Tough questions for Kitzhaber

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

It's endorsement season again, which means that Willamette Week is once again videotaping their endorsement interviews. So far, they've only published one eight-minute clip -- of John Kitzhaber taking on several tough questions from Nigel Jaquiss.

In this clip, Kitzhaber explains his now-infamous "Oregon is ungovernable" quip from 2003, grades his performance as Governor (both highlights and failures), and discusses his vision for "performance-based budgeting" for K-12 schools.

No sign yet of any WW clips featuring Bill Bradbury. Hopefully they'll post the entire discussion sometime soon.


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    Full disclosure: My firm built John Kitzhaber's campaign website. I speak only for myself.

  • LT (unverified)

    It will be interesting to see the corresponding Bradbury clip.

    Really liked Kitzhaber's remarks about long term budgeting, about discussing legislative agenda during the campaign and not just after the election.

    As I recall, one of the runners up at the Bus Project Rebooting Democracy Shovel Ready Policy Contest was a Ben Cannon proposal for long term budgeting. We need more public discussion of issues like that.

    Glad to hear Kitzhaber knows there are other ways to evaluate results than student standardized testing and merit pay.

    There are schools where not only are multiple language backgrounds (not just Spanish, but Russian in N. Marion County, various Asian languages, some schools having a significant number of Micronesian students, that sort of thing). There are high schools where some students have overcome hardships by the time they are freshmen--poverty, single parent, family problems with substance abuse, students in foster care, among other things.

    There are schools at all levels where the names of students enrolled when school starts in Sept. are not the same as those when the new year starts in January--families moving in and out of the school attendance area.

    And yet, although students are in school roughly 7 hours a day (30 hours a week) no one but teachers and students should be responsible for student academic progress??

    I work part time in a program called AVID---Advancement Via Individual Determination. It is an elective class for students who would be the first person in their family to go to college. Students get rigorous instruction and support, and often take Honors and AP classes. Binder checks, grading of notes, tutorial groups to understand what students are learning in their classes are part of the program.

    Parents are involved in this program, and one parent thanked our local school board for all the good the program had done for his son.

    We need more fresh ideas like that and less of the old debates.

    Schools are individual institutions. A school that has a 95% white Anglo Saxon upscale student body is going to be different than a school with a multitude of different ethnic groups and students of a variety of socioeconomic groups, single parents, parents working long hours, foster parents.

    Kitzhaber is right about those 5 special sessions. Was anyone not frustrated by that process?

  • Jake Leander (unverified)

    LT wrote:

    Really liked Kitzhaber's remarks about long term budgeting, about discussing legislative agenda during the campaign and not just after the election.

    Does that include discussing legislative agenda items on which the candidate has not already built a movement and secured consensus of the important players? You criticized Bradbury for discussing an Oregon Bank without having its passage sewn up.

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    Yes, Kitzhaber may have erred in how he talked about the state's problems years ago. But it's hard to seriously take issue with his diagnosis: he's right about Enron-style accounting tricks and ballot measures that make responsible budgeting extremely difficult.

    I don't see this as a silver bullet in a fall campaign. This clip shows Kitzhaber as someone who understands the state inside and out and isn't afraid to be a truth-teller when the state's long-term health is at risk.

  • Patrick Story (unverified)

    Need Help-- I have heard that both Kitz and Bradbury recently stated that they wished 66 & 67 had been "temporary measures." Is this true and is there a transcript or transcripts available?

  • LT (unverified)

    Does that include discussing legislative agenda items on which the candidate has not already built a movement and secured consensus of the important players? You criticized Bradbury for discussing an Oregon Bank without having its passage sewn up.

    If Bradbury were to say "I believe that Bank of Oregon organized exactly like Bank of ND, and from my legislative experience I know this would require legislative action to...." that would be the same thing.

    I never said "sewn up". But it would strengthen the proposal to talk about any legislators who support the agenda of a state bank.

