The “Recall Ted Wheeler” Boondoggle
There’s been a campaign in Portland to recall our mayor, Ted Wheeler.
Ted Wheeler is a milquetoast husk of a mayor, true, and I look forward to seeing him get replaced with a better mayor.
But here’s the thing: we didn’t need to recall Ted Wheeler; he was up for getting replaced already.
Last year. Twice!
He failed to hit the 50% threshold in the earlier election, leading to a runoff in November. The progressive candidate that was the best alternative was picking up some serious steam. And we failed to elect the viable alternative to Wheeler by a margin that can directly be attributed to a write-in campaign for another candidate.
If we couldn’t pull together during a full election cycle to find a viable alternative candidate and get them across the finish line, this halfhearted fringe effort a year later sure as hell isn’t going to move the needle.
And indeed, the Recall Ted Wheeler effort has so far failed to even generate enough interest to get the necessary signatures to kick off the process. The campaign raised money just to hire people to collect more signatures just to continue getting the recall effort off the ground. The effort had until a few days ago to collect enough signatures and does not appear to have gotten them.
And even if somehow this had picked up steam, we had no viable candidate to replace Wheeler. If progressives couldn’t replace Wheeler during an actual campaign season last year, how the hell are they going to be able to even find a viable candidate and then mobilize voters to support that candidate when they can’t even get the necessary signatures to even start the recall process?
Every hour of effort and every dollar spent on this pointless campaign could have been better spent on just about any other initiative. The whole campaign feels less like an actual effort to accomplish something politically and more like a personal vendetta campaign to make Ted Wheeler feel bad whenever he travels through the town as he realizes how little Portlanders care for him.
I’m deeply sick of progressive movements being a synonym for ineffectiveness.