Friday, May 26, 2006

Politics: Big Brother Bugs Portland

Simon Maxwell Apter writes in The Nation:

To George H.W. Bush, Portland, Oregon, is " Little Beirut." Downtown's omnipresent bicycle messengers call the city "Stumptown," and officially, the town is known as the City of Roses. In a move more befitting, perhaps, the presidential Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires circa 1982, and not the Rose City of Portland circa 2006, the FBI has been accused by Portland Mayor Tom Potter of "trying to place an informant inside the offices of Portland's elected officials and employees, in order to inform on City Council and others."

Since the end of the Age of Aquarius, when thousands of Californians began to migrate north to Oregon, Portland has never been particularly welcoming to the executive branch of the federal government--especially when said branch is in Republican control. Portland's two Representatives in Congress are Democrats, and Portland's county, Multnomah, voted for John Kerry over Bush in 2004 by nearly a 3-to-1 ratio. Moreover, in April 2005, the City Council voted, along with the mayor--and with overwhelming support from the citizenry--to withdraw Portland's participation in the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force project.

More here.


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