You broke it, you own it

April 7, 2006 at 2:22 am (Politics, Portland)

This year's primary marks Portland's first run at so-called"voter-owned elections." The idea is to get corporate and big-money interests out of politics, and to level the playing field a bit for potential candidates. Anyone who gets one-thousand $5 donations is eligible for $150,000 from the public coffers, and even more if you happen to win the primary. Commissioner Erik Sten authored the measure, and is himself a recipient of public financing.

So is Emilie Boyles. Ms. Boyles is currently the subject of a state investigation into elections fraud, for "allegedly" submitting fraudulent donations that made her eligible for public money. Hey, maybe dozens of Slavic immigrants have similar writing styles, and dozens more have really bad memories. I don't know, I only read this in the paper. That and her explanation:

Erik Sten authored Voter Owned Elections. Either this was yet another example of his lack of ability to understand big-picture consequences of his actions or he intentionally left these holes in the Voter Owned Election Process as a tool to warn average grass-roots citizens to stay out of politics. If he didn't understand the consequences, as he hasn't understood the consequences of other decisions he's made, then he should not be in office. If he intentionally crafted this ordinance as a means of keeping challengers that are not in his circle of cronies, then Portlanders need to assure access to City Hall by voting him out of office.

In other words, shame on you Commissioner, for allowing me the opportunity to engage in a massive conspiracy to defraud the taxpayers. If you hadn't written this silly law no one would have ever heard of me and I wouldn't have been forced to violate state elections law and the Christian morality I spew all over my campaign website.

Opponents of the program, such as state Sen. Ginny Burdick, the Corporate Candidate who looks remarkably like someone's grandmother, will no doubt trumpet the alarms as to how this demonstrates the need to un-democratize the elections process, and get the interests of multinational conglomerates back into the forefront of Portland politics where they belong, without, you know, acknowledging that Ms. Boyles got caught.

Watch in the coming weeks for the coveted Jalalablog Election Day Endorsements, and don't forget to get your ticket to Candidates Gone Wild! (no, it's not a joke)


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