventually

issued a series of statements explaining that Ryan’s proposal was different than the one the two men had discussed.

On the other hand, Merkley, not so much

Oregon’s other Democratic U.S. senator is continuing to burn his bridges with Republican lawmakers, however. For example, in a March 12 press release, Jeff Merkley used the release of Ryan’s proposed budget to attack House Republicans for favoring millionaires and billionaires instead of Oregon families.

“As we lay out our economic policy ideas in a budget, the top priority needs to be helping the middle-class families in Oregon and across the country, so many of whom are currently struggling to make ends meet,” Merkley said in the release. “Unfortunately, the House Republicans are offering up another warmed-over plan to have the middle class, the vulnerable, and our children foot the bill so the very wealthy and well-connected special interests can feather their nests at taxpayer expense.”