Kitzhaber-Bradbury: Round 1, Lake Oswego

T.A. Barnhart

The Oswego Lake Country Club is so swank, not only can they get away with a pretentious name, they can tell the former governor of Oregon he cannot wear his trademark Levis to a political event to which he has been invited. Fortunately, John Kitzhaber was able, as he put it, “to navigate the curious cultural mores of this institution” —ie, find a pair of slacks — so as to participate in the first of many debates against his opponent for the Democratic nomination for governor, former Secretary of State Bill Bradbury. Bradbury, as usual, had to navigate narrow hallways and the ballroom’s chairs and tables on his Segway, a challenge he now uses as a political metaphor (got tired of sitting on his butt in scooter, so decided to take a stand…).

candidates for the Oregon Democratic Party nomination for governor Bill Bradbury and John Kitzhaber debate before the Willamette Women Democrats in Lake Oswego, Oregon, on February 10 2010The two contenders, long-time friends and colleagues (they greeted each other with a hug and not a mere handshake), one of whom is likely to be Oregon’s next governor, did not debate so much as share parallel Q&A sessions. Given how much they agree with one another on most policy — the differences, Kitzhaber noted, are at the “margins” — actual debates are likely to focus less on policy substance than on over-arching visions of the kind of leadership Oregon will require from Mahonia Hall in the coming years.

That is not an insubstantial thing.

Members of the Willamette Women Democrats submitted questions for the two candidates, and they covered the expected topics: jobs and the economy, tax reform and the kicker, education, climate change, LNG, Hanford (not a usual question but important if you live downriver), health care, PERS, homelessness and the source of fear and angst for Dems and Republicans alike: the Tea Party Movement. You’ll hear the same questions and answers repeatedly for the next 3 months; what you should listen for is not the surface answers (Yes, we must reform the kicker) but the back story, the context from which each man proposes to work: Bradbury, as a proud and traditional Oregon Democratic liberal, and Kitzhaber, the former governor who sees a better way even if it goes against the cherished and “comfortable” ways Oregonians are used to doing governmental business.

Jobs and the economy

Both agree: Oregon’s small and medium-sized businesses need two resources they are not getting: credit and skilled workers. Kitzhaber sees immediate opportunities in energy efficiency projects (presumably using stimulus funds) and new forest jobs (woody biomass, forest “health” projects); he also suggested that traditional blue collar jobs like welding are in demand and that training is available to assist moving workers into these jobs (he also decried the demise of wood and metal shop in high schools and the concomitant loss of living-wage jobs). Bradbury focused on his proposal for a Bank of Oregon, into which state agencies would deposit their funds rather than national banks that continue to refuse to use deposits as a source of business-development capital. He did not say how long it would take to get the Bank in place; but unless the Legislative leadership is fully on-board with the proposal and moves quickly to authorize the bank, having it functional by the end of 2011 seems unlikely.


Bradbury pointed to a lack of adequate funding, saying schools are unfunded by at least $2 billion — and that it was voters who were responsible for this situation. Kitzhaber also spoke to the lack of stable funding but rather than simply call for more money (which Bradbury said, with no evidence to back it up, “We can do”), called out Oregon’s education system as one of the broken systems with which Oregonians are “comfortable” even though that system is broken:

If we hope to assure that all Oregonians have an equal opportunity for success in the 21st Century, this fragmented arrangement [of funding education] and the misaligned incentives within it has to be replaced with a unified, transparent, performance-based budget where the focus of funding is shifted from funding schools, districts and institutions; to funding the performance of students as they move along this continuum based on very clear performance standards.

Bradbury was unequivocal in his disagreement, stating that reform was a more-or-less a waste of time, something people have worked on for years but now avoid because, due to the lack of adequate funding, they feel they have been “burned” by these fruitless efforts.

Environment, greenhouse gases, climate change, Hanford, LNG

That so many questions from the affluent Lake Oswego-area group were addressed towards environmental issues indicates the importance of these issues — especially, it appears, among Democrats who will be providing significant amounts of campaign cash. Very little differences in their answers. Both see climate change and Hanford requiring a national response to be effective. Both point to the Western Region Climate Initiative as an important coalition that can address specific issues and attempt to influence Congress. Both recognize that green technologies and energy-efficiency conversions will both help the environment and provide jobs near- and long-term jobs and economic growth. Both believe Oregon can be a leader in “green” industries and technologies.