  • LT (unverified)

    Could it be that this is really a non-issue?

    "wished 66 & 67 had been "temporary measures."

    When Jeff Merkley became Speaker, he was not required to continue any of her ideas. No duly elected legislature is required to continue what was passed by previous legislators. (Minnis could have said "the voters have spoken on Measure 30 every day, but a future legislature had the right to question any aspect of M.30 or anything Minnis had ever said or done.)

    Therefore, the 2011 legislature is free to make the "permanent" parts of the legislative budget which was referred as 66 & 67 expire at any time they choose. Anyone who wants to run on "these are the parts of the revenue increases in what became M. 66 & 67 which I support repealing---and fill the resulting revenue hole by...." has every right to do so.

    The problem with the 5 special sessions is that the folks in control not wanting to put forward any such specific proposals. Remember M. 28 and the "mystery money crowd" of GOP legislators who said 28 could fail and there would be no budget cuts?

    28 failed. There were budget cuts. Which is why we the voters deserve to have the details discussed in an election year.

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    Wow. A single budget, with longer term strategy for education in Oregon. I like it. Looking both sort and longer term financially is smart and combining the higher ed, cc and k-12 'silos' will hopefully bring about more cooperation in session rather than competition, which has been seen in the past as I'm sure you all know.

    Nice plan Dr. Kitzhaber! Woot!

  • Politiphile2010 (unverified)

    I've heard a lot about Bradbury's Bank of Oregon lately, so I checked it out ( Bill Bradbury's Bank of Oregon seems to be a great way to stimulate the economy. The program he'd institute to help rural economies, similar to the N. Dakota PACE program, is innovative, and we'd be the 3rd state in the country to do this. Ed Schultz has talked a lot about the program, if you google for it you can find it.

    Through Bill's work as Secretary of State, we revolutionized our voting system with vote by mail. Bill did a lot of work with Oregon Voting Rights Coalition to find creative and innovative solutions to old problems.

    Kitzhaber talks about cuts, and he talks about fiscal responsibility, and talks about how to shove a square peg through a round hole. Bradbury's vision is to fashion a square hole to put the square peg into.

    Bradbury has spoken about restoring financial sanity by transforming state budgeting into program-based funding, rather than department-based funding. He has a plan to fully fund education by cutting 5% of tax loopholes.

    Bill was a major supporter of 66 & 67 as a solution to keep us afloat, but he has longer-term vision to create an independent and sustainable Oregon economy. "Bill gets things done," as Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts put it. He has what is best for Oregon and what is best for Oregonians in mind.

    Kitzhaber is a brilliant man, and should work in the accounting department and the healthcare sector. But when it comes to making judgment calls about what is best for Oregon, Bill has the foresight to make the right decisions, for the best reasons. As Dr. (Gov.) Howard Dean put it: "Bill Bradbury is a politician with a CORE... and is the only progressive running" in Oregon's gubernatorial race.

    It's a shame that the media has spent most their time focusing on a soap opera about Kitzhaber's past rather than looking to what is best for Oregon's future. Clean Money. Clean Policy. Clean Oregon. Bradbury2010.

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    The excessively loose initiative system seriously undermines representative government. As a result, Oregon is ungovernable -- Kitzhaber was right about that!

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    You criticized Bradbury for discussing an Oregon Bank without having its passage sewn up.

    Secretary Bradbury deserves criticism regarding his approach on the Oregon state bank. His proposal is basically a carbon copy of a white paper drafted by Barbara Dudley who has built a broad coalition of groups and legislators around the idea here in Oregon. Not only did his campaign not credit Dudley for her work, both prior to raising the issue and since, his campaign has done nothing to reach out to the coalition that has been working on the idea.

    It's the same thing that he did with the $2 billion for education funding -- an idea that no legislator has stepped forward to support -- and the exact opposite approach to the one Governor Kitzhaber has taken.

