Ron Saxton: On the attack, but short on facts

Ron Saxton released the first campaign ad of the fall gubernatorial election. Surprisingly (or perhaps not), it's an attack ad. Watch the ad here (WMV).

In short, the ad wonders if you can name any of Ted Kulongoski's accomplishments. The K Camp's response?

Governor Kulongoski balanced the state budget despite a $3 billion deficit. He helped create more than 100,000 new jobs - putting Oregonians back to work at family-wage incomes. He ended the decade-long gridlock in the legislature to pass an overdue transportation package to fix our roads and bridges and help move people, commerce and goods across the state.

Not that Saxton proposes any solutions of his own. As the Kulongoski campaign told the press:

As Ron Saxton said himself at the July debate in Welches, "You show what kind of governor you're going to be by what kind of campaign you run." And it shouldn't be lost on voters that Saxton's first ad is short on substance and heavy on empty rhetoric.

After a series of negative poll numbers, Ron Saxton released his first ad of the general election campaign season in an act of desperation. An attack of Governor Kulongoski and his record as governor. Did he offer any solutions? No. Did he tell voters what he would do if elected? No.

Why? Because Ron Saxton is just a typical politician who will say anything to get elected.

Discuss.

Comments

  • Frenchie (unverified)
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    I think the x is silent and it is pronounced Satan.

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    Jaysus what a stupid ad. Who thought of this?

    This ad is a massive opening for the K campaign. If I were them, I'd copy the ad verbatim..and during the ticking clock portion I'd put up that laundry list of accomplishments.

    Then ask where Ron Saxton has been for the last four years.

    What a horrible, horrible commercial.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Saxton takes a big risk with this ad. He has no way of knowing how many voters already (incl. a Republican friend at a party last weekend) say "if the only choices are Saxton and Kulongoski, I have to vote for Kulongoski". Or how many dissatisfied with Ted as governor will say "If Saxton runs this kind of campaign, I'll vote for Ted to show Ron what I think of his ads".

    Of course, for that to work, Ted has to run ads and give speeches talking about what he has done--not attack ads.

  • BlueNote (unverified)
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    I want nothing to do with Saxton or any Republican, but from the technical perspective of what constitutes an effective campaign ad, I thought the new Saxton ad was creative and very good at capturing the the viewer's attention. I have only seen it twice. The stop watch and the silence was clever enough to make me stop channel surfing for a few moments, which is a considerable accomplishment. Before you get too upset about the lack of content in the Saxton ad, ask yourself what the typical audience of "Friends" or the Ray Ramano (sp?) show is looking for in the way of in-depth political analysis between 6 and 8 p.m. If they wanted actual information, they would be watching the news, right?

  • Sarah Williams (unverified)
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    Carla is brilliant. That is EXACTLY what the response ad should be.

    Also, Saxton gives me the creepy crawlies a bit. The eye surgery helps a bit, but the prominent neck wrinkles, the weird teeth, and the mild speech impediment make him no one's attractive candidates. I'm not saying that this matters...but to boot he's a little Eddie Haskell. Add all of that to his (pre-big-politics) reputation as someone who'd shine the shoes of anyone who'd had some business success. (I also think it's funny that in the past he has listed himself as a "small business person" so he didn't have write "Portland Corporate Lawyer" -- which is how he'd spent his career.)

    I'm surprised that Republicans like this guy.

    He basically seems like a slimy and smarmy big business sissy boy who'll position himself wherever he needs to in order to win.

    Vote Starrett!

  • Del (unverified)
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    I think Saxton is taking on the wrong people with his anti worker ads. The fact is the Oregon economy was one of the worst in the nation to now one of the fastest growing. The Governor is not a "Look at me ' type of guy. he just works hard and a huge amount of hours for our good. He also finds the time to attend the funerals of every lost Oregon soldier. Saxton to me is like Satan, he will turn Oregon into an evil place for all people who work for a living so his surporters can make a few extra bucks.

  • TM (unverified)
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    That's one of the funniest political ads i've ever seen. My side still hurts. What a loser.

  • djk (unverified)
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    Great idea, carla.

    A twist on it: three or four people watching the Saxton spot, silhouetted along the bottom like Joel and the Bots on Mystery Science Theater 3000. "Oh, man! It's that dopey Saxton ad again!" They can talk over the whole thing, pretty much drowning out anything Saxton says while they go on about all the stuff Kulongoski's done over the past four years. Maybe they could slip in one or two choice comments that ridicule Saxton for being such a loser and having absolutely nothing to offer ("Hey, does Saxton have any ideas of his own?" "If he did, would he be running this stuff?" "Man, what a loser!") but mostly keep the negativity light and go long on everything Ted has done.

