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A rally, and a resurrection?

Posted by on January 24th, 2009 at 2:28 am

Rally for Sam Adams-23

There were plenty of funny
signs (the one on the
right says, “No prying =
No Lying”.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Friday night’s rally in support of Sam Adams brought hundreds (500-600?) of Portlanders to City Hall. It was an astounding moment of cohesion for a city that had seemed to lose its way in the past few days.

The mantra of the night was “Get back to work!” On signs and on stage, there was a feeling of forgiveness and a sense that many Portlanders just want to see Mayor Adams take the reins of our city once again.

Emcee Mark Acito introduced several local business owners and other community leaders who came to the mic and simply said, “I’m with Sam”. It was a powerful message that seemed to crescendo as the event went on.

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Rally for Sam Adams-28

Rally for Sam Adams-15

Singer Storm Large provided a musical interlude, first with “America the Beautiful” and then with custom lyrics set to the Tammy Wynette classic, “Stand by your man” — but her version was of course, “Stand by your Sam”. Here’s an excerpt from the lyrics (read them all over at the Mercury):

    Sometimes it’s hard to be in Portland.
    Giving all you got to this guy Sam.
    You’ll have bad times,
    He’ll have some good times,
    Doing things that you don’t understand.
    But if you love him,
    You’ll forgive him,
    Even though he’s hard to understand.
Rally for Sam Adams-29

Someone was passing out
stickers with this
thought-provoking message.

There were a few (I saw two or three) anti-Sam protestors among the crowds, but, other than loudly criticizing everyone as being “disgusting” and other things, they didn’t have an impact on this event. An anti-Adams rally held earlier in the day on Friday was also not too well-attended.

Public support and momentum for Adams has grown considerably in the past two days. Hollie Teal, the woman who sparked this rally by launching the Sam is Still My Mayor blog on Wednesday, shared an interesting set of stats that shows a major shift in attitudes about the Adams scandal over the course of this week.

According to an “anonymous source” at City Hall, there have been around 700 emails sent to Mayor Adams since Monday (through the official TrackIt system used by the City’s website). On Monday, 80% of them called for his resignation. By Friday that number had shrunk to just 12% in favor of resignation and 88% saying he should stay.

Those numbers capture a shift in mood from Wednesday morning when I wrote that Adams’ prospects did not look good at all. Several advisors/friends I spoke to before writing that story, are now starting to feel like Adams’ mistakes are something they can forgive (but not forget).

Rally for Sam Adams-25

Hollie Teal organized the rally.

The question remains; can this swell of support and the positive spirit that reverberated throughout this rally be enough bring Adams back from the dead?

He’s slated to meet with his fellow Commissioners Saturday morning and then make an announcement this weekend of whether he’ll stay or go.

I’m sure he’s watching the video from Friday’s rally and hoping, if he does choose to stay, that enough people will “stand by their Sam” to help get him through the tough times, and hard work, that lie ahead.

Where you at the rally? Did it impact your thinking about Adams’ future? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

— For a more thorough rally recap, read Matt Davis’ report on the Portland Mercury blog. For more photos of silly signs and faces from the crowds, check out the Photo Gallery.

UPDATE: Below is video of the event from The Oregonian:

City Hall rally in favor of Sam Adams

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

77 Comments
  • Travis Wittwer January 24, 2009 at 2:45 am

    The most poignant phrase from this post is “Adams’ mistakes are something they can forgive (but not forget).” For me, the “they” comes to mean “Portland”. This is how I feel. Sure, I cannot just gloss over and forget the lying aspect of this situation. However, I can forgive (if there is even a need to) a person who has done much for Portland. My thoughts are with Mayor Adams and I hope the news by the end of the weekend is news of still-Mayor Adams.

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  • Randonee January 24, 2009 at 2:50 am

    I wasn’t their. I am not in town. IF I could have been there i would have been. I will be there if and when Sam Adams has his vote to stay. He deserves to stay, and work to regain his support. Sam Adams history to Portland Oregon is to great to stop him now, being that this goes back a few years. We need to look ahead. Look at the past, Sam as done far to much positive back then, so he will do nothing but good now. History. History, History. Those who know history, know it repeats itself, Sam has good history.

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  • Randonee January 24, 2009 at 3:02 am

    Jonathan – I have a Permanente address in Portland. What I wonder is, if this doesn’t work out and he resigns is, do you think he would have a heart, and place, in our cycling world? I believe he has to much to offer to Portland, and some are just to blind to see it. I wish I fix all, I love Sam Adams, and I feel his lack of being honest was wrong, but it shouldn’t have been an issue. Being that, Sam deserves his past and a present.

