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The City of Portland, Oregon

Auditor Simone Rede

Promoting open and accountable government

George L. Baker Recall Effort

1932 Mayor George L. Baker
Recall Attempt Failed (38,585 Yes votes 43,882 No Votes)
Reasons for demanding recall (as printed on ballot):
George L. Baker has by his official conduct proved his unfitness for the office of Mayor of the City of Portland.  By his failure to enforce the laws against various social evils, although he has been fully aware of these violations, both as to time and place, he has given aid and comfort to denizens of the underworld and to official graft and corruption connected therewith.  His solicitude for the public utilities has been evidenced by his tactics of obstruction against those who have sought to force these interests to bear their responsibility in the cost of government as well as to limit their extortions upon the ratepayers.  As Mayor, George L. Baker has used public monies for private political purposes in the expenditure of many thousands of dollars of so-called secret police funds for which the public has received no benefit.  In general, he has proven himself wasteful of public funds, negligent in pursuing the public welfare and malfeasant in the conduct of his office.
Mayor George L. Baker's justification of his course in office (as printed on ballot):
Answering recaller's Charge Number 1.  The grand jury with at least three members favorable to the recall promoters, recently spent four months investigating every phase of these charges of underworld graft.  All persons claiming to have evidence of which recall promoters based their charges were called as witnesses.  The grand jury found nothing.
Answering Charge Number 2.  My vote on public utility matters before the Council disproves this charge.

Answering Charge Number 3.  The people by their vote authorized secret funds for use in obtaining evidence.  All money so spent has been appropriated annually by unanimous vote of the Council and has been sanctioned and approved by the State Tax Supervising and Conservation Commission and has been spent under the direction of the Commissioner for Finance.  All money has been accounted for to the Department of Finance.  Such money has been used to obtain evidence against bootleggers, gamblers, degenerates, racketeers and criminals of all types and to keep informed as to the activities of the I.W.W.'s Communists and other public enemies.  Arrests from such investigations have brought court fines aggregating many times the amount spent.  Riots, disorders, and crimes have been prevented by the city having advance secret information.