Mayoral candidate Sho Dozono just turned in 4,010 contributions forms, well over the 1,500 he needs to qualify for public financing. He’s the first candidate I’ve seen who’s needed a big box to hold all of the forms. And his campaign manager reports that they were still collecting forms today—or, rather, people were bringing them in. They cut people off at 3 pm, so they’d have enough time to process the final ones and get to city hall by 3:30 to file a request for certification.
He also reports that he’s pulled in about $20,000 in seed money—contributions less than $100—from roughly 300 donors. Combine, that’s about $40K in the bank, and the city will give him another $160K if his contributions check out.
Now, it’s time for the “sprint” toward the May 20 primary. The Dozono campaign will likely secure a campaign office this weekend, and will start to focus on the issues. The short campaign is still “plenty of time to get our message out,” says Dozono. Echoing a certain presidential candidate, Dozono says the voters “want a change in city government,” and he is the change.
He and his supporters—he brought about two dozen of them today—shared a group hug, whooped “Go Team Sho,” and headed off.
Not long after Team Dozono departed, Paul Romain and Lila Leathers stopped in to file the paperwork to refer Sam Adams’ $463.7 milllion street fee to the ballot. As city elections officer Andrew Carlstrom went into the back to approve the petition and Leathers’ chief petitioner status, the two told me why they’re making the effort.
Leathers, who owns Leathers Fuels, calls the street fee a “regressive tax.”
“The voters should have the right to decide,” if the city should add it to their water bills, she says.
I asked Romain whether he gamed Adams, as he claimed Adams had gamed his group by splitting the measure into three, and making it nearly impossible to refer; Adams put it back into one once Romain pledged “not to refer the measures,” but Romain—an attorney—said what they agreed to was “very specific.” He didn’t say they’d support a single measure, and points out that in his email, he made it clear his group didn’t support the street fee.
How do they plan to win a campaign against a measure that’s backed by an 89-member steering committee that represents such diverse groups as the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and the Portland Business Alliance? Romain’s got his eye on the voters. “I can pretty much guarantee if [Adams] thought he had the votes for it, he would have referred it himself.”
Indeed, the original plan for the street fee was for the council to put it on the ballot. Adams told us last month that the decision not to put it on the ballot was “a question of leadership. I’m willing to take the heat of enactment,” even if that raised the possibility of a referendum effort. (Feeling a little warm, Sam?)
Romain says they might have petitions on the street as early as tomorrow, which gives them 28 days to collect 18,170 valid signatures.
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