The biggest disagreement, and it hardly came to that, was Kitzhaber saying he was opposed to the current LNG proposal but not to the point of saying “Hell no”. If Oregon is to move from oil to sustainable energies, the state will need, he argued, “transitional” fuels. If LNG proves to be a transition fuel, he wanted to be open to that possibility — a possibility, he stated, for which no one has made the case. Bradbury, on the other hand, was indeed “Hell no!” to the point of saying he’d prefer, if it came to that, pipelines being built from the Rockies carrying uncompressed natural gas.

Health care

The question on health care had to do with requiring pharmaceutical companies to disclose their gifts to doctors and medical professionals. When Bradbury advocated banning tv drug ads, he received one of the loudest applauses of the event. Women Democrats in Lake Oswego must really hate those ads. He touted the original intent of the Oregon Health Plan (which he and Kitzhaber worked together to create) as well as the 2009 Legislature’s work that leveraged federal money to provide coverage for thousands of children. Kitzhaber, as he did with education, spoke of a broken underlying system, criticizing, as he has been doing long before running for governor, the effort in Congress to reform health insurance, not health. And as with education, he said throwing more money at the problem won’t fix anything until the system itself is repaired. He also noted that Oregon stands to be both a regional leader and a national example of real reform, depending in part on what Congress eventually does.

PERS reform

Unsurprisingly, both support the PERS system. Rather than “reforming” PERS, however, both pointed to the nation’s economic problems and the loss of value in PERS’ investments. The difficult, as Kitzhaber pointed out, was that employers have to replace that lost value; in other words, PERS is structurally sound (and he didn’t say that about many things) but is suffering a cash-flow problem. As Bradbury put it for both men, “We need to bring back the economy to strengthen PERS”.

The Tea Party and why you are “the” Democrat to vote for

Bradbury, as many have done, spoke about the tea-partiers representing the frustration Americans feel — “frustration on the part of Democrats as well”. After Obama’s victory in 2008 in which Oregon joined, frustration over health care has led, he said, “to a kind of disengagement”—

We have to recognize that there are some very strong core values that the Democratic Party has that we need to stay with. I have been a Democrat my whole career, and I am committed to those core values and seeing that those can work well for the people.

Kitzhaber, noting that he and Bradbury are not very far apart on the issues, said that the party “has to be willing to lose for something … has to stand for an agenda”. He expressed his disgust with Democrats in Congress like Liebermann who were putting parochial interests ahead of the nation’s — Senators like Ben Nelson “buying little things” for their states. He said that in his time as Senate President, the most difficult caucus he had was the one in which he had the most Democrats.

It’s not just about electing Democrats; it’s about electing policies that go beyond party registration and provide solutions for Oregonians. As long as we realize we’re about solving problems for Oregonians and not about party registration, I think we’ll be fine.

In closing...

The exchange over education points out what for me is the fundamental difference between the two candidates. When Kitzhaber spoke of “reforming” education, he was not speaking about how teaching methodology, testing, and so on — and yet that was Bradbury’s response: as if that was what Kitzhaber was addressing. Kitzhaber was talking about how the entire system of education is structured in Oregon — different little boxes for the different “levels” of education — instead of a single structure whose goal is not to secure next biennium’s funding but to produce citizens who have been educated to live productive, fulfilling lives. Kitzhaber, it seems to me, is looking at a bigger picture than is Bradbury. He’s also looking at how Oregon has to make fundamental, structural changes to meet the challenges of a “radically” different 21st Century — an approach Bradbury mocked while claiming Oregon needs “new” ideas and leaderships. From his closing statement:

It is pretty clear to me that we need new leadership with some new ideas for this new decade that we find ourselves in. I have faith in all of you, and I really have faith in Oregon. We’ve confronted great challenges in the past and we’ve dealt with them. As your governor — and I want to say this very clearly — as your governor and with your help, we will put Oregonians back to work and we will fully fund education and we wil embrace the opportunity that the global climate crisis currently offers us. I think it’s really clear that it’s time to take a stand for the democratic values we all hold dear. It’s time to take a stand to energize the state to realize the potential we all know it has. It’s a little hard for me to listen to John saying, We know we can’t do this … he’s basically saying we’ve got to totally redesign everything in order to go forward. I swear it was the voters in Oregon who made us not fund schools adequately. It wasn’t some other change, folks; it was the change we made. And I really believe we can make the change back! We can adequately fund education. It’s not something that requires us to spend 10 years with a clipboard redesigning state government. We can fund education; we have to fund education. We know that. I believe we really can do that, but it’s going to take new leadership with some new ideas for this new decade.

