Challenger for Portland mayor proposes 12 debates

Ted Wheeler wants to debate Charlie Hales a dozen times, covering a dozen issues.

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Ted Wheeler wants to debate Charlie Hales a dozen times, covering a dozen issues.

The topics span business, housing, education and other issues.

“When I announced by candidacy for mayor, I noted the city had a homelessness crisis; last week, you declared it an emergency. Two weeks ago, I voiced by support for a gas tax; last Friday, you decided to agree…I believe we must instead give voters an honest comparison of our ideas,” said Wheeler, who is currently the Oregon State Treasurer.

You can read Wheeler’s letter here.

Hales responded with a letter that said his official duties are his first responsibility, but that many debates will undoubtedly be held over the next seven months before the May Primary Election.

(SOURCE: Portland Tribune)

The business issues are:

  • Jobs and the economy.
  • Affordable housing.
  • Roads and infrastructure.
  • Growth and development.
  • Sustainability.
  • Budget and taxes.
  • Transportation and transit.

(SOURCE: Portland Business Journal)

Hales didn’t accept or decline in his response.

In a column published Tuesday, Oregonian writer Steve Duin took a hard stance against how Hales has recently ramped up his efforts since Wheeler entered the race, accusing the mayor of being ineffective and out of touch.

Hales has long been deft on the ceremonial aspects of Portland’s weak-mayor system: the superficial photo ops, the neighborhood nights out and, suddenly, the coffee shop/cycling circuit.

He’s shown far little taste or skill for planning ahead, accepting blame or responsibility, or collaborating – outside of Mark Wiener’s dining room, at least – with fellow commissioners on the contentious, complex problems that weigh on the city.

The disconnect in how he directs his energy, and the city’s, is becoming more glaring now that Hales faces a formidable challenger in state Treasurer Ted Wheeler.


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