Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Trouble With The Recall Effort

I've read a lot of Jasun Wurster's comments (usually ending with his infamous closing: "with much respect") on various news website articles regarding Sam Adams. His comment left on a article yesterday is a good snapshot of his usual tactic:

Sam Adams is clinging to power, what he fails to realize is that his hand is around the throat of our democracy. The Recall effort needs approximately 2000 volunteers from the Portland-Metro area to spend a few hours this summer collecting signatures from Portland citizens. You do not have to live in Portland to volunteer for the recall. (emphasis mine)

Please do visit and sign up to help and learn of the may ways to hold Sam Adams accountable.

With Adams recall we will remind the nation of what it means to be an Oregonian and reclaim the tarnished name of Portland, Oregon.
Jasun Wurster

Wait, what? Wurster's actively recruiting non-Portland residents to volunteer for a campaign to recall Portland's mayor? Up to this point, I've had no problem with Jasun Wurster other than my obvious disagreements with him. Today, however, I'm pretty perplexed that he's encouraging folks who do not live in Portland to volunteer for the recall campaign. Frankly, it seems underhanded. We don't grant non-Portlanders the opportunity to vote in Portland city elections because they don't live here and, by default, their priorities are not reflected in our elected officials. Why, then, does it make sense to ask them to volunteer to recall our mayor unless it was to further an agenda that cannot find sufficient support in Portland?

When questioned about it, Wurster suggests that towns outside of Portland are affected by the actions of our mayor. While that may be true, I'm uncomfortable that the priorities of someone who lives outside of Portland might be reflected in changes to our city government. It is up to the citizens of Portland to determine the priorities of our city, to elect the appropriate officials, and to hold them accountable. These folks didn't vote for our mayor, so why do they have a say in recalling him?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Think Out Loud Recap

Commissioner Randy Leonard and mayor Sam Adams were the featured guests on this morning's "Think Out Loud" talk show on OPB. I'll do my best to summarize the show without succumbing to my unfortunate tendency for wordiness.

Leonard was on first and his main message was twofold concerning Sam's dishonesty: Sam's lie was a betrayal that hurt their friendship and will be difficult to overcome, but he is strongly aligned with the mayor's policies and wants to see their agenda accomplished. Leonard said he's worked with three mayors and never before has he had the kind of consensus he and Sam do. Leonard's wounded feelings were apparent and understandable: Sam's betrayal was unacceptable, especially since his denial of the Breedlove affair in 2007 prompted Leonard to very publicly defend him. His feelings, he said, don't differ from those of any Portlander. One thing Leonard said really stuck with me: he found Sam's distressed reaction reassuring, because it indicated that he grasps the gravity of his actions.

Leonard answered questions from four callers relating to a potential professional soccer team in Portland (the funds wouldn't be diverted from other projects but are generated from ticket taxes and other soccer-related revenue, and he feels it's a "good deal for Portland"), what sustainable energy practices the city is planning to implement (we already require that 5% of every gallon of diesel sold is Biodiesel, tax incentives to bring green businesses to PDX, solar energy), how council is working to avoid early school closures (more balanced tax system, including a sales tax, but there's not much that can be done with the current economic crisis: "I can't promise what doesn't exist"), and the proposed active management of the CRC (bilateral state commission to manage tolls, "we can't have a laissez-faire approach to driving").

Sam was then brought in by phone. He was asked how the applause at the city club speech felt: "heartwarming". Emily Harris surprised me by snapping at him, "what do you mean?" He responded with an acknowledgement that he'd screwed up, and to have people accept his apologies and move on to the business at hand is humbling. He feels that this will make him a better person and public servant, and he's committed to getting back to work. He characterized city council's reaction to the recession as "proactive", "as smart and possible" and "strategic".

The show then moved to listener questions. The first asked what Adams would tell his 14-year old daughter about lying to further one's career. Adams responded that he would not teach a teenager that this was okay, and that he's an example of what happens when one lies. He stated that it's appropriate that his reputation has changed and that he has paid a price. I think it was Emily Harris again who asked what price it is that he's paid. He stated that his reputation will never be the same.

The next question was via email: did he ever consider resigning, and was the lie to further his career? Sam stated, as I reported last week, that he was planning to resign. He said he sought out friends and allies for personal advice, but never really mentioned what convinced him to stay. Oddly, he didn't mention the rally. Moving to the second part of the question, he said at the time "the attack" (meaning from Bob Ball) coming at him was during the mayoral campaign and he felt there was no way people would believe the truth. So yes, he said, he did it to further his career.

Adams was then asked about the regressive taxation system in Oregon and whether he wants that to change. He agreed with the caller and stated that it's unfair, dysfunctional, and favors the rich. Another caller wanted to know which campaign promises Adams will have to delay or let go given the economic crisis. He answered that it might take longer than originally anticipated, but he isn't backing down on anything. "Why would you expect a leader to reduce their focus on these issues?" he asked.

Another caller asked about gang violence, but I missed it. The interview ended when Adams was asked if he's yet spoken to the attorney general's office as part of the investigation and he tersely responded that he can't talk about it.

