Saxton: Flip, flop, flippity flop

It turns out that Ron Saxton was for the kicker before he was against it. Or maybe it's the other way around. Hard to tell.

From the Oregonian:

Saxton, who has repeatedly said he opposes any cut in the personal or corporate tax kickers, said he is now open to diverting some of that money into a rainy day fund.

Here's the weird thing: He's still running radio ads that say the opposite. has the details:

And he's still running a radio attack ad stating a proposal to divert some of the kicker is a "tax increase." We're interested in how he is going to square his new position on the kicker with his pledge to right-wing buddies to oppose any and all tax increases.

Meanwhile, over at right-wing blog RINO Watch, they're going apoplectic:

Saxton's significant shift from earlier pledges of no tax increases. The RINO now wants a TAX INCREASE BY STEALING THE CORPORATE KICKER. What's next, hmmmmmmmm?


  • Sid Leader (unverified)

    Ronnie's politics are changing as fast as his face!

    What's next, a guest slot on "Nip and Tuck"?

  • (Show?)

    Piker. If the guy was any good he'd pull out all the stops and go for taking opposite positions in the same ad.

  • (Show?)

    I was asked recently why Saxton is so far behind in the polls. I responded by saying that he went too far right in the primary and that if he had the same positions as he did four years ago he would be doing better.

    I also believe that his attempts to slice his position so closely that he confuses everyone is perhaps more important. The far right doesn't trust his conversion and when he doesn't come out clearly for the conservative position he loses their support. At the same time he keeps taking positions that are such total waffles that he is losing the independents who view him as indecisive and unclear. He is on both sides of this issue as well as the TABOR ballot measure. While Kulongoski may not be liked by the Democratic left, he comes across as much more definitive on these tax issues. It is kind of funny but the right wing ballot measures seem to be causing more problems for the right than the left.

  • LT (unverified)

    While Kulongoski may not be liked by the Democratic left, he comes across as much more definitive on these tax issues.

    Does it make one a member of the "Democratic left" to have said this in an email to an activist friend as I did this afternoon? (The quote in >>> <<< is from the Oregonian story today).

    "Once upon a time, there was a Sen. Kulongoski who was a real crusading state sen. (the sort of guy who Westlund has been last year and this year). Those of us who knew Ted back then have been waiting for that guy to re-appear. Instead, we get this definition of "leadership" from Ted's campaign manager:

    Saxton is a typical politician who moves according to polls, not best policy," said Kulongoski's campaign manager Jim Ross. "Leadership requires a clear and consistent message -- not speaking out of both sides of your mouth." <<

    Yeah, Jim Ross, apply that to your own candidate!

    What exactly is Ted K's recipe for a rainy day fund? Is it the same today as it was a month ago? Will it be the same a month from now?"

    I liked what Joe Keating said in that Oregonian article. He has a specific plan to fund the kicker rather than generalized rhetoric--what a concept! I also think legislative candidates should start asking audiences, "how many here want the kicker status quo, and how many would like to debate the future of the kicker?".

    In a state where news reports tell us what "those with a family income of $40,000 per year" can expect as a kicker check, I'd like to know whether there are any public figures willing to admit publicly that there are lots of Oregon families getting by on considerably less than that. Do politicians realize those people can vote and have the right to ask what services must be cut to fund the almighty kicker?

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)

    Not liking Ted no more makes LT a lefty Democrat than does the bare fact of his posting on a progressive blog.

    His hoped-for skewering moment: "I knew Ted Kulongoski, Ted Kulongoski was a friend of mine. Governor, you are no Ted Kulongoski." does not fly. The Governor is still Ted, not possessed by some dybbuk but by a broader responsibility. He is an incumbent governor with two months left to convince a majority of Oregonians that he should retain his post. This is hardly the time for him to charge off to tilt at windmills.

    Sure Ted blurted out his disgust for the 'Kicker' straightjacket, and had to backpedal from it, so what? What reasonable, caring citizen does not want plunge his lance into the black heart of such a merciless, immovable monster? But that is a fight for another day.