Kitzhaber, in closing, pointed out the irony of the great projects created by Americans of his parents’ generation — the higher education system, suburban living, interstate transportation system, social security, Medicare and Medicaid — are now the cause of some of the greatest challenges we face:

Our challenge today is to find the courage to challenge the underlying premises and assumptions of some of these major programs, programs that have served us well in the past, programs that are familiar to us, but programs that now anchor us to the past and prevent us from achieving and realizing a better and brighter future. I believe we have reached the point in Oregon where we cannot bear the weight with our current systems. And while I agree with Bill that it’s important that we set aspirational goals … we need to recognize that we cannot achieve those goals in the context of our existing system no matter how robust our revenues are.

He stated the central issue of the campaign being whether Oregonians were content with patching together, as he put it, the status quo, or if they had the courage to “redesign” how government systems are structured and how they deliver services.

And that is the choice facing Democrats in this primary: Bradbury’s “new ideas” that are based on traditional Oregon liberalism (not a bad thing and, under Bradbury, a significant upgrade in leadership) or Kitzhaber’s call to redesign many broken “systems” of government. And while some may find the differences pedantic or meaningless, this choice does present Oregon with two significantly different styles of leadership — and possibly two significantly different futures.

  • meg (unverified)

    Both agree: Oregon’s small and medium-sized businesses need two resources they are not getting: credit and skilled workers. 20 % unemployment and Oregon has a shortage of skilled workers?

  • Rosie Stephens (unverified)

    A excellent job covering this event. The humor, quotes, and analysis of both candidates vision if elected made it almost as good as being there!

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    From this report, I’m disappointed in the quality and level of the discussion of educational issues. From my point of view, we need both more money and substantial reform, and I find it increasingly hard to justify more funding without the reform. Let’s hope in future debates they get more specific. Let’s hope future questioners take up the following topics (among others):

    Should the K-12 education system more aggressively pursue online learning? I’ve made a rough estimate that Oregon by shifting to more online education could save $240 million per year while expanding educational opportunities all across Oregon. See here.

    What should we do with our public higher education institutions? In an era when online learning and degrees are becoming nearly cost free, does it make sense to continue to subsidize the educational component of higher ed? Is there a way to maintain the research components of higher ed (so important for innovation and economic growth) while shifting the educational components from the traditional brick-and-mortar schools to online programs? (See, as examples, my blog posts "Frohnmayer’s higher ed proposal" and "Shift to higher ed vouchers".

    Should Mandarin and other contemporary foreign languages programs be strengthened in both K-12 and higher ed? Should there be many more Mandarin immersion programs (beginning in kindergarten) statewide? Should Oregon school districts, or the state, pay to send high school students to study abroad?

    These two candidates can both do better.

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    High schools no longer provide career ready workers. These days, students need a minimum of two years of skilled traing post high school and must have strong interpersonal skills,ability to work with a team, be willing to multi-task, and most importantly show up for work.

    A mid-size business had several openings recently, with around 100 job seekers, two passed the drug test.

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    Rosie Stephens, btw, was the emcee for the event. she did an excellent job. and it was a very interesting event. thanks for making sure i knew about it, Rosie.

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    Dave, i'm sorry, that's a bit much. they had 2 (3?) minutes each to answer questions posed by the Willamette Women Dems & selected by the emcee. if you know anything about either candidate, you know they have much more to say about education than what i summarized (which filters it even further: it was my interpretation & choices).

    if you want to pose these questions to the candidates via BlueOregon, write it up & send it to Kari; guest posts are always welcome. but your "questions" to the candidates have no bearing to my post, have no chance of being answer as comments, and strike me as showing off.

  • William Tare Fox (unverified)

    Excellent post, per Rosie's comments. Too bad this couldn't stay out of the crapper. To sum it up, there's not a big difference between the two, we've discounted the third parties, and the Republicans don't have a clue. Once again we're to accept no choice, and vote for the lesser of two evils. That goes up and down the line. The ladies had no choice but to hold the meeting there. Kitzhaber had no choice but to wear slacks. It's political theatre. Shaddap and play the role we've written for you!

    "A mid-size business had several openings recently, with around 100 job seekers, two passed the drug test."

    Which tests likely had nothing to do with job performance. I can assure you that they have not validated their hiring criteria. It's a litmus test. But let's not let that stop our demonstrating that we can pander to business as well as the right! "Lack of unqualified workers" is code for "write overseas visas". The WOD and it are both crap we are force fed by the modern day likes of Henry Ford. See Jeld-Wen.

