portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary portland metro

drug war | human & civil rights | police / legal oregon elections 2004

Potter's Record, Reconsidered

Mayoral Candidate Tom Potter has positioned himself as a progressive with a vision. The truth is under his watch the number of paramilitarized police added to the force rose almost 3000% as patrol officers declined. Additionally police spied on demonstrators, and had a record number of killings...
Correcting Potter's Record

Former Portland Police Bureau Chief Tom Potter has cast himself as a populist. He has spoken about his vision for "Community Policing" and how it was lost in recent years to a more militarized model.

The truth is somewhat different. Potter while giving lip service to putting more cops on the street, gave Portland (and much of the Nation) a more militarized model of the police. Under his direction the paramilitary branch of the Portland Police Bureau grew by almost as much as 3000%, and the number of patrol officers shrank in proportion to the population of Portland. Shootings by police were epidemic, and were characterized by unusually large discharges of bullets - the FBI statistics at the time put us at the third highest in the nation. In addition to this, there was a blatant disregard for the rights of protest. In addition to demonstrations marked by liberal use of sweeps and pepper spray, there were scandals involving illegal infiltration and surveillance of legal peaceful protesters.


More Militarized Cops, Less Cops on Patrol
Part of the actual record is found in the February 1994 City Auditor's report. Potter's "Community Policing" was praised for adding 143 officers in 4 years. The reality is that the largest group of these officers were paramilitary in function. This report shows that under Potter's "Community Policing," the Tactical Operations Division grew from 2 officers in June of 1989 to 56 in January of 1994. That's an increase of 2800% over 4 1/2 years. Tactical Operations, is the division that includes the paramilitary SERT team. These are the cops that carry military style weapons, knock down peoples' doors and seize their property.

At the same time, the number of cops on the beat actually fell in relation to the population. While there were 440 patrol officers in June of 1989 and 481 in January of 1994, the population of Portland grew from 437,319 to 493,825, thus the ratio of precinct patrol officers to Portland's population dropped slightly. Moreover at about this same time the number of calls handled by patrol officers dropped from 625 officers in 1988 to 481 in 1993. This wasn't because there were more officers, it was because there was now a Telephone Response Unit (TRU) which handled complaints by phone with no officer follow-up. During this period the amount of calls handled by TRU rose from 43,594 in 1987 to 97,034 in 1993, an increase of 123%

That there was connection between this unit and Potter's vision of "Community Policing" is shown by the promotions that took place in the PPB's ranks under Potter. Every person who served as Lieutenant in Charge of Community Policing, was then promoted to Captain in Charge of Tactical Operations. This includes Mark Parisi and Greg Clark. What is the connection here?

Taking Property to Pay for More Cops
To fulfill Potter's vision of Community Policing required more cops. How were the cops paid for? Both locally, the newer officers were paid for through asset forfeiture. In plain English, asset forfeiture is property seized by the police. They confiscate the property, and sell it. Hence these police have an incentive to confiscate property to keep themselves funded.

It was also under Potter (and then Moose) that we saw the rise of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) and Gang Resistance Education And Training (GREAT) Programs. Both are now famous for going into schools speaking to kids. The DARE or GREAT Officer tells the kids how gang members and drug users dress, the music they listen to, the drugs they take, the effects of each of these drugs and how they're procured, and the crimes other kids commit to get these drugs. Inevitably, and not surprisingly, these kids have more run ins with the law, poorer academic performance and a higher drop out rate. (see footnote i.)

The relationship between Community Policing and Tactical Operations becomes clearer. The Community policing officers identify crime, or at least crime involving property which may be confiscated. The Tactical Operations Division then takes that information and takes the property and is able to pay for more cops.

This relationship was exported nationally in the federal COPS program. The COPS program aimed to bring 100,000 new cops on the street. Part of Clintons 1994 Crime Bill, this program provided seed money to place these officers in forces for a few years, then have them paid for through asset forfeiture. This was based on much of Potter's work in Community Policing and administered in part by Potter. The results of this are shown in the studies of Professor Peter Kraska. Kraska notes that by 1998 70% of those towns in the U.S. with populations under 50,000 had paramilitary SWAT, or SERT units, similar in training and weaponry to the paramilitary forces used by our own military. In those towns with populations over 50,000, the numbers jumped to 90%.

