The Oregon secretary of state’s office got its website back online just before Sources was planning to print a scathing item comparing it to Cover Oregon.

Secretary of State Kate Brown’s website has been down for weeks following security breaches, preventing political campaign committees from posting their contributions and spending updates. This was especially critical for the March 11 ballot measure in Tigard to prohibit any new high-capacity transit line in the city without a vote of the people.

The site came back up on Monday, Feb. 24, a little more than two weeks before the Tigard election on Measure 34-210. It showed the supporters had raised nearly $5,000 through the Voters First Committee. Opponents had raised nearly $16,000 against the measure through the Stop Congestion - Vote NO Committee.

Major donations to the supporters included a $2,912 in-kind contribution (for postage) from Andrew Miller, president of the Stimson Lumber Co. Significant contributions to the opponents include $3,000 from LTK Engineering in Pennsylvania, $2,500 from Stacy & Witbeck executive James Abramson and $1,000 from Portland developer John Carroll.

Water fight builds a big bankroll

Now that the secretary of state’s website is up and running again, it’s clear the campaign on the Portland Public Water District ballot measure is officially underway.

Opponents have filed their Stop the Bull Run Takeover political action committee. Although Mayor Charlie Hales is organizing the campaign, the only director listed is Ashley Henry, a director the One Pacific Coast Foundation that supports One PacificCoast Bank’s community development activities. It reports raising a little more than $1,000.

In the meantime, supporters of Measure 26-156 report receiving $5,000 from the Hilton Hotel chain since they filed their initiative petitions on Jan. 21. That bring their total fundraising so far to more than $172,000 — most of which was spent to qualify the measure for the May 20 primary election ballot.

Google may have second thoughts

Broadband speed isn’t everything. First, it has to connect to something.

That was the lesson Mayor Charlie Hales’ office inadvertently taught everywhere the day it announced Google was considering Portland for its ultra-high-speed system. The morning of the Feb. 19 news conference, Hales’ press aide Dana Haynes sent an email to local reporters to make sure his computer was working. Turns out it started acting buggy about a month earlier, then had been taken away by some IT workers for repairs. Haynes said when it was returned that morning, it was missing the archives and other crucial databases.

At least it got fixed in time to send out the news release announcing Google is considering Portland for its new network that is around 100 times faster than conventional broadband.

Our own private (political) Idaho ...

If you just can’t get enough politics, Ridenbaugh Press has a deal for you — two new books detailing the political histories and current conditions in Oregon and Idaho. “The Oregon Political Field Guide 2014” and its Idaho counterpart are packed with historical and up-to-date information on political parties, previous office holders, incumbents and notable challengers down to the county levels.

The Oregon book is written by two veteran reporters, Randy Stapilus and Hannah Hoffman. The Idaho book is written by Stapilus and journalist Marty Trillhaase. They are $15.95 each and available from Ridenbaugh Press in Carlton, which can be found online at

Sources was a little confused when the news release on the Oregon book arrived saying this year’s elections include the offices of lieutenant governor and superintendent of public instruction and 105 legislative seats. Turns out the publicist accidentally included some information from the Idaho book’s press release. Got our attention and made us look closer, though.

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