Kulongoski vs. Saxton on the Environment

This week, leaders of Oregon's major environmental groups gathered to announce a joint campaign to help re-elect Governor Ted Kulongoski. From the Statesman-Journal:

Three environmental groups announced a coordinated effort Wednesday to re-elect Gov. Ted Kulongoski. The political action committees of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club and Oregon Natural Resource Council previously announced their endorsements of the governor. They said they support Kulongoski because of actions including his opposition to logging in roadless areas and adoption of stricter tailpipe-emission standards.

The AP reports this about Republican Ron Saxton's views on the environment:

Saxton came in for criticism from the environmentalists for his statements on land-use planning and a pro-timber industry slant to some of his policies.

But [campaign manager Felix] Schein countered that Saxton shares similar concerns about protection of natural resources and Oregon's livability.

"The massive difference is how we get to that goal," he said. "The governor believes government regulation is the best way to bring about a clean environment. Ron Saxton has far more faith in our agricultural and natural resource leaders to steward our environment."


  • Jesse O (unverified)

    And Saxton's evidence of where that works? Why doesn't the reporter do a follow-up question?

    Oh, sorry -- it's Saxton's "faith." Tell that to the species that go extinct while we were having "faith" things would work out.

  • (Show?)

    I love faith-based politics.

  • Clack (unverified)

    Saxton is going to try and cruise on his "hey I like the environment to" line and pretend he is not beholden to the logging industry and other anti-enviro interests. Hopefully Kulongoski and the Democrats will do a better job of calling him on it than Kerry did with Bush.

  • B (unverified)

    our agricultural and natural resource leaders

    Just to clarify -- He's talking about dairies, grass seed growers, timber companies, sand and gravel companies, etc. right?

  • JHL (unverified)

    B... Hello? Oil is a natural resource, too. :)

  • Ivan Maluski (unverified)

    Saxton's talking about big timber companies like the Swanson Group, Columbia Helicopters, Roseburg Forest Products, and Seneca Jones Timber who have been major loggers of Oregon's last remaining old growth forests and who have pushed hard to open up our last roadless areas. In the past, these companies have generally only supported candidates who seek to roll back basic environmental protections for salmon, clean water, and Oregon's forests and all were major contributors to Measure 37 in 2004.

    According to campaign finance documents made available last month, during this campaign cycle Swanson Group has given Saxton at least $75,000, Columbia Helicopters and its Chairman Wes Lematta have given Saxton at least $30,000 worth of cash and 'in-kind' donations such as 'plane and pilot services,' Roseburg Forest Products has given at least $45,000, and Seneca Jones Timber at least $50,000.

    In addition to bankrolling Measure 37 two years ago, some of the leaders of these companies (Steve Swanson from Swanson Group and Max Merlich from Columbia Helicopters) also served on the Bush/Cheney Natural Resource Leadership Team for Oregon, a group primarily made of up timber company executives working to spin Bush's horrible environmental record.

    Who knows what deals Saxton is making behind closed doors with these forward thinking 'stewards.'

    There's a lot at stake in this election for the future of Oregon's air and water, our open spaces, forests, and wildlife and the quality of life and economic benefits inextricably linked with protecting these values.

  • Stryker (unverified)

    "agricultural and natural resource leaders"

    For the roster of Saxton's leaders, one need look no farther than the Board of Directors of Oregonians for Food (Corporate Ag) and Shelter (developers and timber). They have managed to stuff almost every progressive initiative in the legislature that dealt with land, water of wildlife over the past decade...and they're not too good on tax policy either.

    Wes LeMatta OFS Board member and founder of Columbia Helicopters fame was neck deep in the OSU College of Forestry scandal which erupted earlier this year (see http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/politics/la-na-salvage11jun11,1,6551645.story?coll=la-news-politics-national&track=crosspromo)

    There are some progressives in both agriculture and timber, but I don't imagine they'll be getting their calls returned by Ron Saxton (or Ben Westlund for that matter).

    It's a choice about the state's future--one path leads forward-the other to the clearcuts of the past. Choose now or forever hold your nose.


  • edison (unverified)
    <h2>Oregonians for Food & Shelter 'hearts' Ron Saxton. They are an unabashed advocate for the pesticide industry and they’re the same group who helped channel $5.5 million of mostly out-of-state dollars in 2002 to defeat a state measure that would have required the labeling of genetically modified food products. The American Forest Resource Council, who represent nearly 100 forest product manufacturers and forest landowners in twelve western states, although only 23 in Oregon, also endorse Mr. Saxton. Their stated mission is to create a favorable operating environment for the forest products industry by improving federal laws, regulations, policies and decisions that determine or influence the management of all lands. I think I can decipher that code. Sourcewatch says the American Forest Resource Council is a timber industry trade association focused on logging old growth forests in the northwest and confounding the science to support business as usual. On the environment, it's clear: Kulongosi is the environmentalist pick, and Saxton isn't.</h2>
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