More Cops, Less Training, More Bad Shootings

In understanding the numbers of cops on our forces, and what passes for normal, it is necessary to understand that a huge hiring surge took place in the late 1960s, early 1970's to deal with the civil unrest of that era. Rather than taking those numbers as exceptional numbers, for an exceptional period of time, those numbers became the benchmark. Anytime the numbers fell below these inflated figures, it was seen as a depletion of strength.

Potter, as demonstrated above, while he did not oversee a tremendous growth in the number of patrol officers emblematic of the rhetoric of "Community Policing" did oversee a tremendous growth in the number of officers under his command. This period of growth took place at a time when the large numbers of officers hired in the late 1960's and 1970s were retiring. The result was that with replacement officers and those boosting the numbers, relatively newer recruits dominated the force.

One of the direct results of all these new hires seems to have been the astounding number of questionable shootings that took place These include a young child taken hostage named Nathan Thomas who was shot by police, to someone named Fred Gundmanson helping neighbors move and allegedly holding a toy gun, to Michael Renfro, who was shot when police broke into his home while he was holding a t.v. remote, to a fellow named Eugene Gratton who while fleeing through a residential neighborhood was fired upon an astounding 28 times. At one point under Potter the statistics compiled by the FBI placed the Portland Police as the third deadliest in the country.

While Potter's leadership may not have been the direct cause of every one of these shootings, there seems to be a strong correlation. To accommodate the additional new hires, the level of hire had gone down. Because of volume of the new hires, there were less experienced officers available to give on the spot supervision to the newer recruits. The standard sidearm, a six shooter, had been replaced with a semi-automatic that held 17 to 30 rounds. The old training directive of "fire two shots and evaluate" was replaced by "fire until the threat no longer exists" which in many cases meant empty the entire clip. All these seem to have contributed to the number of shootings seen in Portland, and the astoundingly high number of bullets fired at most of these.

Spying on Activists

While Potter is now trumpeted as a champion of civil rights some extremely Ashcroftian doings took place under his watch.

Some of these were revealed by the successful civil suit brought by activist Douglas Squirrel. The suit revealed police illegally attending and monitoring meetings and rallies of numerous antiwar groups, none of them with any history of violence.

More damning and far reaching was the activity involving the Fact Finding Division of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) illegally gathering the names of approximately twenty thousand (20,000) individuals engaged in lawful political activity. The facts indicate the ADL traded these names with numerous law enforcement agencies as well the governments of Israel and South Africa. While legal action on this was eventually taken out of San Francisco, available evidence indicated that a substantial portion, by some accounts a majority of these records, had passed through the PPB's Criminal Intelligence Division.

While Potter cannot be indisputably linked as having knowledge of the full scale of these events surrounding the ADL's illegal acquisition and trading of names, several things are worth noting. One is that this scandal first broke on a front page article of the San Francisco Examiner on March 9, 1993; Potter tendered his resignation March 10, 2003, the next day, citing no specific reasons. Potter had just returned from a three day trip to FBI Headquarters in Quantico Virginia where he'd been accompanied by FBI Special Agent in Charge of Portland, Robin Montgomery, and Black United Front Leader Richard Brown. (Footnote ii.) Potter himself was also honored in a dinner shortly afterwards by the ADL.

Conclusions:

While the record of Chief Kroeker raises many red flags, former Chief Potter is less than forthright in blaming Kroeker for the militarization of Portland's Police. Substantial inroads in this militarization were made by Potter himself. These inroads were made through deliberate choices of allocation and training. Indeed, the very concept of "Community Policing" as promoted by Potter, seems to have been little more than an intelligence gathering arm of these more militarized police. It was on Potter's watch that an astronomical number of police shootings took place, most of them characterized by an extraordinarily large number of bullets fired. And it was on Tom Potter's watch that substantial incursions were made into the rights of many lawful protesters. Taken together these represent someone who is far less than a populist and likely a danger in an era of John Ashcroft.


