'Cash mob' helps Portland food carts

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by Jacqueline Sit

NWCN.com

Posted on September 7, 2012 at 10:26 PM

PORTLAND -- Concerns over the effects of a political visit on Monday ended up earning some food carts extra money Friday.

It all has to do with Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan's campaign stop at the Governor Hotel.

Back in June, when Mitt Romney came to town and spoke at the same place - the Secret Service shut down some food carts for security reasons. It ended up costing some food cart owners hundreds of dollars.

Word of Vice Presidential candidate Rep. Ryan's visit had them fearing a repeat of that -- especially since they hadn't gotten any notice on the closure.

That rumor, which turned out not to be true, had Oregon Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer asking people on Facebook to show up and spend money -- just in case they have to close.

On Friday, a Romney aide told KGW there is no plan to shut down the food carts this time, they will remain open Monday.

That had owners like Reid Barrett breathing a sigh of relief.

“I’m just excited well get to share our dumpling with Portland for another day and that’s why we have the cart,” Barrett said.

Barrett says he’s grateful for the "cash mob" and extra business Friday. Customers say keeping the carts open is a win-win.

“We all rely on the carts for lunch and some of us have a really busy schedule and have time to go off to restaurants, so it’s nice to have the food accessible,” Ira McKey, a customer said.

“I can’t imagine what they have to pay for their cart space every month. It would be greatly impacted by a day of not being able to work,” Robert Sherman, another customer said.

Ryan's fundraiser will be in downtown Portland for two fundraisers Monday. Tickets cost a $1,000 per person, a private meal - $25,000.

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