All that having been said, what's my take? I was pleased with Leonard's interview and felt it reflected well, and probably accurately, on the climate in city hall these days. Frankly, I'm glad Adams has Leonard there to be hard on him-- he needs it. Adams, to me, sounded nervous and sort of scattered. Later he told me that he was walking while he was speaking, so it wasn't nerves making his voice shake. Still, I wished the interview had reflected better on Sam. I think he needs to be a bit more transparent when answering these questions-- he comes across as a bit hedgy. I know his desire to get back to work combined with the limits placed on him by the investigation are probably making it more challenging than usual to speak candidly. Still, it would do him some good for his city to see him in a more vulnerable light.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Adams and Leonard on OPB's "Think Out Loud"

OPB's call-in talk show "Think Out Loud" will host Portland mayor Sam Adams, commissioner Randy Leonard and Vancouver mayor Royce Pollard on Monday, 3/02 at 9 am. The topic of focus will be Friday's State of the City address given by Mayor Adams, and will give callers a chance to weigh in on their reaction.

I encourage folks to call in and express their feelings about the CRC decision last week. Also, there appears to be a rally in the works protesting the CRC sometime soon at City Hall. For the record, I will be there.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sam's Response


Thanks for your email. As you can see, I am pushing for the creation of a transportation demand management commission for both crossings. I believe the transportation system in the entire region needs to move in this direction. The bridge has three lanes right now and sprawl has been rampant: we can and must do better.



"Our region has been a global innovator in developing and managing transportation systems for transit, bikes, and pedestrians. But we have remained in the dark ages when it comes to managing our vehicular roadway systems to protect and support community values.

To date, we have built our freeways, highways and streets - and then largely just walk away. With the new approach described in the op-ed below, written by myself and Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard with the support of other local leaders, yesterday I asked the Portland City Council to approve ongoing, performance-based management for the new I-5 bridge across the Columbia River. With a 4-1 vote, the resolution passed. With this idea, we offer a groundbreaking notion.

The opinion piece below ran in yesterday's Oregonian. The region's goal: build a bridge to serve our needs for the next 100 years - but one that is managed effectively from day one.

Mayor Sam Adams"

Needing Answers

To: Mayor Sam Adams
Subject: Yesterday's CRC Vote

Hi Sam,

I'm writing concerning yesterday's city council vote for the 12-lane CRC option-- it's important that you're aware how this vote sits with your supporters. We counted on you to represent the city of Portland's sustainability priorities in this project, and we felt assured that you would fight for what you've advocated up to this point: the smallest possible bridge. Why did you change your position? The city needs you to be the mayor we elected, who will fight to continue the momentum you helped to generate of building a transportation infrastructure that does not worship at the altar of the automobile.

You told me on Sunday that you love Portland and its people, but this monster bridge does not bode well for the future livability of our city. Your supporters need some definitive and focused reassurance that what you've voted for is in keeping with your sustainable agenda and that we're not selling out to large business interests.

I look forward to your response.

Hollie Teal

Monday, February 23, 2009

Brunch With The Mayor

Up until yesterday morning, my interactions with Sam Adams have been limited to attending a couple of town hall meetings he hosted and spotting him around the city. I received warnings that he was a cutthroat politician, that he was arrogant, and that he might be trying to manipulate me. It's fair to say that amidst my excitement, I was also cautious.

The big hug he gave me melted my caution a bit. I wasn't expecting him to be so warm, engaging and sincere. We talked for a long while about a wide range of topics, so this entry has the potential to get wildly out of control. I'll try to summarize:

  • He's sorry for lying and admits that was a mistake that he deeply regrets.
  • The recent WW interview with former staffer Ronald Chlapowski, which states that Breedlove approached Sam initially, is accurate. He denies having any sexual relationship with Chlapowski.
  • Sam was going to quit before the rally happened, but the outpouring of support convinced him to stay. He had that first week been holed up at home, reading the negative press about himself, and felt shocked and hurt at how the local media was attacking him. Our support was a turning point for him, and he showed no shortage of gratitude for our efforts.
  • He's glad there's an investigation by the attorney general's office-- he'll get to tell his story.
  • He likes the idea of a task force to organize and structure the grassroots movement in his support. He's putting me into contact with a friend and political ally of his who can help make sure our efforts are worthwhile. I'll post more about this when I have more info.
  • We talked a lot about transportation infrastructure, the CRC, the Sellwood Bridge (he's contributing city funds to help get the project off the ground), cycling in Portland (when he gets honked at by cars, he tries to catch up to them and make sure they see his face-- I guess the reaction he gets is pretty funny), the Interstate Ave. off-ramp where Brett Jarolimek was killed ("it will never be re-opened"), bike licensing (he's against it, but supports free bike registration to help track down stolen bikes), how often he rides (3 times a week), the BTA (he's a member and supports the organization strongly), bike boulevards, etc.. It was heaven for a cycling wonk like me!
  • We talked about a lot of stuff unrelated to him being the mayor: his grandmother, ukuleles, Reed College, my family and background, my job, marathon running. He was charming and engaging to talk to.
  • He commended me on dealing with the conservative press. "You actually got a compliment from Bob Miller?!"
  • I asked him how Ron Wyden's snub affected him: "It hurt," he said. He reiterated what he's said in the past: people need to go through their own response to what's happened. He added that the press had last month made it difficult for Sen. Wyden to speak about the economic stimulus plan because they were focused instead on Sam. For this reason, he felt it wasn't an unreasonable response for Wyden not to invite Sam to Monday's meeting, but it was more about the press causing a distraction than about Wyden not taking Sam seriously as a peer.
Sure, the guy's a politician and I could very well have been under his clever, smarmy spell. What I came away with, though, was a firm conviction that his transparency and desire to focus on the betterment of our city are legitimate. Sam Adams is mayor, above and beyond whatever underhanded political agenda is ascribed to him, because he loves Portland and the people in it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sam + Ron

