Portland Dispatch January 28: Ted and the Grifters

They’re out to recall Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and a brand new city commissioner.

Progressive activists have created a Political Action Committee (PAC) to recall Mayor Ted Wheeler and City Commissioner Dan Ryan.

The “Total Recall PAC” hopes to unseat both recently elected politicians because of their perceived resistance to police reform efforts within City Hall. In a Tuesday press release, the PAC accused Ryan of misleading voters who supported him in the August special election for pledging to support police accountability—but then voting against a proposal to shrink the Portland Police Bureau’s $230 million budget by $18 million.

The PAC was founded on November 5 by two Portland transparency advocates: Lawyer Alan Kessler, known for challenging the city on public records requests, and Seth Woolley, a former city council candidate and campaign finance reform proponent.

“I voted for Dan Ryan because he led me to believe he was a staunch advocate for police reform,” said Kessler, in the press release. “After his refusal to vote for Commissioner Hardesty’s budget reduction amendment, I feel betrayed. I want my vote back. I want an apology.”

The press release also noted that in the November 3 election, Wheeler was re-elected with only 46 percent of the vote—meaning more Portlanders voted against Wheeler than for him.

“Wheeler ran a dirty campaign, violating multiple campaign-finance laws that nearly all of us voted for, and he still couldn’t convince a majority of the city he should be mayor,” said Athul Acharya, a local civil rights attorney, who is also quoted in the press release.

The group says they’ll start collecting signatures next summer.

According to the state’s guidelines, a recall election can only take place after a candidate has been in office for at least six months. Petitioners must first collect at least 35,925 signatures from registered Portland voters to force a recall election.

The PAC says it will start collecting signatures for the recall campaign next summer.

Your money they’ll collect now.

New commissioner Dan Ryan voted against Jo Ann Hardesty’s bill to gouge another 18 million from police and instantly became persona non grata with the “community”, by which progressives mean not the whole community of Portland but the minority community of black and brown and black Portlanders. Yes, I said “black” twice. Though, bad as it would be if they were actually running the city on behalf of its least productive, they frankly don’t represent the average black or brown Portlander, who, despite (or because) of all the lunatic gaslighting of the last year, doesn’t share their radical ideas about defunding the police.

They should be careful. Ted might mace their ass and then make them apologize.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A lawyer who Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler hit with pepper spray after the man aggressively confronted him on Sunday has released a statement expressing remorse.

“I am remorseful for my decision to confront Mayor Wheeler on Sunday, Jan. 24, and I am sorry he felt the need to use pepper spray,” Cary Cadonau, 48, said in the statement.

According to police, Wheeler pepper-sprayed Cadonau after the lawyer videotaped him and a former mayor leaving a restaurant.

Ted Wheeler comes from timber money. His opponent has a share of the Alpenrose Dairy fortune. Yes, he’s a dairy heir. Antifa and progressive Portland are enjoying that aspect of it and posting memes.

While local leftie grifters run their recall scheme, a genuine cause for the mayor’s recall isn’t even recognized as one.

The majority of downtown Portland businesses owners believe that the city’s core is no longer safe, according to a survey conducted by Downtown Portland Clean & Safe, a nonprofit and affiliate partner of the Portland Business Alliance.

In a survey conducted between Nov. 15 and Dec. 31, 2020, 62% of downtown businesses owners said that the central city was no longer safe, a nearly threefold increase from when the survey was last conducted in 2018.

The merchants surveyed also expressed increased concerns about vandalism and graffiti, a lack of cleanliness and rising homelessness in downtown…

The pandemic has kept tourists and office workers away from the city’s core, contributing to a sharp decline in foot traffic. The number of homeless people camping downtown has risen dramatically during the pandemic as well and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s plan to move them into shelters hasn’t panned out.

Moving homeless into shelters involves sweeps of larger camps. Antifa turns out in opposition and has managed to turn the cops away in some cases, most notoriously in the case of the Red House autonomous zone, which, despite antifa casting it as an “eviction defense”, was a failed homeless sweep, with the police being chased out of the neighborhood.

Downtown Portland business owners have been complaining for months about a sharp uptick in vandalism and other crime, often committed by people who have used protests for racial justice as a cover. Protests that consumed downtown nearly every night last summer dwindled in the fall, but there have been several direct-action demonstrations in the last several months where downtown businesses have been damaged.

