Sources Say: Wheeler takes to airwaves to defend homeless approach
Mayor Ted Wheeler spent two hours defending his approach to the homeless crisis to four conservative critics on KXL radio Sunday morning.
Wheeler was the guest on Kremer, Abrams and Pasero, which runs from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and is hosted by charter school supporter Rob Kremer, former Portland Public Schools board Chairman Marc Abrams and Jim Pasero, a principal at the Third Century Solutions political consulting firm. Kremer and Abrams, the only liberal, were absent and replaced by former GOP candidate for Oregon governor Allen Alley and Portland Spirit owner Dan Yates.
Pasero, Alley and Yates spent much of their time complaining that suburban women are afraid to come downtown because of the homeless.
Alley went so far as to call the homeless part of "this kind of miasma of yuck that sits over the city." Miasma means a highly unpleasant or unhealthy smell or vapor.
Citing a recent survey by Clean & Safe, a Portland Business Alliance affiliate, Wheeler replied that the downtown economy is booming and 95 percent of business owners feel safe there.
He also said the City Council has increased support for homeless services, and reminded listeners he's only been mayor less than a year.
Car break-ins just a part of life?
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown apparently doesn't think downtown crime is any big deal.
Last Friday morning, state Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, who is running for the Republican nomination for governor, issued a statement saying his car had been broken into near the Portland Art Museum.
"This is becoming, certainly, a big issue for Portland. So I'll be speaking about it. It really is a quality of life issue for the people of Portland," Buehler said.
Brown's campaign responded by telling him to get over it.
"Knute Buehler had an unfortunate experience with vandalism that many Oregonians have been through, but it's clear from his reaction that he doesn't understand the experience of everyday Oregonians," the campaign said in a statement to KATU-TV.
White guy drops out of race
Former OPB newscaster Spencer Raymond has pulled out of the City Council race for Commissioner Dan Saltzman's seat after being heavily critized on social media for being a white guy running against three women of color. Saltzman is not seeking another term.
"I want to make it clear that I did not enter this election to run against specific individuals or groups. I entered in an earnest attempt to make Portland a better place for everyone," Raymond said in an email statement last week.
Of the three women, NAACP Portland chapter president JoAnn Hardesty has reported raising over $76,000 in cash and in-kind contributions so far this year. Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith has raised over $56,000 and Andrea Valderrama, an aide to Mayor Ted Wheeler, has raised over $14,000.
Another candidate, Northwest neighborhood leader Felicia Williams has raised over $28,000. She is white but has not yet been criticized for running.