If Portland voters are upset enough with Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick to force a recall vote, they're not showing it with their pocketbooks.
Nearly a month after southeast Portland resident Ray Horton began campaigning to kick the pair out of office, contributions have barely dribbled in, Horton concedes—and what has come in has been focused on the mayor. According to what Horton says are current figures, the Recall Hales campaign has banked $389 in donations, $100 coming from Horton himself. The campaign to recall Novick hasn't seen any financial support other than $100 from Horton.
"People seem much more concerned with Hales than Novick, and I can certainly understand that," he says. "He's the big dog. They see him as the root of the problem."
Here's the rundown:
With about two months left until the filing deadline, Horton's effort looks doubtful. The campaign says it's got less than 3,000 signatures to recall each official, well under the 35,000 needed by October 9. But Horton's hopeful. He says that 3,000-signature mark is important for showing potential donors the campaign is viable.
"When we get that number we can get to some bigger funding sources and approach them as if we’re serious," Horton says. "Of course we are serious, but maybe they will take us serious."
For now, the recall efforts have roughly 20 volunteer signature gatherers, and Horton's holding weekly tutorials for people interested in canvassing. And even though what little financial support he's gotten has been focused on Hales, signatures are roughly even for both officials, Horton says.
The recall effort began in July, after Horton says he grew frustrated over ongoing efforts to implement a street fee. The campaign quickly began holding meetings with possible supporters, including one attended by Novick. Horton has also been sending out semi-frequent news releases critical of the two men.