FOOTNOTES
i This can be confirmed by the study of DARE done in Austin, as well as others. It is also worth noting that a representative of the police union shared his observations at an October 24, 1994 Chief's Forum: "I want you to think twice about making the gang unit bigger and bigger because what you seem to be doing, looking at the stats here, is making the problem bigger and bigger... .I want you to understand that these special units have a tendency to create a problem. Portlandian, Winter 1994, Vol 1, Number 3, p.24
ii Montgomery had been one of the agents involved in the apprehension of AIM activist Leonard Peltier, and was later to play a role in the siege of Randy Weaver in Idaho. Montgomery left Portland to head up the FBI's Tactical Unit. Brown had earned the ire of some in Portland by asking on multiple occasions for the National Guard to be brought into Northeast Portland to deal with the gang problem. Brown went on to participate in all stages of picking Potter's successor, Charles Moose. One of the first actions to take place after Moose was sworn in was a August 21, 1993 "drug" raid involving a National Guard M-113 Armored Personnel Carrier, a National Guard Bell Ranger Helicopter, members of the PPB SERT Team, the OSP SWAT Team, and some of the same less lethal weapons used in the famous May Day debacle. Though initially proclaimed a success by the police, a press release prepared by Public Information Officer Derrick Foxworth off handedly acknowledged that the only drugs found were a single marijuana cigarette, and that the target of the raid had left the neighborhood several weeks ago. At least one successful civil suit was brought as a result of this action.



About the Author:
Paul Richmond resided in Portland from 1990-1998 and was active covering the administration of Chief Tom Potter. He was a regular contributor to PDXS, the Portland Free Press, and Editor of the Portlandian. In addition to this he was host and or producer of the shows Abuse of Power, Secret Government Seminar and Water Forum. He is currently an attorney in practice in Seattle, authored the report Waging War on Dissent, and consulted on the documentary Urban Warrior. He may be reached at  paulrichmond_attorney@yahoo.com.

A version of this article will be appearing in the Portland Alliance.

phone: phone: 206 621-1390
address: address: 600 First Avenue, #618, Seattle, WA, 98104

And Francesconi Sucks Too! 25.Oct.2004 09:06

Write In Voter

Don't give either of these clowns a mandate. Write-in the name of someone (anyone!) you respect as a local activist and at least give them the message that they don't have your support.

Portland Mercury reluctantly endorses Francesconi 25.Oct.2004 09:44

CaptainPlanet

After years of ripping on Francesconi in the paper's articles, The Mercury endorsed him rather than Potter, based mostly on Potter's performance in the recent debates. Potter doesn't say much about what he plans to do as Mayor, I'm guessing because he doesn't want the public to know what those plans are.

 http://www.portlandmercury.com/2004-10-21/ex.html

FascistPhony Will Win If you don't vote for Potter. 25.Oct.2004 10:00

sorry, folks

thanks also to Paul Richmond's well-substantiated article above.

There are indeed many doubts to have about Potter's law enforcement record.

(as to Richmond's assertion about the nationwide COPS program - it's not like Tom Potter invented this stuff all on his own, hey just so US police forces would be able to meet up in time with anti-globalization demos in '99. . . Clinton's New World Order is more like it.)

I wrote in Nader on the pResidential ballot.

I am ALL FOR a progressive Mayoral candidate - and we all had our chance in the Spring 'free-for-all' Primaries.

but let's REALLY get practical for a moment - this is a RUNOFF election.

TRANSLATION: THE ONLY REASON THESE TWO PEOPLE EVEN APPEAR ON THE CURRENT BALLOT IS THAT THEY GARNERED THE 'majority' OF VOTES IN THE SPRING PRIMARY.

IT WILL BE ONE OR THE OTHER.

FascistPhony is being propped up by major corporate interests who will kick everyone's ass. And he has the campaign money and media disinformation to pull it off.

your vote here has a MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH GREATER proportional chance of influencing this election's outcome, than, say, does your vote in the nationwide US pResidential Selection.

don't waste it - vote Potter.

Spin control 25.Oct.2004 10:00

Bison Boy

Even if all that is true (and leaving aside the obvious hostile spin) Potter was still the best police chief Portland has had since I've been paying attention... which is about 20 years. Everyone else has been worse. I don't know if that qualifies him to be Mayor or not, but he sure looks better than the other guy.

