Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



The problem can all be traced back to a faulty system city leaders built for capturing these text messages.

COURTESY: MACGREGOR CAMPBELL / OPB - A graphic from OPB's story on Mayor Ted Wheeler's missing texts.A lot of people wanted to know what Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was thinking on July 22, 2020, as the country watched him choke on clouds of tear gas fired by federal officers.

It was a surreal moment — an American mayor under attack alongside thousands of his constituents after weeks of nightly racial justice protests — and covered as such by every major news outlet in the country. Footage of the mayor, wincing and teary-eyed, made the rounds on cable news. Reporters trailed him through the crowd, lobbing questions about his thoughts on the unfolding scene ("Orwellian") and the taste of the tear gas ("nasty stuff.")

But Michael Kessler, a computer programmer by trade and City Hall watcher by hobby, wanted a deeper look into what the mayor was thinking on one of the most chaotic nights of the city's most tumultuous year.

Under the state's public records law, anybody has a right to ask for any record retained by an Oregon public body related to "the public's business." So Kessler submitted a public records request for Wheeler's texts.

Oregon Public Broadcasting is a news partner of the Pamplin Media Group. Their full story can be found here.

You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.

Have a thought or opinion on the news of the day? Get on your soapbox and share your opinions with the world. Send us a Letter to the Editor!

Go to top