Mistletoe seller gets little mercy from City Hall

PORTLAND, Ore. - The eleven year old girl, trying to earn money to pay for her braces by selling mistletoe at Portland's Saturday Market, and told she can't, will have to do it just like everybody else.

Mayor Charlie Hales says the City Commission won't be putting a whole lot of effort into changing any city codes but will look at park rules. Madison Root will have to submit an application and pay the fees that other market exhibitors do.

Executive Director of the Saturday Market, Paul Verhoeven, says getting a spot at the Saturday Market is much like setting up shop at the mall.

"I think it's real similar, I just wish Madison and her dad had come and spoken to us sooner, because having a cute little girl selling mistletoe at Christmas is a great thing for everybody."

One of Madison's complaints is that people can beg for money, but she can't work for it. Longtime vendors like Rhia Weinhaus think Madison may not realize just how much work they put in.

"It's a long-term investment to have a small business," she said. "It's something you have to do continuously."

While media around the world is swarming to talk with the Lake Oswego girl, some like David Strough say they're mad about the whole mess. Not because Madison was kicked out of the market, but that the media is turning her into a darling, and Strough gets the feeling she's not.

"Her words, She's the spokesperson for my generation. And I'm thinking darlin', our daughter is gone, but if she were here, I wouldn't be holding you up as a spokes-model," he said.