As for the suggestion of writing in someone else, I suppose one could reject both options as inadequate. But it seems to me you folks had plenty of choices back in May:

CITY OF PORTLAND MAYOR
VOTE FOR 1
(WITH 93 OF 93 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
ROZZ REZABEK-WRIGHT . . . . . . . 204 .15
JEFFREY C. REMPFER . . . . . . . 1,713 1.28
ROSALINDA S. MITCHELL . . . . . . 486 .36
BRAD TAYLOR. . . . . . . . . . 1,010 .76
JEFF R. TAYLOR. . . . . . . . . 3,149 2.36
CRAIG GIER . . . . . . . . . . 108 .08
JIM FRANCESCONI . . . . . . . . 45,771 34.32
PETER NILSSON . . . . . . . . . 209 .16
SCOT (EXTREMO THE CLOWN) CAM . . . . 1,289 .97
SCOTT KETCHUM . . . . . . . . . 245 .18
MICHAEL BENKOSKI . . . . . . . . 159 .12
PHIL BUSSE . . . . . . . . . . 9,860 7.39
LORI BALKEMA . . . . . . . . . 550 .41
DONALD J. PFAU. . . . . . . . . 93 .07
TOM POTTER . . . . . . . . . . 56,366 42.26
JAMES L. POSEY. . . . . . . . . 6,905 5.18
JIM (SPAGG) SPAGNOLA. . . . . . . 691 .52
LEW HUMBLE . . . . . . . . . . 120 .09
ROBERT TED HINDS . . . . . . . . 839 .63
BRUCE W. HOLLEN . . . . . . . . 67 .05
BART HANSON. . . . . . . . . . 854 .64
DAVID (THE ACK) ACKERMAN . . . . . 242 .18
R. JERRY ADAMS. . . . . . . . . 1,895 1.42
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 542 .41
Over Votes . . . . . . . . . 384
Under Votes . . . . . . . . . 5,708

That's why we have a runoff, eh?

COPS AND OREGON OPTION 25.Oct.2004 13:13

Paul Richmond

Replying to 3rd poster, Re COPS program.

Are you familiar with the Oregon Option. If not you should be. It was an agreement signed by all members of Clinton's Cabinet and every major politician in Oregon (including Katz, Kitzhaber and Roberts) to use Oregon as a laboratory. Since the money behind these politicians was the same, their owners, objective and general game plans was also if not identical, drawn from the same pallete. The money from behind these politicians treats Oregon the way large chains treat there stores in back waters - they use them to test market new products and policies to see how they'll fly. In Oregon the Oregon Progress Board (as well as the Portland version) let the folks with money, including utilities, banks, insurance etc, into govt. consulting positions so that they could determine the ideal way the state could be developed. This is why two of the three finalists to administer the COPS grants came from Portland, the program was testmarketed here, (and it was a disaster.) Potter is part of that process, and in his way, MORE corporate than Francesconi. IF he is elected, people should know who he is once he's in office. He's not going to help our civil rights.

The man good cops respect. 25.Oct.2004 14:52

Lazy Faire

Do not confuse innovative programs with the actions of bad cops, or with only incidentally related programs of repression and national police strategies. Community policing is still a good idea, and if you ask any good cop you know, who supports the community, they will tell you Potter is the real thing.
Potter did not have to march in the gay pride parade, or support gay marriage. But he did.
Potter did not have to deviate from the Police Association party line. But he did.
Most of all, Potter did not have to limit campaign spending to $25 and $100, in the face of the power of money in political campaigns. He did not have to, by himself, set a new standard far above the "Money is not Democracy" movement. But he did.
Don't base your vote on the superficialities of debates, slogans and outdated ideas. Potter has already shown the courage and compassion to take on the bought and paid for politicians that usually run this city, most clearly exemplified by his clever opponent. He may fail as mayor; but giving him a chance is giving us a chance.

OK, point taken Paul on COPS program, Oregon Option test run 25.Oct.2004 18:29

sorry, folks

but I still disagree with - what I perceive as your 'spin' on - Potter being "MORE corporate than Francesconi" . . . disingenuous statement at best, as only a few of Lazy Faire's cited statistics above clearly show. and the future well-being of Portland citizens and communities is going to be determined by more issues and institutions than solely its Police force, IMHO.