A third of businesses said they planned to relocate in the next two years, with only 6% saying they would relocate to another space downtown. That compares to 17% that said they planned to relocate within two years when the survey was last conducted in 2018. However, 50% of those planning to relocate at that time were planning to remain downtown.

Black Apple Update

Portland’s downtown Apple store has been boarded up since rioters tried breaking through the store’s thick glass walls on the first night of 2020’s Black Lives Matter campaign. Graffiti art soon covered the black plywood used to encase the store and was left there for months–like much of the riot art around downtown.

Businesses may fear repercussions for taking the art down now; Apple is delicately removing theirs.

The first of the now familiar totemic George Floyd heads that loom like Big Brother here and there was drawn below the Apple logo the day after the company boarded up their glass walls with black plywood that provided an ideal canvas, probably by design.

It was also desecrated, when someone gave George ruby red lips, a pencil-thin handlebar moustache and red eyes. Someone wrote “criminal” over another; later someone wrote “fentanyl” across George’s broad nose. The original George head has since been removed and is missing from the video below.

Oh the inanity

Note here and there other acts of desecration still visible. That likely influenced Apple’s decision of a few weeks ago to encase the precious art in another layer of black plywood, which, miraculously remained blank for a few days; the company announced they’d donated the art to local activist group Don’t Shoot PDX. Apple’s announcement:

“Artists in the Portland community reimagined the blank canvas surrounding our Pioneer Place Apple Store and created a monumental art piece honoring the ongoing fight for justice and the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. Apple stands in support of the artists and all who are fighting for social and racial justice”

Yesterday I returned to the scene to find the store has now erected the chain-link and traffic barrier around the store while they dismantle the boards. A lonely security guard shadowed me from within while I took these pictures.

One to do the grifting, one to do the lifting.

Meanwhile the battle between Wheeler’s technocratic neoliberal class and the Axis of Anarchy goes on. The mayor, determined to bring antifa under control and restore the city’s rapidly deteriorating economy and downtown, brought in fellow moderate (such as that is in this context) former mayor Sam Adams to help out. For some reason, perhaps due to Adams’ not being popular with the Axis, Wheeler isn’t making him chief of staff (despite the job recently opening and Adams’ having served in that role for Bolshevik*-descended former mayor Vera Katz).

Along those lines his hiring was submerged below that of the latest DIE (Diversity Inclusion Equity) political officer:

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler today announced the addition of two new staff members to his office: Dr. Markisha Smith, who will serve as the Mayor’s special advisor on racial justice and equity while continuing to lead the City’s Office of Equity and Human Rights, and Sam Adams, who will serve as director of strategic innovations and lead work on key second-term policy priorities.

Dr. Smith has served as Director of the City’s Office and Equity and Human Rights since February 2019. She previously served as Director for the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the Oregon Department of Education. She worked as a high school and college educator prior to joining the department. Smith has a doctorate in education from Texas Southern University.

“Adding Dr. Smith to my team ensures her work will be given the platform it needs. She will provide valuable expertise to my office and will help us center equity as we implement my second term agenda,” Mayor Wheeler said.

“Over the years, the Office of Equity team has helped build the foundation of racial justice in the City. With this new role, I look forward to helping Mayor Wheeler and City Council further institutionalize equity in the City’s policies and culture to better serve our currently and historically systemically oppressed communities,” Dr. Smith said.

Sam Adams served as Portland’s mayor from 2009 to 2012. Previously, Adams served one term as a Portland city commissioner and served as Portland Mayor Vera Katz’s chief of staff for 11 years.

Following his time as mayor, Adams served as the executive director of the City Club of Portland and the United States Director for the World Resources Institute, a global nonprofit climate action think tank based in Washington, D.C.

“Sam’s knowledge of Portland City Hall and his track record of action and getting things done is much welcomed,” Mayor Wheeler said. “He’s innovative, smart and energetic. He will play an important role in advancing my second term priorities.”

Mayor Wheeler’s second term priorities include reducing homelessness and the impacts of street camping, cleaning up garbage and graffiti, improving public safety and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and the recession it has caused.

Dr. Smith will assume her role as advisor effective February 8. Sam Adams will begin work on Monday, February 1.

*correction: Menshevik descended; Katz’ forebears fled the Bolsheviks

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