The Portland Press Herald did not charge the Portland Regional Chamber for $46,507.74 in political advertising the chamber placed on behalf of the Elect Our Mayor - Yes On 1 campaign in November, in which Portlanders narrowly decided to have a popularly elected mayor. (Image of the form is below.)
Whether this is a donation to the campaign on the part of the Press Herald - or a donation to the chamber on the paper's part - is at present unclear.
Last week, I wrote about the campaign to bring an elected-mayor system to Portland.
Earlier this week, Cheryl Leeman and the Citizens to Retain Responsible Government held a press conference stating their opposition to such a proposal. They cited cost as their primary concern, saying that establishing such an office would cost about $150,000; the Elect Our Mayor; Yes on One campaign said the elected mayor's $60,000 salary would be "very modest."
Ben Chipman, a Green party member on Portland's Charter Commission, reports that the commission has preliminarily moved toward recommending instant-runoff voting as the method for selecting the city's mayor.
While there are legitimate concerns about IRV (as Al Diamon notes - though he misses another major criticism, which is the lack of proportional representation achieved through IRV), it does have the advantage of allowing people to vote for third-party candidates who may well lose, without feeling like they've wasted their vote when it could also have supported a like-minded major-party candidate.
With one week left before Election Day on Tuesday, November 3 (HOW is it almost November?), activists on all sides are pulling out their last-minute strategies. And local media outlets are overflowing with opinions too. (You can see our election coverage in this week's issue.)
At 10 a.m. tomorrow, Governor John Baldacci will speak in Bangor in favor of gay marriage and against ballot question #1.