The Oregonian's Contradictory Saxton Stump

Caelan MacTavish

This Sunday, the Big O editorial pages told us why we should all give Kulongoski the heave-ho. And if you don't care about things like 'logic,' their argument would make sense.

They open the editorial with the question, “Are you satisfied with Oregon and its state government? We’re not.” But on the right side of the same page, they decry Republican Karen Minnis for presiding over “two of the longest, most rancorous and least productive sessions in the history of the Oregon Legislature.”

Obviously, that is Kulongoski’s fault.

Their “state of the state” description in the editorial stumping for Saxton also contradicts Saxton’s own campaign ads. The Oregonian says, “School funding is below the national average.” But last night I saw a Saxton ad that said Kulongoski had increased school funding something like a dozen times!

So which is it? Is our school underfunded because other states spend more? Or is our state overfunded and mismanaged, as Saxton's attack ads claim?

When they bemoan the lack of a rainy day fund in Oregon, I couldn't help laughing out loud. Saxton is squarely against doing away with the kicker, which makes a rainy day fund impossible! I heard Kulongoski once say he would favor doing away with that archaic law, allowing us to have a rainy day fund. Yet because Saxton wants to keep our problems unsolved, we should elect him?

If a newspaper can’t make any coherent arguments for supporting the Republican candidate, perhaps it is time they buck the wishes of their Republican publisher and support another candidate.

  • don fox (unverified)

    I wonder if the Saxton endorsement is a payback to Stickel for them having endorsed Kerry for president over his loud objections two years ago? I just cannot believe that anyone on their board besides Stickel and Reinhard beileves this tripe.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)

    Corporations are not democratic, but there is obviously a minority opinion struggling to be heard here.

  • sasha (unverified)

    How does the kicker make a rainy day fund impossible? You call THAT logic? Session after session the Democrats wanted to keep the kicker.... not to create a rainy day fund, but to SPEND it.

    The legislature, D's and R's included, spend every dime that comes in. With or without the kicker, that is what they would do. Having the kicker in place does not make a rainy day fund impossible. All they have to do is create a budget that doesn't spend the entire revenue forecast.

    The D's and R's are barely different on this front, but different nonetheless. D's want to spend whatever comes in, while the R's spend the entire forecast, and support sending back to the taxpayers receipts in excess of forecast.

    Both are bad, since both result in no rainy day fund. But to say that the kicker law makes a rainy day fund impossible simply destroys your own credibility, and hence your critique of the logic of the Oregonian.

  • Harry (unverified)

    Is this the best BlueOregon can do on this topic?

    I much prefer Carla's rant over at Loaded Orygon.... ....maybe you should have just done the link to her and left it at that.

    Sometimes, nothing said is better than lame.

  • frank carper (unverified)

    well harry you can feel free to pipe in right here.

    or you could just take your own advice.

    Sometimes, nothing said is better than lame.

  • KISS (unverified)

    2005 With repugs in control of legislature and Super K in command of the Leaking Lena, still 800 new laws were passed. With Demos in charge and Saxton at the head of confusion what will really change? Maybe this is the check and balance needed.

  • Righty (unverified)

    Illogical? I think that what you describe is only illogical if one assumes that...

    1. only one person can be at fault if Oregon is screwed up (the Oregonian believes that both Minis and Kulongowski are at fault)

    2. Saxton Ads and the Oregonian cannot differ (the fact that Saxton and the Oregonian disagree does not make the Oregonian's endorsement of Saxton illogical).

    I think that their basic argument is that Kulongowski doesn't have a lot of ideas or energy so we should vote for someone with these characteristics. It really wasn't a ringing endorsement. I haven't spoken with a single lefty friend of mine that is excited with Kulongowski.

  • Joe12Pack (unverified)

    "If a newspaper can’t make any coherent arguments for supporting the Republican candidate, perhaps it is time they buck the wishes of their Republican publisher and support another candidate."

    A relatively tepid endorsement, don't you think? Also seems to me it would be far more difficult to make a strong case for reelecting Ted. I fail to see an absence of logic in this particular editorial, but I do see some trying desperately to make logical connections where there are none. It's real simple, folks. Ted has been a weak, innefective governor. Many Oregonians are unhappy with his job performance, including some registered Democrats. The Minnis-Brading race is another matter. I wonder what role Travelgate played in the O's endorsing Brading. Might have been just enough to tip the scales toward the Democrat, and the message is the same- time for a change.

