Oregonian: Wayne Scott is "evil incarnate"

Today, the O's Harry Esteve does a profile of GOP House Minority Leader Wayne Scott:

Maybe it was impertinent, but I came right out and asked House Minority Leader Wayne Scott how it feels to replace former Speaker Karen Minnis as the Oregon Legislature's latest evil incarnate.

"I hope not," he said. A look of light surprise riffled his eyes before he quickly returned to his neutral, implacable gaze.

Just read some of the lefty blogs out there, I suggested. The same ones that mercilessly flamed Minnis when she held the wheel of power in the House.

Scott's press aide, Nick Smith, backed me up, referring his boss to recent Internet chatter castigating Scott for a fracas over a bill that would have given more bargaining power to unionized police and firefighters.

"I don't read the blogs," said Scott, a successful Republican businessman from Canby. Look, he offered, "I'm in the minority. I don't have any control over what is proposed, put up or how it's dealt with."

Read the rest.

Of course, that "recent Internet chatter" is right here at BlueOregon. And it's worth noting that Wayne Scott was a bad guy last session too - here and here and here for starters.

And of course, he's not just a bad guy here at BlueOregon. He's also this week's Rogue of the Week at WW.


  • (Show?)

    "I'm in the minority. I don't have any control over what is proposed, put up or how it's dealt with."

    Does this mean we can use his own words against him next election cycle? That this state is in such bad shape because of what the legislature did, and the Rs were in control, which means it's completely their fault. Even Wayne Scott agrees that it can all be laid at the feet of the majority. And when a state is picked apart for more than a decade, it will take more than one session to fix things.

  • Scott (unverified)


    By what measure do you consider the state in "such bad shape"?

    I admit that I don't follow things as close as you probably do, but it seems that I've read from numerous sources that the State is riding a wave of tax revenue.

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    The list could go on and on, but I'll just start with a few and let others add on...

    • school cuts, which means some of the largest class sizes, shortest school days, and shortest school years in the nation

    • cuts to the Oregon Health Plan, and that funding has not been replaced

    • cuts in other social services, including mental health

    • cuts in public safety

  • Scott (unverified)


  • Dave Lister (unverified)

    Jenni, Can you show some budget numbers, one biennium to the next, that show the actual budgets went down? A lot of people say things have not been cut, but just haven't grown as fast as some would like. Did the total number of dollars going to schools, for example, actually go down from one budget cycle to the next? I'd sure like to know. Thanks

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    The actual amount per student has gone down over the past several years.

    Oregon Health Plan was definitely cut, and large numbers of people were completely cut off from the system. And getting onto the Plan is almost impossible.

    Because of increases in costs and such, it becomes harder to compare budget to budget. That's why often times comparisons are done in the number of people covered, the per student funding, etc.

  • John Mulvey (unverified)

    Now that I know he reads "lefty" Blue Oregon: Harry Esteve, you need to apply some critical thinking skills next time you're having a casual (and "impertinent") chat with Wayne Scott.

    How about this weird bit of spin: "This year, [Scott] was instrumental in the closed-door wrangling that created Oregon's first rainy day fund." The casual reader might come away with the sense that Scott supported the fund, instead of the ugly reality that Scott did everything possible to keep taxpayer money flowing to his corporate cronies.


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    Dave, it's fashionable in righty circles to pretend that a budget dollar this year is worth the same as a budget dollar five years ago.

    But those two dollars aren't worth the same. There's this wacky little thing called inflation.

    And here's the really hard part about public budgeting. You can't use the consumer price index inflation number - because the government doesn't buy a typical consumer basket-of-goods.

    Almost all of the cost of government is the cost of people. And a huge part of the cost of people is the cost of health care. And for years, the cost of health care has been skyrocketing at 15-20% a year.

    If government budgets only go up a few percent a year, it doesn't take a rocket scientist or a Nobel economist to figure out that the buying power of those budgets goes down.

    If you want to fix the state budget problem, we gotta fix the health care problem.

  • lin qiiao (unverified)

    It's kind of transparently obvious that expenditures for any particular purpose have to be figured on a per capita inflation-adjusted basis. How can Mr. Lister, an aspiring member of the city council, not know that?

  • Dave Lister (unverified)

    Lin: I asked for numbers. Nobody's shown me any. If the education budget went up 5% over a biennium (2.5% per year) and inflation was 3% then I will concede it is a cut. If it went up 8% under the same scenario I won't. You might be able to argue that it's underfunded, but you can't call it a cut.

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    I once did an analysis of that, and sent it in to the Oregonian as a Letter to the Editor, which they published (after some rather severe trimming).

    The upshot: using historical Oregon budget figures, schools were cut by 8% from 1992 to 2002 in CPI inflation and population growth adjusted dollars. And that was before the massive budget problems from the 2002-2004 recession, which temporarily cut them another 4%. (Which we're now recovering from.)

    Mind you, the State's contribution to education went up tremendously during the '90s. But it didn't make up for the shortfalls caused by the passage of Measure 5. Which is pretty obvious, if you remember all the school programs that used to be a staple of education in the '70s and '80s that are now just a memory.

  • razzo rizzo (unverified)

    Since Harry admits to takes his lead (and apparently his ideas) from lefty blogs, what is he? A journalist or an opinion writer? Or just an ordinary asshole furthering the reputation the liberal media so regularly earns.

    With Sandy Rowe shaking things up, why doesn't he suggest a name change to the Pinko Crier: Screwing Republicans (nearly half of this state's population) One Leader at a Time. While he's at it, why not quit and become a paid blogger since he now has about as much credibility to Republicans as Jayson Blair. I haven't seen any stories about blue fist Merklame or "we're gonna roll you" Dingdongfelder. Then again, maybe that's because Oregon doesn't have a Republican blogosphere worthy of the kind of heavy lifting that sets the agenda for writers meetings at the 'O.

    Da Rizzo

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    Actually, Rizzo, if you read at better than gadeschool level, you would have noticed the whole point of Harry Esteve's Oregonian article was written in support of idiots like you.

    We don't like Wayne Scott. He's a pathetic excuse for a legislator. But none of us have ever called him "evil incarnate". That we reserve for brutal dictators, like Hitler, who casually signed off on the death of millions. But that didn't prevent Esteve from smearing BlueOregon with a false characterization of Coulteresque rhetoric, obviously intending, as best he was able, to damage progressive credibility.

    So it's only fitting that BlueOregon returns the favor, by attributing the never made accusation to where it really belongs - the Oregonian, who employs Esteve to write this kind of trash.

    Subtly done, Kari. And enjoyable to watch too.

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    "Screwing Republicans (nearly half of this state's population)"

    When did that happen??

    Or does 36% = nearly half on your planet?

    Don't even try to claim the NAV's--they vote Dem.

  • (Show?)

    I asked for numbers. Nobody's shown me any. If the education budget went up 5% over a biennium (2.5% per year) and inflation was 3% then I will concede it is a cut. If it went up 8% under the same scenario I won't. You might be able to argue that it's underfunded, but you can't call it a cut.

    One more time, Dave. The government doesn't buy the average consumer's "basket of goods" -- so inflation isn't the number to hang your hat on.

    <h2>Rather, the government buys mostly salaries and health care benefits. Health care, especially, has been growing far faster than consumer inflation.</h2>
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