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  • Hart January 24, 2009 at 3:19 am

    Everybody email every one of the corporate shills listed here and tell them you want Sam Adams to stay as Mayor of Portland Oregon: http://biz.oregonian.com/newsroom/?act=cntc

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  • Bug Eater January 24, 2009 at 3:20 am

    I went to the rally tonight because I wanted for Portland and Sam to know that while I don’t condone his lie, I can forgive him for it. Like many others, I have been on an emotional roller coaster ride in the past several days, and I’m angry too. Those of you who have posted comments here and in other places are being heard, and you have some valid points. But I am willing to move past this. It seems to me that ending his political career over this issue would be a waste of a bright mind, and an inspired leader. I’m not going to turn my back on him 3 weeks after he took office for a scandal that began as a lie to protect his personal life. Sam needs to get back to work, doing the job that we put him there to do. At the rally the atmosphere was really uplifting, and I felt my anger washing away as Storm Large led us through “America the Beautiful” and “Stand By Your Sam.” I will stand by him, because he’s going to be remembered as a fantastic mayor….albeit with a regrettable *

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  • Hart January 24, 2009 at 3:46 am

    Sam Adams did nothing regrettable. If lying to a $h¡t rag “newspaper” like the Willamette Weak is a crime, Sam should be COMMENDED for it. Good for him.

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  • JR January 24, 2009 at 5:53 am

    Agreed Hart.. The WW, Oregonian and Tribune are all in the same category in my opinion – a waste of paper. I occasionally get emails from some of their writers to write stories about the neighborhood I volunteer in – I never respond. We have local newsletters and newspapers that are far more effective at reaching individuals in our neighborhoods and less likely to screw the stories up. It’s sad that there’s a void in local news, but these news outlets simply aren’t worth the time of day.

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  • Amos January 24, 2009 at 7:21 am

    I was there. It was truly inspiring.

    After having forgotten for a few days I am once again reminded why I love this town.

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  • heather January 24, 2009 at 7:35 am

    At the rally, the suggestion was made to email all the commissioners ASAP to let them know we don’t want Sam to resign.

    It was also suggested that we contact the newspapers that called for his resignation to tell them they made a mistake, but that we’ll accept their apologies too.

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  • Caroline January 24, 2009 at 7:40 am

    I went to the rally, and I was so happy I did. It made me pleased and very proud (again this week) to be American. I felt somehow part of politics, as the mayor’s constituent asking he get back to work. Because that is what I was doing.

    I dragged a skeptical friend and by the end of the friendly and powerful, but succinct, rally, he was convinced to forgive (the good Christian that he is).

    Memorable moments were Dan Savage waxing his love for and jealousy of Portland, Storm Large’s “Stand by Your Sam” and the great slogan signs. I also heard a very clear, and echoed through the crowd:

    “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone”

    Give me one person in Portland who has not lied, and one person better ready and able to lead Portland, and you can work on a recall. But I will not work on that recall with you, because I voted for — and still would vote for — Sam Adams. I will give him the respect and that he deserves.

    The media is always hungry for terrible, fearful, dirty, and disgraceful news, and what with the inauguration’s happy toll in Portland, they went into a nasty withdrawal. Happy news doesn’t sell! (Did anyone notice how the major news teams didn’t seem to be filming last night? They just stood there, uselessly. Were they looking for something more disorganized? Violent? Meager?) Let them suffer as we reject their pathetic attempt to stir us with news of wing-nuts who oppose Sam Adams. Our mayor’s past sex life isn’t news. It isn’t our business. And we’re wasting our time making it his business.

    Get back to work, Mayor Sam Adams!

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  • Curt Dewees January 24, 2009 at 8:42 am

    Sam made some huge mistakes, and I’m sure he is regretting them. He’s a very smart guy, and I’m confident he will learn from his mistakes and do better in the future. In a way, it’s good the get this “scandal” over and done with so early in Sam’s first term as Mayor. Now we can can all move forward and focus on the things that are really important to us here in Portland.

    Mayor Sam, I forgive you and support you, and I know the overwhelming majority of my friends and neighbors do, too. Let’s get back to work!

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  • caryebye January 24, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Wow, what an amazing rally we got together in just a couple days. Hollie thank you so much for your leadership. Thanks Jonathan for you continued coverage.

    I just heard that many business leaders are meeting today to decide what Sam’s fate is. Many of us here are business owners too, somehow we need to come up with a list of business owners that do support Sam Adams as our Mayor.

    We have no time to waste, as Sam needs to make a decision probably by Sunday.

    I will start.

    I support Sam Adams as my Mayor

    Carye Bye, Red Bat Press

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  • caryebye January 24, 2009 at 9:02 am

    Here are photos I took of the rally. We had tons of paper from the sign making Thursday, so I set up a sign-making station, and I loved how creative everyone was with their signs.

    Being surrounded by smart, educated, hard working Portlanders last night who support Sam was incredible.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/redbat/sets/72157612924351134/

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  • caryebye January 24, 2009 at 9:11 am

    Oh and email all the commissioners today of your support of Sam to be our Mayor. They are meeting individually with Sam today.