    As far as your inference that The Oregonian leans Republican, give me a break. Some of my more conservative aquaintances consider it a liberal rag. I don't necessarily agree with that assertion, but Fox News it aint.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    I've criticized Ted more than most blue-side posters here, but Saxton is one lousy alternative. To the point of the Oregonian endorsement: The political mindset that has made Oregon lacking in the ways the editors mention is precisely what Ron Saxton is promising more of, in spades. His positions would have worked for any rightward Republican running in Oregon in the past decade. These are the folks who have worked toward government that could be drowned in a bathtub.

    Saxton is precisely what this state DOES NOT NEED.

  • cjallen (unverified)

    1992 the Oregonian endorsed a Democrat for president for the first time since its founding in 1850. The Oregonian is still conservative. The only Dems for they have ever endorsed for president are Bill Clinton and John Kerry. The only times they have ever endorsed Dems were when Bushes were running for re-election. Who really believes that Ron Saxton is the most capable Republican to run for Governor since Vic Atiyeh?

  • Joe12Pack (unverified)

    i"Who really believes that Ron Saxton is the most capable Republican to run for Governor since Vic Atiyeh?"

    I do and think he's the most moderate Republican gubenatorial candidate we have seen in Oregon over the past 20 years. His nomination shook the Republican base and caused the Constitution Party of Oregon to run a candidate in opposition. Would that have happened if Mannix or Atkinson were the nominee? I think not. People are hungry for change in the governors office and Saxton is the guy to deliver it. If Ted wins and Mary Starrett receives less than 3% of the vote, I'll respect it. Should Mary garner more than 5%, I'll blame idiot right-wing Moonbats for a left-wing victory.

  • Marvin McConoughey (unverified)

    I think that Oregon is just an exceptionally difficult state in which to compete for the governorship. Between people on the right and on the left, duelling interest groups, divisive tax issues, a mediocre state income per capita, immigration issues, forestry issues, and valid questions about how best to create a more prosperous state, almost any straightfoward, honest and complete statement of one's truest beliefs and intentions is apt to spell doom in the race for votes.

  • LT (unverified)

    Joe 12: When has Saxton admitted that just maybe the Speaker of the House had something to do with what problems did/ didn't get solved in this state in the last 4 years (not to mention the recession)? The Oregonian understands this. I hope when Saxton opened his Oregonian this morning he saw the endorsement of Brading. Maybe at some point he will realize that the Governor is not king.

    I knew and admired Vic Atiyeh. He was a legislator before he was Gov. I remain skeptical that Saxton realizes the Legislature is a co-equal branch of government with the Executive Branch which is headed by the Governor.

    The GOP needed to be rattled. There are lots of people who were Tom McCall Republicans (including myself) who left years ago --it was made clear we weren't wanted.

    It was a Republican operative 10 years ago who told me "the fastest growing party is no party at all".

    Kulongoski and Saxton are NOT the 2 best candidates this state has ever seen (Westlund is the closest I have seen to McCall quality in many years).

  • myranda (unverified)

    Here's the hilarious thing about The O's endorsement of Saxton: in the endorsement, the editor opines what a geat service Saxton did on the school board. But in the accompanying profile of Saxton, the reporter recites the facts about Saxton's school board: lousy hiring decisions, administrative cost overruns, golden parachutes, etc. In other words, the editor of The O doesn't read her own newspaper.

  • Eric (unverified)

    Even if there is a contadiction in the schools issue, there is one item that suprecedes it - Saxton is a native Oregonian. He was born, raised, and went to schools (high school and Willamette University) in the state. A native Oregonian for Governor of Oregon. To those who will bring up Tom McCall - get a life! That is the past. This is now. We need someone who was raised in the state more that someone who can't make up thier mind. At least Ron makes attempts because he knows Oregonians, because he is a Native Oregonian.

  • Harry (unverified)

    "...because he is a Native Oregonian."

    I agree. Natives are the best.

    Maybe its the water here, or the clean air that makes natives better than others?

    Maybe we should get Sisemore or the Unions to float an Initiative to enshrine that in our State Constitution, kinda like the one in the Federal Constitution that prohibits non-US-natives from the office of the President?


    Maybe not.

  • Sally (unverified)

    "Who really believes that Ron Saxton is the most capable Republican to run for Governor since Vic Atiyeh?"

    People who don't remember Dave Frohnmayer. Indeed, it was the single most startling sentence in The Oregonian's endorsement.

    Owing to another right-flank attack, he lost to the remarkably ineffective Barbara Roberts. And I have absolutely no doubt that the true-blue Democrats on Blue (not "progressive" ... perish the thought) Oregon would have attacked Frohnmayer as vehemently then as they now do his lesser successor.

    It's just all politics.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)

    In today's Opinion Section, the Oregonian notes that in the 2 days after their endorsement [of the wrong guy] was published they received 140 letters, all but 4 of which criticized their endorsement and pledged support for Kulongoski!

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