Portland needs new blood, not political subsidies

By William Mackenzie,

Portland voters could learn something from feminist writer and civil rights campaigner Rita Mae Brown. She was right on when she wrote, ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

The seven candidates for the restructured City Council who have qualified so far for matching funds from Portland’s Small Donor Elections Program are all self-proclaimed progressives, Willamette Week reports.

Under the Small Donor Elections Program, candidates for office must raise a certain number of contributions to qualify for city matching funds.  Mayoral candidates can earn up to $100,000 in matching funds. City Council candidates can earn up to $120,000 in matching funds.

It’s progressives who have been the most ardent advocates of tolerance for raucous, violent and and destructive demonstrations, drug liberalization, sprawling homeless encampments in public spaces, escalating gun violence, limits on criminal penalties, and crude and threatening public behavior.

So now it looks like Portland taxpayers are going to finance the advocacy of a progressive agenda when it’s progressive foolishness that has driven Portlanders to despair in recent years.

Over half of respondents in a Dec. 2023 survey by DHM Research said Portland is moving in the wrong direction and that they are worse off now than they were two years ago. Eight in 10 said quality of life in Portland is getting worse and more said they had a negative view of future economic opportunities. Even Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a classic progressive, recognizes how bad things are.  “Portland is broken,” he said as far back as February 2022 when he announced his reelection bid. “Collectively it seems like we have challenges unlike any we have ever faced.”

Doesn’t that suggest Portlanders, instead of doubling down on progressive politicians and policies, should turn away from the destructive progressive government leadership practices of the past and embrace new political candidates with more responsible agendas?