  • (Show?)

    Odd. I don't think it's a stupid ad at all, until Saxton himself shows up 2/3s of the way into it. By which I don't mean it's not a manipulative and/or bogus ad. But I don't at all think it's a stupid ad, it's actually kind of brilliant as an idea.

    (Although not as brilliant as Carla's suggestion on how to directly counter it.)

    Generally, tho, I think it's not at all a stupid ad most people have exactly that idea already -- they have no idea what Ted has done as governor, and likely think it's a bunch of nothing just like the ad says.

    The ad isn't meant to tell people Ted's done nothing -- it's meant to play on and reinforce the idea that most people already think that. That makes is NOT a stupid ad.

  • JB Eads (unverified)
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    Except B!x that people DO think the Governor has done things -- which is one of the reasons he's going up in the polls. Sometimes it takes a while for information to filter out to the public (which is not to make excuses; it's the Governor's job to communicate with folks).

  • Vonski (unverified)
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    I see a lot of comments concerning a dislike for Saxton (if you've seen my blog ever you'll know I've been in that camp myself) and some talking about how Kulongoski should respond. What I haven't seen is a discussion on what Ted HAS actually accomplished in the last 4 years other than establish a poet laureate and order flags at half mast on occasion.

    The title of this post is: "Ron Saxton: On the attack, but short on facts," but no one seems to be addressing this in their comments. shrug

  • JB Eads (unverified)
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    What I haven't seen is a discussion on what Ted HAS actually accomplished..

    Well, except this from the original post:

    Governor Kulongoski balanced the state budget despite a $3 billion deficit. He helped create more than 100,000 new jobs - putting Oregonians back to work at family-wage incomes. He ended the decade-long gridlock in the legislature to pass an overdue transportation package to fix our roads and bridges and help move people, commerce and goods across the state.

    Also, he took on the auto industry to pass tough tailpipe emissions to fight global warming. He established a prescription drug purchasing pool -- which pharma fought tooth and nail -- to save consumers millions. He increased Oregon opportunity grants for college students by 70%. He stood up to the Bush administration to protect Oregon's roadless areas. He's implementing a goal of getting Oregon gov to meet 100% of the state's energy needs from renewables. Hes's expanded rural heath care, increased workforce training for nurses, and fought efforts to limit patients' rights. Passed toughest-in-nation meth law, helped out-of-work fisherman get relief, and limited the amount of interest unscrupulous payday lenders can charge...

    Anyway, it's not a great commercial, or at least doesn't hook up with what voters are already think about the race. Also, the weakest attack any campaign can make is from the lips of the candidate himself -- especially when he's introducing himself to voters and already facing high negatives.

    There's a reason people start positive, and do an introduction spot. This is the first thing many voters will see from Saxton. Would you want to have a beer chardonnay with this guy?

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    Just shows what great informative ads can be bought with the $6 million Saxton expects to spend on the race.

  • Jesse O (unverified)
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    No doubt Saxton's pollsters asked people: what did Ted accomplish? When people couldn't say anything, this is the ad they came up with. It's a solid ad.

    I like the counter-ad idea, but I have to say that Ted's not very responsible for new jobs, road packages, etc. but hell, whatever. If the voters were paying attention and were policy wonks, we could have a different campaign. But they're not. So fire away with the rhetoric!

  • JJones (unverified)
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    The fact is, half of what you are saying Teddy K is responsible is not his to claim responsibility for at all. He didn't initiate it, he didn't push for it (until someone else did first and he waited to see what the reaction would be) and in most cases, he just signed a good idea into law. To claim that Teddy is responsible for balancing the budget when he was hands-off with the Legislature is ludicrous. And capping payday loans was already out there in several cities and counties when it came to the legislature during special session.
    Teddy hasn't been a bad governor, he just hasn't been a Governor, period. He's shuffled his staff more than a Vegas Card Sharp shuffles a deck for blackjack and his work on the Gorge Casino is all about dollars for his campaign war chest, not about the environment or the tribes. Saxton's ad (from a purely objective point of view) is attention getting. It makes you stop and think and it makes you notice Saxton, like him or hate him. It's too bad that most of the people on this blog seem to think that the best argument against something or someone is the LOUDEST argument or the one that beats down other people when they have a divergent opinion. It's amazing that on these blogs, the same people are ALWAYS right and everyone else is stupid, crazy or conservative. Nice civil discourse.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Maybe the response should be "What did Ron accomplish on the school board?".

