Westlund to fight against TABOR, for prescription drug pool

Today's Oregonian coverage of the Westlund withdrawal includes new tidbits in two areas. First, Westlund says he's going to keep his campaign organization together this fall:

Westlund said the political organization he built will remain active in influencing the debate about some ballot measures. He said he particularly supported a measure expanding bulk purchasing of prescription drugs for the uninsured and opposed measures that would cut income taxes and place a cap on government spending.

In addition, Westlund told reporters that his health wasn't part of his decision to withdraw.

Westlund, 56, said that his health was not a factor in his decision. He had surgery for lung cancer in 2003 but says he has recovered and that his health is now fine. He has another two years to serve on his Senate term.


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    The Howard Dean of independents?

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    for bitter, angry Westlund supporters, and other advocates of third-party candidacies, i hate 3 words for you: voter-owned elections.

    i was not for Ben, but i'd rather win on the issues than because of money. with a VOE system, Ben's in it to the end, we don't waste our time fundraising like lunatics, the lobbyists get to go screw themselves (except the "good" lobbyists, of course, who pay for intelligent and altruistic "issue" ads), and we vote for the candidate we agree with, not the one who best buys our attention.

    i'm glad his health isn't an issue. i wish him many long years of recovery from his youthful conservatism.

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    TA -- you might be glad to hear that Voter-Owned Elections is on the statewide ballot this year in California.

  • Becky (unverified)

    This is excellent news. I'm looking forward to hearing what he has to say about both issues.

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    wow. that should be something. i'm going to have read up on their proposal and see what it's about. thanks!

    and go Dodgers!

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    I commend Westlund for not just dropping out of sight this election cycle. His grassroots organization might well be just the solution to fighting TABOR.

    He definately picks up creditablity in my book by doing this.

  • Mister Tee (unverified)

    They're still calling it "Clean Money" down in Californica. I guess they're not afraid to admit their elected officials were taking taking Dirty Money before.

    To their credit, they are requiring all expenditures be made on the Clean Money Debit Card: no: I'm not making this shit up......Maybe they heard something about Emilie Boyles?

    Better yet, Ed Asner thinks it a good idea.

    Of course, Ed Asner also said that 9/11 was a "MANUFACTURED PROVOCATION" of the U.S. Government:

    "Many of the purported hijackers are living persons elsewhere," said Asner highlighting a story reported by BBC and others that several of the so-called perpetrators of 9/11 visited their embassies in protest that they had been identified as terrorists.

    Kind of makes me miss Tenskawatawa. Kind of.

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    the "Clean Money" moniker, which otherwise would be lame, is a slap at the Governator, who said he wouldn't let money influence him but has done exactly what his buyers have ordered. the unions, in turn, try to buy influence -- that's what our "normal" money-driven system of electoral politics demands. VOE can help break that bond; of course, Duke Cunningham is in prison for plain ol' bribery, which still holds a proud place in our politics.

  • John Capradoe (unverified)

    Tabor seems like a logical issue for Westund, he was the only one who was talking Tax reform seriously and seemed to have the guts to do it. I do respect that he did pull out when the numbers didn't come. Realisticly I don't think much of the public is excited about the choices we have in this election. Saxon scares me with his Lars Larson support and mentality, but Ted K, just doesn't inspire me either. I think about a Westlund (R), Vicki Walker (D) race and issues would have been talked about in such a different way and maybe the electorate would have woken up for the race. But this will never happen as long as Goldschmidt is still pulling strings, and the "O" doesn't give them quality press time.

  • LT (unverified)

    Saxon scares me with his Lars Larson support and mentality, but Ted K, just doesn't inspire me either. I think about a Westlund (R), Vicki Walker (D) race and issues would have been talked about in such a different way and maybe the electorate would have woken up for the race.

    If there are lots of voters (there were more Westlund signatures than the number of votes Ted won by last time) who feel like that, maybe we can be loud enough to demand the candidates get more specific and speak to us as individuals, not just members of groups. Are they in this to inspire voters, or do they view this as a team sport with voters as spectators?

    I read in one article that a lawyer who was a Westlund supporter was interviewed about the recruitment efforts of R and D Gov. campaigns and said "Not so fast--we will not accept sound bites and attacks. We will hold their feet to the fire."

    Everyone who cares about issues and not just whether Team Ted defeats Team Ron should take that to heart. Contact the campaigns, talk to those you know who support the candidates. Ask them about issues.

    For those cynics who think that will never work, nationally it already has. Remember how Bush was saying anyone who didn't support his "stay the course" was an advocate of "cut and run"?

    The DNC and RNC chairs were on Meet the Press today and Mehlman said something revealing, "This is not about stay the course vs. cut and run, it is about adapt to win vs. cut and run". Gee, when did that "talking point" come out?

    Now is the time to remind all candidates at all levels of the first three words of the Constitution. Which side are you on: that elections are about voters (we the people), or that elections are about the candidates? Steve Duin had a great line that "Saxton is chronically uninformed and Kulongoski is seemingly incapacitated by all he knows".

    Now there are 2 major party candidates and a couple lesser known minor candidates, could it possibly be that the major party nominee who most proves Steve Duin's description wrong could be the one to win?

  • JHL (unverified)

    Steve Duin's column today is kinda what was going through my mind... extreme disappointment at the fact that I can't vote for Westlund... but midway through the column it seems as if he very much wants to pivot that blame:

    "Saxton is chronically uninformed and Kulongoski is seemingly incapacitated by all he knows".

    If Duin beleives that the major parties failed to provide us with quality candidates, why does he lay the bulk of his blame on Westlund's head?

    If I happily eat three Big Macs at McDonald's and then unsuccesfully try to run the weight off on my home treadmill... I don't blame the treadmill for the state of my health. I would blame myself for eating the burgers (and to a lesser extent, McDonald's for making them so damn tasty and addicting).

    I'd be interested to know if Duin spent any personal effort helping out Westlund -- submitted his signature, passed out bumper stickers to his neighbors, sent a few bucks in (under the reporting requirement), etc. Reading Duin's column, it sounds like Duin would have expected Westlund to ride that symbolic ship as it was dashed onto the rocks -- a romantic sentiment, but a tall order in real life.

    Now, if we can get Ben Westlund into a time machine... he can teach Ralph Nader a thing or two in 2000.

  • Annie (unverified)

    Duin signed.

  • JHL (unverified)

    Thanks, Annie. As I said, I was interested. But I still stand by the Big Mac analogy.

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