Ted Wheeler’s mad as hell and he’s not going to take this any more. The Daily Mail:
Portland‘s mayor turned on a left-wing activist who hijacked a council meeting to air her own views, telling her in exasperation: ‘Nobody really cares what you think.’
Ted Wheeler, a 60-year-old Democrat who took over the famously liberal city in 2017, was chairing a council meeting on March 1 when Keeley Higgins took the floor – and the two engaged in a terse verbal back-and-forth.
Higgins started her ill-timed rant by saying: ‘Ted, I believe the last time I saw you in this kind of setting was when I gave testimony demanding that you end the use of poisonous gas on humans in this city.’
It’s been a long hard road for the heir of a lumber fortune and former state treasurer. He appears to be a progressive technocrat who thought it would be fun to run one of the most progressive cities in the nation in a time of increasing tax revenue. He took office in 2016. By early 2018, after having been introduced to the regular commandeering of city hall by protesters and other features of Portland politics, he was caught in public saying he “couldn’t wait” for his term to end.
Nonetheless he weathered Covid and the riots to become the first Portland mayor to win reelection since 2000, when a spoiler in the race allowed him to beat radical Sara Iannaronne, who had promised to turn the police bureau over to police abolitionist leader Jo Ann Hardesty.
Iannarone supporters launched a recall effort against Wheeler in 2021 that failed to muster the necessary signatures, identifying him with the hated police and their “excessive” response to rioters. Later they sought an extension in court, citing Covid.
The Hail Mary maneuver came hours after the campaign disclosed Monday that it had collected only 40% of the signatures it needs by Wednesday to place a recall of Wheeler on the ballot.
Late last month, an elections official in the Portland City Auditor’s Office, Louise Hansen, denied a request by the recall campaign for a 90-day deadline extension. The campaign’s lawsuit names Hansen and City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero as defendants.
Not all recall attempts or other signature-gathering drives have struggled to gain traction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Oregon City residents upset with their city’s mayor easily gathered more signatures than needed last summer to put a recall on the fall ballot, and voters ousted former Mayor Dan Holladay from office.
Wheeler’s capitulation in 2020 to rioters under the BLM banner, his abandonment of the police, even his ritual humiliation and tear-gassing did nothing to endear him to the radical left and this surrender looks like alliance to average Portlanders. Wheeler, as a progressive liberal, is adjacent to the radical left, and, with the special disdain the radical left has always held for liberals, there be dragons. Big, ugly rainbow-attired, gender-fluid dragons.
The recall effort only collected about 20, 000 votes despite Wheeler’s broad unpopularity; it’s hard to imagine an effort coming from the other side, one seeking to recall him for losing the city to antifa and Jo Ann Hardesty, doing worse.
Now the man who said he couldn’t wait for his time to end says his time has come.
Seven years ago, Ted Wheeler ran to become mayor of Portland and led with one audacious pledge: He would eliminate unsheltered homelessness in Oregon’s largest city by the end of 2018.
He utterly failed to deliver, however, and today an estimated 3,000 individuals reside in hundreds of encampments all around the city.
The pandemic not only magnified the misery of those living on the streets but also hollowed out the city’s once-vibrant downtown. Last year, Portland experienced record homicides, a slaughter more than twice the per-capita level as Seattle.
Yet Wheeler remains bullish, not only on Portland’s prospects but also on his own leadership capabilities.
“I actually believe that I was made for this moment,” he told The Oregonian/OregonLive.
We’ve only just begun…