With protesters fighting against cops on horseback, the May Day demonstration four years ago had more to do with anarchy than it did with labor rights. But that tone began to change last year, when the local carpenters' union took over the planning for the annual event. Last year, there were a few scuffles with police, but this year the most heated issues concerned rhetoric and debate over securing healthcare for all workers.
Standing at the Park Blocks in front of about 400 people on Saturday, a union representative talked about the origins of May Day, when a labor activist allegedly tossed a bomb into a crowd of police. One person cheered, but was quickly hushed by the speaker. PB
More than a month after a felony investigation was requested into a campaign contribution for mayoral hopeful Jim Francesconi, the Secretary of State still has no answers--and it may be from lack of trying. In April, a complaint was filed with the city's Election Division raising concerns about a donation from downtown developer Tom Moyer and his executive assistant Sonja Tune.
On May 16, 2003, Moyer, who owns Fox Tower, donated $500. That same day, Tune, who comes from modest means and is rarely politically active, gave $2,000. It is illegal to funnel money to a campaign through someone else.
But Fred Neal of the Secretary of State's office, who is responsible for the investigation, is keeping the investigation under wraps, only saying that it "remains active."
When the Mercury stated that it seemed like the investigation would simply consist of interviewing three people--Moyer, Tune, and the person in Francesconi's campaign who received the money--and requesting their bank records, Neal thanked us for our help and repeated, "It's active." When asked why a mayoral election investigation for the state's largest city seems to be moving at a glacial speed, Neal said, "People are welcome to draw their own conclusions." He would not say whether any answers would be arriving before the May 18 election. If you would like to ask Neal if he could speed up this investigation a bit, please contact him at (503) 986-1518. That's in Salem, so dial "1" first. The candidates' next round of Contribution and Expenditure reports will be available by Friday. PB