UPDATE, September 12, 4:30 pm: Aaaaaaand www.portlandersforwaterreform.com now leads to this very post.
UPDATE, 11:37 am: Tom Fahey, vice president of operations for Siltronic, says he has no idea why the domain would go to his company's home page. Fahey says he thinks the petition committee's eventual website will actually be found at www.waterreform.org, but that Siltronic hasn't been involved in setting up the site.
"I'm not sure why it's doing that," Fahey said, laughing. "I wanna try it myself."
Kent Craford, one of the central organizers of the push, said: "Somebody obviously registered that domain. We had nothing to do with it."
There's no question Portland industrial concerns want to snatch control of the city's water and sewer rates away from city council. Are they also buying up web space for the committee running that effort?
As we noted Friday, the group Portlanders for Water Reform has reported its first bit of fundraising—$25,000 from big-time water user Portland Bottling Co. The political action committee also posted an $800 expenditure for web design, which got us curious if a website for the initiative has cropped up yet.
At first blush, it appears to be evidence the company is helping the water group get its affairs in order—and on a more-personal level than merely cutting checks.
But it might, of course, be the work of someone who opposes the push and wants to highlight the connection between Siltronic and Portlanders for Water Reform. (Records behind who exactly purchased the domain are murky. Whoever made the buy also purchased a service to protect their identity.) That that connection exists is no surprise. Siltronic, Portland Bottling and others have stood with Portlanders for Water Reform organizers at a press conference and given interviews about their dislike of city council's management of the systems.
I'm waiting on calls back from backers of the petition effort for a new district.
If Siltronic did indeed purchase the address for the group, the domain may need to be reported as an in-kind contribution if Siltronic hands it over to Portlanders for Water Reform. To date the group's reported no such transaction.