Sources: Democrats fundraise off Trump campaign story
Last week's report by CNN and The Hill that President Donald Trump's campaign is considering spending money in Oregon sparked two predictable responses — disbelief that any Republican would consider campaigning for a national office in such a Democratic state and a flurry of fundraising appeals by Democrats trying to cash in on the news.
Among others, the Democratic Party of Oregon sent out a fundraising email on June 11 saying, "Trump's already laying the groundwork to pull off a big upset here in Oregon in 2020 — but together, we can make sure he doesn't come close. Make a donation to help make sure Oregon stays blue in 2020."
"Blue" is the term for Democratic Party politics; "red" represents Republicans.
Not to be outdone, Democratic Oregon U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley posted a fundraising plea on his campaign website saying, "The Hill reports that Team Trump is weighing staffing up here, to 'expand the map' so Republicans can win in 2020. I'm going to need your grassroots support to fight back."
Wyden's wife makes the news
The wife of Democratic Oregon U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden is embroiled in a historic landmark controversy in New York City that involves Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is running for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.
Nancy Bass Wyden is the daughter of Fred Bass, the founder of the Strand, a famous independent East Village bookstore. He also bought the building where the store is located, which was recently designated an historic landmark by the city's landmark commission, a decision his granddaughter has been fighting. In an opinion column published in the New York Post on June 14, Nancy Bass Wyden decried the "bureaucratic straitjacket" imposed on alterations to the building by the designation, saying it will strain the store's finances.
The Washington Post found that claim puzzling in a June 14 story, noting that her late father left behind a $25 million estate, much of which was split between his wife and Nancy Bass Wyden. And de Blasio accused her of misrepresenting the landmarks regulations, saying, "Everyone respects the Strand quite a bit, and I believe that we can prove that this is not going to be the problem that she projects it to be."
Vision Zero doubts emerge
City officials are backing away from what they now admit is the unrealistic Vision Zero goal of eliminating all fatal and serious-injury traffic crashes in Portland by 2025.
The goal was adopted by the City Council in 2015. Some officials conceded it cannot be met despite increased spending of traffic safety projects when the Portland Bureau of Transportation presented its most recent update to the council on Thursday, June 13.
Commissioner Nick Fish compared the goal to the failed 10-year Plan to End Homelessness adopted by council in 2005.
"Perhaps we will never do it," said PBOT Director Chris Warner, who still supports the goal.
Although traffic fatalities fell last year from 45 to 34, they have surged and already reached at least 25 so far in 2019. The City Auditor's Office recently reported that it is taking longer than promised to complete safety projects funded by the temporary 10-cent-per-gallon gas tax that Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said she will ask voters to renew in 2020.