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Friday, April 18, 2014

Portland Tribune Parent Company Donates Money to Water District Effort As Editorial Board Pans It

Posted by Dirk VanderHart on Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Portland news organizations are already telling you how to vote in the high-stakes May ballot measure deciding who controls Portland's water, sewer and stormwater systems (the Oregonian had its say on Saturday). But one local media company is voicing its opinion outside of the editorial pages.

RB Pamplin Corporation—which owns a variety of local and national companies, including the Portland Tribune and its affiliated publications—has kicked in $1,000 to support a new water district, according to recent filings.

That apparent support from the company's honchos—Chairman Robert B Pamplin Jr. founded the Tribune—wasn't enough to sway the paper's editorial board, though. The Trib says a new water district isn't the answer.

Measure 26-156 would strip oversight of the Portland Water Bureau and Bureau of Environmental Services from city council, and put it in the hands of a new, seven-member board. Supporters say the effort would eliminate cronyism and corruption from the rate-setting process. But hte measure's opponents—including the vast majority of Portland's environmental advocates—paint the measure as a takeover bid by industrial interests which have provided most of its backing.


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