OR-GOV Debate: What we learned

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

After the first (and only?) debate between John Kitzhaber and Chris Dudley, here's what we learned:

There's more, on the jump, but first - a programming note. Looks like Friday morning is "BlueOregon editors take to the airwaves" day. I'll be on 620 KPOJ at 7 a.m. Jesse Cornett will be on 1190 KEX at 7:35 a.m. And Carla Axtman will be on OPB's Think Out Loud at 9 a.m.

It struck me as I was listening that you could listen to everything that Chris was saying and there is no proper nouns. There is no reference to any single factual place, person or thing. There is a series of talking points and he has about four answers which he rotates in response to particular questions but it would be hard to point to something and say ‘this is a place he feels strongly about and this is something he wants to do.

Twitter reactions

That last one definitely gets the Baghdad Bob award. Seriously, he won because he's more "personable"? Is that really the criteria for Governor that the Oregon GOP thinks is most important?

Voters will have ballots in their hands in 14 days. If you haven't volunteered or donated to the campaign yet, now's the time!

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

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    Good luck on air today folks. Looks like Kitz did a great job; you'll have lots to talk about!

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    You can sum up tonight's debate in one line from John Kitzhaber about the state budget: "All the cuts have been made."

    If you believe that then you should vote for Kitzahaber. If you don't believe that then you should vote for Dudley. ...Jack Roberts

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    One tiny but telling detail was one of the "one minute vision quest moments" toward the end, and Kitz, wonk that he is, drops his voice to a bit lower register and starts talking really fast (but still clearly) about his myriad policy thoughts. You can tell he's thinking, "ONE MINUTE?!?!"

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    I couldn't help but think while observing the Dud that he would be so completely at a loss if he were sitting in the gov's chair. Imagine going to him with a question about details and policy. You'd get just a blank look.

    His response to the question about negative adds was the clincher. He practically giggled for several seconds before he could come up with the talking point he eventually used.

    He was awful, just awful.

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    Frankly, the debate itself wasn't nearly as informative or entertaining as the post-game show hosted by KGW's Joe Donlon with the panel of Jeff Mapes, Len Bergstein, Lars Larson and David Sarasohn.

    Too bad they moved that off of KGW itslef to a subsidiary cable channel where fewer could follow it.

    And this debate and election is indeed all about John Kitzhaber's experience - not Dudley's.

    Dem's insist that only a return of John Kitzhaber for a 3rd term, along with a solidly Democratic legislature can save Oregon - even though Democrats have enjoyed a quarter century of continuos governors and own the legislature with super majorities.

    Rep's argue the same fact from the other side: Dem's have owned Mahonia Hall for 24 straight years; they own the legislature with super-majorities, and they own this economy.

    While Dudley's closing wasn't nearly as polished as Kitzhaber's, his main message came through:

    If you're happy with Oregon's economy, school system, and standing compared to other states - brought to you by one-party Democratic rule - then by all means vote for Kitzhaber for more of the same.

    But I have to give Kitzhaber credit for using every play in the 2010 Democratic playbook, including when all else fails, blame George W. Bush.

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        T.A. You're well familiar with the well-worn cliche' that "all politics are local."

        For Kitzhaer to invoke Bush in an Oregon gubernatorial debate is simply pandering to his so-far sleepy liberal base. Notice how he worked in "choice" at least twice, though abortion was never a topic?

        The point remains that in Oregon, the Democratic party owns virtually one-party rule in all three branches of government.

        24 years in Mahonia Hall. Super majorities in both legislative chambers. Every state judge appointed in the last quarter century was appointed by a Democrat.

        Four of five U.S. Reps and both U.S. Senators are Democrats, as is every state-wide elected official. Every nominally nonpartisan Portland city council members and MultCo commissioners are tried and true liberal Democrats.

        The Oregon Republican party has been rendered virtually irrelevant in this state, but that doesn't keep the one-party rule faction from blaming them for the current state of affairs.

