Support BikePortland - Journalism that Matters

Hales’ campaign site removes reference to controversial article in The Oregonian

Posted by on July 16th, 2012 at 10:03 am

Hales’ campaign website.

The Charlie Hales campaign has significantly edited a page on their website that explains the mayoral candidate’s priorities on transportation.

Since the end of February, Hales has been parroting themes from an article in The Oregonian that blamed the City’s (alleged) priority on “bike routes” as a main reason why we don’t have enough money to pave and maintain “crumbling roads.” The article was the height of bicycle scapegoating and anti-bike sensationalism perpetuated by The Oregonian. The article received swift condemnation from the Portland Mercury, Mayor Sam Adams (who published a lengthy rebuttal) and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

Despite the questionable tone of the article, Hales made it a centerpiece of his campaign’s “roads first” (and by context, bike routes second) mantra. The same day The Oregonian article hit the streets (February 26th), Hales published a page on his website fully endorsing the article.

Given the frailty of our local public narrative around bicycling, I’ve been disappointed to see Hales pander to the The Oregonian’s anti-bike reporting just because he thought it would be a good political move. I’ve discussed my concerns with Hales and his advisors at length in the past several months, but the endorsement of the article remained up on their website. When I mentioned it again in a post last week, Hales defended his position in a comment on BikePortland. I took that as an opportunity to share with the public (via a comment in response to him) why I felt so strongly about his endorsement of the article.

This morning I’m happy to report that, over the weekend, Hales’ campaign edited the post on his website and the reference to The Oregonian article has been removed. Below is the text from Hales’ blog posting as it had read since February 26th (cached version here):

This morning, a front-page Oregonian story got right at something I have been saying: some of Portland’s priorities are out of balance. Today’s article took on misplaced priorities in street repair. It’s about time. In coffees, news interviews and front-porch conversations, I have said it loud and clear: We need to focus on the basics – our children, our streets, our local economy.

The subject of the O’s big story today highlighted poor performance by the Bureau of Transportation…

And here’s what it says now:

In coffees, news interviews and front-porch conversations, I have said it loud and clear: We need to focus on the basics – our children, our streets, our local economy…

I’m glad to see the Hales and his campaign distance themselves from The Oregonian on this issue. That paper has proven time and time again that, when push comes to shove, they would rather fan the flames of ignorance and divisiveness around our City’s transportation issues rather than address problems and solutions head-on. We need our mayoral candidates and local politicians to do more of the latter. If they do, the public will follow their lead.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

28
Leave a Reply

avatar
14 Comment threads
14 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
20 Comment authors
jim9wattsPatty FreemanEvan ManvelCharlie Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
A.K.
Guest
A.K.

In coffees? Does he mean cafes?

9watts
Guest
9watts

I thought your response to Charlie Hales’ comment here last week was masterful, and he seems to have taken it to heart. Bravo!

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

On at least a couple occasions, Hales has fumbled in his handling of certain ideas expressed in association with or in response to what’s been published in the media.

He came out looking bad in his efforts to clear up the confusion over what was published in the St Johns paper.
With regards to the Oregon road repair articles, he wasn’t careful enough to make an important distinction between the need for road repair and the true causes of the shortage of funding for it.

His comment to the bikeportland story Maus mentions was stale and formulaic. Overall, it makes Hales seem not too sharp.

Hart Noecker
Guest

I’m so not voting for Charlie Hales. This kind of backtracking and CYA politics shows a sincere lack of integrity.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

That’s kind of funny. Another example of where he’s maybe not watching closely enough what he’s conveying about himself in what he writes. One two-letter word, especially for politicians, can mess up the whole idea being expressed. He probably should have written ‘at coffees…’. Then he wouldn’t have provided such an opportunity for jokes. People should be able to make some mistakes and laugh at themselves though. If you’re a politician, just not too many mistakes, and not the wrong kind.

davemess
Guest
davemess

I think this is a perfect example of the chameleon that Hales is. He doesn’t really believe anything, but will just say what he needs to get elected. Thanks for calling him out on playing both sides Jonathan. It was quite obvious that he was saying he sided with cars in the made-up Oregonian bike lanes versus auto potholes debate. To then backtrack and say that’s not what he meant is very weak. At least Smith has had the cojones to come out and say “Bike infrastructure will not be my absolute top priority”. I can respect that, even if I don’t completely agree with his stance. There are other things in this city that need to get done as well.

And it’s not just bikes by any stretch. The O had a really weird article about he firing to John Spencer by the Timbers yesterday, that looked to alienate the team’s owner from the fan’s. They’re just trying to drub up readership and it’s sad, because there is so much great stuff going on in this city that they could actually report on.

Schrauf
Guest
Schrauf

Jonathan, stop helping Hales appear more logical, it might make it harder for Smith to beat him in November. =)

Okay, fine – I suppose less spewage from both sides is better for us all.

Garlynn
Guest

Charlie was always good for bikes the last time he was in City Hall, so I took his position on this issue not as anti-bike or anti-bikes spending, but more as endorsing the idea that transportation spending in general needs heavy scrutiny if we can’t even find the cash to keep the streets in good repair. Those ideas are not mutually exclusive, so I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one, based entirely on his track record in the 90s. Jefferson Smith has no such track record of supporting bikes and transit to stand on, so I would focus much more on his words with regards to these issues — is it just empty rhetoric and posturing to gain election, or does he actually understand the trade-offs required to balance a budget and deliver services?

dwainedibbly
Guest
dwainedibbly

So which is/was the real Charlie & which stance is/was pandering? How do we tell?

Joe in St Johns
Guest
Joe in St Johns

When I saw a neighbor with a bumper sticker on his truck that said “CHARLIE RIDES A BIKE” ( and knowing full well which Charlie being referred to) my cynicism ramped up a notch or two regarding Hales. Or five notches, actually.

Opus the Poet
Guest

Something I have been heavily promoting to my local City Council was that bike infrastructure could extend the life of city streets by moving heavy motor vehicle traffic away from the edge of the road where it causes the fastest deterioration. Bikes do hardly any damage to roads, and moving motor vehicles away from the edges puts them in areas that have more tolerance for the pounding that motor vehicles cause to road surfaces. More bikes=less potholes.

Evan Manvel
Guest
Evan Manvel

Quick notes:

-Jefferson voted against the highways-heavy transportation gas tax in 2009 (HB 2001), a signature bill of the House Speaker. He was one of only a handful of Democrats to do so (Rep. Nolan was another).

– Jefferson also made making transit stops safer a signature issue for him, an important issue to constituents in his district. His pilot project to introduce classical music at the Max stop coincided with a 41% reduction in crime. (http://www.politifact.com/oregon/statements/2011/jan/22/jefferson-smith/rep-jefferson-smith-says-classical-music-pilot-pro/

Jefferson has been working on equity issues for a long time, and working against the CRC boondoggle for a long time.

And Bud Clark had no elected experience before becoming mayor. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bud_Clark

You can get a Charlie Rides a Bike sticker from the Hales campaign.

Patty Freeman
Guest
Patty Freeman

Really stymied by the bike community and their reaction to Charlie. Is this Jonathan leading the lemmings? Charlie Hales has an exceptional record. Ask Mia Birk. I’ve seen him in action, and he is not only a huge bike supporter, he’s effective. Frankly feel that Jonathan is missing the proverbial boat.

jim
Guest
jim

So much for BP being un-biased and politically nuetral.