    He supports "merit pay"--did he ever try to get it on the school board agenda? What happened?

    If elected, would Ron have done the behind the scenes bit we saw last session?

    Ron says Ted has the wrong priorities--where can we read Ron's?

    Listen, Ted was not the world's greatest governor in his first term. But he has a record outside of local government. And "what did Ted accomplish?" doesn't tell us squat about what Ron would do if faced by a hostile Speaker or by a legislature totally controlled by the other party during a recession.

    How's this: Oregon unemployment, poverty, hunger rates the month Ted was sworn in as Governor and those rates now. Would Ted look bad, mediocre, or good?

    No single person is responsible for those rates, but it is also true we've never heard Ron say what he would have done differently had he won in 2002 instead of Ted.

    Or is the campaign slogan "elect Ron because he's better than Ted and only has to attack Ted to win, not tell Oregonians what he would do differently"?

  • JJones (unverified)
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    $3 billion in deficit? That's a gross misstatement if not outright lie. And the "g"overnor is going to try and tell us that he is responsible for creating 100,000 "family-wage" jobs? C'mon, seriously. I mean, it's one thing to take credit once in a while for someone else's work but for the campaign to take credit for creating 100,000 jobs is B.S. If that was the case, why weren't the unions out in front of him during the primary? If he was helping the "little guy" so much, why didn't they throw their support behind him instead of begrudgingly "choosing the lesser of two evils" between Saxton and Kulongoski? Obviously, they can't support Saxton when he talks about wanting to fire the whole lazy lot of them and start over with a reasonable, responsible retirement plan and controlled costs for health care and other benefits so they have to back Teddy (lukewarm support) because they know that even though he tried to be responsible and cut PERS, he's better than Saxton and that's the ONLY reason he has their support in this election. It's not about creating jobs, especially family wage jobs.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Is politics really about union vs. anti-union? Or could there be more to it than that?

    If a retired real estate agent who supports a local GOP legislator says "Given the choice between Kulongoski and Saxton. I have to choose Kulongoski" but was really unhappy that Westlund dropped out, why does that have anything to do with unions?

    I just saw the Saxton ad on TV. If I knew nothing about Ron or Ted and saw that ad, I'd be looking for who the Saxton opponent was because I vote against obnoxious ads. I have never in my life belonged to a union.

    But I have more than once voted against a person (otherwise qualified) who ran a stupid negative ad.

    And, as I recall, Gordon Smith's "we're all real tired of career politicians" ad in Jan. 1996 wasn't very successful. And that was a better produced ad with a candidate who sounded less whiny.

    Maybe there are complaints about unions because otherwise Saxton would be forced to say "If elected governor, I would...." and he doesn't want to think that hard or tell us what he stands for . (Charter schools--universally successful when evaluated? Merit Pay--where is there such a progam like that successfully operating now, and would he copy that program or use a different one? Privitization--was he on the school board when janitors were privatized? Any lessons from that?) Saxton says the Gov. has the wrong priorities. Where can we read a list of specific Saxton priorities (beyond the soundbites we hear from him)?

    I'm getting really tired of political debate in this state hijacked by "either you are union, anti-union, or a spectator".

    Anyone who supports Saxton should get beyond the sound bites and show that he realizes getting elected governor is not a magic wand which pushes his programs through the legislature like a hot knife through butter. It is as possible that a Gov. Saxton would face a Speaker Merkley (and a Sen. Pres. Westlund if the Senate were to tie again) as it is that we could have another session of Gov. Kulongoski and Speaker Minnis.

  • JB Eads (unverified)
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    JJ-- It is an absolute, undeniable fact that when the Governor took office, Oregon was facing a 3 billion dollar hole in the state budget (nearly 25% of state's revenue). You can disagree with how he balanced the budget and the choices he made, but the economic outlook's he inherited is really not controversial.

    The Governor worked to jump start the economy by increasing the amount of available industrial land, investing in transportation enhancements, and agressively courting new businesses like Amy's Kitchen, Google, ect... Every major union that's endorsed in the general election has endorsed Ted, and it's not a secret why some weren't enthusiastic in the primary: the Governor made some tough decisions about PERS. He did what he thought was in the best interest of the state, and payed a steep price for it politically. (Same thing with Cascade Lockes, btw. The idea that this was to woo political donors is stunningly misinformed. Grande Rhonde spent something like $500K against him).

    You're right that some cities passed payday loan reform before the state. That's Karen Minnis' line of why she came around to the Governor's position during the special session. The reality is that the Governor supported and pushed for reform since day 1, and continues to work with low-income advocates and others to promote payday loan alternatives.

