Portland: Biodiesel, tiolets and self-portriats

I was interviewed by KGW-8 on the Portland City Council decision to buy only local biodiesel fuel. This has resulted in the city paying as much as $6.75 a gallon this summer (as they have been locked in a contract) and project overruns as much as $320,000. Portland Tribune article here. Commissioner Randy Leonard didn’t seem to mind as he commented that he is creating jobs. Under that logic why not pay twice for pencils, paper and coffee.

Days later Portland announced their grand super toilet they designed. At high risk is that Portland will make the same mistake Seattle did and lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in a failed venture. Days later from this Randy Leonard was in the headlines for spending $750 in campaign funds for a self-portrait. That alone brings up an interesting point on whether if a candidate in the future can use Portland public financing funds (city tax dollars) to beautify themselves?
With Sam Adams coming into office, maybe these distractions will diminish and a new agenda will be born. Who knows?

Here is my KGW quote,

“Right now people are losing their jobs and losing their business and what is Portland doing? They’re spending twice as much as they should for a gallon of gas all for some pet project and to look good,” said Jason Williams with the Oregon Taxpayers Association. “Well, we’re not interested in looking good. We need to survive.”


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Posted by at 06:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 14 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Jerry

    He should have opted for a bronze statue. He is so smart and wonderful he deserves at least that much. Nice work if you can get it.

  • Provo

    Sam Adams will chart a new course, just watch. We only have a few weeks to go. I even saw Adams on Tv about tehsnow storm taking command and he is still the mayor-elect. This is a good sign.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Ok, if you go and read the Portland Tribune article about the contract it has one truly amazing sentence:

    “The contract pays canola farmers in Eastern Oregon a price that approaches the peak offered by the national canola seed market in the previous year’s growing season.”

    Let’s think about that a little bit. Portland negotiated a contract that basically said whatever the highest price was in the previous year, we will pay it this year. Who negotiated that?

    Who’s bright idea was it to try and start a market for something, when there already is a market, by paying farmers far and above what the going rate is?

    Oh, and I guess the best part is they think at some point the farmers will just lower their price just to be nice guys? This is the like the Halliburton/Cheney scams the left was always trying to dream up. The only difference is this one is real, and its right under everyone’s noses.

    But then again, that’s what the whole AGW/subsidized “green industry” scam has always been about. Pumping as much money out of peoples pockets as possible.

    Expect to hear the phrase “but we only did it with the best of intentions” real soon.

  • Reper

    Sounds like even their intentions were not that ideal in this case.

  • G Jiggy

    Commissioner Randy Leonard is your average politician who doesn’t care because he doesn’t have to. The money isn’t his and there is more of it to be had just for the taxing so why should he care how much is spent? After all, he’s being magnanimous and compassionate.

    I think that if you look a little deeper into Mr. Leonard’s life style, I would lay odds on the fact that he, when using his own money mind you, pays as little as he can for gas, food or clothing. Does Mr. Leonard wander into the local men’s store to buy a suit and when seeing that it is merely $500. tell the sales person that it’s not nearly enough, please charge me $700. for this fine suit? Probably not because it is always much, much easier to be “compassionate” when you are using somebody else’s money.

    Frankly, I’m tired of these overspending, over taxing politicos buying favors, patronage and votes with my tax money. Where does it stop? When does it stop? When will these people treat our money like they treat our own? When will these people not make a lifetime of government “service”.

  • Boze Noze

    Jason, The other unspoken cost of Bio-Deisel is in maintenance. I was talking to a Water Bureau employee who would know that they have 4 heavy trucks out of service for engine or fuel system re-builds due to fouling problems directly attributable to the bio-deisel.

    Someone needs to get some of the Portland vehicle maintenance people on the record as to the fleet maintenance costs and the operations people as to the emergency readiness of the fleet when it is running on “local bio-deisel”.

    Just think of the next natural or man-made disaster that requires a response from publics works and the water bureau and half the truck fleet is out of commission due to fuel system problems…maybe New Orleans can send us trucks to return the favor.

  • Gienie

    I would like to add Uncle Sam as a dependant when I file my taxes this year! I think its appropriate…

    wish it were legal!

  • Jerry

    Can’t we just get all the oil we need from fast food french fry vats?

  • devietro

    Good story Jason. Its outrageous how disconnected some of these guys in government are. At some point you have to wonder if they are seeing how far they can push us.

    • dean

      Yes…why can’t these government guys make brilliant financial decisions like our heroes in the private sector…Bernard L. Madoff to name just one.

      • cc

        Did someone just break wind in Damascus?

        There’s a little, teeny wannabe foul smell in here.

        • dean

          That is the powerful scent of fesh ideas. You need a sommelier class.

      • Boze Noze

        Bernard L. Madoff, Democrat donor extrodinaire!

        Dean, Madoff is a criminal, not a heroe of the private sector. Are you going to demand that Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley return the polotical donations from Madoff because they were earned through a criminal act?

        • dean

          Me? No…I’m not the demanding sort. His crime, if he is convicted, is a crime related to bad financial decisions that he hid from investors right? Public and private sector individuals sometimes make bad investments that cost other people money. Sometimes, on both sides they make good ones.

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