I saw FascistPhony right after the Runoff results in May on (Channel 8??) TV, he could barely speak and was visibly shaking his whole body when the 'anchorpeople' asked him questions about "what would he do" in November. he was quite obviously, at that moment in fear of what local PDX Fascist Millionaire Powerbrokers, who had outfunded/outspent his own campaign 20 to 1 over Potter's, were going to think of his pathetic, sheepish performance in the primary.

This guy is Corporate Slime Bag Incarnate, I say vote for Potter and takes your chances.

Lazy is as Lazy does 25.Oct.2004 18:46

More Faire

Let's take the last comment one step further. Hypothetitcal post in a future election cycle:

Cheney stood up for his lesbian daughter which is why he'd make an excellent president. Don't believe all the lies and vague conspiracies about an illegal war and about Haliburton, the people in the Government who are working for change say he's the real thing. And his programs like Healthy skies are still a good idea.

You get the idea.

"More Faire" 25.Oct.2004 19:06

sorry, folks

but Tricky Dick is a lot closer to FascistPhony than Potter

Francesconi getting advice from a Clear Channel rep. 25.Oct.2004 19:36

and he has other corporate ties, as well

Francesconi "hired" Clear Channel attorney Len Bergstain as his advisor (evidently unpaid) for the last weeks of his campaign to becom mayor. Bergstein is the man who thinks that Portland having a public art program amounts to a "jihad" against the sign companies.
I'd much rather vote for Potter.

doublespeak 25.Oct.2004 20:11

tt01

talk about bullshit. francesconi is trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat. he is goning hard to win to be mayor.
dont let him.
if you ask me, i cant decide between potter or write in mike d
how about that?

Lazy wrote: Anonymous Wrote: 25.Oct.2004 22:45

Paul Richmond

For all the clamor, I've cited sources, and no one's directly refuted a single fact I've brought forward

1)

"Lazy" talked about these programs being only marginally related to Potter's work.

The Article stated:
That there was connection between this unit (tactical operations -which grew about 3000% under Potter's command) and Potter's vision of "Community Policing" is shown by the promotions that took place in the PPB's ranks under Potter. Every person who served as Lieutenant in Charge of Community Policing, was then promoted to Captain in Charge of Tactical Operations. This includes Mark Parisi and Greg Clark. What is the connection here?

Lazy are you being Lazy or misleading?

2)

Another poster (anonymous) is saying they know about the Oregon Option. Sorry but if you're saying it's about cops, and only cops, you haven't read up on it and you're wrong. This also dealt with education, social services and workforce development, again, as designed by corporations, banks, insurance companies, utilities, etc. When you dissect the plan (written by more money than Fransconi will get near)it's giving complete control over every portion of our lives to a corporate state. Saying that someone who is involved with that level of $ (as Katz, Clinton and others were as well) is more corporate than someone backed by local power brokers is accurate if one wants to look at all the facts.

The point is Oregon has been a corporate laboratory for decades. Potter's also got more deaths on his watch than Kroeker, a connection to abominable spy scandals, and a direct hand in an unprecednted militarizing of the police. If you're enthused about either choice here, you're deluding yourself. What is worse, if you view Potter as a potential liberator, then protest will recede as his form of fascism comes in. This is the same reason there were almost no protests on a national level when Clinton, Albright et al, killed a million or so Iraqi civilians through sanctions, brought us the 1994 Crime Bill, the 1996 Anti-Terrrorism Bill, GATT, NAFTA, etc.

At this point, Potter's victory may be inevitible. What is not, is how people respond once he enters the office. Giving him a greenlight to play his inarticulated "vision" thing is an open invitation for the same typr of intrusions we saw under Clinton. Watch his actions, knowing his true record and there's a chance to stop it. I know I helped prevent some of it when he was chief, and I consider these genuine achievements.

Where is the money trail? 26.Oct.2004 11:19

Lazy Faire

Mr. Richmond is wise to counsel vigilance of all police matters in Portland. The police will be used as a tool of repression if repressive orders and policies go unchallenged. They will continue to violate the rights of citizens if their training and protocols are not corrected. It's up to us fight for the changes and to look for the innovative solutions that will direct the police toward public service.

Many of us in Portland are hopeful that Potter and Foxworth will be open to positive change because they have shown a willingness to listen and to at least make modest changes, and because Portland citizens are now more motivated and more active in demanding accountable police policies.

