The Mercury Didn't Endorse Dan Saltzman—Even if a Campaign Mailer Makes It Seem That Way

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This seems like a helluva good reason to stand up and do a slow clap for Commissioner Dan Saltzman's re-election campaign. Because they've got a damned fine sense of humor over there.

As you well remember, the Mercury has decided not to endorse the four-term commissioner's bid for a fifth term—backing his main challenger, Nick Caleb, instead. Seems they may have expected it, what with our early and in-depth coverage of Caleb's signature issue, raising Portland's minimum wage to $15 an hour.

But rather than let our snub bother them, Saltzman's campaign clearly decided to have some fun at our expense. Because look which paper is featured SUPER PROMINENTLY saying something SUPER GLOWING in campaign literature mailed out this month:

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It's a glowing statement! It's quoted accurately! It's also not quite the whole story.

Though it looks like it maybe came from an endorsement writeup (the campaign implies it without saying so), it was a cherry-picked quote from an April story revealing Saltzman's surprising failure, this year, to win the endorsement of the Portland Association of Teachers. It was among the only nice things we said in that story, and it served to set up the disconnect in a self-styled children's champion enduring rejection from teachers.

Which isn't something most people reading that quote on Saltzman's mailer would necessarily realize or figure out. And that makes it look like we gave him our blessing—brilliantly using our own words to cancel out our non-endorsement—when, in fact, we didn't.

I've called Saltzman's campaign twice in hopes of getting some kind of explanation—first leaving a message with his campaign manager last week after a tipster sent us photos. So far, they haven't replied.

Maybe they'd say it was a fluke. But I've got to believe it was on purpose, done with a wink and laugh. And I think I kind of respect them for it, too.

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