    Disagreeing with someone and engaging debate is not the same thing as stiffling debate or engaging in civil discourse, as you imply. If you want to refute something like the 3 bil. deficit figure, you should cite a source instead of just calling it a "lie."

  • LT (unverified)
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    Whatever my disagreements with Ted, the stopwatch ad doesn't change the questions:

    1) Ron, which version of the PERS bill did you support in the 2003 session, or were you MIA because you'd lost the election and there was nothing to run for? 2) Ron, given the exact same set of circumstances (economic situation, control of legislature, who was in legislative leadership, etc.) what would you have done differently in 2003--brought more businesses here, not led the food drive, waved a magic wand and fixed all the problems? 3) Ron, I seriously questioned some of Ted's appointments. Would you have appointed different people than he did? Who? Why?

    About JJ: Obviously, they can't support Saxton when he talks about wanting to fire the whole lazy lot of them and start over with a reasonable, responsible retirement plan and controlled costs for health care and other benefits is pretty vague. Changing PERS to a 401k as Saxton has said he wants to do not only requires the votes of legislators (we don't know yet who will be serving in the 2007 legislature) but it needs to be done in a way the courts don't throw out. If someone asks which legislators support Saxton's plan and how he expects his plan to withstand court scrutiny, does that make them a "lazy public worker"? Or just someone who wants details? There was an attempt last session to have statewide health insurance for teachers, and rumors that the reason the OSBA and COSA lobbyists stood with Minnis when she announced her school funding plan was that they didn't want that because they like the current system. Does Ron have the support of COSA and OSBA for his proposals, or doesn't he think he needs the support of public school management? Did he get along with those lobbyists when he was on the school board? Did he think for himself or let OSBA make his decisions for him?

    Tough to answer those questions--so much easier just to make a slick ad with a stopwatch and no content of the "if I am elected, I will..." variety.

  • A.Y. Caramba (unverified)
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    I am writing to call your attention to a new danger to our beloved American democracy! Yes! Foreign Words! Yes! Foreign words are invading Oregon!

    Our beloved Oregon Republican Candidate for Governor Ron Saxton has sounded the alarm, and you must listen to him! The Oregon Republican Party platform will save America!

    Yes! Our English language is in danger of becoming infested with foreign words! Brought to our land by foreigners from other countries! Yes! This is true! The Oregon Republican Party must act swiftly!

    The debate about protecting our borders is missing the real danger to our way of life! Yes! The foreigners will make us speak their language! Yes! The proof is in our beloved English dictionary!

    Spend only a few minutes with our English dictionary, and what you will find there will chill your bones! On every page, there are words from languages that are not English! Yes! It is true! Yet they have been printed in our English dictionary next to our own beloved English words!

    “How can this be?” you ask. I assure you that it is true! If you do not own a dictionary, you can look for free at the public library.

    I will give you several examples:

    “Tortilla” is not English! It is not English, but it is in our beloved English dictionary! “How can this be?,” you ask. "Yes," I reply. It is there, between "tort" and "tortoise!" It is not an English word, it is a Mexican word, spoken by Mexicans! Spoken by Mexicans from Mexico! Yes!

    Do you realize that every time you say café, you are speaking French? Yes! Saxophone! Named for a Belgian! Are you feeling the chill in your bones? Chile con carne! Not English! All in our beloved English dictionary!

    Furthermore, foreigners have been putting their words into our beloved English language for centuries, in their foreign, insidious ways! Yes, this is true! Since the times of the Latins and Greeks! Did you know that “algebra” is not English? It is Arabic! Yet we say this word every day, not realizing that we are speaking Arabic! The camel’s nose is under our precious American tent! Our beloved Ron Saxton will stomp on the camel’s nose! Yes!

    Furthermore, Oregon Republicans must continue to find ways to reduce funding for public libraries until out-of-control librarians stop spending our hard-earned tax dollars on books written in foreign languages! Yes! And we must punish out-of-control librarians who insist on undermining our American way of life! Punish them!!!!

    English-speaking Americans must unite and stop this assault on our precious beloved English language! We must close our beloved English dictionary to more foreign words! Foreign words are not only un-American, they are harder to spell and pronounce than our good English words!

    We have a Constitutional right to speak only English--not foreign--words! Oregon Republicans will work to cut off all funding for those who want to use our public schools to teach foreign languages in America. WE ARE AMERICA! WE DO NOT NEED FOREIGN WORDS!

