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Fritz, Novick announce support for each others' 'progressive' measures
Both proposal will be heard by the council in December. Novick's proposal is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 7. Fritz's proposal could be heard as early as next week.
Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Steve Novick announced Tuesday they will support controversial programs they have each introduced. That means they now need just one more vote on the five-member City Council to pass both of them, although it is not clear where the other members stand on them.
Fritz has proposed a public campaign financing program that would be capped at $1.2 million a year. She wants it to be administered by the City Auditors Office, but current Auditor Mary Hull Caballero says she does not have enough employees to do so. A previous public campaign finance program supported by Fritz was repealed by Portland voters.
Novick has proposed imposing a tax surchage on publcly traded companies that pay their CEOs more than 100 times their median workers. It would raise an estimated $2.5 million to $3.5 million a more, more than twice the cost of Frritz's program. The proposal is opposed by the Portland Business Alliance.
Both proposals will be heard by the council on Wednesday, Dec. 7.
"I am excited to be championing Open and Accountable Elections, a new and improved public campaign finance system," Fritz said in a joint press release with Novick on Tuesday. "This program will allow candidates to reach out to a broad cross-section of Portlanders to help fund their campaigns, and add accountability and transparency requirements for all candidates, whether or not they choose to use public financing. I am also pleased to support the CEO tax which will provide needed revenue to make funding the campaign system more feasible, while also highlighting an economic inequality that needs to be addressed."
Novick said in the release that both proposals address inequality.
"According to international inequality expert Thomas Piketty, outrageous CEO pay is not just an example of, but a major contributor to, extreme inequality," Novick said. "And of course a system of private campaign contributions creates political inequality. I'm proud to support Commissioner Fritz's proposal."
In the release, Novick dubbed the Fritz-Novick proposals, "A progressive agenda to remembah for Decembah."