    Amanda Fritz, amanda@ci.portland.or.us
    Randy Leonard, rleonard@ci.portland.or.us
    Dan Saltzman, dan@ci.portland.or.us
    Nick Fish, http://www.portlandonline.com/fish/index.cfm?c=47691

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  • Debbie C January 24, 2009 at 9:20 am

    My vote for best sign at the rally: Get over it Portland – He’s your mayor, not your boyfriend.

    Seeing the range of people who crossed the stage to publicly support him – from the arts, literature, business owners, zoo bombers, etc – reminded me of why he would be a great mayor and why we should support him. What type of stuffed shirts do you think would stand up and support someone like Sho?

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  • Caroline January 24, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Who’s Sho? 😉

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  • robert January 24, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Do all of you believe that the Mayor and this young man did not have sex until his 18th birthday or are you willing to forgive him anyway even if he did have sex with a minor?

    Just curious. This is not an opening statement to an argument from me.

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  • Joe Rowe January 24, 2009 at 9:48 am

    I emailed Sandy Rowe of the editorial boar, no relation thank goodness.

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  • crunchysue January 24, 2009 at 10:02 am

    caryebye said:
    “I just heard that many business leaders are meeting today to decide what Sam’s fate is.”

    Since when do *business leaders* decide a mayor’s fate? Isn’t that the job of the entire voting population? Where does that statement come from, caryebye?

    Just curious.

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  • John Peterson January 24, 2009 at 10:15 am

    I’m still pretty ambivalent about Sam and the whole deal…I mean what would your reaction be if it was your son or daughter getting involved with him? It would give me the creeps…. but if I thought my son or daughter was mature enough at 17 to make that decision and was not being manipulated… and also if Sam followed the Dan Savage rule of inter generational sex (which I believe is “leave them better off than you found them…”) ….
    anyhoodle I was never very impressed with Sam in the first place (mostly cause he is so pro developer)….I think we could get a better mayor…I think that the bicycle community will thrive without him as mayor.

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  • Paul Tay January 24, 2009 at 10:23 am

    What City Hall looks like without Sam.

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  • Richard January 24, 2009 at 10:27 am

    My favorite sign of the night read: Let the one who has never fucked a hot 18yo boy cast the first stone.

    It could have been stronger without the “boy”. Less provocative, sure, but stronger.

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  • Erik Sandblom January 24, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Instead of worrying about who is having sex with whom, we (ok I don’t live in Portland) should be talking about who is getting killed. 42,636 people died in car accidents in the USA in 2005 and these people can’t have sex at all because they are dead.
    http://www.car-accidents.com/pages/stats.html

    Sam Adams has worked to give people safer alternatives to driving cars. If this work is stopped because of a sex scandal, how many Portlanders won’t be able to have sex at all because they died in car accidents?

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  • Ride the high road January 24, 2009 at 11:09 am

    While I feel great sympathy for Sam. I’m sure he would give anything to not be in this place, to be able to take back the relationship and lies that, now after confronted with the truth, he freely admits were wrong.

    As a person who has worked in government for 15 years. I am acutely sensitive to unethical actions by our public servants and electeds that lead to devastating breaches of public trust. With out that trust we can not effectively govern and no substantive dialog exists between the public ant their government.

    To me it’s clear that Sam lied for his own personal gain, smeared others and sanctimoniously acted in a way that put his benefits above that of the citizens. He violated government ethics and broke public trust. As a public servant elected or appointed we are rightfully held to a higher standard. Our ethics rules do not allow us (the servant)to determine under what circumstances is it OK to lie or act unethically regardless of what some electeds prefer to do, for example Blagojevich.

    Where do we go from here? While I support many of Sam’s polices I question his ability to govern and lead. Unfortunately if not handled correctly in the public’s eye this will hang over his head for the duration of his career. In my estimation his young career is far from over. I would advise him to live to govern another day. For accountability sake, to atone for lying to get elected, resign now. Show that you are serious in your apology and set the example that it’s not OK for you or any public servant to lie, or act unethical for personal gain.

    Clean the slate.

    Continue to work for our community and run again when the time is right. He will get farther with more credibility and trust in this manner that attempting to stay under such circumstances.

    Keep in mind that Portland will survive with out Sam or any official. They are not Portland we the voters are. Our values, issues and priorities are what elects our officials. We continue to set the agenda and we hold their license to operate.

    We’ll get through this and I hope Sam can to in a manner that restores the most important element at risk here which is Public Trust, not his career.

    Peace-

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  • JE January 24, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Accepting those with no integrity to lead us is what got us to where we are today.

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  • Hart January 24, 2009 at 11:33 am

    We all would be fighting to keep our jobs if the Boregonian or the Willamette Weak put our sex lives on their front pages.

    That’s the point everybody keeps forgetting: Sam did nothing wrong. To even consider resignation only validates the idea that the public has a right to know what a man or woman does in their bedroom.

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  • Sandy January 24, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Hart:

    If this were actually about sex (Which it’s not, unless it turns out that beau was 17)then you may have a point.

    It’s not about sex.

