After an audit finds Portland inflated its streetcar stats, a legendary loudmouth suddenly clams up.1:33 PM, Dec 16, 2014 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
Portland, Oregon, city commissioner Steve Novick is nothing if not verbose. Since his 2012 election, he’s used his publicly funded position to rail against DirectTV, driving around to look for a parking space, and–I’m not kidding–sitting in chairs. Rare indeed is the issue that the proudly progressive Commissioner Novick, a lifelong government employee, has yet to declaim upon.
Well, there is one. An audit released last week commissioned by the city of Portland found that public transit authorities have wildly inflated the ridership and on-time statistics for Portland’s streetcar. The Oregonian newspaper (which oddly called the infamously slow and shoddy streetcar service “renowned”) had the details:
The new findings show that estimated ridership hit 4.5 million from July 2013 through June 2014, 1.1 million less than the 5.6 million rides originally reported by Portland Streetcar Inc.
Auditors also found that Portland's claim of on-time service was flat-out wrong.
City goals call for streetcars to arrive on time 98 percent of the time, and officials stated that was happening. But in reality, streetcars arrived on schedule just 82 percent of the time, according to the audit.
Buried at the bottom of the article was this gem. “Commissioner Steve Novick, who oversees the Transportation Bureau, declined through an aide to comment on the audit.” (Later in the day, he did tell Oregon Public Radio that “improvements” to the streetcar were under way.) Novick’s city-sponsored blog, meanwhile, has been uncharacteristically silent since the audit was released–there hasn’t been one post since.
One would think that Commissioner Novick, a major devotee of streetcars, would want to weigh in. After all, streetcar projects nationwide are going through tribulations. Arlington, Virginia, for example, just cancelled its planned streetcar, and Cincinnati’s mayor recently said that the budget for streetcar in his city was “cooked.” I’ll grant that Novick is likely very busy fighting the great chair scourge, but he should take the time to defend the slow, expensive, and inconvenient form of “transportation” he has promoted for so long.
By 60 to 23 percent margin, fans said they would rather entrust the BCS than a committee. 6:04 PM, Dec 7, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Most college football fans are happy that the sport has adopted a 4-team playoff. The method of selecting those four teams, however, is another matter. This past offseason, McLaughlin & Associates asked self-described college football fans this question: “As you may know, college football will have a 4-team playoff starting next season.
5:05 PM, Aug 11, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The campaign of Democratic senator Jeff Merkley turned away three people from a "private event" in Hillsboro, Oregon, despite the fact that the people said they were invited to the event. A tracker with the campaign of Merkley's Republican opponent, Monica Wehby, captured the exchange between the three people and a representative of the Merkley campaign. Watch it below:
The astounding waste, corruption, and self-dealing of university student governments Aug 11, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 45 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
For anyone who follows national politics, there is no shortage of scandals and harrowing economic figures to buttress the opinion that our leadership is corrupt and incompetent. My own pessimism about government, however, is born of experience. I was foolish once and young; I even believed in The System. That was before I spent time in student government, a corner of campus life that is directly responsible for accelerating the degradation of our broader political culture. If, as P. J.
2:50 PM, May 20, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Monica Wehby is on track to win today's Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Oregon, and Democrats are already unloading on her as she prepares to face off against incumbent Jeff Merkley in the fall. Last Friday, a Politico article described a police report filed last year that alleged Wehby, a divorced mother, had been "stalking" and "harassing" an ex-boyfriend, local businessman Andrew Miller.
1:13 PM, May 15, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Monica Wehby, a Republican candidate for Senate in Oregon, leads her primary opponent Jason Conger by 17 points in a new poll by a GOP polling group supporting Wehby. New Republican, which has been running TV ads on Wehby's behalf, polled 500 likely primary voters in Oregon and found 41 percent support Wehby, a pediatric neurosurgeon and first-time candidate, while 24 percent support state senator Jason Conger.
Despite exorbitant costs, shuttered exchange, and FBI investigation.4:31 PM, May 6, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon defended Obamacare's record in his state, despite months of turmoil for the Oregon health insurance exchange that has ended in closing the exchange and prompted a federal investigation. One recent poll found 51 percent of Oregonians disapprove of Obamacare. Merkley, a Democrat who voted for Obamacare and is up for reelection this year, was asked by THE WEEKLY STANDARD to defend the law given its poor reception in his state.
But is she 'wimping out' of a primary debate?8:36 AM, May 2, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A new poll shows Republican Monica Wehby leading incumbent Democrat Jeff Merkley for the first time in the race for U.S. Senate in Oregon. The poll, conducted for the Daily Caller by Vox Populi Polling, asked registered voters who they are supporting in the race, with 40 percent saying they'd support Wehby, a pediatric neurosurgeon and first-time candidate, and another 5 percent saying they are leaning toward voting for her.
4:15 PM, Apr 29, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A GOP super PAC is spending more than $75,000 on TV ads supporting Oregon Senate candidate Monica Wehby ahead of the state's May 20 primary. The Oregonian reports that New Republican, headed up veteran consultant Alex Castellanos, will be airing ads in the Portland market touting Wehby as an "independent conservative" and "the change Washington needs now."
Watch two of the 30-second ads below:
4:50 PM, Apr 24, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Monica Wehby, Republican candidate for for U.S. Senate in Oregon, released a 60-second ad this week offering window into her biography. The ad features Lex Liebelt, an Oregon woman who discovered during her pregnancy that her daughter had a spinal issue. Her obstetrician recommended Liebelt abort the baby, but Wehby, a pediatric neurosurgeon, offered Liebelt "hope."
Is Oregon the sleeper race in 2014?9:27 AM, Apr 4, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Democratic senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon is polling ahead of his potential Republican opponents, but his position is weak heading into his reelection campaign, according to a new survey by a GOP polling firm. Harper Polling found Merkley is ahead of two possible Republican opponents but is still polling less than 50 percent against them. Forty-seven percent say they would vote for Merkley over GOP state representative Jason Conger, who polled 40 percent, while 12 percent say they are not sure.