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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Here's your reminder that we are now less than a week away from our May primary election, SO IT'S TIME TO FILL OUT YOUR BALLOT. But before you fly into a full-blown panic, the Mercury is riding to the rescue with our 100 percent trustworthy endorsements, and (for those in a hurry) our handy-dandy Voter Cheat Sheet! (It's especially good for those who loathe reading. And speaking of reading, let's read some only partially loathsome NEWS.)


• While it's still tentative and a final vote will be cast on June 12, Portland City Council has approved Mayor Wheeler's $8.2 billion budget, in which financially troubled bureaus like PBOT and the fire department will be saved by funds scraped away from the Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF), which is supposed to be paying for the city's future climate projects... but here we are. (Note to the conservative haters who won't stop bitching about Portland's progressive policies: I guess our ideas saved your bacon this time, didn't it?)

• On the topic of climate plans: Five local environmental and transportation safety advocacy organizations are suing the Oregon Department of Transportation, and demanding a moratorium on the $1.9 billion Rose Quarter freeway expansion program on the grounds that it runs counter to the city and county's plans for climate action and neighborhood development (and is also absolutely terrible for the environment as well as the health and safety of Portlanders). Our Taylor Griggs has the deets!

• Portland and other cities in the metro area is reportedly still losing people to the suburbs, but not nearly as much as they were in recent years. Roughly 4,170 residents high-tailed it out of town from July 2022 to July 2023, as compared to the prior year when we lost 8,500 people. And for those who are convinced that Portland's urban problems are what's chasing folks away, wake up and smell the coffee: The Rent Is Still TOO DAMN HIGH (which is a fixable problem, if we cared enough about facts instead of political histrionics to repair it). 

• Speaking of "too-damn-high-rent": City Auditor Simone Rede's office has released a report showing that Portland officials spent $5 million from a tax on developers who refuse to produce affordable housing on bureaucratic costs rather than using it to build low-income housing—which was kind of like the whole idea. And while the program has so far created  566 affordable apartments in 78 buildings since 2017, "city auditors found that those with the greatest racial and economic disparities struggled to access those units. They also noted that most of the affordable apartments created were studios or one-bedrooms, which don’t easily accommodate families or large households." (Another sad example, like in Measure 110, where a great idea is hobbled by a lack of planning from our elected leaders.)


• A tough loss for conservative capitalists as the Supreme Court shot down a challenge which could have severely restricted funding of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In a 7-2 decision, the Supremes ruled that the public protection bureau could continue to be funded by profits from the Federal Reserve, instead of an annual appropriation which could be stopped at any time by whichever party is in power (* kaff-kaff* Republicans). 

Michael Cohen returns to the stand today to be grilled by Trump's attorneys in the "orange turd's" NYC hush money criminal case. And while the defense is desperately trying to besmirch Cohen's (admittedly shaky) character, they are fighting an uphill battle to combat the tsunami of evidence against Trump HA-HA-HA.

• In other Trump trial news, several high profile Republicans have been showing up to support former prez Orange Turd at his trial—such as the weak-chinned House Speaker Mike Johnson who has labeled the case "an atrocity," leading many to believe Johnson does not A) support law & order, and B) know what the word "atrocity" means.

• I only have one problem with this scene: Who parks their bike on the stairs?

• Despite the assumptions of many Americans, the nation's economy is looking a lot better as of late with the Dow index (made of 30 blue-chip stocks) breaking past the 40,000 threshold for the first time ever, signaling that inflation is finally cooling. (So spread the news to your friends who refuse to believe otherwise!)

• And finally... the weekend needs to get here. NOW.