Regarding community policing, it should not be defined by the illegimate ends sought by some, nor by its misuse or corruption in past applications. It offers real power and connection between citizens and their police. I see no proof in what Mr. Richmond says that Tom Potter rejects the positive vision of what community policing could be, or that he is lying about its purpose.

I am, however, disregarding most of what Mr. Richmond says because it is not relevant to the decision at hand. Even if it were not based on guilt by association and speculations on secret connections and motives, it would still not be relevant now. (It may become relevant next year.)

Those of us in Portland are faced with the possibility of having a mayor aligned with the most reactionary business interests in the city, a man who, as city councilor, repeatedly belittled and cast the only vote against helping one of the most important efforts by the homeless, Dignity Village, a man who, alone among the City Councilors, leant his name and job title to the most visible propaganda against Portland forming a Peoples' Utility District, a man who cast the deciding vote against a statement opposing the war on Iraq (after stating he himself opposed the war). In each case, his public statements mirrored those of his wealthy, reactionary business contributors.

Tom Potter's answer, which Mr. Richmond chose not to address, was to run a campaign that prohibited graft, that prevented any vested interest from putting Potter in their debt through large donations. He left it to the people to make their own decision, beyond the expensive TV ads and slick mailers. This contribution to Portland democracy is what is most relevant today. It is the issue of the election. We will have plenty of time for disputes with Potter after he is the mayor.

More than laziness 26.Oct.2004 18:14

Paul Richmond

The best time to exert pressure on any candidate is before they get in office.

The numbers as far as growth of the tactical operations division under Potter, and who he promoted as model community policing officers ( a label he gave to killer cop Norman Sharpe,) or that his Lt in Charge of Community Policing always became Captain in charge of tactical operations, has not been addressed in a substantive way by any the critics (if in fact they are more than one person as they're conveniently anonymous.) And I remember Foxworth and making all kinds of concessions with demonstrators
before a few dozen ended up getting arrested and pepper sprayed at the last Portland visit of Bush I in September 1991, to cite one example.

I've not only given verifiable cites, I've given my name address and telephone number. The critic(s?) give no more verification of any of their facts (other than that Potter's taking less money) than they do their own identity.

It's a shame to get this much misdirected flack, merely for reciting a false progressive candidate's history. it's also a shame to see people who should know better going forth like Charlie Brown to try to kick Lucy's football one last time.

will Francesconi be any better? 26.Oct.2004 19:14

geebee

Paul Richmond has written an excellent article here. But I don't know why I should vote for Francesconi, because I don't see Richmond even making an attempt to argue that Francesconi would likely be better than Potter. Francesconi is clearly the choice of the big money in this city. And I don't see any reason why the police state can't also proceed merrily on its way under him at least as efficiently as it would under Potter. So I'm still inclined to vote Potter and oppose the big money candidate.

The Skinny, weighing in 26.Oct.2004 20:11

Jerry Garcia's ghost

The points that Phil Busse made in the Mercury are perfectly valid, as are those of Paul Richmond. Tom Potter has been as slippery as a sperm cell in a wad of semen when it comes to answering any definitive questions about how he plans to accomplish his whimsical, idealistic revolution of city government. I also question how he got into the race... A relative nobody, Francesconi built his war chest to challenge the likes of speculative challengers like Earl Blumenauer. Then Potter entered the race and immediately declared a limited campaign contribution policy. That didn't matter... Both The Portland Tribune and Oregonian were quick to anoit Potter the kid gloves of the mayoral race, despite the presence of Busse, Hinds, and Posey in the race.

I don't believe that Potter is anything but a con job who has been put in there as the PoPo dream candidate.

"Jerry Garcia's ghost" 27.Oct.2004 14:55

you missed this


On the Police, Oregon Option 27.Oct.2004 15:25

sorry, folks

thank you for your efforts while Potter was chief, Paul Richmond.

if he becomes Mayor, I'll definitely be right by your side holding him accountable.

I am not a 'Potter fan' - nor HAVE I EVER BEEN A 'fan' OF ANY POLITICIAN, ANYWHERE AT ANY TIME -

but I voted for him. he is a "lesser of two evils" option from FascistPhony.

the fight to rein in and hold PPB accountable will continue, totally unabated, whether Potter or FascistPhony attain office.

as to Paul Richmond's additional remarks about the Oregon Option: "Sorry but if you're saying it's about cops, and only cops, you haven't read up on it and you're wrong."

