At the Oregon Summit over the past weekend, I was thrilled with the relatively positive tenor of the candidate forum. Unlike two years ago where the tension between the Steve Novick and Jeff Merkley was so thick you could cut it with a knife, the candidates for governor seemed to be more focused on themselves and their ideas rather than their opponent.
Unfortunately, the media coverage of the race seems to be trending against the positivity. First, from this week’s Willamette Week:
We confess…the prospect of a 2010 Oregon gubernatorial race dominated by used-to-be pols and regular wannabes threatens to knock us into a never-ending nap.
I hate to break it to the media but it’s not the gubernatorial candidates job to entertain reporters or even keep you awake. It’s about democracy and informing the voters. If you want interesting, cover the runoff election in Afghanistan. Now that’s interesting!
Now Steve Duin, well he takes the cake. If the candidates won’t mix it up, he’s apparently happy to do it for them.
In Kitzhaber's glory years, he showed little interest in reining in PERS and annoying the public employee unions that are the Democratic Party's biggest boosters.
He was content with the status quo at SAIF -- which paid Neil Goldschmidt's firm more than $1 million in "consulting" fees and spent $20,000 on motivational speakers at its annual meetings -- because, he once told an industry lobbyist, it was too much trouble to mess with an agency whose defenders were armed with machine guns.
He was delighted to give tavern owners 35 percent of the video lottery commissions, and happy to cede control of the Oregon Investment Council and the state's economic development agency to members of Goldschmidt's extended political family.
Me personally. I like Bill Bradbury. As a former staffer of his, I remain fond of him. I like John Kitzhaber too but admit I don’t know him nearly as well. Steve Shields: underwhelmed would be the only work I could use to describe his performance at Sunriver. Gentlemen: I stand prepared to be bored to tears by you, if that’s the alternative to you tearing at each other.