Sam was sweet enough to walk me to my bike after brunch, and I couldn't resist asking him to pose with my beloved 1972 lugged steel beauty, Ron. This was rather than asking him to pose for a picture with, say, ME...

C'mon, what did you expect? He's the mayor of the #1 bike city in the country and I'm Queen Bike Dork!

My Friend, Sam Adams

Sam Adams called me yesterday.


"Mayor Adams!" I stammered in surprise after he'd introduced himself in his recognizable baritone voice. "Call me Sam," he said. He was calling, he continued, to invite me to lunch. Or breakfast or dinner, whatever worked. Brunch worked best for both of us, so this morning I sat waiting in front of Genie's Cafe, reading an article about him in Willamette Week, when he pulled up. He saw me and waved. He got out of his truck, walked toward me, and gave me a hug.

In a nutshell, he wanted to thank me for my support, for the blog, and for the rally. I will say more later, but I wanted to pass this along: our fantastic rally was what convinced him not to resign. I'm still completely overwhelmed by this and need to process it a bit before recapping the hour or so we spent talking, but it's important to me that you know how much of a difference our support has made. We convinced our mayor to stay.

You know what this means, right? It means we need to keep it up. If our support is what convinced Mayor Adams in his dark hours of contemplation that he shouldn't resign, then our ongoing support will help him to regain his signature momentum. We voted for him because of what he wants for our city, and that is unchanged. He needs us, folks.

Let's continue to fight for our mayor.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fighting The Recall Effort

The recall effort is attempting to mobilize, even at this early date, and has been in the media over the last couple of weeks. Senator Ron Wyden's recent refusal to work with Mayor Adams on the grounds that he would be a "distraction" is not acceptable and has furthered the public uneasiness about Sam's viability as a leader. We have the power to change these things. Our elected officials are in office to represent the best interests of our city and state, and those who support Sam Adams need to be loud, visible, and clear in our message.

As the rally demonstrated, we can accomplish amazing things when we all band together. In the coming months, my mission is to assemble a task force of Sam supporters who will work together to hold events and keep in contact with the media. Let's have bike rides, letter writing parties, and maybe even another rally. But what else? We need more ideas! Want to help? Let's start a conversation in the comments. Want to email me? Feel free: hollietealok at gmail is my address.

I know you're out there, because I met hundreds of you a few weeks ago. I know the media is listening and we need to use that to our advantage. Let's get the word out together.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

He Wasn't Invited

I haven't heard back from Wyden's office, but a bit of digging revealed that Willamette Week reported earlier this week that Sam Adams was absent from the list of invitees for Monday's stimulus plan meeting: it was, in fact, a deliberate snub. Tom Towslee is the Wyden staffer I posed the question to today via voicemail, and he is quoted in the article as confirming the intentional omission of Adams.

I think this was a misstep on the part of Sen. Wyden. His unwillingness to work directly with Mayor Adams, especially on a matter that has a dire effect on the city, does not eliminate "distraction". The press, local officials and the public are not focused on the outcome of the meeting, but on this "snub" and how it speaks to the viability of Sam Adams as a local leader. Frankly, I feel the omission of Adams from the invitation list was petty. Wyden has spoken openly about his disapproval of Sam's actions but claims he will refrain from stating anything further until the investigation concludes. He has, however, made a passive-aggressive statement about his feelings towards Adams as a fellow politician.

I've always respected Ron Wyden and felt fortunate that he has served many years as an effective representative for Oregon. This, however, does not sit well with me. I will be contacting him about this and asking him to rethink his approach to Mayor Adams. Either ask him to resign or work with him. Anything else is, in Wyden's words, distraction.

Sen. Wyden's Stimulus Meeting: Was Sam Invited?

Senator Wyden was in town on Monday and held a meeting to discuss the impact of the federal stimulus plan on Oregon. Invited were local leaders, including all of the usual city hall suspects. Missing, however, was the mayor. It's not clear, at least according to any source I've yet found, whether Wyden intentionally didn't invite Sam Adams, or if Adams received an invitation but declined. The Oregonian's article implies heavily that Sam wasn't invited because Sen. Wyden wanted to avoid "distractions".

