The rumblings began on February 1st, when the O ran a little story on gifts to Mayor Tom Potter. As the O reported yesterday, after reading that story, Potter’s people realized that they probably needed to report that Potter had also received some courtside tickets to a Blazer game.
It seems that some are gearing up to argue that this is a major issue. I think how major it is depends mostly on what you think of Potter.
Now, I’m tremendously disappointed with Tom Potter as a mayor. As a sports fan, he’s proven to be unfriendly to some of my ideas for civic improvement, and as a citizen, his “let’s have a task force and talk about problems until people forget about them and never solve them” system of governance is annoying. (As a side-note, imagine putting him in charge of the whole city in the charter “reform” and watching the whole works grind to a halt…). But I’m also a pretty fair-minded guy (in my own opinion) and, as such, I don’t see that it’s such a big deal.
Well, first, it’s pretty well established (if Potter’s people are to be believed) that Potter tried to pay for the tickets and was refused. Second, it’s also clear that the tickets weren’t for sale. Noone was using them, or at least paying for them. By any reasonable use of the term, therefore, the tickets had no value. If they could not be sold, and could not be bought, there is no way to say that Potter should have to report them.
Potter reported the $34 the team provided for entry into the buiding. In my opinion, that’s fair. Enough said.
Now, the real crime (in my opinion) was Potter’s reaction while at the game. According to today’s O, “S pectators who saw Mayor Tom Potter at the one and only Portland Trail Blazers game he has attended this year were struck by how exquisitely bored the man looked. More than once, he seemed barely able to stifle a yawn.” What a jerk. Tommy Boy, you’ve got a freakin’ front row seat to an NBA game. If you’re not going to enjoy yourself, have the decency to make a run for the rest room and not return. Portlanders are passionate about their Blazers (whether with pride or disgust lately), and the face of Portland should reflect that.
So, is it a big deal? Discuss…