--I'm not wrong, and neither are you - and I NEVER SAID it was "about cops, and only cops" - but you ARE WRONG to inextricably tie / 'name-tag' Potter's 2004 Mayoral candidacy with a vast, orchestrated effort to corporatize and en-fascist Oregon. (such a thing is FAR MORE true of FascistPhony, than it is of Potter.)

these types of "corporate laboratory" efforts are occurring all across our country, in every state and community, and will continue in Oregon, unabated, which ever of these two candidates wins. Besides, where and how can you prove that Jim Francesconi IS OPPOSED TO or WILL OBSTRUCT the Oregon Option or plans akin to them?

Additionally, the remarks you make about Potter's influence on PPB tactical operations in the past do not, again, make him - speculatively - any worse or better than a FascistPhony mayoral presence. The Jack-Booting of PPB will continue, unabated, in the wrong direction, no matter which of these two candidates wins. Again - where and how can you prove that Jim Francesconi IS OPPOSED TO, WILL OBSTRUCT, or would be more receptive than Potter to community input about such ongoing PPB transformation?

please just endorse a third-party or write-in vote and be done with it.

as already clearly explained in my comment above:

this is a RUNOFF election,

it's a LITTLE LATE at this stage to be discussing the veracity of Potter's candidacy (hopefully Paul, you had a Portland Indymedia Feature Article on this back in April/May, and if not you should have),

ONLY ONE of the two will win,

your vote here (DON'T WASTE IT) has a MUCH greater proportional chance of influencing the outcome, than, say, in the nationwide pResidential Selection,

and taking away votes for Potter is the only thing Paul Richmond is accomplishing with these extensive circumlocutions.

Let's hit Potter hard when he gets into office - which we'd be doing with FascistPhony anyway ( . . . oh God . . . yecchhh . . . now I'm starting to sound like an ABB'er!!! ;-) )

yech and yep 27.Oct.2004 18:25

u. said. it

. . . oh God . . . yecchhh . . . now I'm starting to sound like an ABB'er!!! ;-) )


Yup.

"Yup" - btw 27.Oct.2004 21:35

sorry, folks

I was one of 6,905 people (5.18 percent) in the May primary who voted for

JAMES L. POSEY. . . . . . . . .

(yecchhh ?????)

the sad truth 30.Oct.2004 23:22

we have no choice

the sad truth, i believe, is that we have no choice in these matters. good people are hard to find who want to go into politics for the right reasons.

what's left is people like katz, francesconi and potter. all we get to choose is whose public style, hair, advertising campaign or push-pollers we 'like' the best. the people are so desperate for a change that they will endorse and work tirelessly to promote someone they don't even know.

i find it tiresome to vote AGAINST things all the time rather than FOR some things. i find it troubling that pdx imc seems to have turned into a public flame fest on a lot of threads. it makes me want to stop reading most comments or maybe hitting imc less.

You should learn to do some more research!!! 31.Mar.2005 00:53

Brandon Smith

Obviously, whoever the author of the article is, does not realize that
although the Portland Special Emergency Reactions Team is fairly large
in number, all of the officers, save for two full-time SERT
officers, are regular, uniformed patrol cops in between High-Risk
situations. In addition, the reason the paramilitary units
grew so large so fast was because of the evolving need for
specialized units within the SERT unit. For example, the SERT team
is not just a bunch of guys who march around day by day breaking
into houses, it is a highly-specialized, highly-trained unit of
motivated officers. When a dangerous search warrant is executed,
it is the result of a month or more of planning, surveillance,
intelligence gathering, and neighborhood canvasing. When the
warrant is actually served, the entry team, a specialized inner-unit,
goes in, while the sniper team is waiting outside, watching the perimeter,
as well as for any signs of evolving outside threats. If held hostage in
a building, would you rather have two officers who are trained, and
100 officers who are not, or 56 highly-trained, highly-skilled officers, who
are versed in High-Risk situations coming in to take out the threat to your life?? I think most of us would choose the latter. Keep in mind, that although the paramilitary units enrollment went up, those officers
are still doing their regular beat, yet always on-call when a situation
arises.