    And should the Oregonian or the Willamette Week put my sex life, or any other aspect of my life on their front page, my job would still view me as has having the same high level of integrity that they see me as having now.

    I’m young, but the decisions I have made in my life are good. I have nothing to hide. I have nothing to lie about, and I have the integrity to not lie about it if I did.

    I refuse to live my life believe that everyone has something to hide. That’s a sad, pathetic, depressing viewpoint.

    Count me as lucky – I’ve got hope.

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  • steve January 24, 2009 at 11:53 am

    500 people is “an astounding moment of cohesion for our city”?

    What a bunch of crap! Will you be sure to retract that after his resignation?

    This has nothing to do with his gayness. The “wait sam’s gay?” poster is so sad. Portland voted for him knowing full well he was gay. This is about him being a lying, pudgy pederast. A corrupt one at that!

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  • Sandy January 24, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Agreed Steve. And seriously, does anyone really care what Storm Large thinks?

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  • Chilly Willy January 24, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    I’d like to thank Scoutmaster Sam for dragging sustainability into the gutter. Anyone who thinks he’s done nothing wrong has warped values, period.

    P.S. Any tips on where I can find a hot 17 year old to mentor?

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  • steve January 24, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    I still can’t believe that cyclists are tying themselves to this trainwreck.

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  • Andrea January 24, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    I refuse to give in to the notion that it is okay for politicians to lie. If you have conviction that your private life is off limits, then you refuse questions on your personal life rather than make up an elaborate lie.

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  • Hart January 24, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    I refuse to live my life believe that everyone has something to hide. That’s a sad, pathetic, depressing viewpoint.

    Oh, really? Then tell everybody here right now the details of you last sexual encounter. You got nothing to hide? Bull$*¡T, kid.

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  • Hart January 24, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    500 people is “an astounding moment of cohesion for our city”?

    There were far more than 500 Sam supporters in front of city hall last night, and considering this rally was organized less than 36 hours prior, and considering it was only advertised online, and considering it was held at 5pm when few people could get out of work in time, I’d say that speaks volumes as to where the public opinion rests, especially since the Sam haters could only gather a couple dozen lunatics who just want a chance to scream “faggot” through a megaphone.

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  • Sandy January 24, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Wow Hart, that’s some class. I could answer this question as Sam should have, which is “None of your business”.

    My last sexual encounter was with my fiance. If you really want to know the details, be more specific in your question.

    But if you really want to know the details, then it sounds like you’re the one with the giant problem.

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  • steve January 24, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    To the troller named hart-

    SInce you, nor Jonathan appear to be able to speak about this without grandiose hyperbole, I will have to take your crowd estimates with a sizeable grain of salt.

    I think you are forgetting that every large local editorial board is calling for his resignation. These same boards SUPPORTED him as a gay mayoral candidate. The police association is calling on him to resign, and has alleged him to be in violation of the city’s ethics rules.

    Oh yeah, Sam is under official investigation now for his alleged illegal activities. Hell, the local gay paper has called for his resignation!

    But, i suppose a couple hundred dorks with bike helmets on?! represent an “astounding moment of cohesion”.

    I have never been more proud to NOT be a member of the cycling ‘community’. Even though I ride a bike every single day!

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  • Dan Reed Miller January 24, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    To reiterate what others have said a million times: yes, he lied. But It was a question that never should have been asked in the first place, even of a public figure. And lying (about sex or anything else) is not a crime if not under oath. Should the lies or omissions or crafty words you have offered in the past about YOUR sex life disqualify you from YOUR JOB?

    I’ve never seen such a feeding frenzy and rush to righteous judgement on the part of the mainstream print media. As Carl said the other day, can’t they just go about their job of going out of business?
    People make the point that Portland can live without Sam as Mayor. Probably true, but we can live without the Oregonian too. There’s work to do. As another fellow said the other day, the time has come to leave behind childish things.

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  • steve January 24, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    To reiterate what others have said a million times-
    He lied about an alleged relationship with a minor. A perfectly legitimate question to ask, by the way. He then used that lie to attack others and accuse them of being bigots. Classy guy, eh?

    It would also take a simpleton to ignore the absurd hiring of Amy Ruiz to a position she is clearly not qualified for.

    He has clearly violated the city’s ethics rules by creating an ‘Appearance of impropriety”. Those are not my words, they are the words that Sam is beholden to as leader of our city.

    I am done with this nonsense. I will just swing by in a day or two (after his imminent resignation) to say- “I told you so!”

    Randy Leonard for mayor!

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  • Dan Reed Miller January 24, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    oh, and it is no hyperbole to say the crowd was 500 or more. It was at LEAST that. It was BIG, and it was all kinds of people.

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  • Scott January 24, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    I’m with Steve. Sam failed the most basic and perhaps easiest ethics exam.

    1. Don’t have a sexual relationship with someone that might be construed as a subordinate, let alone an 18 year old that is 24 years your junior (had the kid even graduated high school?!?!).

