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Recall is launched

Jeff Kropf

Recall cover sheet

Put aside the lies about the personal relationship (the biggest single Portland story of the year so far), and how would Portlanders assess the term – so far – of Mayor Sam Adams? You’d have to call it something of a mixed bag. The soccer/baseball initiative, one of his major efforts, has turned into a messy and unpredictable slog. The push on the Columbia River bridge has moved a little faster. A variety of smaller individual proposals have move forward. A mixed bag, maybe, but containing enough positive elements that Adams would get a pass, if not high marks, from most Portlanders. He’s done the job.

There remains that Beau Breedlove thing, though. It does have ongoing significance in Adams’ ability to use his office to push things, or to leverage the city, such as the recent downtown mass transit kickoff attended, apparently, by every higher-level Oregon elected official with an excuse to be there except Adams, who conveniently was on vacation at the moment. (Hiking, no less.)

Today the pieces get put into context with the filing of an Adams recall petition by the Committee to Recall Sam Adams, Jasun Wurster, chief petitioner. Grounds: “We, the citizens of Portland, Oregon, hereby hold Sam Adams accountable for lying to us so that, as Adams explained, he could be elected Mayor of the City of Portland in 2008. Sam Adams is no longer effective in representing Portland as mayor. He has lost the trust of the public and other elected officials essential to the financial support of the City of Portland.” It concludes, “Now being fully informed about Sam Adams, the citizens of Portland demand an opportunity to our democratically provided right to recall. This recall provides voters the ability to make an informed choice on who we shall entrust with the management of the City’s budget, our future economic growth and reputation as one of the nation’s most progressive communities.”

Petition circulation is slated to start tomorrow.

The problem is, now that the world (or as much of it as cares) knows a great deal more about the relationship between Adams and Breedlove, the question becomes: What difference does it make? An attorney general’s investigation found no official malfeasance, and only questions (but no useful evidence) of private wrongdoing.

Back in January, there was a stretch when civic fury at Adams boiled over. It seems less heated now. The guess here is that Wurster will have a tough challenge getting the 32,183 valid signatures he needs by October 5.

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