Insults fly between Metro measure campaigns
Both sides in the fight over Metro's $5.2 billion regional transportation measure accused the other of lying to voters in polling data.
The measure on the Nov. 3 general election ballot would impose a payroll tax of up to 0.75% to fund transportation projects across the Portland region, including construction of a new MAX line from Portland to Tualatin.
But political consultants for the opposition group Stop the Metro Wage Tax released partial polling results on Tuesday, Sept. 15, which said the measure is only currently supported by 42% of the Metro voters. That support reportedly drops to just 32% after voters hear the best arguments from both sides about the measure.
Consultant Kevin Looper accused Metro of misleading voters in June by releasing an inaccurate poll showing the measure had 58% support, before the elected Metro Council referred it to the ballot.
"Metro was doing online polling, which is not real polling," said Looper, who noted Stop the Metro Wage Tax's poll was conducted by telephone between Sept. 2 and 6.
Supporters of the measure haven't taken the accusations lying down. Instead, the pro-measure Let's Get Moving campaign accused the opponents of releasing "suspect polling" on the measure themselves.
"Shame on them and their lies," said Vivian Satterfield, campaign co-chair and Director of Strategic Partnerships at Verde, a community-based organization that has endorsed the measure. "Our measure is endorsed by hundreds of organizations representing workers, climate activists, communities of color, and small businesses because it does the right thing — right now."
Let's Get Moving has raised nearly $495,000 in support of the measure. The largest contribution, $150,000, came from the out-of-state engineering firm Stacy and Whitbeck, which has worked on previous MAX projects. Another committee in support of the measure, Infrastructure Jobs are Good Jobs, has reported raising just over $129,000.
Stop the Metro Wage Tax has not filed any contribution information yet. Looper said his organization would raise as much as supporters and plans to focus fundraising on the Portland area business community, which has been largely united against the measure.
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