A GROUP OF RENOWNED Oregon conservatives appears to be closing in on the second effort to recall Mayor Sam Adams, after a grassroots effort led by political science student Jasun Wurster failed to gather the necessary signatures by October 5. The new effort has asked for an estimate from the same right-wing signature gathering firm that used convicted sex offenders to gather signatures for 14 conservative initiatives this summer ["Think Twice," News, Aug 13].
"We were contacted by somebody representing themselves as from the second recall campaign," says Ross Day, with Voice of the Electorate (VOTE), the signature-gathering firm. "We sent them a contract about three weeks ago, but we haven't heard back yet."
Day says the representative was a regular client of his, and that VOTE's bill for gathering the 50,000 targeted signatures to put another Sam Adams recall on the ballot "could be anywhere between $150,000 and $300,000."
"There's a lot of variables, the weather, the availability of circulators, and so on," he continues.
Day established VOTE earlier this year along with two other nonprofits operating under the shared name of Common Sense for Oregon, with his ally, former right-wing gubernatorial candidate Kevin Mannix. The Portland Tribune also linked Mannix's long-term adviser Jack Kane to the second recall late last week.
Mannix's statewide political efforts have run the gamut from "anti-obscenity" measures, to reducing taxes for the rich and corporations, to mandatory minimum sentences for drug addicts without the option of treatment. If he is indeed backing the new recall effort, then he will have some strange political bedfellows: Wurster launched the first campaign to recall Adams in the wake of the Beau Breedlove scandal, but has now taken a back seat to former State Senator Avel Gordly, who announced her role as spokesperson for the new effort in the Oregonian in late October.
Wurster told the Mercury, "I'm just the volunteer coordinator," and repeatedly refused to answer questions about Mannix and Kane's involvement in the new effort when contacted by phone last week. "I've gotta go," he said, ending the conversation.
Other would-be members of the new recall effort have all been conspicuously press shy over recent weeks. Mannix's assistant told the Mercury he was "out of town" when we called his Salem office this week. Gordly did not return repeated voice messages for comment, either. Meanwhile, Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle and auto dealer Ron Tonkin have also said they would be involved, but both were unavailable for comment by press time.