So what's the reason behind Mayor Adams's absence? I called Senator Wyden's office in DC for and answer and was referred to his Portland office, who does his scheduling. I've put in a message with the staffer who will have an answer and expect to hear back in a day or so. I'll keep you posted.

Why does this matter? Because Senator Wyden is a powerful and influential representative of our state. He has publicly stated his strong disapproval of Mayor Adams's actions relating to his relationship with Beau Breedlove, but has also withheld further comments, including his support or lack thereof, until the attorney general's investigation is conducted. We want Wyden to support our mayor and to work with him. A deliberate snub on the senator's part is not productive or in keeping with what's best for our city, especially when the economy is teetering on the brink of disaster.

What's a bigger distraction: inviting the beleaguered mayor to the meeting (ie., moving on), or not inviting him and raising eyebrows at the omission?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Have A Crush On Sam Adams

I'm not sure what it is that makes me so wildly happy about this video:

It could be any one of these charming things:
1. The hulk gloves!
2. The tool belt and elbow pads!
3. The UKULELE (a man after my own uke-strumming heart)!
4. The fact that he's on camera acting like a complete dingbat to make valid points about supporting small businesses and sustainability.

Sam Adams makes me feel warm and fuzzy about my city, naked Breedlove photoshoots or not.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why We Are All At Fault

I strongly encourage you to check out this article written by Stephen Humphrey in The Mercury.

The more the dust settles, the more thoughtful and poignant the writing seems to become about this.

I Never Lie, Except for Just Now

The Trib has posted a piece concerning lying, the lying liars who lie, and how that describes most of us.

So with the understanding that most people are dishonest, there is the question of what conditions make people lie: needing to further social status? Convenience? Being backed against a wall? And what's an effective litmus test for determining when the dishonesty of a public figure goes too far and damages irreparably his or her credibility?

A good point, very succinct, that explains my perspective:
"Now, Lattin says, liberals will defend liberal politicians and conservatives will defend conservative politicians caught in lies. “There’s always going to be somebody who says, ‘You lied, but it’s not a big deal,’ ” Lattin says. If there are enough of them, you stay in office."

The continuum upon which popular sentiment falls about dishonesty is a necessarily complicated and fascinating one. The piece leads to a relevant thought experiment for those of us who wonder why our opinions align the way they do about Adams, and about the privacy issues, morals, and honesty of all public officials.

Timothy Egan in the NYT

Pulitzer Prize winner and NW local Timothy Egan has written an opinion piece about Sam Adams on his blog in the New York Times. He draws the obvious parallels between Adams and former Portland mayor Neil Goldschmidt, who repeatedly sexually abused his babysitter when she was 14.

Egan clearly isn't necessarily in support of Adams, but he makes some interesting points and speaks to the fallibility of the human condition, in addition to our capacity for forgiveness.

Worthy quote:
"Now Adams, with the support of some in this immensely tolerant city, will try to carry on — the first openly gay mayor of a major American city, with an asterisk.

That footnote holds a lesson, the words a wise Portlander told me long ago: Heroes are hard to come by, he said, especially when the lot you have to choose from is the human race."

Shameless Self-Promotion

I'm pretty proud of the interview I did last Friday with KPAM's Bob Miller for a couple of reasons: 1. It was 6am and I still managed to be coherent. SIX in the AY EM! 2. While we disagreed, Bob and I had an good discussion that I felt was respectful, thoughtful and productive. I also love his charmed chuckle when I told him I'd grown up listening to him on KEX.

Have a listen!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Adams News Recap For Tuesday

This was published last night, but with updates: Senator Ron Wyden states publicly that he "strongly disapproves" of Adams's actions, but will not state his feelings about the mayor's credibility until the results of the state attorney general's investigation are released. Initially, the report stated that Wyden had stated he'd lost faith in Adams, but that turned out to have been Commissioner Nick Fish. My take on Wyden's statement is that he, like many of Adams's supporters, feels disappointed with the mayor's dishonesty. His withholding judgement until the investigation concludes indicates that he doesn't feel Adams has lost the credibility he needs to lead at this point.

Adams spokesperson Wade Nkrumah has resigned as of yesterday. There aren't yet a lot of details about this resignation other than it was voluntary and Adams was disappointed with the announcement. Adams's chief of staff, Tom Miller, has stated that he makes it his policy not to comment on personal matters. Plenty of speculation has come out of this announcement, and until more is said, it's hard to comment.

Anyone attend the rally today at noon?

Support Sam: Today at Noon

At the rally Friday, folks were handing out flyers that there'd be another demonstration today at noon, also in front of city hall. While I haven't heard a lot more about that event, I encourage everyone to dig up their signs from Friday (or make new ones!) and go down there. Why, when Sam has agreed to stay? Because our mayor faces an uphill battle in rebuilding credibility with his commissioners. We can write all the letters we want, but showing up at city hall and making a stink has a more visible and potentially wider impact.

