Pam Belli signs a petition to recall Mayor Sam Adams, Monday at the campaign office at 421 N. Broadway. Belli was one of a handful of people who came to the office to sign the petition before the closing deadline. Ray Coronado, who has been gathering signatures for the campaign, said voters should be allowed to vote on whether Adams should stay or go. "We got ripped off," he said. The mayor shouldn't be above everyone else. He should be bound by the same rules and conditions and etiquette that we are all bound to follow."
The effort to recall Mayor Sam Adams failed Monday. The campaign failed to collect 32,183 signatures – the number necessary to force a special recall election within the regulation 90-day window.
However far from giving up, organizers Jason Wurster and Theresa McGuire say they will launch a new recall attempt immediately, this time with backing from an unidentified group of business leaders.
"We will have paid signature gatherers this time around," McGuire, the campaign treasurer, told The Skanner.
"We had some very dedicated volunteers, but we also had a week of 90-degree
weather, where it was difficult for people to go out and gather signatures. We could have done with extra time.
"There is no motivation like a pay check."
To force a recall, the campaign will have to collect far more than 32,000 signatures because the city auditor's office will verify every signature and each must match information on the voters roll. Some signatures are invariably declared invalid because of errors.
Wurster, a Portland State University student, has said that the campaign came close to collecting enough signatures, and had collected upwards of 30,000. However Wurster has provided no proof of his claim, and he says he will not turn over the signatures to the city auditor's office. Instead they will be given to Portland Future PAC, the new group registered last Friday to renew the recall campaign. The signatures can't be used, but campaigners can approach signers and ask them to sign the new petition. That clock will start ticking if a new petition is filed.
Meanwhile, Mayor Adams is paying little attention to the recall effort, instead saying he is working on city business, promoting Portland as a center for sustainable business and development.
Wurster launched the recall campaign after Adams admission that he lied before his election. As a candidate for the mayor's job Adams he denied he had a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old legislative intern in 2005. Adams confessed to the lie, and admitted to the brief relationship, in February after being confronted with witness accounts. An inquiry by Attorney General John Kroger's office found no credible evidence that Adams had broken the law.
Many Portlanders have expressed disappointment and anger with Adams. Coming on the day after President Obama's inauguration, that disappointment made a stark contrast with the jubilant mood of the city. However, although bloggers and citizens interviewed on local media said they felt let down by the mayor, many others rallied to support Adams. And few public figures, with the exception of Karin Hansen, who is married to former Mayor Tom Potter, came out publicly in favor of the recall.
Still unresolved from the Recall Sam Adams campaign is a complaint the group filed with the Secretary of State in September, alleging the mayor "intimidated" a volunteer signature gatherer near Pioneer Courthouse Square.
Who are the business leaders behind the renewed recall effort? That as yet to be disclosed.