    2. Don’t indignantly lie to the electorate.

    The least we should ask of those who manage our precious public resources is that they have a modicum of integrity. Sam’s support of the bicycle community shouldn’t give him a free pass.

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  • Rixtir January 24, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    To the troller named hart-

    A guy whose only discernible reason for visiting this site is to post one anti-Sam diatribe after another is calling other people trolls?

    hahahahahahahahaha

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  • steve January 24, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    rixter, I have been on this site for years. WTF are you talking about?

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  • Rixtir January 24, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    My mistake then. I haven’t seen you post on anything other than the Sam Adams scandal (although, to be fair, that’s probably all anybody is posting on at the moment.).

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  • Uh Huh January 24, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Give me one person in Portland who has not lied, and one person better ready and able to lead Portland, and you can work on a recall.

    We’re supposed to hold our leaders to a higher moral standard. George Bush was a “regular guy” that people wanted to have a beer with…and look where that got us.

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  • DT January 24, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Hey steve-

    I was also at the rally. There was a wide swath of people there – not just bikey-folk, not just gay folks – and there were at least 500 people. That is not an exaggeration.

    To your other points – the whole Amy Ruiz thing? Speculation. Beau being a minor? Speculation.

    If you are so hell-bent on the TRUTH, you’ll wait for the results of the investigation.

    But you don’t give a rip about the truth. Nothing criminal has been proven. You smell blood, and you go on the attack. Pedophile? Seriously? Give me a break. Inflammatory name-calling does wonders for your argument.

    What we have is someone who lied about a legal consensual relationship. If you think that suddenly makes him unfit to be mayor, then you have the right to your opinion. Others have the right to believe that his apology (and public pillorying) is sufficient.

    Let’s keep this focused on what we know ACTUALLY happened, and not on speculative clap-trap perpetuated by publications already known for their inflammatory “journalism”.

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  • Coldswim January 24, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    My wife and I attended last night. This was our first “protest” that we’ve ever been to so I was a little nervous having the possibility of being the only ones there, having others with different views yelling at us, etc. I was doing it more to support her than for any conviction on my part. We rode our bikes from N Portland to Downtown. We aren’t regular bike riders but have recently been trying to ride more and finding the fun and freedom in it. Man, it was cold last night.
    The rally went really well and I got over my fears pretty quick. We bought green and orange tee-shirts, wrote messages like “PDX needs solutions not tabloids”, “Sam’s Personal Life NOYB”, and things like that on the shirts. We had fun.
    As for where I personally stand… I can see both sides. I feel that Sam was asked questions that he shouldn’t have had to be asked. If there were legal issues then they should have been looked into at the time. Sam’s lie doesn’t get me since he wasn’t under oath and I feel that it’s not relevant to his job. Sam asking Breedlove to lie for him gives me a little twinge. But what’s swayed me to support Sam is the fact that I can’t begin to imagine what pressures there might be for a gay man, especially in politics. It wasn’t too long ago that being gay wasn’t even accepted. I’m not gay, but I can imagine the societal fears that someone like him must go through that could cause him to make some of the decisions that he made. Not being in his shoes, I can’t make judgements on what he did. I feel that he didn’t hurt anyone and none of this has anything to do with how he’d perform his job. So for the good of Portland, I’d like Sam to stay in office…that is if all these scandal loving, self righteous people could leave a man alone to do his job.

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  • dan Kearl January 24, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    I am kind of afraid to weigh in on this for fear of ‘HARTS’ rath. Really he needs to get some perspective. Not everyone who thinks Adams should resign is an ‘anti-Sam” bigot. I have posted here that I think the punishment is too big for the crime but I am not sure he can be effective any more. I am sure that somebody else in this city can be as effective if not more than Sam Adams for the bike community. ” Hart” seems to take this really personal which is too bad since most of the posters I have read are pretty conflicted by this as it is a really sad affair. Perhaps you might calm down a bit.

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  • Anonymous January 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    QUESTION: “Since when is sex between consenting adults anyone else’s business?”
    ANSWER: When you run for public office and your opponent accuses you in the press of having sex with a minor. Voters want to assess your character and judgment. Regardless if it was legal, many do care about the age difference and would consider that when voting. Sam knew that; so he lied, and in so doing circumvented the democratic process. He asked the teen to lie. He lambasted his opponent as the liar and hid behind the gay card. Then, when a Mercury reporter couldn’t decide who to believe, he hired her as his advisor on sustainability planning despite the fact she has NO qualifications for that in a city full of planners.

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  • peejay January 24, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    rixtir:

    It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you post. Where’ve you been?

    OK, I’ll say my piece now. Maybe Sam should resign, maybe he shouldn’t. Tough question. But to all the newspapers who have called for his resignation, can you please show me how many times you called for the resignation of the biggest criminal ever elected to public office, George W Bush? Because if it wasn’t EVERY DAY since the facts came out about his letting 9/11 to happen (not in a conspiracy theory way, just the negligence), or his lying about the causes of the Iraq war, or his torture policy, or his spying on us, or his prosecution of the Iraq war long after Americans decided it needed to end, or his allowing Bin Laden to escape, or about fifty other things – each of which should have been sufficient to lead to his resignation, well, then you have no standing.

