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Monday, April 21, 2014

Some Water Rhetoric for Your Afternoon

Posted by Dirk VanderHart on Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 4:05 PM

A month after people pushing a new water and sewer board unveiled their first web ad for the measure, the opposition is hitting back.

In a slickly produced video—with strong notions about what "odd" and undesirable neighbors look like—the Stop the Bull Run Takeover campaign acquaints voters with its main contention: That the proposed water district is a takeover bid by big industry, which will raise your rates and slash its own.

"Industry lobbyists crafted measure 26-156 to take control of our water away from our elected representatives," the ad intones. "The corporate polluters want a new board they can stack with their friends so they get lower bills while we pay more."

In fact, elected representatives would still control the water, sewer and stormwater systems under the new proposal. They'd be elected solely for that purpose, and largely during off-year elections which could see low voter turnout.

Here's the video:

It's unclear just what Portlanders think of this measure right now—neither campaign has released polling data—but both sides are leading with their most palatable fear/anger-based narratives.

On the pro side: City hall is a den of cronyism, callously raising your rates to achieve its own profligate aims.

On the anti side: The One Percent wants to pervert your water system to achieve its own profligate aims.

Details surrounding rate policy, of course, are far more complex, but it's tough to fit that into a snappy web video.

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