    "if you want to pose these questions to the candidates via BlueOregon, write it up & send it to Kari; guest posts are always welcome. but your "questions" to the candidates have no bearing to my post, have no chance of being answer as comments, and strike me as showing off."

    Is it the new editorial policy to dissemble and say "hey, dickhead" at least once in every post? I love questions being in quotes. "Hey, dickhead, I'll tell you what's a question". Almost every regular that posts here has submitted a piece. Can you point to the last one published, from that group, that wasn't a member of your little clique? It looks good to say that, tho, and smoke and mirrors is political theatre too! You write well, but your comments consistently show you to be a rude hypocrite. I've fucking had it with thin skinned egos that think the height of civility is to avoid saying anything that would force you to take stock of the situation that you find yourself in, living in "greatest country in the world" or your own knowledge of it. He wasn't out to do either! It's incredible how Democrats love to pick on potential allies and copy the MO of their enemies. They're the actions of a bully that isn't very good at bullying.

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    what the hell is wrong with me? that should have been, "Dave, I'm sorry...." even though you can't hear my HAL voice.

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    WTF, boy aren't you the clever one. wow, that's good. for a troll.

  • LT (unverified)

    "20 % unemployment and Oregon has a shortage of skilled workers?"

    How many unemployed workers are skilled trades people---welders, etc.? There is a shortage of trained nurses.

    Recently I met someone who is a low level ER employee---moves beds and such work. He is studying to be a paramedic. Unlikely he would ever be out of work for long.

    For all those who badmouthed "the public sector", there are community colleges which do the kind of skill training that specific industries need.

  • LT (unverified)

    "Should the K-12 education system more aggressively pursue online learning?"

    What skills are best taught by online learning? Rote memorization and learning to do calculations? Vocabulary? Learning a new language?

    Writing skills? Critical thinking skills? Ability to work with others as a team to solve problems?

    Students of all learning styles learn best by online learning?

    Some things can be learned online, but I believe that there is much of education which works best face to face.

    I would, however, like to hear the candidates address the above questions. It would tell us a lot about how they think.

  • Zarathustra is my real pseudonym (unverified)

    Posted by: t.a. barnhart | Feb 11, 2010 6:37:38 PM

    what the hell is wrong with me? that should have been, "Dave, I'm sorry...." even though you can't hear my HAL voice.

    Now that's funny.

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    TA, this was a terrific, thorough, nuanced, readable. extremely smart post. I want to say that i almost always feel that way after reading your stuff. The post about your grumpy decision to leave your warm comfortable safe office to go out and canvass and call for 66/67 actually got me to do the same thing. Really appreciate what you add here. Jeff

  • Inquiring Minds (unverified)

    T.A. - So, in your opinion, although neither of these guys is a Wayne Morse Oregon Democrat, which is closer?

  • Greg D. (unverified)

    Sounds as if Kitz may be open to paying teachers (and conditioning some K12 investment) based in part upon measurable results of the progress of individual students. Last month's Atlantic had a persuasive article on that topic. If that is in fact Kitz' position, he may be sticking a pencil in the eye of the teacher unions and their allies, which is a brave stance but which could easily cost him the primary.

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    Jeff, thanks so much. and thanks for being inspired to do the hard work. i don't really enjoy canvassing or phoning, but it's critical to getting past our hopes and making the change actually happen thanks for being part of it; didn't it make the victory that much sweeter?

    Greg, while the point may be true, it misses the larger point (and Bradbury missed it, too): Kitz isn't talking about "reforms" as people normally do (as Bradbury does). he's talking about the enterprise enterprise of education in Oregon. how it's paid for, how it's evaluated, how it fits into the larger society -- changes that go beyond mere "reform" and will probably engender a lot of fear & resistance. his goal is to engage people, first in true dialog because that will lead to unified action that allows us all to work together to make changes of such a significant & far-reaching kind.

    it's like how he talks about health care reform: Congress is seeking to reform insurance but our real need is to deal with health. two different things.

  • mrfearless47 (unverified)

    I'm not thrilled with either candidate, but Bradbury seems to me like another Kulo, the where's waldo of Governors. As much as I dislike Kitzhaber personally, he may be the best of the two. At least he is thinking about major structural changes. I've become convinced in the past few years that Oregon's education system is so structurally flawed and its education model so inferior that throwing more money at it isn't the solution to any problem.