    Sam screwed up big time. But the screw-up is many orders of magnitude smaller than what our ignorant, smug, lazy media allowed to happen for the past eight years. So, let’s look at this story with a little perspective. I wasn’t at the rally by choice, because I’m not all that sure I need to show much public support for Mr Adams right now. But I’ll be damned if the losers in the media think they have any say in this story. I think the best thing might be if he publicly supports a recall election, and we all get to make our personal choice to forgive him or not.

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  • kww January 24, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    I have to say I read the article in that shitrag WW. IMO, what happened is that Adams ran across an opportunist in this 18 year old. No one is asking questions about that guy; do you wonder why everyone he fucks gives him a job? IMO, that is a prostitute, whose currency is different from your typical street trash.

    I smell blackmail on Adams of the WORST kind. His mistake was not keeping clean when he should of. But of course, that probably would of meant that he couldn’t of run for mayor.

    I say Adams keep your job!
    If there is an investigation on pedophilia charges, you have to look at the people making those allegations.

    And when you look at those people, you will see that they are scum, muckrakers, politicians who smell blood.

    I’m with Sam!

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  • steve January 24, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    peejay-

    Local papers, local Mayor. Are you really so obtuse as to not see the difference between Sam and Bush? Of course both Bushes, the Clinton twins, and our new pal Obama should all be stoned and forced to flee the country.

    None of that really has much to do with our pudgy pederast, Sam. Nor his lying cronyism.

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  • Rixtir January 24, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Hear, hear peejay. That about sums it up.

    The media is in absolutely no position to be calling for Adam’s resignation after rolling over for all of the lies– and crimes– of the last 8 years.

    And it’s not just the Bush regime they failed to hold accountable– the Oregonian sat on the Neil Goldschmidt story, and when they did publish it, they glossed over the crime. They weren’t outraged when a 30-something politician had sex with a 14 year old child, but now they’re outraged when a 42 year old politician lied about sex with an 18 year old adult?

    I wasn’t at the rally either, also by choice, for the same reasons, although I’m glad that it happened. At least it puts the protests by a few wing-nuts in perspective.

    (I took a leave of absence from most internet fora. Thanks for asking.)

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  • Spencer Boomhower January 24, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    I took some pictures last night:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/10167483@N05/3223065019/in/set-72157612905644175/

    and I’ll try to put up some video soon.

    I was on the fence about attending the rally, because I never was a hardcore Adams supporter; I voted for him, but had heard a few things about his approach to politics that gave me pause. Furthermore, my admiration for his very visible support for cycling was balanced out by things like his apparent support for a big-bridge CRC.

    Despite all that, I’m moved to defend Adams because of the intensity of the sh**storm this scandal has stirred up against him. I mean, why was this story higher on the front page than the Obama inauguration? The reaction has been overblown to the point of unfairness.

    So I decided to go to the rally in reaction to that reaction, more in defense of Sam than in support of Sam.

    Once there, I was really boosted up by the energy and positive spirit of the scene. I was even moved to make a sign, so thanks to Carye for bringing those materials.

    (BTW, I wouldn’t describe last night’s attendees as particularly “bikey.” They were fun people, but not neccessarily “bike fun” people.)

    Surprisingly, the event seemed like it could actually change minds, and maybe even help reverse what seems like an inevitable downward spiral – a downward spiral that will take us down with it a ways before it lets us up again.

    I firmly believe that if we railroad Sam Adams out of office without even stopping to take a breath, we’ll end up damaging our city – and simple justice – in the process.

    Why are we in such a hurry to add to the damage already done? Why not take a moment to cool down, and sort this out? We could probably do better than Sam Adams as mayor, but we could also do a whole lot worse. It’s worth thinking about.

    I’m glad people came out last night to provide balance to a discussion that had been pretty glaringly one-sided until then.

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  • Kevin Wagoner January 24, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    I really hope he stays!

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  • Will Radik January 24, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Thanks for supporting Sam. He’s the best!

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  • Brad January 24, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    I have learned two things this past week. First, it is time to leave childish things behind.

    Second, you should leave childish behinds alone.

    Goodnight! Don’t forget to tip your waitress!

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  • Zaphod January 24, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    I went to the rally on behalf of my family. I didn’t say much, I simply wanted to be counted.

    While I never wanted him to even consider stepping down, when the story first broke, I was really bothered and concerned. As time goes by I find myself less and less angry and bothered by the whole thing. I can’t find any interest in being angry… it just seems to get smaller and smaller. I fully grasp the issues involved and I think we need to simply “forgive but not forget” as was stated previously.

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  • dan January 24, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    I voted for Sam, and his pro-bike agenda played a big role in my decision to support him (well, that and Dozono’s lack of a clear message).

