By Kris Nelson of Portland, Oregon. Kris is a "sustainable business and renewable energy consultant, researcher on property tax reform, and occasional writer."
Governor Kulongoski has shown Oregonians he knows how to develop markets for Oregon manufacturers. Besides leading several trade missions to Asian countries, he's strongly supported the creation of the Oregon Innovation Council, a noble effort to integrate key growth industries with research and development opportunities at Oregon universities, among other goals. One emerging industry is wave energy, which stands to attract federal research funds.
His opponent, however, shows little concern about such innovation, especially if it entails spending state funds. If Pacific Basin trade delegations visited Oregon and asked Ron Saxton what he'd do to lure new companies here would his answer be, "Well, we're going to achieve efficiency first and can't afford to improve our universities and school system soon; classrooms will stay packed."
Then, if they asked him what he'd do to stabilize energy costs and develop renewable technologies would he say, "See the little paragraph on my website; it's not a high priority."
Does it make sense to gamble our improving university research system and economic recovery on a person with such attitudes? I know that the governor will continue to support smart economic development.
He has my vote!