    I mean, god forbid that a candidate for governor should pull in relevant stakeholders, listen to their input, and work to achieve a modicum of consensus and support before taking the idea public.

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    Through Bill's work as Secretary of State, we revolutionized our voting system with vote by mail.

    For the record, it was Bill's predecessor, Phil Keisling, who ordered the first-ever vote-by-mail election for U.S. Senate in 1995 and 1996. And it was Keisling who organized the 1998 campaign (Measure 60) to make it mandatory for all elections.

    You can find the voters' pamphlet statement for Measure 60 here. You'll note that the list of public endorsers includes Governor John Kitzhaber and Secretary of State Phil Keisling.

    To be fair, at the time, Bradbury was out of elected office, running For the Sake of the Salmon. Appointed Secretary of State in 1999, Bradbury was largely responsible for implementing Measure 60 after it was approved by voters.

    But it's not accurate to suggest that he was initially responsible for vote-by-mail.

    (And, btw, you can check all of this with Bradbury manager Jeremy Wright - who was on the staff of the Yes on 60 campaign.)

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    Once Kitzhaber proudly declared himself part of the Broderist "we need good centrists" camp, that was a turning point in the campaign for me.

  • LT (unverified)

    I don't see Kitzhaber as a "Broderist".

    I've heard him praise the Oregon Bus Project slogan of "not left, not right, but forward".

    Is that "centrist" or just appealing to people tired of 20th century political labels?

    I also don't see how 2 "teams" ( R vs. D ) solve problems in a state where each legislative district has several thousand voters not registered in a major party.

    But then, I put problem solving over partisanship. Sal and Kari have the right to post what they did, and a smart Bradbury campaign would answer point by point.

    But then, a smart Bradbury campaign would have attended the Gov. debate at Mission Mill in Salem. Yeah, there were a lot of "also ran" candidates on the stage. But each candidate had the chance to answer each question, and CCTV Salem is running the replay of the debate over and over and over. I think when I saw it last night it was the 3rd time I had seen it.

  • Yaruna (unverified)

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  • jmb27 (unverified)

    Predatory Lending is a major contributor to the economic turmoil we are currently experiencing.

    Here is an example of what I am talking about:
    Scott Veerkamp / Predatory Lending (Franklin Township School Board Member.)

    Please review this information from U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley regarding deceptive lending practices: "Steering payments were made to brokers who enticed unsuspecting homeowners into deceptive and expensive mortgages. These secret bonus payments, often called Yield Spread Premiums, turned home mortgages into a SCAM."

    The Center for Responsible Lending says YSP "steals equity from struggling families."
    1. Scott collected nearly $10,000 on two separate mortgages using YSP and junk fees. 2. This is an average of $5,000 per loan. 3. The median value of the properties was $135,000. 4. Clearly, this type of lending represents a major ripoff for consumers.

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    Good summary of the history of vote-by-mail in Oregon, Kari, particularly the persistence of Phil Keisling in making it happen.

    The only part you left out is when Keisling successfully lobbied the legislature to pass vote-by-mail in 1995, Kitzhaber vetoed it.

  • Steve Buel (unverified)

    No surprise here. Kitzhaber makes a good suggestion that funding takes into account which schools need extra money, then totally blows himself out of the water by suggesting you can use some "measurement" to determine teacher and student accountability. Of course, he has no idea what this might be -- maybe cause no good one exists. It would be nice if we could have political leaders who were capable of really analyzing what can and should be done to improve education instead of just parroting back what they hear from the trend setting educational establishment who is more interested in making money off education than improving it.

  • LT (unverified)

    Great comment, Steve!

    Let's see both John and Bill respond to this column.

    THAT would be a tough question, and one which could not be answered by talking points.

  • Mike H, (unverified)
    <h2>Who will can trimet's board of directors? You know the group that wasted money on WES while cutting back bus routes</h2>

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