    But so what? Like everyone here, I want to see Portland become a more bikey city, but I think the means are as important as the ends.

    I had some reservations about Sam during the election when I read that other municipal employees described him as autocratic, and spoke of his temper. Now I think those reservations may have been on target — his behavior reminds me of nothing so much as one of those thieving CEOs, who will say/do whatever comes to mind to make themselves look good and hold onto their jobs.

    Consensual sex with someone above the age of consent is obviously not a concern… giving a city job to an unqualified applicant to buy her silence, on the other hand, IS a concern. It appears that Sam has done so, and if that’s the case, I don’t think he has the character that Portland deserves in its mayor.

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  • Anonymous Schwinn January 25, 2009 at 12:34 am

    1. If the relationship with Beau did not begin ’til he was seventeen, then from what someone else has posted already, the age-of-consent thing is technically not a legal issue and that aspect of the matter defaults to nobody else’s business. Stop wasting our time.

    2. Where’s Beau? Has he commented in any media? If he’s fine with how things went with him & Sam, three years down the road, then again, it’s nobody else’s business.

    This matters to me as someone who was sexually abused by a significantly older mentor, a powerful, power-hungry person well-respected in the community. My own experience began at a much earlier age and continued for a decade; negative echoes of it reverberate in my life to this day – decades later. If Beau was at least seventeen, he would have been more in possession of himself than a younger person, better able to see what he was getting into and have more potential to take responsibility for his choices – right on the edge there in contemporary, extended-childhood American society, but definitely a possibility (try telling a seventeen year-old they’re not capable of making their own decisions… uh-huh).

    3. Maybe some comment from Beau would clear the air, but since nobody was under oath three years ago, the ruckus from this is getting stupid, fast. If Sam coughed up his confession because the whole concealment thing was just bugging the hell out of him, then I say he’s a bigger man than me: that took guts.

    That kind of confession is coincident with a personal struggle for integrity which is worthy of respect (he could guess the consequences of his revelation). Even if his ability to keep it in his pants is – or was – problematical, the confession was a good thing, dammit, and should count as such.

    3. Sam can appoint whoever he chooses to city positions. Not to say that there aren’t many well-qualified planners in Stumptown who could do the job, OR that Ms. Ruiz is already experienced in the role. Sometimes what’s most needed is a good communicator, a leader, an outsider who can act on policy and use resources effectively.

    4. If Sam utilized staff employees to coach the kid in how to fib, then shame on him (and them). Don’t do that again, Sam.

    5. The fact is, I don’t have a dog in this fight, ’cause I’m not a Portland resident. I did, however, come this >.< close to moving into the city just long enough to vote for Sam.

    6. He’s come clean about this thing. I think it takes more than this to outweigh his skills and potential in the seat the people of Portland placed him in.

    Like always, the newspaper media’s most useful function is for lining bird cages. Can we move on now? Portland’s destiny to lead America into its bicycling future awaits…

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  • Hart January 25, 2009 at 4:45 am

    rixter, I have been on this site for years. WTF are you talking about?

    Get over it, and stop obsessing over your Mayor’s sex life too, kid.

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  • Zaphod January 25, 2009 at 9:00 am

    After reading the interview with Breedlove in the Oregonion I have changed my position. Sad day indeed. The line of demarcation is 18 and that’s it. Unless Breedlove is plainly lying, I can no longer support Sam. I’m mainly angry because he is otherwise a perfect Mayor in my mind with great vision for this city. For that, I am mourning. I hope there are others who can pick up the torch.

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  • Bye Bye Sam January 25, 2009 at 10:38 am

    If you are still in support of Sam, you’re nuts. Obviously he had relations with Breedlove when he was 17. To support your leader who would blatantly lie to get elected to cover up some of the worst judgment calls, abuse his powers of office, and then when forced with the scandal, half admit what he did but still lie about him being 18. If you still support him, answer me honestly… If we had a conservative anti-bike mayor, you would have called for his head last week!

    “The former legislative intern at the center of the controversy involving Portland Mayor Sam Adams says Adams kissed him twice when he was 17 and that their relationship had “crossed the line” toward romance earlier than Adams has acknowledged.

    Beau Breedlove, now 21, told The Oregonian on Saturday that Adams kissed him on the lips on two occasions before he turned 18 — once in Adams’ car and the other in the second-floor men’s room in City Hall after a party that Adams, then a city commissioner, had in his office.”

    Oh well, I don’t care if you still support him. He’ll resign today, and he’ll be indicted by a grand jury. He’s toast. There go all your wacky bike ideas. IT’S OVER FOLKS

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  • lacorota January 25, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Sad, indeed. Though I’m getting beyond it all, it looks like his goose is cooked. Is there something twined into the helix of politicians’ DNA prompting them to toss it all away so often? He was doing so well, supported by many, and showed promise to make a difference.

    I’m afraid his former supporters’ confidences are shattered. Who’s next?

