‘Schmidt Show:’ Billboard criticizing Multnomah County’s DA goes up in Portland
PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - A billboard criticizing Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt went up Tuesday morning in downtown Portland.
The billboard, located at 2nd and Washington Street, reads “PORTLAND IS A SCHMIDT SHOW” next to a large picture of Schmidt. It includes more text that reads “record crime (check mark),” “fewer prosecutions (check mark),” “empty jail beds (check mark).”
Many have called out Schmidt’s perceived soft touch on crime approach for months on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Reddit.
The billboard says it was paid for by People for Portland. The organization has been increasingly visible in recent months with YouTube, print and digital ad buys.
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The People for Portland is a self described “platform and voice for Portlanders to take action to rescue our broken city.”
Schmidt won election to the office in May 2020 with about 75% of the vote on a platform of ending mass incarceration and holding law enforcement accountable.
Under Schmidt, Portland recorded a record high number of shootings and homicides in 2022.
City officials including Schmidt have blamed the violence in Portland on dwindling police ranks and a severe lack of public defenders.
Schmidt’s office released the following statement regarding the billboard:
“This dissemination of misinformation undermines the work of the DA and discredits the dedicated work of all employees in the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office who are serving our county during one of the most challenging periods in recent memory.”
“The truth is MCDA is prosecuting cases referred to us by law enforcement at the same rate as we did in 2018 and 2019. In fact, our issuance rates for property crimes, including stolen car cases, and firearm cases are significantly higher than in those years and climbing.”
“Yet, the focus of our office is not simply on prosecution rates, but rather on successful outcomes, such as serving victims, holding offenders accountable, and reducing recidivism. At MCDA we are actively working to achieve these outcomes.”
“In addition, prosecution and incarceration alone cannot prevent crime; there has to be a collaborative approach with law enforcement and community partners to get in front of the issues to prevent crime. The DA is actively doing this. For example, he is working with PPB, GPD and MCSO on new strategies for increasing vehicle theft interdiction; he implemented the neighborhood prosecution program, MAAP, to embed DDAs in communities; and he’s advocating for legislative changes that will benefit community safety, like stiffer penalties for street racing and gun violence prevention.”
“Our office will continue to focus on prosecuting cases and achieving positive outcomes, and the DA remains dedicated to a smart, collaborative approach to justice and public safety.”
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