        My point remains the same: if Oregonians are happy with what Democratic one-party rule has done to this state (and nation for that matter), then Democrats deserve to remain in charge driving the state and nation down the same path it's on.

        Or they can say "No" to Dr. No on November 2. It really is that simple.

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            To clarify... The GOP controlled the legislature in Oregon for most of the past 24 years, and the Democrats only took the majority (not "super-majority") in 2006.

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              Your clarification is worse than your original goof.

              In 2006 the Democrats took control of the House - they already owned the Senate by a healthy majority.

              But we agree that TODAY in 2010, Democrats enjoy super majorities in both chambers, which together with complete domination in every other branch of government, gives Democrats one-party rule and one-party responsibility for Oregon now.

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                "...gives Democrats one-party rule and one-party responsibility for Oregon now."

                Yes, of course.

                But that doesn't make Gov. Kulongoski and the Democrats in the Lege responsible for everything in Oregon -- good or bad.

                And it certainly doesn't make John Kitzhaber - who has been out of government since January 2002 - responsible.

                You'll stipulate that John Kitzhaber is not the same person as Ted Kulongoski, right?

                And you'll admit that Oregon is part of the United States - and on this planet called Earth, right?

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                Neither of my posts were "goofs".

                Sorry if facts are stubborn things for you. In 2006 the Democrats did not have a "super majority" when they took control of the House for the first time since 1990. Furthermore by the time they did (in the 2008 election cycle, but didn't actually convene until 2009) the GOP policies on the national level had already destroyed the economy with the housing bubble collapse in 2007 and the financial crisis 2008. Both of which was caused by failed GOP deregulation and trickle-down economic policies

                Things are however improving in Oregon and nationally (albeit too slowly do to GOP obstructionism in Congress). All the GOp has is empty rhetoric and the plan to do exactly the same thing, with the exact same failed ideologically disastrous policies which caused this mess in the first place.

                Dudley's platform is a perfect example. It is the same voodoo economics that has never worked in all the times you clowns have tried it.

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      Bruce, you are misrepresenting what Kitz said. He didn't say " Blame GWB". He said it's the same old, same old, policy of GWB, tax cuts for the rich-cut vital human services and education, trickle down economics. How about a little honesty in your representation!

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        Try to follow the verb tenses:

        EXECUTIVE BRANCH FACT: Democrats have occupied the governor's mansion for 24 consectutive years.

        LEGISLATIVE BRANCH FACT: Democrats have a super majority in both legislative chambers (I never said they did so for 24 years).

        JUDICIAL BRANCH FACT: Every state judge appointed the last quarter century was appointed by a Democratic governor.


        Four of five current Congressional representatives ARE Democrats.

        Both U.S. Senators ARE Democrats

        Every statewide elected official (SOS, BOLI, AG, Treasurer, Supt of ED) IS a Democrat.

        Every Portland city commissioner and Multnomah County commissioner IS a Democrat.

        But go ahead and keep blaming Republicans for Oregon's problems.

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          More facts for you.

          In 2006 the Democrats did not have a "super majority" when they took control of the House for the first time since 1990.

          Bby the time they did (in the 2008 election cycle, but didn't actually convene until 2009) the GOP policies on the national level had already destroyed the economy with the housing bubble collapse in 2007 and the financial crisis 2008.

          Both of which was caused by failed GOP deregulation and trickle-down economic policies.

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      I agree, Bob.

      But I think it's especially silly since the entirety of Dudley's "experience outside of government" is bouncing a round orange ball, introducing starstruck guys (and fellow ball-bouncers) to his investor buddies, coaching Kevin Love at LOHS, and starting a personal charity.

      Dudley supporters: Am I missing something?

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      I believe John McCain's old team is handling him.

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      I agree. The problem is Kitzhaber is highly skilled and effective in office, but sucks at campaigning.

      Unfortunately it seems much of the electorate is like Guy Pierce in Memento, and have now memory of the fact that Kithaber was very effective as Governor, despite having a slash-and-burn GOP controlled legislature to keep in check, and the failed GOP policies on the national level is what has destroyed the economy.

