If you are still undecided in the race for Portland mayor, check out the live debate among the major candidates scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on April 26 and sponsored by the Portland Tribune, KPAM 860 radio and KOIN-TV.

The debate is scheduled for 90 minutes and will be carried live on KPAM and streamed live on the Portland Tribune and KOIN websites.

The debate will take place before a live audience at the Buckley Center at the University of Portland. Scheduled to appear are businesswoman Eileen Brady, former City Commissioner and transit planner Charlie Hales, and state Rep. Jefferson Smith.

KPAM News Director Tim Hohl will serve as moderator, and the debate will feature questions from a panel consisting of Portland Tribune President and Publisher Mark Garber, KPAM talk show host Bob Miller and KOIN anchor Mike Donahue. Questions also will be relayed from social media and feedback posted on the websites, where the debate can be viewed later.

Political ad blitzes crank up

The mass media wars are under way in the race for Portland mayor. Campaign reports at the beginning of the week showed that Brady had given the Snyder Pickrill Media Group of Chicago more than $233,000 for TV and radio ads. Hales reported paying nearly $97,000 to Media Strategies and Research of Chicago for TV and radio ads. And Jefferson Smith's campaign was running nearly $69,000 worth of TV ads placed through Media Analysis of Portland.

Brady loaned her campaign $40,000 shortly after it made a second payment for the TV and radio ads. That was in addition to a previous $20,000 loan. Total cash and in-kind contributions were more than $960,000 by the beginning of the week. Hales reported almost $520,000 in total contributions, with no loans. Smith was reporting almost $404,000, including more than $1,500 in contributions from himself.

New race: Katz vs Roberts

When it comes to political endorsements, former Mayor Vera Katz has generated the most press coverage by throwing her support behind both Hales for mayor and state Rep. Mary Nolan against Commissioner Amanda Fritz.

But when it comes to the number of endorsements, Katz can't compete with former Gov. Barbara Roberts. So far this year, Roberts has endorsed Nolan, 1st Congressional District Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Oregon Attorney General candidate Ellen Rosenblum, Oregon Supreme Court candidate Dick Baldwin, and state House candidates Jeff Reardon, Katie Riley and Jennifer Williamson.

It's not clear whether the endorsements will translate into votes, however. That depends in part on whether the candidates include them in their advertisements. And even then, a lot of voters weren't around when Katz and Roberts were last elected.

Katz left the mayor's office in 2005, and Roberts completed her one term as governor in 1995.

Although Roberts is filling out a vacant term on the Metro Council, she was appointed, not elected to it.

What's in a name?

What's with all these community and advocacy organizations changing their understandable names to esoteric titles? First the Housing Authority of Portland changed its name to Home Forward. Then the Portland Schools Foundation became All Hands Raised.

After that, the Alliance of Portland Neighborhood Business Associations said it was Venture Portland. And now the Oregon Partnership is becoming Lines of Life.

We know the Oregon Partnership operates 24-hour crisis hotlines. And we agree with the organization's April 16 press release that says the new name is "evocative of the work we do."

Whatever the case, the name change takes effect on April 24.

The funny thing is, all of the groups insist that their missions remain the same and only the name is different. To which we ask, "Then why change it unless you're just trying to confuse us?"

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