Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Oregonian: Helping crybabies get noticed

Yesterday's Oregonian sob story via Portland City Council wannabe Lucinda Tate definitely set my teeth to grinding. Why is it that grown adults can't take responsibility for their own campaigns?

Tate whines that "they" (those who created and are implementing Voter Owned Elections) are "making up the rules as they go along". But nothing Tate says in the Oregonian piece gives any evidence or indicates what the hell she is talking about. Even Auditor Gary Blackman, while noting that it can be difficult for novices, notes:

"We can't run their campaigns for them," he said. "Any City Council candidate needs to be able to absorb new information, understand what it means and act appropriately."

Other candidates didn't seem to have Tate's problems. I'm curious as to why the Oregonian didn't bother to interview Amanda Fritz (or publish her submitted op-ed piece, for that matter). How is it that Amanda managed to fjord the waters of VOE--yet Lucinda is adrift? Perhaps Blackman is correct when he infers that if a candidate can't manage to sort out their own campaign, they're not really qualified to hold the office?

Another part of Lucinda's Oregonian story seems odd as well:

But Tate soon realized she was going to have problems in her challenge to City Commissioner Dan Saltzman. Many of the people she knew from her church and charitable efforts weren't comfortable donating, because they worked for nonprofits and mistakenly worried about jeopardizing their tax status, she said. Other people she approached were skeptical of public funding.

Churches and charities are often confused about proper procedures when it comes to political campaigns and donations. That's not a situation unique to Voter Owned Elections. Given that other candidates managed to work through this process, (Unsuccesful VOE candidate Chris Iverson said he found those in City Government very helpful when answering his VOE questions), how is it that Tate couldn't manage to get her contributors better informed?

Why is the Oregonian only telling one side of this story? Is our paper of record so beholden to the old-style, money flushed campaigns that it can't tear itself away?

And why is it the city's fault exactly that Lucinda Tate isn't with it enough to figure out how to run her own campaign?