I wish I could make it, but I've got work obligations. Please, though, if you work downtown, if you didn't make it Friday and wish you had, or you'd just like to support Sam Adams, walk/ride/ride down to city hall today at noon. And let me know what happens afterward!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Because She Pissed Me Off

Maybe you remember last week when I posted while on hold during an interview with KPAM's Victoria Taft? She needed 5 or 10 minutes to play some ads mid-interview from the folks who support her show, and to dig up some clips to play for me from an interview with Mayor Adams, discussing his relationship with Breedlove.

I'm sure very, very few of the readers of this blog heard the show because, frankly, it would probably make most of you want to scream. I haven't heard it, either.

Victoria Taft's show is the worst kind of conservative media: inflammatory, inaccurate and judgmental without having facts. She told me I had "lost it" for supporting Sam, made weakly-masked insinuations that my opinion on this matter holds no water because I don't have kids (and therefore don't have the best interest of "THE CHILDREN" in mind), made it very clear that she thought I was a nutjob after knowing nothing about me other than the fact that I write for this blog, belittled my interests as a cyclist, and then was rude enough to hang up on me when she wasn't able to rile me to her satisfaction.

I've found her blog, where she ripped off a post from this site without crediting me. She pisses me off, which is exactly her intent. That's really all I have to say.

Wonks R' Us: Right On

Eva Schweber knocks another one out of the park with her latest take on The Oregonian's inflammatory editorials.

We all owe it to ourselves to read what she has to say.

Fritz Supports Adams, Sort Of

Commissioner Amanda Fritz has posted a statement concerning Sam Adams's decision to stay in office. I'd characterize it as cautious but honest. She's not falling all over herself to forgive Sam, but I appreciate that she's made a public declaration that 1. she thinks the mayor can meet the challenges the city faces, and 2. she is willing to work with him in order to do so.

Thank you, Commissioner Fritz.

What's Next?

The first thing my coworker asked me this morning was, "so what's your next cause gonna be?" Honestly, the way last week left me feeling like I'd been hooked up to a chain and pulled down a gravel road by a truck with a "GOD HATES FAGS" bumper sticker, my agenda item for now is focus on letting things get back to normal.

"Normal" in this context means having a mayor in office with credibility amongst his constituency. Now that Sam has decided not to resign, those of us who support him have our work cut out for us. With the release of the Oregonian interview with Beau Breedlove yesterday, sentiment has shifted away from Sam a bit. I saw a lot of folks saying, "I supported him before this, but this is really the last straw," yesterday after the article's release.

What we need to do to continue to voice our support is to communicate directly to city hall. Write to our commissioners and tell them you want Sam to remain in office and that it's in the best interests of the city for them to set this aside as much as they are able and work together. Here are the email addresses for all four commissioners:

Amanda Fritz,
Randy Leonard,
Dan Saltzman,
Nick Fish,

I love this city. I want it to prosper. As a city and a nation, we're up against a set of challenges that will make the next few years potentially very tough for a lot of people. Let's make sure this doesn't get in the way of our leaders' ability to focus and get us through it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Adams Releases Statement

According to one of those little red "OMG BREAKING NEWS!!!1" boxes over on, Sam Adams has released a statement saying he's not leaving.

"Embattled Portland Mayor Sam Adams released a statement Sunday evening saying: "I will work harder than I ever have in my life to meet the challenges facing our great city." He did not reference a decision not to resign but instead asked Portlanders to judge him by his ability to deliver results for the city."

I have no idea where KATU got this info, but I'll be scouring the interwebs for details. More when I find 'em.

For now, it appears we have our mayor back.

UPDATE: okay, here we go-- details of the statement.

Here is what I think: it is a politically smart move. He's humbled himself before the city, asked for our forgiveness, and moved right on to what he wants to do. There is no justification of his actions, just "let me prove myself to you again." It leaves me feeling like supporting him is the absolute right thing. Why? Because even after the last week, Sam Adams is still focused on what's best for Portland. That, in my opinion, is a mayor worth keeping.

Well Said, Carly

Carly Nairn of the Daily Vanguard makes some excellent points.

One of my favorite excerpts: "What else has he lied about? Probably nothing that concerns any of us."

Sing it.

BikePortland: CONFIRMED - Sam is Still Our Mayor

Jonathan Maus reports that he talked with a "high-level staffer a few minutes ago and was able to confirm that Adams will stay."

Oregonian Talks to Breedlove

Here's the Oregonian interview with Beau Breedlove that everyone's getting their panties in a wad about this morning.

For the record: doesn't change my mind.

WW: Sam is Staying

This just in: Willamette Week is reporting that Sam Adams will announce today that he does not plan to resign.

Since it seems sort of speculative at this point (WW: source?), I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's really true. I'll report back when I have confirmation either way.

UPDATE: this news is apparently from a voicemail left by Mayor Adams for commissioner Randy Leonard.

Video: Sam's Response Yesterday Morning

KATU has a lengthy video this morning (link is to an article-- click the "video" link under the picture of Sam), showing the conversation reporters had with Sam on his way into city hall to meet with commissioners yesterday. It's the same stuff we've read quoted since then, but it's sort of nice to see our mayor, pained as he looks.

We're still with you, Mr. Mayor. Hang in there.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I've been amassing an ever-growing list of awesome photosets from the rally. Thought I'd share 'em with you all.