    The R's have worked long and hard to clear the field of reasonable, caring citizens, and have had success. The people of Oregon have seen the infrastructure on which they and their families depend to foster their prosperity and well-being crumble as those in the highest tax brackets shirked their responsibilities to the society that nurtured them. The mass of citizens are afraid now, as ever-increasing burdens are dumped on them from they know not where as they struggle just to stay in place.

    Arrgh! It is this kind of situation that makes Oregon politics frustrating enough to make me shun it for most of my life. We have a government that is nimble in response to the desire of its citizens, but it also enables ill-considered and wrongly-targeted measures to become law. Once a measure has the force of law and custom it is not so easily maneuvered. So it is with the dreaded 'Kicker'. Now that Oregon citizens are accustomed to getting money back when there is a short-term economic upswing, it would be evidence of a political death-wish for the Governor to keep it from them. Those are the facts; read 'em and weep, LT... as indeed we all should.

    The other part of the problem is that the measure was enshrined in the Oregon Constitution, and (quoting the 'fact box' from the referenced Oregonian article) "Repealing the law would require a statewide majority vote. The Legislature can reduce or suspend the kicker, but it takes a two-thirds vote." It will take a broad-based effort to educate and rally the electorate to take this bull by the horns. Ted can lead such a crusade (as LT noted) but it will take the resources of the Democratic Party to accomplish it.

    The root cause of Oregon's woes was succinctly laid out by then-VP of the US Henry Wallace in his NYT commentary of April 9, 1944 which I quote from the excellent Thom Hartmann article on Common Dreams "Reclaiming The Issues: Islamic Or Republican Fascism?":

    "The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact, ... Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. They use every opportunity to impugn democracy.... They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection."

  • Liz McCrary (unverified)

    Just heard a Ron Saxton political ad on TV. He says he supports school choice. Is this "Winglish" for school vouchers?

    Here's an idea: Why not just fully fund school district budgets in order to make our public schools the best they can be, instead of setting them up for failure with the unfunded mandates of "No Child Left Behind?"

    I do believe that "magnet schools" within the public education system are an excellent alternative to the pedagogy of the "banking method" that bores most children to tears. No one school can be all things to all children. However, all children have something special about them, something they excel at best, and given a fighting chance, they will succeed. There should be no need to take a child out of the public school system if the schools are set up for success, instead of for failure as they have been since Bush "reinvented the wheel" (IDEA.)

    The lure of $$$ to send one's child to a private school is tempting, but is it realistic for most Oregonians? The $4500 +/- parents would be able to write off on their taxes is less than half of what it actually costs to enroll in a private school. And what if you don't itemize deductions on your tax forms? Will Form 1040EZ have a line item for this deduction?

    Instead of "school choice," educators and others who support a truly democratic public school system need to revamp our schools' educational philosophies and pedagogies to improve the schools we already have, and get those programs funded appropriately. When children are fully engaged in learning, they blossom and it's a beautiful thing to watch. Let's give them a fighting chance by making an investment in successful school programs. Society will reap the rewards from that investment down the road.

  • JTT (unverified)

    Liz- I'm pretty sure that "school choice" = open enrollment...not vouchers.

  • LT (unverified)

    JTT--you point up Saxton's problem. He doesn't say what he means by school choice, we are left to guess. He doesn't say what he means by a Gov. who is willing to make big changes. Is his slogan "Saxton for Gov. because what this state needs is surprises"?

    Suppose Saxton were to win office by 10,000 votes but the St. Sen retained the Dem. majority or was split and the House went Dem. or was split. Exactly how would a Gov. Saxton who hasn't campaigned on specific proposals gain the 16 Senate votes and 31 House votes for his proposals? Has he even thought through those details yet, or would he have to formulate the specifics if he won? Does he know that 31-16 vote count is what he would need to do? Would the process be more public than Kulongoski was in dealing with Minnis & Co? Does Saxton think the last couple sessions have been too long and too secretive, or just right?

    Saxton reminds me of Bruggere 10 years ago. "My background in business qualifies me, and if I repeat my talking points often enough, you will vote for me".

    <h2>Didn't work 10 years ago, and I don't expect that approach to work this year.</h2>
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