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Sources Say: Water district fight hitting closer to home for Fish

The fight over the proposed Portland Public Water District is getting increasingly personal.

Supporters of the measure on the May 20 primary election ballot have released a poll they claim shows city Commissioner Nick Fish is vulnerable in the same election. The poll, conducted for the ballot measure campaign by Riley Research, shows Fish with just 23 percent of the vote in late February. The largest block is “Undecided” at 59 percent.

None of the other current candidates have significant support, however. The poll shows Sharon Maxwell at 3 percent and Michael Durrow at 1 percent. Another 15 percent chose “Someone else.”

Fish is in charge of the two bureaus that would be included in the independently elected district, the Water Bureau and the Bureau of Environmental Services. Like Mayor Charlie Hales, Fish has been outspoken in his opposition of the measure and repeatedly has criticized co-petitioner Kent Craford, who released the poll.

The poll also included questions on Measure 26-156 itself, which Craford did not release, saying they were for internal campaign use. He declined to answer questions about how the poll showed the measure doing.

Money flows on both sides of water district measure

In the meantime, public employee unions and environmental organizations are beginning to pour money into the campaign to defeat the water and sewer district measure, as expected.

According to the most recent campaign filings, AFSCME Local 189 has contributed $10,000 to the Stop the Bull Run Takeover PAC. Other contributions include $10,000 from the Audubon Society of Portland, $2,000 from Depave and $200 from Urban Greenspaces Institute. The Audubon Society, Depave and the Urban Greenspaces Institute have all received money from BES for various projects.

The campaign in support of the measure, Portlanders for Water Reform, are primarily funded by large corporate water users. Major contributions include $5,000 from Hilton Worldwide, $5,000 from the Siltronic Corp., $40,000 from the Portland Bottling Co. and $25,000 from American Property Management.

Putting their money where their vote is

Contributions are starting to mount in the campaign against the Tigard measure to oppose a new high-capacity transit line.

The Stop Congestion - Vote No Committee now reports receiving more than $15,000 to fight the measure on the March 11 special election ballot. Major new contributions include $500 from the Pile Drivers Union, $3,000 from LTK Engineering Services, and $500 from PGE.

Supporters of Measure 34-210 report raising more than $8,000, with most of it — $6,000 — coming from lumber company owner Andrew Miller. He also is a major supporter of the conservative Oregon Transformation PAC, which spent $1,600 to place arguments supporting the measure in the Voters’ Pamphlet.