City Club Smackdown

Governor Ted Kulongoski and Ron Saxton went toe-to-toe today at the Portland City Club. Here's some initial coverage from the Oregonian:

Kulongoski came out swinging:

Kulongoski quickly, who has been under attack from Saxton from the outset of the campaign, showed his combative side. "When you ask Ron a tough question that requires him to take a tough position, his natural instinct is to duck it," Kulongoski said. "That makes him a great politician, but it does not make him a good leader."

Saxton was short on specifics:

Saxton, who had to be asked twice about his 10 percent pledge, ultimately said that when he talks about cutting the bureaucracy he doesn't mean the frontline workers, such as teachers, police or welfare workers, but "everything beyond that," such as data processing and other administrative functions. He said, "I don't have a number" on how much those cuts would put back in the state budget.

On illegal immigration:

The candidates also got a chance to ask two questions of each other. Kulongoski grilled Saxton on his stand against illegal immigration, citing news reports that Saxton was part owner of a farm that might have used undocumented workers.

"Do you only care about following the law about immigration when people are paying attention?" Kulongoski asked. Saxton responded that there is no evidence his farm hired illegal immigrants and that he is proud of how his farm, which grows cherries and grapes near Salem, was managed.


  • ian (unverified)

    Wow Saxton needs some help!!!!!!!! God help us if Saxton wins

    Go Ted!

  • Johnson (unverified)

    Was it just me, or was Saxton just horrible at the debate today? This is actually a serious question - he was so much worse than I'd hoped he would be. Again, was it just me? Can I get a what, what?

  • David (unverified)

    I agree. I expected TK to win but I didn't expect Saxton to look so bad. It was kind of sad at the end. I was on the aisle that both candidates took to leave the room and Kulongoski was smiling from ear to ear and shaking hands left and right. Saxton, by contrast, did not look terribly happy. For a lawyer, he ain't a great public speaker.

    <h2>However, we still have to close the deal. Work work work work work work work work work as hard as you all can because victory will come but only if we give all we have for it.</h2>
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