    I've ranted about this elsewhere, but I've put three children through three different public education systems in the state and at the best schools in the districts - Tigard, PPS (Wilson), and LO/Riverdale (Riverdale). They all suck. The education is overly pedantic, the methods so "au courant" that they effectively teach nothing, and one of my children graduated from Tigard 5 years before Measure 5. Since arriving in Oregon in 1969, and teaching in the OUS since 1970, I've been appalled by the lack of preparation of the students I've seen. My overall best students came from two places - private schools such as OES, Catlin Gabel, St Mary's Academy, Jesuit or one of the other private Catholic high schools, or from SW Washington public schools. The students who come from Oregon are not typically good writers, most are computationally inept (there are a few exceptions, all again from outside Oregon schools generally), and the overall science education is structurally flawed.

    So, I will favor any candidate who will vow to give public schools a really good auditing before committing another dime to the cause. I know that personnel costs NOW are the driving factor, but that wasn't the issue 20 or 30 years ago. Oregon simply wants more and more money so that the schools can remain in the same place or fall back further. Of the two, Kitzhaber at least now promises a top-to-bottom look at education, while Bradbury proposes throwing more money at an ineffective system. I won't vote for a candidate whose only solution to a problem is to throw more money at it. Money cannot solve all problems, and Oregon's public education needs a lot more than money. It needs a complete overhaul. So too the tax system, but that's another post.

  • Richard (unverified)

    Once AGAIN Oregon progressive are out to lunch on education. The QEM is a baseless sham without any evidence at all that the level of funding it calls for would produce any of the results it claims. In fact if that level of funding were to be acquired it is more likely that no true reforms or improvements would be made. The same people doing more of the same things would be sustained.
    This is a shinning example of the phony Oregon you perpetually support. With ESL that doesn't work

    Flawed and meaningless State assessment systems.

    Poor math and reading program which fail many students

    Foolish Cultural Competency mandates

    Lack of local control

    Lack of local control at the school level.

    Lack of ability to alter failing schools like Jefferson HS for decades

    And the chronic obstruction by the OEA nothing good at all would come from the QEM scam.

  • There's more to the picture.... (unverified)

    Bradbury's ideas on education in Oregon are more complex than presented here -- i.e. in his brief response to a debate question, or in TA Barnhart's limited coverage (though generally thorough, Barnhart is a big Kitzhaber fan and doesn't always give Bill a fair shake...), or in dismissive comments above like "Bradbury just wants to throw money at it..."

    You can read the text of Bradbury's speech on education at his website on the blog link -- you have to scroll down to the entry for November 3, 2009:

    Bradbury does recognize we have inefficiencies from outdated silo thinking, and proposes pursuing innovation in education -- not that much different from Kitzhaber. I think where he differs from Kitzhaber is that Bradbury knows we've studied it before -- when Kitzhaber was actually governor -- and with a bipartisan commission we developed the QEM. He's not an advocate, like Kitzhaber, of more process and several years of talking about systemic change. He just proposes we work on adequately funding the QEM.

    At the debate, Bradbury proposed cutting the tax breaks in current state law by 5% to produce those funds. Many progressives in Oregon -- like Chuck Sheketoff at the Oregon Center for Public Policy -- have been calling for years for us to reexamine our tax code and reduce or eliminate some of these tax write offs. I think Bradbury's on the right track with this one.

    Kitzhaber instead said he would look at some kind of consumption tax -- that's right, a sales tax -- though I don't believe TA Barnhart mentions this in his coverage. I suggest blue oregon readers check out Jeff Mapes's coverage of the debate in the Oregonian to get a fuller perspective:

    It's not entirely fair of TA in his post to say...

    "Kitzhaber also spoke to the lack of stable funding but rather than simply call for more money (which Bradbury said, with no evidence to back it up, “We can do”),"

    ....when in fact, per Jeff Mapes's coverage, Bradbury specified a means to fund education at QEM target, while Kitzhaber suggested pursuing a sales tax again, which has been a disastrous non-starter in Oregon decade after decade.

    Another significant point of contention from the debate, reported by Mapes, but absent in TA Barnhart's coverage, were comments about the recently passed ballot measures: Bradbury actively supported the measures, while Kitzhaber stayed on the sidelines. How much would the state legislature be cutting from our education budget right now if these ballot measures had not passed?