    We must send a message to all foreigners: “Thank you, but we do not want any more of your words. We have plenty of English words that are not used up yet.”

    We must close our dictionaries to new words! Unless they have been spoken by law-abiding, tax-paying, property-owning English-speaking American citizens! Only with this step can we stop the threat!

    Oregon Republicans must unite and close our borders to insanity! If only we had not cut funding for the Oregon State Police, we would have the officers to set up roadblocks and examine every incoming vehicle for language infestation. Yes! We realize that was a mistake, but we know better now. Yes! You will see!

    The Oregon Republican Party Platform demands an end to the expenditure of public funds on dictionaries and other books written in foreign languages! Yes! It is true! You can look it up for yourself!

    Furthermore,our beloved Oregon Republican Candidate for Governor Ron Saxton and the Oregon Republican Party Platform demand that every foreigner entering our beloved land of the free and home of the brave be issued an English dictionary upon arrival with instructions to use only the words in this book while you are here. This is a very good and necessary idea to help preserve our precious American freedoms! Yes!

    Remember: Many foreigners = many foreign words! Less foreigners = less foreign words! Do not let them speak their foreign words in our America!

    I urge you to write to Congress, to all elected officials, to demand that they focus on the real danger and lock down our beloved dictionary! Yes! Today! Lock it up before it is too late! Stomp on the nose, Ron Saxton! Viva America!

    Sincerely,

    A.Y. Caramba

  • John (unverified)
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    Quite frankly I like it when a politician "does nothing"! Every time they do something there's winners and losers--somebody usually ends up paying more or getting screwed in some way. The world would be a better place if politicians never did anything!!

  • Nicole (unverified)
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    Wow, I can't believe anyone would not find this add stupid. I hate politicians in general. Any form of attach add is stupid no matter how good or bad the person is at being a politicians it just turns me off. I don't pay much attention to the politicians and what they do in general it's all crap to me. I vote, nothing ever goes the way I feel or the choices are crap. That said... In about two seconds it was easy for me to tell that all the road construction around the state and the fact that as a manufacturing contractor it is easier than it has ever been in the last 4-5 years to obtain work in Oregon is a big deal. Saxton should have his P's&Q's in order if he is going to run a negative add he should turn around in the same add and explain what he is going to do to fix it. I agree with allot of people in this discussion that he is creepy looking and looks unfortunately is a big part of being in the public eye, as well as how well your able to carry yourself in speech, which he doesn’t do either. Like it or not allot of people don't know enough about politics and politicians to make a selection based on a persons background so appearance and how they present themselves his a big part of choice. Saxton already has that working against him. If he is going to add negativity to that sad bag he needs to be pointing with facts and saying what he will try to do as governor.

    Remember I am neutral I don't like either candidate and in the 15 years I have been able to vote haven't found anyone that I felt didn't have something slimy about their agenda or the feel that they were talk without being able to deliver.

  • Marian (unverified)
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    More accomplishments of Kulongoski:

    · Cutting payroll taxes; · Cutting prescription drug costs for seniors; · Making the first capital investment in the state’s community college system in 25 years; and · Cracking down methamphetamine production and use.

  • Marian (unverified)
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    The complete list of K's achievements, gleaned from everyone's posts,above:

    · Governor Kulongoski balanced the state budget despite a $3 billion deficit. · He helped create more than 100,000 new jobs - putting Oregonians back to work at family-wage incomes. · He ended the decade-long gridlock in the legislature to pass an overdue transportation package to fix our roads and bridges and help move people, commerce and goods across the state. · Cutting payroll taxes; · Cutting prescription drug costs for seniors; · Making the first capital investment in the state’s community college system in 25 years; and · Cracking down methamphetamine production and use, Passed toughest-in-nation meth law. · Took on the auto industry to pass tough tailpipe emissions to fight global warming. · established a prescription drug purchasing pool -- which pharma fought tooth and nail -- to save consumers millions. · He increased Oregon opportunity grants for college students by 70%. · He stood up to the Bush administration to protect Oregon's roadless areas. He's implementing a goal of getting Oregon gov to meet 100% of the state's energy needs from renewables. · He's expanded rural heath care. · Increased workforce training for nurses. · Fought against efforts to limit patients' rights. · Helped out-of-work fisherman get relief. · Limited the amount of interest unscrupulous payday lenders can charge... and continues to work with low-income advocates and others to promote payday loan alternatives. · Favors diversity – not monocultural and narrow-minded

    (A. Y. Carama's post is absolutely hilarious!!!! Great job, Mr/Ms Caramba! Thanks for a terrific education and a good belly laugh.)

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