So, you're coming to the next Brewhaha put on in association with the Bus Project next Tuesday. That's a given. But who are you going to witness, talking? Well, I'll be MC'ing the event, of course. So you get to "witness" me. But there's actually some other people, too, who are even more fascinating. Serious.
We'll have City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who won election last year using Portland's controversial Voter Owned Elections system. Fritz has been an outspoken advocate for more public involvement in city politics, and has been able to take frank, gutsy stands against issues like Major League Soccer and the sit/lie ordinance because she's not in anyone's pocket. We'll be interested to hear what she has to say. Let's hope some of her council colleagues also decide to attend and heckle from the audience...
We'll have former Democratic Representative Bob Edgar, President of Common Cause—fun fact, Edgar lost to Arlen Specter in the race for Pennsylvania senate, back in 1986. Still, Specter is a Democrat, now, so there's probably no hard feelings. And the guy has a TON to say about the role of big money in politics. Remember Billionaires For Wealthcare? Think about it.
We'll also have Oregon's very own Frank Sobotka, Joe Baessler from Oregon AFSCME. His organization has been funneling money to pro-union candidates for years. Ill-gotten money, probably, from human trafficking and the like. Best thing about Baessler? He's funny. And he totally won't phone the Mercury in a minute to protest about being compared to Frank Sobotka, because he can take a joke, just like his union. Which along with other unions, is totally running not only human trafficking in Portland, but Oregon politics in general, according to Bill Sizemore and the conservative ballot measure-teers. Right, Joe? [Ducks backlash]. [For clarification: AFSCME is totally not affiliated with any human trafficking. Or bribery. Or any Sobotka-like activities. As far as this reporter is aware.]
Lastly, State Representative Jefferson Smith, founder of the Bus Project, who's aiming to use grassroots organizing skills to defeat special interests across the state and country. The lobbyists may not like him, but Smith doesn't really give a damn, which is refreshing. Hear him roarrrrrr.
Oregon campaign financing? It's like the wil' wil' west. And as such, the theme of the evening, both costume-wise, and general attitude-wise, is as follows:
Brewhaha: Democracy and Drinks. Oh, shoot, I forgot, there'll also be spud guns. For you. To fire. No joke:
I'm off to meet with our insurance people.