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  • 21 Dec 2014

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Sources Say: Politics can be so challenging

It’s getting hard to keep track of all the important local and regional issues that are being challenged in court or before some other official appeal body. Rulings on them could come down any day and shake things up — at least until they’re appealed further.

Being challenged are Charlie Hales’ election as mayor of Portland, the passage of the Portland Art Tax, TriMet’s most recent labor contract with Amalgamated Transit Union 757, multiple water and sewer fund spending programs, the expansion of the Hillsboro Airport, Clackamas County’s commitment to the Portland-Milwaukie light-rail line, and Metro’s designation of urban and rural reserves and the subsequent urban growth boundary expansions based on them.

And that’s not to mention the Columbia River Crossing, which is being challenged in court even though the Washington Legislature has not decided whether to fund its share of the project.

Fluoride campaigns ready for Round 2?

Is another fluoride fight in Portland’s future? The opponents who defeated Ballot Measure 26-151 at the May 21 special election are deciding whether to pursue their initiative to amend the City Charter to prevent the City Council from trying to fluoridate Portland’s water in the future. In the meantime, both sides ended their campaigns with budget surpluses that could fuel another budget ballot.

Clean Water Portland, the committee that defeated the measure, reported having nearly $15,000 in the bank at the beginning of the week. It raised more than $228,000 in cash contributions this year. Recent big contributions include $600 from Jennifer Davis, a Portland-area farmer.

Meanwhile, fluoride supporters represented by Healthy Kids, Healthy Portland reported a surplus of just over $72,000. It raised nearly $780,000 in cash this year. Recent big contributions included $20,000 from the Washington Dental Services Foundation.

A few polls among friends

Meanwhile, it looks like the fluoride advocates were friendly with supporters of the Portland Children’s Levy. Ballot Measure 26-150, which extended the levy, was approved at the special election. Recent campaign filings show that the Committee for Safe and Successful Children, which supported the measure, contributed $1,000 to the pro-fluoride campaign on May 15, six days before the election. It was for a question included on a poll.

The poll was probably taken by GBA Strategies of Washington, D.C. Healthy Kids, Healthy Portland reports a $15,000 payment to the firm on May 9 for “surveys and polls.”

Sharing polls between friends is not unusual in politics, especially when they use the same campaign consultant. In this case, it was Mark Wiener, who also advises most members of the Portland City Council.