Need more proof that Portland City Commission lives in la-la land? Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has issued the maximum fine allowed—$500 every 15 minutes—to the federal government for the fence around the federal courthouse at the center of nightly riots, because the fence blocks bike lanes. Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who is in charge of PBOT, issued a statement announcing the fines, and it’s full-on crazy train.
We are assessing the maximum fine of $500 for every 15 minutes the fence obstructs our street, & we are investigating other legal remedies. Typically, we would send a maintenance crew or contractor to remove such an obstruction, but I will not send workers into harm's way.
— Commissioner Eudaly (@ChloeEudalyPDX) July 28, 2020
Yes, I am afraid to direct workers to do their job and enforce our laws against the federal government—I hope that gives everyone reading this pause.
As of yesterday, the federal government owes us $192,000 and counting. We intend to collect.
— Commissioner Eudaly (@ChloeEudalyPDX) July 28, 2020
The full statement, which can be read at Eudaly’s city website, does not indicate where PBOT served the fine, whom they expect to pay, or which federal agency should be held accountable for blocking Portland’s bike lanes. Eudaly faces a tough reelection campaign in November’s runoff election against challenger Mingus Mapps, a former city employee fired by Eudaly. Since a couple of dozen agencies have some involvement in operations at the courthouse, along with federal law enforcement agencies protecting the building in downtown Portland from nightly riots, Eudaly’s move seems a bit desperate.
Undaunted, she and the rest of the Portland City Commission remain dedicated to pressing their political stance against the Trump administration. Eudaly repeatedly refers to a “lawless federal occupation” of Portland in her official statement:
Last Wednesday, I introduced two resolutions that were passed unanimously by City Council. One to stop the Portland Police Bureau from cooperating with the federal occupiers, and another to affirm the rights of members of the press and legal observers. On Thursday, I directed the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) to enforce on the federal occupiers for erecting a fence in our public right of way. PBOT filed a cease and desist demand on behalf of the City—we have not received a response. We are assessing the maximum fine of $500 for every 15 minutes the fence obstructs our street, and we are investigating other legal remedies available to us. Typically, we would send a maintenance crew or contractor to remove such an obstruction, but I will not send workers into harm’s way. Yes, I am afraid to direct workers to do their job and enforce our laws against the federal government—I hope that gives everyone reading this pause. As of yesterday, the federal government owes us $192,000 and counting. We intend to collect.
On Monday, despite demands from elected representatives across our region and our state and multiple lawsuits, the Trump administration announced they were sending additional federal agents to our city. Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who are in charge of our public safety bureaus, called for a meeting with DHS leadership on the ground in Portland to discuss a “ceasefire and the removal of heightened federal forces from Portland.” They await a response.
In the Oregon State Legislature, our representatives are advocating for a tear gas ban, munitions limitations, and legislation to require officers to prominently display their names and ID numbers in the upcoming special session. Our federal delegation has pushed for DOJ and DHS Inspectors General to investigate Trump’s lawless actions in Portland—they are also working to defund this action in Congress. Congressman Earl Blumenauer has demanded the resignation of Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, stating, “Any person who oversees the kidnapping of protesters and the violent occupation of American cities has no place in our government.” I couldn’t agree more. We’ll be closely monitoring state and federal action and providing support wherever we can.
I know how challenging this is for Portlanders. I am committed to doing everything in my power to end this federal occupation and move forward with our community’s reckoning with racial injustice and our efforts to transform our approach to policing and public safety. Each and every one of you has a constitutional right to exercise your freedom of speech and to peacefully assemble. The actions of a few should not negate these rights, and the response of law enforcement should be proportional to the infractions. Indiscriminately tear-gassing and firing impact munitions at thousands of peaceful protesters is not a proportionate response.
Again, no indication of her seriousness by indicating who should pay. Perhaps she’s expecting the Bad Orange Man to write her a check? Her understanding of the operation of the federal government hints that may be her thought process.
This is clearly peak Trump Derangement Syndrome on the part of the Portland City Commission. What’s sad is Portland voters repeatedly electing people like Ted Wheeler, JoAnn Hardesty, and Chloe Eudaly, increasingly juvenile and deeply unserious people who are incapable of dealing with the problems that face this city.
Jeff Reynolds is the author of the book, “Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy,” available at www.WhoOwnsTheDems.com. Jeff hosts a podcast at anchor.fm/BehindTheCurtain. You can follow him on Twitter @ChargerJeff, and on Parler at @RealJeffReynolds.