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Anti-ballot measure sparks debate

by: COURTESY PHOTO - This picture of Centennial Mills looks a lot like the polluting factory in the online ad being run by the campaign against the Portoland Public Water District measure. Ironically, the aging structure alone the Willamette River was purchased with $1 million in sewer funds.The campaign against the Portland Public Water District measure has released it's first online ad — but it may actually support the measure to create an independently-elected water and sewer district.

The ad, released in 30 and 60 second forms, shows an animated Portland skyline with an older factory in the foreground belching smoke into the air. But the factory looks exactly like Centennial Mills, the aging industrial complex along the west bank of the Willamette River purchased by the city with around $1 million in sewer funds, in addition to other sources.

“The hilarious irony is that City Hall water and sewer fund abuse is so prevalent that opponents of reform

unwittingly showcase it in their own web video! Oops,” says Kent Craford, a co-chief petitioner of measure 26-156 on the may 20 primary election ballot.

The ad is intended to show that large industrial companies are funding the ballot measure company, including some polluters. It claims the companies want to create an elected board they can dominate.

Carol Butler, a spokesperson for the opposition campaign, says the images in the ad are not Centennial Mills.

"The pictures in the ad are generalized images not meant to depict any particular building or business, but to underscore visually the indisputable fact that M 26-156 is funded exclusively by large industrial water users and corporate polluters," says Butler.

A Multnomah County Circuit Court judge recently ruled some of the spending was illegal, including more than $500,000 in ratepayer funds spent on the city's public campaign financing program, which voters have repealed. Other examples include money spent on the Rose festival headquarters, the Water House, and the public toilets known as the Portland Loos.

The ad, purchased by the Stop the Bull Run Takeover PAC, can been seen online at the following site:

30 second version

www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMKu_DVdXPM

Extended Version

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Su4nYym53kU&feature=youtu.be

The anti-measure campaign could not immediately contact the agency that prepared the ad for comment.