Kotek hustle: Fix Portland before May Election backlash

By Taxpayer Association of Oregon


Oregon Governor Tina Kotek was quoted in an OPB interview about her Portland plan to fix the City, “We have a six- to nine-month plan that is going to make improvements in this whole host of areas.’ We have to see progress.”

Based on her own time schedule, Kotek is aiming for improvements that coincidentally fall right before the Oregon May Primary and a highly consequential General Election.   Previous talk on the Portland plan has involved spending hundreds of millions of tax dollars on various projects.

Is Governor Kotek acting quickly because of “politics” or because she is “super-efficient”?

Kotek is not super-efficicent.

If Kotek cared about Portland, Kotek would call a special session to pass the ban on public drug use right now.  You see, Portland passed a ban on public drug use, but for whatever complicated reason, the City law cannot go into effect until there is a change in State law.   The quickest and cost-free way to help Portland right away is to let them stop public drug use by giving the police the power to enforce it.  Yet, politicians appear to be waiting on it.

If Kotek plans to spend money dedicated to public safety in Portland, she is running behind.  More money for law enforcement or security can take a year to enact because of advanced training and recruitment in a labor shortage.  A labor shortage that Oregon’s liberal policies helped make worse (like paying people more to stay home than to work).   Tax funds for publcic safety needs to be invested now, not in five months during the Feb-March Special Session.

Chances are the final product from Kotek’s Portland task force will include a lot of fancy projects to make Portland look good — like advertising, boosting art projects, boosting festivals, handing out free cash to people like the City of Portland has been doing by handing out gift cards (at taxpayers expense) to shop at selected local businesses.   There will be clean-up projects that won’t last because is won’t solve the core issues behind the problem.