    Bradbury's attitude ("we can do") was right on these measures, and looks right to me for our next governor. Kitzhaber appears to still think Oregon is ungovernable, and had little faith the ballot measures would pass.

    My child's elementary school cut three educational assistants from last year's staff. That adds up to a lot of children who need help with reading and math who are not getting the extra help they need, and who may slowly fall through the cracks.

    I don't hear anything from Kitzhaber that will address this problem. Talking process and systemic change again is ironic, in that the QEM was developed when Kitzhaber was governor. By the time Kitzhaber develops his reforms, I suspect my child will be out of high school.

    I am also troubled by Jack Roberts’s comments in his Oregonian op-ed back in August:

    "5. Why did your (Kitzhaber's) proposed budgets contain less spending for K-12 than the budgets approved by the Republican Legislature each session you were governor?"

    I'm worried that Kitzhaber will spend the majority of his time on health care, and education reform and adequate funding for education won't happen on his watch. With Bradbury, it appears to be one of his highest priorities.

    This round goes to Bradbury.

  • Richard (unverified)

    "and with a bipartisan commission we developed the QEM"

    OMG you people are dumb.

    The QEM is a fabrication.

  • Genie Uebelacker (unverified)

    The question for the next debate - Is how will you change/correct the Oregon system, particularly education?

    That does not necessarily mean having a committee study the situation.

  • Kitzhaber on LNG: trying to be an environmentalist and have his transition (unverified)

    Kitzhaber should know better than to even say he'd be open to LNG proposals as a "transitional fuel." Why besmirch our scenic coastline with terminals and our valleys, farmland, wineries, and forestland with hundreds of miles of pipelines, for an unnecessary imported fuel (there is an adequate supply of natural gas in North America) destined largely for California?

    Where is the boldness promised by the Kitzhaber campaign, or the truth-telling Novick gushed about in his endorsement? (Novick, by the way, came out firmly against LNG during the 2008 U.S. Senate race.)

    Kitzhaber's answer on LNG sounds completely half-assed, and calculated to massage pro-LNG folks who have lots of money. Politically shrewd? Maybe. Environmental leadership in the Oregon tradition of Tom McCall? Hell no.

    After every proposed site in California was defeated and derailed by local opposition (for good reason...), LNG speculators came north to see if they could proffer jobs in a down economy to a few localities in exchange for being California's gas tank. Such a deal!

    Bill Bradbury was the first major elected official in Oregon to question and oppose these plans for LNG terminals. He had the sense to firmly say "hell no." Many other Democrats have figured it out (including Novick and Jeff Merkley, who referred to LNG tankers as "floating bombs").

    Kitzhaber is trying to be an environmentalist and have his transitional fuel, too. Like a fellow jumping from the dock too late, he's missed the boat and fallen in between, right into the drink.

  • Steve Marx (unverified)

    "Bradbury pointed to a lack of adequate funding, saying schools are unfunded by at least $2 billion — and that it was voters who were responsible for this situation."

    That Bradbury has quite a grip on the issues, I'm impressed. That attitude ought to get him elected quick.

    If he took some time out and looked at the real world outside of the Capitol, he might see just about everyone has a lack of adequate funding - yet somehow they adapt.

    Maybe he should take notes instead of living in an echo chamber.

  • Richard (unverified)

    "Bradbury pointed to a lack of adequate funding, saying schools are unfunded by at least $2 billion — and that it was voters who were responsible for this situation."


  • Rosie Stephens (unverified)

    While I am personally opposed to LNG in Oregon especially after hearing Willamette Women Democrats last month's speaker, Attorney General John Kroger discuss the issue, I will not base my vote on either of the 2 democrat candidates one issue. I don't think it fair to judge the former Governor in this manner: <kitzhaber's answer="" on="" lng="" sounds="" completely="" half-assed,="" and="" calculated="" to="" massage="" <pro-lng="" folks="" who="" have="" lots="" of="" money.="" politically="" shrewd?="" maybe.="" environmental="" <leadership="" in="" the="" oregon="" tradition="" of="" tom="" mccall?="" hell="" no.=""> I always appreciate learning more details on a complicated issue. The coverage given to our Forum from Jeff Mapes of The Oregonian, T.A. Barnhart, and Steve Benham, a web producer for all reported the program accurately and as I said before, it was almost as good as being there. All of our WWD programs are open to the public and we hold our programs on the 2nd Wednesday of the month from 4 - 6 pm at the Country Club (who says we can't gather at a nice place where most all the employees are D's!).

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