"Sam Adams Don't Resign" pictures over on Facebook
Carye Bye's Flickr set
Subfictional's Flickr set
Jonathan Maus's set on
PDXPipeline's Flickr set
Zen Four's Flickr set
Urban Mermaid's Flickr set
Dugless's picture of one of my favorite rally signs
Adams Carroll's picture of the sign on the east side of the Hawthorne bridge (hey man, I think I've fixed your laptop...)
My own silly Flickr set

Want to add a link to your photos of the rally? Leave it in the comments!

Donation Update

Thanks to the generosity of many, many Sam supporters, we're over halfway to the $250 we need to cover the rally expenses.

Since I have a freebie Poor Person Paypal account, I can only accept 5 credit card funded payments per year before I have to upgrade to the Rich Guy Paypal account. Unfortunately, I've reached my 5/year limit and can't accept any credit card payments. We can still accept other forms of payment, though!

My sincere thanks again to everyone who has helped out.

We're With Sam

This is the best video I've yet seen of the rally, ironically posted by The Oregonian.

No commentary about "dozens of supporters!" or irritating editorializing. Just us being loudly and proudly in support of our mayor.

Enjoy: you helped make it happen.
City Hall rally in favor of Sam Adams

We Made A Difference

Quoted from KATU's article about Mayor Adams's announcement this morning that he will not make his decision today:

"On Saturday, Adams said he heard about the rally and called it "incredibly heart-warming."

"I was ... really touched," he told reporters."

I hope at some point I can shake Sam's hand and tell him, face-to-face, that I'm with him. Hopefully after he's announced that he'll stay.

Thank You, Mercury Supporters

The Mercury has publicly stated they think Sam should stay.


No Decision Today

Guess we have a little bit longer to wait for a decision regarding whether Sam will stay in office. More updates thanks to the Trib have indicated that today's not the day.

Meetings With Commissioners

The Mercury's blog is reporting that Sam's scheduled to meet with city commissioners at 10am, 11am and 1pm. Sounds like the press is still gathered outside, but no one save staffers is allowed in.

More info as soon as I get it.

Call for Donation Help

It took some money to make the rally happen.

Marc Acito spent most of the day downtown yesterday, pounding the pavement between government offices in order to make sure we had all the sound equipment and city permits we needed. Did you know a city noise permit is over a hundred bucks? Yeah, me neither. He also schlepped across town about two hours before the event and rented us a generator when it became clear that we wouldn't have a way to power the sound equipment without one. He was generous enough to cough up the cost of this stuff because, well, he's awesome. He also felt it was worth it given the potential outcome of the rally.

Sue Brown, who is my co-conspirator on this website, bought much of the materials used for making the signs used at the rally. Like Marc, she ate this cost because she believes in what we're doing.

Bottom line, it was about $250 (Marc and Sue, correct me if I'm wrong) to rent/buy the materials that made our wonderful rally possible. I'd like to help defray the costs these folks incurred and that's why I've added a Paypal donation button over there on the right so that any soul who's willing can help. I won't be accepting donations for any more than was spent, so if/when we have that amount (*fingers crossed*), I'll take the button down.

Even if it's a buck or two, we can help Marc and Sue out if enough people donate. Thank you in advance, you sweet, Sam-lovin' people.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Stand By Your Sam

Was that rally mindblowingly great or what? From Marc's artful MCing on the teeny tiny stage to Dan Savage's perfectly scathing speech to Storm's improvised version of "Stand By Your Man", I'm hard-pressed to say anything that would do it justice. What made the event so astounding above and beyond all of that was the gazillion of you who showed up. It was hard to tell from where I was standing, but I've heard estimates of anything from 500 to 1,200 people in attendance. Geez! Kick ass!

The Mercury's reporting that Sam's expected to make a decision tomorrow. Does this mean he was waiting to see how the public turned out to support or condemn him? I'd like to think so, because that means we stand a good chance at making a difference in his decision.

On a somewhat unrelated note, my boyfriend was just telling me he was googling me earlier and up came a conservative blog, mocking my calling us "people in support of Sam". Apparently this makes our movement known as "PISS". Heh!

And with that, I'm done for the day.

Time To Go!

I'm about to hop on my bike and head downtown to get ready for the rally. Before I do, I want to say a couple things.

The support folks have shown for Sam in the last couple days has been astounding. Folks have offered up their help, their imagination and their inspiration. I'm overwhelmed by the number of people in our city who feel strongly that Sam Adams is a mayor worth fighting for, and whose absence from public life would be a tragedy for our city.

Special thanks to Marc Acito. He's been an unbelievable help to me today as I've been stuck at work. He's done all of the legwork for the rally tonight-- everything from gathering noise permits to renting generators to talking to the police to acquiring rally speakers-- and I can't thank him enough for all he's done to help the cause.

I'll see all of you tonight at City Hall, 5:30pm!

