OFFENDER LIST GROWS
There are now 427 people on City Commissioner Randy Leonard's "Project 57" list. According to the new head of the program, Bill Sinnott, these people are targeted for felony convictions and enforced drug treatment if they're arrested downtown for things like having a crack pipe containing drug residue.
Sinnott, the former boss of the Portland Business Alliance's Clean and Safe Program, revealed the statistics at a meeting of the downtown Public Safety Action Committee on Tuesday, April 8. Some defense lawyers are critical of the list for several reasons, including the fact that it affords harsher treatment to a select few based only on their arrest history, and not on actual convictions. For example, for those not on the list, arrest for a crack pipe with residue is charged only as a misdemeanor. The scheme's constitutionality, however, is yet to be challenged in court.
Leonard, however, tells the Mercury, "It will take a judge telling me, 'You can't do that anymore'" to change his mind about the program, which secured $900,000 in additional funding for this year, following the sunset of the controversial Drug-Free Zones. A two-million-dollar budget request to continue the program next year is pending. MATT DAVIS
SHOW THEM THE MONEY
The Citizen Campaign Commission (CCC)—the public financing oversight group—recommended a cut in funds to council candidate Jim Middaugh, the only publicly financed candidate in the short race to replace Commissioner Erik Sten. Middaugh, who was slated to get $200,000 if he makes it to the special election runoff (where he'd likely face Nick Fish), will now get $150,000, if the city council approves the CCC's March 31 recommendation. The council—where two members originally suggested Middaugh receive a pro-rated $66,666—will vote on the recommendation on April 9. AMY J. RUIZ