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Sources Say: Politicos play shell game with leftover campaign cash

Mayor Charlie Hales may already have access to about $2,500 to pass his transportation utility fee ballot measure, if he wants it. That’s how much money is left from the campaign to defeat the Portland Public Water District measure on the May 20 primary election ballot. Hales headed up the campaign, which overwhelmingly defeated Measure 26-165.

According to the most recent campaign filings, the Stop the Bull Run Takeover PAC raised nearly $417,000 in cash and in-kind contributions. Major donations that came in since the election include $1,000 from Triangle Development Co. and $5,000 from AECOM, a global architecture and construction firm that previously had donated $5,000 to the campaign.

In contrast, those supporting the measure only report raising a little under $148,000. Portlanders for Water Reform have reported no contributions since the election. They still have about $9,500 in the bank, however, if they want to oppose Hales’ proposed City Charter amendment to limit money from the street fee to transportation projects.

Transit proponents face more roadblocks

Regional transit advocates will face another challenge to the Southwest Corridor Plan at the Sept. 16 special election. Anti-light rail advocates have qualified a measure in Tualatin requiring the city to oppose such projects unless they are approved by the voters. It is similar to the one that passed with 51 percent of the vote in Tigard at the March 11 special election.

The Tigard measure passed despite the fact that opponents outspent its supporters. The Stop Congestion — Vote NO Committee raised more than $24,000 to oppose Measure 34-210, according to the most recent campaign filings. In contrast, supporters only raised around $16,000 to pass the measure after qualifying it for the ballot.

The Southwest Corridor Plan envisions a new high-capacity transit line from Portland through Tigard to Tualatin. Tigard officials are still trying to figure out how much work they can do on the project under their measure. Tualatin officials could be in the same position in a few months.

Website woes fail to infect Kitzhaber campaign

The ongoing bad news about the Cover Oregon website, so far, has not dented Democratic Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber’s fundraising ability. He is still far outpacing his Republican opponent, southern Oregon state Rep. Dennis Richardson.

According to the most recent campaign filings, Kitzhaber has raised nearly $1.2 million in cash and in-kind contribution for his re-election campaign this year and still has about $861,000 on hand. Major contributions since the May 20 primary election include: $50,000 from the national Laborers Political Education Fund; $25,000 from Nike; $20,000 from the Oregon Laborers Political Education Fund; $10,000 from the Oregon State Firefighters Fund; and $10,000 from Mid Rogue Management Services, a Grants Pass business.

In contrast, Richardson reports raising just under $275,000 this year and still has about $81,000 in the bank. Major contributions since the primary election include: $7,500 from Michael Fahey, chief executive officer of Columbia Helicopter; $5,000 from the Swanson Group, a Glendale business; $5,000 from Indian Hill LLC, a Grants Pass business; and $5,000 from Chuck Shepard, the owner of Hoodoo Ski Bowl.

Conspicuously absent from Richardson’s filing to date are any contributions from large Oregon business associations.

Hales asking for trouble

Mayor Charlie Hales set himself up for endless second-guessing at Tuesday’s public forum on his proposed street fee. After several people testified the City Council has misspent tax money over the years, Hales claimed no money was misspent in either of his two budget, and then challenged those in the room to prove him wrong.

“I’ll show up on your doorstep with $10 and a TV reporter,” Hales promised anyone who finds misspent money in the city’s fiscal year 2014 and 2015 budgets.

There should be plenty of takers, including those involved in the civil lawsuit over misspent water and sewer funds that is underway in the Multnomah County Circuit Court.