This Just In

From an anonymous source at city hall, I just received this forwarded email:

"I took a look at TrackIT today to see how many people emailed Sam on Portland Online. Under the “just want to say hi to Sam” category, there were nearly 700 since Monday. I exported them to excel and did a little math. These numbers are approximate, as I couldn’t read every message. You can tell where they stand by the subject line in the message, and sort in that way.

20% stay
80% resign

54% stay
46% resign

80% stay
20% resign

93% stay
7% resign

1/23 (as noon-ish)
88% stay
12% resign

There are another 228 in the “other” category.

Again, these numbers are approximate… but I think they’re telling."

Amazing. We're making a different, folks!

NOTE: Here's a link to where you, too, can 'Just Say Hi' to Mayor Sam Adams at Portland Online

Marc Acito is A Genius

Just got off the phone with Marc Acito, who attended the press conference downtown at noon. It sounds like it was a rousing success! He's rounded up quite the lineup of speakers for the rally tonight.

It seems like support for Sam is overwhelming today. Word is that the "recall Sam" rally today at 10am was pretty small, while we're expecting a huge crowd.

Images: Making Signs for Sam

Thanks to Carye Bye for taking pictures and creating a Flickr set of the sign-making festivities at Roots last night.

As you can see, the creativity and wit shown by the folks who came out was nothing short of totally awesome.

Sam supporters are becoming some of my favorite people! I can't wait to see the gazillions of them all in one place tonight!

Storm Large Confirmed

Storm Large is coming to the rally! She'll be singing a few songs and helping to set the tone we need to make it clear that we're not going down without a fight!


Marc Acito Joins Rally

Marc Acito, Portland author and winner of the Oregon Book Award for his comic novel "How I Paid For College", has agreed to speak at and MC for the rally tonight. It's also looking more likely that Storm Large will be present, perhaps singing and/or speaking.

This is getting big, folks!

Lauderdale Announces Press Conference

Some possibly good news first thing this morning: Pink Martini's Thomas Lauderdale has emailed Sam supporters stating that Sam has decided to stick it out. There will be a press conference today at noon at City Hall featuring community leaders and elected officials, speaking in support of Sam.

I wish I could be there but, y'know, I have a day job.

Portland Tribune article, which also contains a list of possible replacements for Sam. Okay?

What I Hope For Today

I hope Sam won't resign.

I hope he'll go to work.

I hope the rally tonight will be incredible. It's looking like it just might be...

I hope to affect some real change.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thank You

I just got home from the sign-making shindig and I'm overwhelmed by the turnout. Thank you so much to everyone who showed up and made (hundreds of) signs. There should be mention of the event tonight and the rally tomorrow on the KATU and KOIN 11 o'clock news broadcasts.

My sense is that support for Sam is really taking hold and we'll have a great turnout at the rally tomorrow. If we can raise awareness that a huge part of the city wants Sam to remain our mayor, I think we have a great chance of making a difference in how this all turns out.

As for me, I'm exhausted. This has easily been one of the craziest days of my life. I'm supposed to get up and talk to Bob Miller at KPAM bright and early in the morning. I grew up listening to Bob Miller on KEX when I was a kid, so that'll be... weird. I hope it doesn't go like the Victoria Taft (had to look up her name!) interview did. Amusing, but probably not productive.

I'm signing off for the day. Here's hoping the rally is amazing and we can affect real change tomorrow. I'm hopeful.


I'm on hold with KPAM's Victoria Somebody-I've-Never-Heard-Of. Clearly my ignorance of conservative Portland talk shows is biting me in the butt, because this chick is using every trick in the book to provoke me. It's sort of funny.

All these years I've screamed at the TV when some conservative was spouting some nonsense and finally I'm able to be heard. Still it's sort of like talking to a very conservative brick wall who wants to make me out to be someone who doesn't care about the CHILDREN!!!

Good thing they have 20 minutes of ads so I can tell you all about this. Supposedly next on the agenda: playing Hollie some REALLY AWFUL Sam Adams sound clips so that she will have no choice but to admit that she is in the moral wrong! Clearly I will lose!

Great Victoria quote: "Clearly you've lost it!"

Oh, Victoria.

Speakers Needed

Things are developing fast and furious: I spent most of the afternoon talking to the media and trying to get the word out. What we really need for the rally is a keynote speaker. Ideally, someone meeting the following criteria:

1. Portland resident
2. Public figure
3. Sam supportive

It's been difficult finding people willing to speak; the reaction to this issue has been unpredictable, even (especially!) among the GLBT community. Also, since it's apparently a "sex scandal", public figures don't want to get near it with a ten foot pole. I know they're out there, but being as I don't have a lot of contact with folks everybody knows, I'm sort of hard-pressed to locate anyone willing.

If you or someone you know would be willing to holler into a megaphone in downtown Portland tomorrow night in favor of our current mayor, please let me know ASAP.

One more phone interview and then I'm off to Roots Brewing to make signs and talk to KATU. Hope to see you there!

Anyone Have a Megaphone For The Rally?

We still need to dig up a megaphone for public speaking at the rally tomorrow night. Can anyone let us borrow theirs?

Dan Savage To Speak

I just heard from Dan Savage, and he's agreed to say a few words at the rally tomorrow. Awesome.

