The debate would be held at the Portland studios of Oregon Public Broadcasting. Photo by Colin Fogarty.
PORTLAND - Portland Mayor Sam Adams says the exposure his city would receive from a possible GOP presidential debate is not worth the extra cost of the event. The March 19 forum with the Republican contenders would be held at the studios of Oregon Public Broadcasting .
Adams says the city's police overtime costs are $1.5 million over budget chiefly because of the Occupy Portland protests. So he says his city doesn't need the added expense of hosting top tier presidential candidates.
"I am not supportive of this debate because of its budget impacts on the city. It's as simple as that. We're cutting budgets already," Adams says.
Adams wants the debate moved out of the city or at least closer to the airport. That would cut the cost of escorting motorcades. The Mayor's remarks puzzled Oregon GOP leaders, including party treasurer Rob Kremer.
"I would think a mayor of a city, having an international event like this come to his city, would be a cheerleader, not somebody who's trying to fret about it," says Kremer.
OPB CEO Steve Bass says the station has considered other venues. But he's reluctant to spend money to reserve a facility close to the airport when the GOP debate might not even take place. If one candidate has all but sealed up the Republican nomination by mid-March, the event would likely be canceled.
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network
2012 primary debate schedule: http://www.2012presidentialelectionnews.com/2012-debate-schedule/2011-2012-primary-debate-schedule/
Oregon Republican Party announcement about Portland GOP debate: http://www.oregonrepublicanparty.org/node/3448