Mayoral candidate Sho Dozono landed in hot water during an April 21 KGW-Oregonian televised debate, when opponent Sam Adams pointed out that Dozono "would have the city join the Joint Terrorism Task Force [JTTF]."
If you weren't paying attention when Mayor Tom Potter led the ballsy 2005 effort to yank Portland cops from the anti-terrorism group—citing concerns about police oversight—the JTTF is a "multi-agency effort led by the Justice Department and FBI," according to the US Department of Justice, that does things like enforce the controversial Patriot Act.
During the debate, Dozono initially balked at Adams' assertion, saying, "I'm not clear as to where Commissioner Adams got that information about my position... I would clearly negotiate with the anti-terrorist organization to talk about my involvement as a mayor, as a commissioner in charge of the police bureau, to make sure we are part of that process, to make sure that we are not excluded from that process."
Adams shot back: "The conversation took place at 2 pm last Friday in the Mercury offices as part of their endorsement interview. My opponent was asked if there was anything he disagreed with Mayor Potter about. Luckily the conversation was recorded."
Indeed it was—audio of the endorsement interview exchange is posted at blogtown.portlandmercury.com. As Adams accurately framed it, our question for Dozono was which issues he and Potter disagree on.
"I think I would have dealt with the anti-terrorist situation differently," Dozono said. Hold up! Would he not have pulled out of the JTTF, we asked? "I wasn't in the conversation, but I think that's one thing people have criticized [Potter] for. But I don't really know exactly what his stand was." Well that clears that up... or doesn't, at all. When asked Tuesday morning, April 22, Dozono declined to clarify his JTTF position.
Speaking of mayoral decisions people disagree with: Potter opted not to include $150,000 for the Arts Partners regional program, an upstart that will eventually plug artists "into the education of every K-8 student in the region's school districts" by 2012, according to Project Manager Marna Stalcup.
"Kids don't get enough art these days," according to the colorful postcards landing at city hall in support of funding for the Arts Partners program. Stalcup explains that the requested city funding—just .6 percent of the city's $33 million surplus, as the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) points out in an action alert sent out to arts supporters—along with pending funding from Clackamas, Washington, and Multnomah Counties, would help the program leverage private sector funds.
"The City of Portland should be on the record as supporting arts education, to help us unlock potentially millions of dollars from the private sector," says Jeff Hawthorne, RACC's director of community affairs. If the postcards and emails don't sway Potter, Arts Partners supports will turn their attention to Commissioners Randy Leonard and Dan Saltzman.