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        I, on the other hand, remember Kitzhaber's Governorship and Senate career all too well.

        Which is why I shan't vote for him.

        But he is a skilled debater. After 20+ years as a professional politican, you would hope he would be.

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          Pretty weird then given Kitzhaber's proven record as being a very good Governor (despite facing a slash-and-burn GOP legislature he had the entire time he was Gov.) which is why I heartily support him.

          Maybe that he will likely have a sane legislature that will be looking to actually move our state forward this time (now that the Democrats control the legislature) we can do things once the economy improves to actually set up a fiscally responsible rainy-day fund which the GOP refused to set-=up when they controlled the leg.

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            "Maybe that he will likely have a sane legislature that will be looking to actually move our state forward this time (now that the Democrats control the legislature)

            Amazing statement, considering Democrats have controlled the legislature the last two sessions with an incumbent Democratic governor.

            And you expect Oregonians to believe that more of the same is somehow different? That's insane.

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              Given the economic disaster was caused by national GOP policies which led to the housing bubble collapse which began the same year the Democrats first gaveled the majority in the state House of Rep. (and House of Reps. in Congress I might add)... 2007, and the economic crisis occurred before they could gavel a session with a 3/5ths majority in the House in either the state or in Congress.

              You can try and re-write history all you like, but the economic disaster was caused by deregulation and failed trickle-down economics. Now Dudley and the GOP want to try the same failed policies, which have never worked, when tried nationally by Reagan or Bush.

              Things are improving in Oregon and nationally (albeit too slowly do to GOP obstructionism in Congress) since the Obama administration and Democratic control actually has taken place.

              To bad all the GOP has is empty rhetoric and the plan to do exactly the same thing which caused this mess in the first place, with the exact same failed ideologically disastrous policies (deregulation and trickle-down voodoo economics).

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    Looks like Friday morning is "BlueOregon editors take to the airwaves" day. I'll be on 620 KPOJ at 7 a.m. Jesse Cornett will be on 1190 KEX at 7:35 a.m. And Carla Axtman will be on OPB's Think Out Loud at 9 a.m.

    And Mr. Ultralame Alworth will be celebrating the completion of his house-painting project by brewing a batch of beer--and listening to his co-editors.

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      I agree that Dudley did better than most of the posts here give him credit for. If I was a Republican I would be pleased with his performance. He kept pushing his message about change and taxes. We may call it talking points, but he was successful at reinforcing his campaign message. So far that has done him well in this campaign.

      That said, I also agree that Kitz came across as more in command and with a commitment to push issues and policies that I share. It did motivate me to support him more than the campaign has done so far. To the extent that my thoughts echo passive Dems and independents, this will increase voter intensity on the Dem side. This will remain a close election, but I think it will give the Kitzhaber campaign a lift.

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      I'm glad you caught the "comprehensive tax reform" question, but you failed to elaborate on Kitzhaber's "diversification" answer.

      Even David Sarasohn conceded afterward that Kitzhaber was talking about adding a sales tax. Sarasohn noted that Kitzhaber has hinted at his support for a sales tax before, but always did the term inside the need to "diversify" our tax sources.

      So, when can we expect to see the BlueOregon headline article entitled, "John Kitzhaber Supports a Sales Tax?"

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    I think one of Kitzhaber's best moments was when he took Dudley's capital gains cuts idea and turned it around to only include investments made in Oregon. This, of course, hits Filigree Advisors' out-of-state oil and gas partnerships and Dudley knew it the instant Kitz said it.

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      Check with Chuck Sheketoff on that idea. He'll point out that Kitzhaber's idea was already tried--the last time he was governor. It was allowed to sunset after a few years because almost no one took advantage of it.

      I'm surprised Kitzhaber doesn't mention that this is a rehash of something he's already tried once before.

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        "It was allowed to sunset after a few years because almost no one took advantage of it."

        Jack, doesn't that then put the lie to the idea that a broad-based capital gains tax cut would create jobs in Oregon?

