Like many of America’s mayors, Portland’s Mayor Ted Wheeler has been exposed as the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is not cool under fire. He is not the man or woman you want in the foxhole with you when it gets real. He is not a leader. His judgement has proven to be far short of what’s needed in a time of crisis.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is a fool.
OPB reports that when Wheeler could have shown leadership that made a difference for Portland, well, he did. But it was poor leadership that’s allowing riots to destroy his city and its image.
In late July, Mayor Ted Wheeler had an idea he hoped would end the nightly clashes between protesters and police in Portland.
He texted Sonia Schmanski, a top aide, that he had a plan that was “high risk,” but he added that the city had “nothing to lose.”
“Nothing to lose.” Spoken like someone with no connection to reality. Also spoken like a career politician who has never run or managed anything outside the comfortable confines of government with its endless supplies of everyone else’s money.
Take a look as his history. Wheeler has never run a business he didn’t inherit because someone better than him built it. Never led in a local church. Never served in the military. He’s the perfect political trust-fund child. He has no relevant real-world experience but he believes he’s a good person who knows how bad everyone else is. He did nothing, knows nothing, inherited everything, and is watching passively as the city that made the mistake of empowering him burns around him.
If you’re a Portland resident whose life has been threatened, whose neighborhoods and homes face riots from people for whom it is not possible to be “woke” enough, if you own a local business that can no longer function, or you’re a local cop who has been demonized and demoralized for trying to do right by your community, and now you have no career left and little in the way of a community remaining to defend, because Wheeler allowed his friends to tear it all apart, everything was there to be lost.
And it has been. Portland has suffered damaging riots for nearly three months straight. No one in their right mind would move there, vacation there, or set down any kind of roots there now.
Consequences are coming.
Businesses are telling Wheeler that he was wrong about the city having “nothing to lose.”
For Greg Goodman, the co-president of the Downtown Development Group, there are other numbers that tell a deeper, even more disturbing story: the number of businesses that are moving out of or locating outside the central district of Portland.
“The number is like nothing I have seen in 42 years of doing business in downtown,” Goodman said in a letter he sent to Mayor Ted Wheeler and the members of the Portland City Council…
Their departure, he said in the letter, has nothing to do with the Black Lives Matter movement “but does have most everything to do with the lawlessness you are endorsing downtown.”
Does Mayor Wheeler still believe Portland had “nothing to lose” when he let the riots take the streets, assault cops, attack the federal building, spray graffiti all over downtown, fling feces at residents, and on and on and on? Having lost its hold on public safety at the most basic level, Portland stands to lose its economy. Those businesses, and the taxes they kick into the budget Wheeler got himself elected to dole out to his favorite activist groups, will not come back.
How does it feel to be the mayor who killed a city? If he’s found his way back to reality, Wheeler knows. So does Austin Mayor Steve Adler, and so does Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. Bill de Blasio is killing New York, but he’s a lost cause.) They have managed to kill their cities. The only question is, have they realized yet what they have done?
At least in Austin, about 20 candidates have filed to run for the city’s clown council to replace them and undo the damage they’ve done. Wheeler’s closest rival in Portland aligns even more closely with antifa than he does.