Shooting the messenger

Portland's badly soiled reputation has been making news over the last couple of days. First, the city's lame duck mayor, Dud Wheeler, publicly scolded the critics who are saying on billboards what everyone knows, namely, that the city is being mismanaged into deep oblivion. OPB has the scoop:

“People should be proud of the work that the city of Portland is doing under withering circumstances to ensure the recovery of this city,” Mayor Ted Wheeler told OPB Monday morning....

Wheeler specifically pointed to the immense billboards erected in downtown Portland by an advocacy group called People for Portland. These billboards condemn the city’s crime and homelessness issues, placing the blame squarely on Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt and County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson. The billboards proclaim that the city is experiencing “record crime” with “murderers on the streets,” among other fearful accusations.

Wheeler, who is not running for reelection and has largely avoided the group’s critical gaze, said the campaign is wrongheaded for two reasons. First, Portland’s crime is on the decline. Second, he said that the billboards effectively disincentivize investment in the city from event organizers, businesses, tourists and prospective residents.

“We’re competing against other cities all around the country for jobs, for investments, for travel, for tourism,” Wheeler said. “We’re making it really, really easy for our competition when we have billboards that say, ‘We suck really badly here.’”

Well, gee, Mr. Well-Groomed Trust Fund Beneficiary. If you want people to stop saying how badly the city sucks, your job is to, you know, make it not suck so badly. That is a task you are clearly incapable of accomplishing. The "withering circumstances" are inside your head.

Besides, if somebody wants to scare visitors away from Portland, they don't need a billboard. Just have them drive around the city for an hour. Even if they never look up at a billboard, they'll see plenty that will make them take their money and run like a greyhound out of here. 

Better yet, have them park a car anywhere downtown and leave it unattended for a couple of hours. Or spend the night at the airport hotel where the gang bangers are shooting each other dead. Or line up at the security checkpoint at the airport when the psycho lady comes storming out of the rest room blasting her handgun.

Maybe Wheeler deserves to be on the next billboard. I hope they put him there.

* * * * *

Meanwhile, the city's rogue police union took a poll that reportedly shows that more than half of the residents of Portland would move out of the city if they could afford to. More than half. And substantially all the residents who were asked, more than four out of five, said they thought the city is moving in the wrong direction, with its best days behind it.

Now of course, since it's coming from the police union, this poll is immediately suspect. Those boys have a real hard time with the truth, always. And in this case, their survey sounds like it was a push poll designed to gin up voter opposition to the new police review board.

The brain child of the now-retired far-left City Councilwoman, Jo Ann With the Bullhorn, the tough new police review system was overwhelmingly passed by the voters when we were all high on Covid and George Floyd.  The idea that the public passed has since morphed into a proposal for a bloated bureaucracy – at one point they were talking about 33 board members, 56 staff, day care, bodyguards, and more – but at least it would hold a dirty cop responsible every now and then.

And the union can't have that. 

So they want another vote. I hate to break the news to them, but I'm a "no" on anything the union gets on the ballot. I think the current plan is a fiasco, but if the union's in favor of a different setup, I'm against it.

I'm grateful for their poll, which serves as a nice response to the mayor's little hissy fit on the radio. But even if the survey is right about how the public feels, and I suspect it is, the question remains whether the police union is part of the solution or part of the problem. Given the ineffectiveness of the current police force despite its all-time record budget, and given that the union is there primarily to cover for the lazy, the crooked, the racist, and the other unfit, put me down as saying "problem."


  1. Folks who think Portland police are lazy should do a ride-along and see what shifts in North, Central and Eastside precincts are really like.

    1. Portland is an autonomous zone. I don't recall the last time I've seen a police officer on patrol within the city. Maybe y'all can just start with, you know, visibility outside the wire. THEN we can start talking about ride-alongs.

    2. It simply helps to have an informed opinion. Portland has enough snarky ones.

  2. I’ve been around for many decades. I’ve known many cops. City and county sheriffs. One constant in our conversations is “how do you handle the constant activists assertions about racism”. The response is always, “if the crime happens in front of me, I have a choice. Let it go, and therefore contribute to the rot of the culture or make an arrest and endure the baseless accusations”.

  3. Again, blame us is all they got. All that shattered car window glass covering the streets is just an illusion. All those horrible piles of the most random garbage all over the sidewalks is just an illusion. All those crotched over people hovering in a door frame lighting a make-shift foil pipe is just an illusion.

    Sorry I have the "They Live" glasses on and I ain't taking them off.

  4. Through Ted’s eyes
    Are the bluest of skies,
    The police are at the call
    And the streets are safe for all.

  5. Yeah. The Police! Yeah, that's the ticket! The cops. Or so sez Tommy Flanagan

  6. It’s a DHM poll. Solid over many years.

  7. Wheeler et al refuse to grasp and acknowledge the declining trajectory.


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