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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tom Potter's Announcement a Surprise to "Recall Sam Adams" Campaign Leader

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Sun, Jul 12, 2009 at 4:13 PM

Recall Sam Adams campaign leader Jasun Wurster says former Mayor Tom Potter acted on his own yesterday with his surprise Facebook announcement of support for the recall campaign.

Wurster says the campaign has not been targeting specific politicians or pressuring them to come out for or against the recall. "Us directly talking to politicians is not effective. We are not actively treating anyone different. What we are doing is asking people who know elected officials to tell them what they think," explains Wurster. "The way we will win this campaign is for 2,000 people to follow Potter’s lead and start collecting signatures. I was surprised and elated for him to focus on the message of civic engagement."

The campaign currently has 100 trained volunteers (who picked up signature-gathering tips from recall potlucks last week) but Wurster estimates the group needs about 2,000 trained volunteers in order to collect the campaign's 50,000 signature goal in just 85 more days.

Wurster says he did not even know that Karin Hansen (writer of immortal line: "turd in the appropriate pocket") was Potter's wife when she showed up at a recall volunteer training.

So is Potter a game changer for the recall campaign whose most prominent backers up to this point have been right-wing talk radio hosts like Victoria Taft? Wurster was nonchalant. "Tom Potter being the former mayor and the publicity it’s gotten, that’s great, but it’s just as cool as the nice woman who came by today for petitions and said this was her first time getting involved in politics."

The idea that the recall campaign is not targeting high-profile Portlanders for support may seem bizarre to politicos, but Wurster says that's the way he wants to run things. In addition to using all-volunteer signature gatherers, they campaign is not accepting donations over $1,000 and not taking support from anyone outside Portland Oregon and Southwest Washington. "I understand politics extremely well and know the tricks politicians use. I’m trying to give Portland something different," says Wurster.

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