Voter-Owned For the Win

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Portland, Oregon's City Council champion for public financing of elections, Eric Sten, is retiring having seen the Voter-Owned Elections program he fought hard to secure enter its second cycle with many candidates qualifying. The Willamette Week evaluates Sten's pet projects, including Voter-Owned Elections, and their staying power.

They think things look good for the program, despite the yen of the editorial staff at The Oregonian to bash it with every cliche in the book. Here's their "bracket" on who will come out ahead in the duel:

Voter-Owned Elections

Sten was key in developing the city’s controversial public campaign financing system, which will cost nearly $900,000 for six Council candidates through the May 20 primary election. The system will go to a public vote in 2010.

The Oregonian Editorial Board

O’s staff opiners love to bash Sten and public-campaign financing.

Winner: The feel-good, if scandal-plagued, public-financing program probably has more fans than the grumpy status qu-O.

Incidentally, these odds also hold true for Eric Sten vs. Oregonian editorial staff in a game of racquetball. True story.

But come on, "scandal-plagued" is a little disingenuous -- yes, there have been problems with a few candidates but they've been investigated and disciplined in a timely fashion. You wanna' see scandal-plagued come over to DC and have a look at Congress.