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March 26, 2016


I'll keep this simple. You have mischaracterized my views on the police facility. You failed to mention that Tom Andersen has endorsed me for Mayor. You failed to mention in your inaccurate comments about trees downtown that I led the council to approve a new tree ordinance that completely changes how publicly owned trees are delt with. It allows appeals of decisions to or not to remove them and sets objective standards. That was missing before.

I'm proud to have received endorsements from a whole range of people. Yes, the chamber and also the city's two major unions (so far) Firefighters and AFSCME. Tom Andersen, Mayor Peterson, and councilors Diana Dickey, Jim Lewis, Brad Nanke and Steve McCoid have endorsed me. Community activists like Hazel Patton (historical preservation and the Carousel), Betsy Belshaw (parks) and John Lattimer and Michael Livingston (neighborhood groups). And the list goes on.

I'm not asking for you to support me. Heavens no. But please refrain from the Trumpism you like to retreat to when you disagree with someone.

Chuck while your intention is good. You still are corporate pro anti tax. Not the kind of Representative for the people. This is the capitol city and you and your councel have failed us. I have lived here since 1958. Look at our bus system. We are the laughing stock of the nation. Look at Corvallis or anyplace and their are many that are capable to manage a very well working system. You and your kind have had your chance and have done nothing but waste millions of dollars. This new police station is a joke. We need you people to let the people have more say and less of your corporate crap. Every day in this city I see brand new vehicles from small cars to highly specialized equipment. You carelessly spend OUR money. More, more and then some. And you want to continue the same stagnant thinking and ineffective management of our city.
Toot your horn all you want. You may be a very nice person, Just not what we're looking for. More public input and less mismanagement.

Chuck, how could I have "mischaracterized your views on the police facility" when I simply copied in your position on the police facility that you gave on the Chamber of Commerce questionnaire? You said you believe about 150,000 square feet is the right size for the police facility, which means the cost is going to be about $80 million.

I spent quite a bit of time on Google last night looking for your web site, because I wanted to see what your positions are on various issues. As noted in this post, I couldn't find a web site for your current Mayoral campaign. All I found was a parked URL with no content, and web pages related to your previous failed attempts to be elected Mayor. If you want people to clearly understand your positions, I'd like to suggest that you make your positions clear.

Do you now disavow what you told the Chamber of Commerce before the Powers That Be there endorsed you? If so, fine. Just be sure you tell your Chamber buddies how your positions have changed. That might affect how much money their special interest PAC pumps into your campaign.

Regarding Salem street trees, you didn't deny that you were complicit in a backroom deal to have the US Bank trees removed before an application to do this was even submitted to the City of Salem. Soon I'll be providing more details on this shady action so voters can be better informed about what you did in 2013.

Changes to Salem's tree ordinance came about because of the sleazy behavior you, Peter Fernandez (Public Works Director), Ryan Allbritton (US Bank President), and other officials engaged in when the US Bank trees were cut down for no good reason. I exposed this in my "Outrage" report. See:


So you ended up supporting changes to the tree ordinance that came about because of outrageous backroom deal-making you and others engaged in. Being an ex-Catholic (very ex), maybe this falls into the "atonement" scheme of things.

However, I'm also acquainted with the notion of confession. I'd be more impressed if you publicly acknowledged that you were wrong to be complicit in City officials making a deal with the US Bank president to have the trees cut down before the Shade Tree Advisory Committee had even issued a recommendation (which turned out to be, "save the trees").

Lastly, don't accuse me of Trump-like untruths when I've actually presented accurate facts. This isn't becoming of a candidate for Mayor. I get this crap all the time from City officials who like to talk trash about me, but can't back up that talk with facts. I'm always pleased to have errors in my blog posts corrected. So far, you haven't shown that I said anything unfactual.

wow based on that list of endorsements it seems like a campaign slogan should be:
"Chuck Bennett: more of the same shit"

Salemander, my feelings exactly! Insider politician Chuck Bennett has the support of the people who love what insider politicians do for them. What I'm hoping is that all the people who are fed up with insider politics as it is will realize than Carole Smith, an outsider businesswoman, is the far better choice to be Salem's Mayor.

If I was a progressive in Salem contemplating who to endorse, I know I'd be hesitant to support Carole Smith just based on the fact that she is/was a landlord/real estate developer. Not that those in real estate or those who are landlords cannot be progressives but I think there's a fundamental difference between the class interests of a real estate developer/business owner and a worker in Salem. I am uncomfortable with a real estate developer being the "progressive" choice for our city.

So let me see if I have this correct: you like Carole Smith for mayor because she likes trees?
When you look at the accomplishments she lists on her website for Mayor, it's all about downtown. That's not the emphasis I want in a Mayor.

I worked with Chuck Bennett for years when I was chair of the Northeast Neighborhood Association and I have continued to work with him over the past 10 years on many neighborhood projects. He doesn't just represent downtown but most of the Englewood area and has made our neighborhood much more livable. While I don't always agree with him, or vice versa, he listens, asks questions and explains his decision. Maybe this blog is more about sour grapes than politics.

Alan, I assume you read this blog post, which contains positions Bennett holds that I disagree with. Carole Smith holds the opposite positions, which are reasons why I support her over Bennett.

Bennett favors a billion dollar Third Bridge that would be paid for by local taxpayers in various ways, including a $1.50 each way toll on the two existing bridges and the new bridge. Smith opposes this boondoggle.

Bennett favors a supersized 150,000 square foot, $80 million police facility that squeezes out money for making the Library and City Hall earthquake-safe. Smith favors a smaller and less expensive police facility, and making the seismic upgrades to save lives when the Big One hits.

I could give other examples from my own experience. Unfortunately, Bennett doesn't have a web site, so it is very difficult to figure out what his positions are, other than from his Chamber of Commerce endorsement questionnaire.

Oh, one more example: Bennett was among the City officials who were on the way to imposing parking meters on downtown without talking with downtown businesses and those who visit/shop in the Historic District. Parking meters may be needed at some point, but the highhanded way the City went about it impelled Smith to gather 9,000 signatures so citizens could have a say on whether parking meters should be part of downtown.

Well Brian, all I see on Carole's website is her downtown accomplishments. Nothing about the positions you claim she has. I find it interesting that you slam Chuck for not having a website but praise Carole for having one that says nothing. And five trees ! I can see how that would bother someone who's only goal for Salem is to save trees, not help people, which is exactly what Chuck has done for NEN and other neighborhoods. And I've had no problem with the City Council and city staff listening to me.... But then it may be more about the presenter.

I'm really pleased to announce I have received the endorsement for Mayor of Salem from the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, the state's and Salem's leading environmental advocacy organization.

Well, the Oregon League of Conservation Voters endorsement didn't work out for Sheronne Blasi in 2014, when she lost her City Council race against Tom Andersen and Bradd Swank. See:


Back then I contacted OLCV and asked them how someone could support the hugely anti-environmental Third Bridge (which you also support) and still get the OLCV endorsement.
I never got a publicly-shareable answer back from OLCV. Their endorsement process is unpleasingly secretive.

It's interesting that Mayor candidate Carole Smith's policy positions on environmental matters are virtually identical to the views of City Council candidates Cara Kaser, Matt Ausec, and Sally Cook -- all of whom got an OLCV endorsement.


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