Sources say • Bonamici wins, local issues lose
Suzanne Bonamici's resounding defeat of Rob Cornilles Tuesday night is good news for national Democratic Party leaders, but might be bad news for local voters, according to Jim Moore, director of the Tom McCall Center for Policy Innovation at Pacific University in Forest Grove.
As Moore sees it, Democrat Bonamici beat Republican Cornilles in the 1st Congressional District race by harping on the kind of national issues that will dominate this fall's presidential race, like ending tax breaks for the very wealthy and reining in Wall Street excesses.
Those national talking points practically drowned out most local issues, Moore says.
'The national campaign themes worked very well for the Democrats,' Moore said on election night. 'They will continue to use them in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. The national campaign themes did not move the necessary voters for the Republicans. They will also continue to use them in Oregon. Broad message - our local campaigns have lost their local touch when they become important to national players. We the voters have lost a chance for a real conversation with the candidates.'
HQ hotel fight might be over
Local hotel and motel owners may not fight efforts to revive the Oregon Convention Center Headquarters Hotel project. In fact, they may support it, says Len Bergstein, the lobbyist who represented the owners against the last version of the project.
The Metro Council voted Jan. 26 to again explore building a hotel near the center, which it owns. The last proposal called for a publicly financed 600-room hotel that would have probably required ongoing public subsidies to operate. The current discussions, which have been pushed by Metro President Tom Hughes, concern a privately owned hotel that would require a minimal amount of public subsidy to be built.
'I think Tom is much more interested in seeing what can realistically be built and supported by the private sector,' says Bergstein, adding that his former clients are likely to take a wait-and-see attitude.
Brady heads toward $1 million mark
After breaking the half-million-dollar mark last week, New Seasons co-founder Eileen Brady's campaign for mayor continued to rake in the big bucks. It began this week with more than $531,000 in total cash and in-kind contributions.
Big donations continued to flow in from the business community, including $5,000 from the Alliance for Portland Progress political action committee, $1,500 from Portland Spirit manager Wayne Kingsley, and $1,000 from real estate developer Fred Bruning.
As the week began, Brady had a little more than $196,000 still in the bank.
In an email to supporters, state Rep. Jefferson Smith said his campaign raised $14,000 from more than 400 people at a Jan. 26 party that included fire dancers. It was the last fundraiser Smith had scheduled before the start of the 2012 Oregon Legislature, after which he will be prohibited from raising money.
Before the party money was reported, Smith's campaign had collected more than $233,000 in total contributions, with slightly more than $172,000 still in the bank.
Hales puts on sensible shoes
Coming in between Brady and Smith, former City Commissioner Charlie Hales was reporting more than $308,000 in contributions by the beginning of the week, helped by a $10,000 contribution from Hamilton Construction Company. His campaign reported a little more than $153,000 in the bank.
Hales took a shot at both Brady and Smith in a Monday email that said he was spending much of his time going door-to-door.
'It's not expensive - it doesn't require a million dollars in fundraising,' Hales wrote in the email called 'Where's Waldo.'
'It's not flashy - it doesn't require big extravaganzas with fire dancers,' he wrote. 'Going door-to-door only requires a firm grasp of the issues, a willingness to answer any voter's question, and a genuine affection for every Portlander.'