Head West, Turn Right

The Joint Blog of the Conservative Northwest Blogging Alliance: Red State Points of View from a Blue State Point on the Compass.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

When At First You Don't Succeed

On the one hand, this is a posting about Portland - but it isn't (oh, I like that opening line). Once upon a time Portland had (has) a city commissioner who, like all politicians, seemingly was continously seeking funds. His options were limited, but not his imagination. He dreamed up a new tax, er ... license fee (aka a tax) that he proposed on cell phones, a new tax, er ... license fee that apparently no one had ever thought of before. He was assured that the technology was fesible but the folks weren't too impressed with it. His fellow commissioners didn't embrace it, he recieved all sorts of flack from the public, neighboring governments, cell phone companies, pretty much from everyone. So the majority of politicians would have slinked away and acted as though he'd never heard of the idea, right?

No, no, not our Randy Leonard, no, he's not a man who likes to take no for an answer. He just knew that this idea had legs; he just had to figure out how to get some more allies. Well, like the movie says, "He's BAAACK!!!" And he is still pushing his idea, but this time with a twist. He now has changed where the money will go, previously he wanted it ear marked for the general fund, now he says he is open to whatever and wherever the city feels it's needed. He's now consulted with some of the folks from the wireless industry, no details were given, but I can't see how that's working in the favor of us the consumers. Here is the icing on the cake, he is talking to the Office of Cable Communications and Franchise Management to come up with a piece of statewide legislation that would enable all jurisdictions in Oregon to adopt a wireless tax if they chose to. Okay, everyone who doesn't think that every jurisdiction in Oregon will adopt such a tax, given that option raise their hands please. Anyone? Come on, there has to be someone who believes that government wouldn't grab another source of revenue just because they will be able to, anyone?

So yes, Comissioner Leonard took his failed plan back to the drawing table and figured out a way to gain allies. If it works out, your tax, and please realize it is a tax will be 7%. Amazingly enough not all of his fellow commissioners have embraced his moment of genius; however, it really hasn't been fully discussed in council. No date has been set, but it is due to be talked about some time this month. Should you wish to link the article, here it is.

More Later


At 1:25 PM, Blogger Mark R said...

One word: arrogance

At 7:03 AM, Blogger jaybird said...

I'm trying to remember, who it was that first suggested that Randy Leonard was the "conservative" member of the Portland City Council. And that was said about him right after he won the election. What drug was that person on?

Leonard's background is that of a union activist in the public sector. Since when was that ever the breeding ground for conservative politics? I suppose that some people were fooled because the public sector that he worked in was the Portland Fire Bureau as a firefighter. Some kind of a stereotyping thing going on there. Plainly, Leonard is just a career public employee with zero understanding of business or economics. In fact, he's already amply shown that he's blatantly hostile to business, and that there isn't any tax that he's not in love with sight unseen. But hey, when you think about it, that put him in good stead, and he had no trouble whatsover fitting right in on the Portland City Council.

But to me the real problem with Leonard is that he's a hothead, and more than just a bit of a thuggish bully. It must be the union goon in him that he just can't seem to keep reined in. We'll see how well that plays in the long run. Anyone who has watched and heard him operate, such as in radio interviews like his appearances on the Lars Larson Show, has seen in abundance how Leonard deals with disagreement, and how he reacts when he has his assumptions challenged. In short, it doesn't sit well with him at all, and he shows it. And then when one remembers that he cut his teeth clawing his way to the top of the firefighters' union, where it seems apparant that disputes were won by shouting down your opponent with a growl and a glare, you can then easily feature how Leonard's consensus-building- through-intimidation style of interpersonal communicating evolved. It's amazing that he hasn't learned to camoflauge it a little better. I suppose that some people might find it "refreshing" that he hasn't. Me, I find it crude.

At 8:23 AM, Blogger PCDoc said...

Jay Bird -

The scary thing is that, comparatively, he IS the conservative on the city council. Next to some of his political cronies, he looks like Rush Limbaugh. Now THAT'S scary.



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