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  • Rixtir January 25, 2009 at 11:36 am

    I was giving Sam Adams the benefit of the doubt until the facts come in . Well, the facts are in, and they don’t look good. While his actions were not illegal, they were also not appropriate.

    And when he “came clean,” he was still deceiving people about what actually happened.

    I went out on a limb to give him the benefit of the doubt. I stand corrected. He used deceit to cover up an inappropriate relationship with a 17 year old, and he used deceit again when he came clean. And all to save his political career. The time to “save” his career was before he became inappropriately involved with a 17 year old, not after.

    I’m also re-evaluating my opinion of Bob Ball’s actions. I felt that he was engaged in a self-serving smear campaign against Adams. Now , with these new facts, it appears that he may have done the right thing in bringing an inappropriate relationship to our attention.

    Portland’s fortunes won’t fall with Adams. There are other qualified people out there, people with more good sense than Sam Adams has displayed.

    Even Sho Dozono is pro-bike. Maybe not as out-front on the issue as Sam, but he’s still pro-bike. In fact, there were only two things I didn’t like about Sho– (1) he was put up as a candidate by the PBA, and (2) he is against expansion of the streetcar line.

    I’m ready to support the next candidate who can outline a progressive vision for Portland (and please, no more abusive hotheads in the office).

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  • Jen January 25, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    What are the Bike Nazis going to do when your Mayor is recalled?

    Go by STREETCAR!

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  • Hart January 25, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Sam is staying!!!!

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  • SJ January 26, 2009 at 7:51 am

    So that a man in his 40’s wants to date a 17-year-old but waits says good things about his judgment? If the school superintendent wanted to date a 17-year-old but waited until he turned 18, this would be OK? It says to me that Sam is immature at best. I’m 37 and can’t imagine risking my career on a fling with a 17/18-year-old. The lie hardly matters; his need to do this kind of thing won’t simply go away. Support him, fine. But when he “oops, I didn’t know he was 17,” don’t look for much sympathy. Anyone here have parents in their 40’s? Imagine them dating an 18- year-old? Perfectly fine, right?

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  • […] about a sexual relationship with a younger man. Bike Portland reports that Adams, buoyed in part by a strong show of support from the cyclist community, has decided not to resign from his office. The timing of the media […]

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  • Shawna January 26, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    If you think that it’s “gross” for a 40 year-old man to feel attracted to an 18 year-old, please tell it to all the middle-aged business men downtown who spend their lunch breaks getting lap dances from 18 year-old strippers. Portland, of all cities, has no room for moral indignation over such an age difference.

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  • steve January 26, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    That is a heck of a standard you use to judge our mayor by Shawna.

    Well the people at strip clubs do it, so it must be alright for the mayor too..

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  • steve January 26, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Oh, he was 17 by the way. Not only gross, but illegal.

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  • Shawna January 26, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Steve,

    I’m not judging anyone, which I think is the difference between us. I can judge what’s important to me here — Sam’s level of competence — by the last few years he’s worked for the arts and for transportation in Portland, but I won’t judge him morally for being sexually attracted to a grown man who was not yet an adult by Oregon law. Beau Breedlove was not a child, nor a “boy” when he introduced himself to Sam, and Sam is not a pedophile. These things are fairly clear to a lot of reasonable people who are otherwise, like me, not super thrilled with this situation.

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  • […] A rally, and a resurrection? BikePortland.org ,January 24, 2009 Singer Storm Large provided a musical interlude, first with “America the Beautiful” and then with custom lyrics set to the Tammy Wynette classic, … […]

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  • steve January 27, 2009 at 1:09 am

    A 17 year old is by definition a boy, just as Sam is by definition a pederast. A pudgy pederast at that.

    A 42 year old Mayor making out with an underage child in City hall is pretty messed up. Almost as messed up as your rationalizing of that behavior cause Sam pandered to whatever special interest you align with.

    Pathetic ya’ll are.

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  • steve January 27, 2009 at 1:11 am

    Also, it is ok that you are not judging him. The state attorney general is working on hauling his ass in front of a judge for all of us. No need to worry your confused little head.

    Amy Ruiz for Mayor!

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  • Tim D January 27, 2009 at 5:52 am

    Yeah, Sam messed up and I feel it would be a totally different subject if it were a 17/18 year old woman intern and a straight mayor. But at the same time, Sam has a ton of awesome ideas for Portland and just in terms of his politics I cannot think of anyone else that I would want representing me!

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  • Tony Fuentes January 27, 2009 at 7:04 am

    Hart and steve,

    Wow! You guys have displayed incredible endurance on this issue.

    My fingers would’ve cramped from the typing of hundreds of comments and lack of sleep – but Hart and steve? Unstoppable!

    In fact, I don’t see any end in sight for your on-going dialog and commitment to this issue…unless….

    hartandstevecagefight.com

    Yes, it IS time!

    I have grabbed the domain, you boys tell me when you are ready to rock!

    Flame on!

    Tony

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