By ABE ESTIMADA, kgw.com Staff
Pretty clear here that Portland city commissioner Randy Leonard and conservative radio talk show host Lars Larson are no longer friends.
The two engaged in a nasty e-mail battle that was transmitted for all to read in city politicians' and journalists' inboxes on Tuesday afternoon.
The gist: Leonard accuses Larson, whose show airs on KXL radio in Portland, of stirring up his listeners and getting them to send harassing, even "inappropriate," e-mails to the commissioner. Someone also left what Leonard called a "threatening" phone call message at his home.
Leonard said he's received multiple e-mails on gastric bypass surgery, babies with multiple parents and a solicitation to buy land in Alaska. Leonard also enclosed copies of the e-mails sent by strangers as proof.
"This is an obvious attempt by you to harass me," Leonard wrote.
Larson denied the charge.
"I have never encouraged anyone to target you at home," Larson wrote. "I have never encouraged anyone to target any person at home."
Larson then delivered this parting shot.
"Sure hope you don't cut off your connection to constituents just because they're critical of you," Larson wrote.
But Leonard wasn't letting Larson have the last word.
"Ultimately your behavior is a testament to your cynical disrespect for your listeners," Leonard wrote. "You make broad, unsubstantiated statements and purport them as facts. You clearly do not trust your listeners with the true facts because you know your vision for Portland would then be revealed for what you truly lust for - a strip mall community comprised of smoke stacks, Hummers and Cuban cigars.
"You speak for the people as your fellow Washingtonian Tanya Harding speaks for ice skaters."
The e-mails ended after that.
Leonard has been criticized from some in the community for a cell phone tax that he's proposed to help pay for operating the Multnomah County Jail. The tax, which could raise $6 million for city coffers, would also help lower the business income tax.
"It has finally become obvious to me that you do not want me on the show to explain my ideas," Leonard wrote. "You are instead intending to bully, embarrass, intimidate and harass me through any means at your disposal."
Larson, meanwhile, last week complained publicly on his radio show that his wife had received death threats after the Nov. 2 general election.
Leonard seized on that complaint to berate Larson.
"You should consider treating others the way you expect yourself and your wife to be treated," the commissioner wrote.