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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Street Roots Crunches Cash Reports in Mayoral Race—Makes Case for Return of Voter-Owned Elections

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 3:14 PM

I'm still sore that Portlanders, way back in 2010, ditched voter-owned elections. Check out the following chart from Street Roots:

Screen_shot_2012-01-11_at_2.40.35_PM.png

See that first column of percentages? That means each of the major candidates in this year's mayoral race—even East Portland state Representative Jefferson Smith—is relying on checks from a small pool of wealthy people to spread their messages and run their campaigns.

Smith, at least, is at just 52 percent. Some 80 percent of checks written to Charlie Hales, the former city commissioner and current transit consultant, have been for at least $1,000. And businesswoman Eileen Brady isn't much better, at 65 percent. (In fact, she's received more large contributions than Hales has raised in total.)

Click here and read the rest of Street Roots' examination of mayoral fundraising—which was assembled and crunched by Janice Thompson of Common Cause. Thompson was a big backer of the push to preserve voter-owned elections in 2010. And her analysis makes a good case for why we never should have let it go.

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