Also, who wants to make signs? We're meeting up tonight at Roots Brewing (1520 SE 7TH in Portland) at 6pm to make signs for tomorrow. All are welcome! We'll be in the new, big room.

Hope to see you tonight!


I've done a couple of radio interviews (OPB and KPAM) and have contacted KATU-- the word about the rally is getting out!

Listen for me on OPB! Maybe!

Confirmed: Dan Savage

This just in: Dan Savage will be at the rally tomorrow.

Guess I'll be able to plant a big wet one on him. If I can catch him.

I Called Mayor Adams's Office

I asked him to attend the rally tomorrow. This was, of course, via his "personal comment line" and given that he's not in the office today, I'm not sure he'll get it before tomorrow.

Anyone who knows of any other way to encourage him to attend the rally, please take it upon yourself to do so.

Oregonlive Recaps "Think Out Loud"

If you missed this morning's broadcast of OPB's "Think Out Loud" talk show, which focused on Sam Adams, Oregonlive has kindly recapped it.

Dan Savage?

Seriously? The Merc is claiming Dan Savage might be in attendance at the rally. Not sure how much truth there is to this, but how awesome would that be?

On a personal note, if there was ever a gay sex columnist I wanted to plant a big wet one on, it'd be Dan Savage.

Ahem. Back to work.

Lauderdale and Van Sant Support Rally

Oregonlive is reporting that local celebrities Thomas Lauderdale of Pink Martini and director Gus Van Sant will likely attend a rally in support of Sam Adams.

UPDATED: It's Time To Rally For Sam

Rally in Support of Sam Adams, Mayor of Portland

Please note that the date and time have changed from the earlier announcement.

When: Friday, January 23th, 5:30pm
Where: Portland City Hall
Who: Sam Adams supporters who feel that his two decades of committed service to the city of Portland by far outweigh his honesty about the details of his (legal and consensual) sex life. Our trust is not broken because he made a mistake when cornered with an inappropriate question.

Join us.

Reminder: OPB's Think Out Loud

This morning at 9am OPB's "Think Out Loud" talk show will be focused on Sam Adams.  This is a good opportunity for us to voice our support in a very public way.  Here's how you can participate:

1. Call the show and voice your support: 888-665-5865
2. Participate in the discussion online during the show.  You'll need to register beforehand.  With registration, you'll be able to post comments that have a chance of being read on the air during the broadcast.

If you do participate in the show, please be sure to mention this site and the Facebook groups in support of Sam.  

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Link to a Letter to Sam

Eva Schweber* of the "Wonks R Us" blog writes a letter to Sam Adams, asking him not to resign: 

*She also went to Reed AND Lewis & Clark.  A woman after my own heart.

Rally To Do List

I've never organized a rally/demonstration, but I feel strongly enough about building a strong voice in Sam's favor that I'm willing to take the lead.  

Notice I say "lead".  Obviously I need some help.

Here's a list of stuff that I imagine will need to be taken care of:

1. Date/time and location, all need to be legal!
2. Find some folks who would be willing to get up and deliver some positive words;
3. Volunteers to make and hang signs before the event;
4. PA system;
5. Contact local media (Willamette Week, The Mercury, The Portland Tribune, The Oregonian, KATU, KGW, KOIN,, etc.);
6. Actually hold the event.

So I'm issuing a Formal Call for Help.  Please, if you can help with any of these things, contact me ASAP in the comments.  We need to get rolling with this.  

24 Hours of Sam Adams Tweets

BlueOregon has posted a summary of the last 24 hours of Twitter posts in reaction to the breaking Sam Adams news: 

Opposing Forces

The purpose of our vocal support is to balance out the coverage in the local media that so far has been focused on calling for Adams's resignation or recall.  There's a blog for folks who want him to resign, which I think we'd be wise to keep an eye on: 

Recall Sam Adams

The site's author puts is best: "[Sam's] power is derived from his supporters."

OPB's "Think Out Loud" To Discuss Adams Scandal

Tomorrow (1/22) at 9am on OPB (91.5FM in Portland) talk show "Think Out Loud" will discuss the Sam Adams scandal.  Listen in and join the discussion.  

Better yet, call in and show your support for Sam.

Rally for Sam

In light of the insistence of some media outlets (The Oregonian, The Portland Tribune) for Portland Mayor Sam Adams to resign over the "scandal" involving his admission of lying about a 2005 relationship with then 18-year old Beau Breedlove, Portlanders who feel this has nothing to do with 1. his record as a public servant or 2. his ability to continue to fight for the good of our city are rallying in his support.  An investigation of his conduct is expected in the next six months, which will be a critical time for those who support Sam to show that SAM IS STILL OUR MAYOR.

At a minimum, I want to hold a rally to support Sam.  Certainly more details will surface about this case and the investigation, and I feel strongly that there needs to exist an organized group to support our mayor as this inevitably turns uglier and more tangled.

Thanks for visiting and stay tuned.  In the meantime, post your suggestions/ideas for ways we can show our public support for Mayor Sam Adams.