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          No, it points out the flaw in Kitzhaber's proposal. Even if the Oregon capital gains tax is forgiven when reinvested in Oregon, you still have to pay the federal capital gains tax. But if you reinvest all your proceeds into a new business, you don't have the money with which to pay the federal tax.

          Kitzhaber doesn't have any experience with this, which is why he let Jerry Bidwell handle his investments.

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            Hmmm...so then even if ALL of Oregon's capital gains tax is cut for every Oregon resident whether they're investing in Oregon or not (Dudley's proposal), they'll still have to pay federal capital gains tax...So we should just go ahead and have a no-strings attached capital gains cut...why?

            If its not about keeping money in Oregon and creating jobs, then its simply a fat tax cut for the wealthy while the rest of us continue to limp along.

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            Given that neither Kitzhaber nor Dudley are running for President, or US Senate, or Congress, what's the federal cap gains tax got to do with anything?

            If I understand your point, you're saying that a targeted cap gains tax cut for Oregon investments didn't work, didn't create jobs in Oregon.

            If that's true, how would an untargeted cap gains tax cut that rewards out-of-state investment create jobs here in Oregon?

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    Of course Kitzhaber doesn't think the budget can't be cut, because he takes a very typical (I'm not being facetious here) liberal stance on the role of government. Is Oregon way over its head in terms of the services it provides? Of course, if I say "yes" I'll get torn apart and accused of being insensitive and not caring about hurting families and those in need (which is only a counter-productive and rhetorical argument.) In short, my answer is yes!

    I believe that in order to sustain our state long-term, more cuts need to be made to every agency. Maybe another 2-3%. Who knows, this may happen anyway if revenues keep falling and employment doesn't pick up. My stance has nothing to do with wanting to take away services for the vulnerable, or reduce funding for education. I think sometimes you have to make difficult and hurtful cuts today (I don't agree that the cuts already made are enough) so the long-term budget outlook is better and healthier.

    My thought is that you make the necessary cuts now (I agree with Dudley), and deal with honest tax reform (I agree with Kitzhaber) before we can have a real discussion about services. And without more job creation, all of this is a moot point.

    I'm not a big fan of Dudley as he clearly couldn't answer many questions, and doesn't have the experience. And while Kitzhaber is polished and knows his stuff, he talked more about how government would help Oregon get out of the recession, and nary said a word about private businesses. Government is Kitzhaber's focus, and that's a philosophy I respectfully disagree with.

    I hope we have better choices in four-years.

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      That's not true, really. He made a point of showing the link to private investment with the weatherization plan, specifically citing companies like Jeld-Wen. His point is valid; pumping work and materials expenditures into the economy with gov't bonds will spur sales and offer wages to people who need work.

      His plan has logic and empiric robustness. Dudley's fantasy that cutting cap gains by 75% will magically create the jobs we need in Oregon, is the one that doesn't really elucidate an actual plan.

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      "necessary cuts"?

      Why should we cut schools more, increase class sizes,reduce school days,or toss elderly from assisted living and foster care, deny medical care to children on Oregon Health Plan, so that tax breaks can be given to wealthy individuals and corporations who don't even intend to invest their capital gains in Oregon??

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        Given the budget shortfall Given the round of tax increases on "the rich"/businesses Given the deep cuts already made

        What would you due to balance the budget?

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          When I checked BO before I went to lunch today, you hadn't posted all over this thread defending Dudley. I was getting worried you got in a car accident or something.


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            I don't consider it defending Dudley, just challenging what I consider to be stupid attacks against him. You won't believe me when I say this, but if it were reversed and the same attacks had been made against Kitz, I expect I would have said the same thing.

            For the record, I was impressed with Kitz last night. He is a very polished politician.

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              So, Michael, have you gone on Republican sites and gone after their attacks on Kitz?

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                I don't get near conservative sites anymore. After several years of increasingly hostile threats, I started taking them seriously. This I am not joking about.

                You guys might be crazy, but at least you don't threaten me. :-)

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                  Yes, you've got to wonder about someone who proudly proclaims on the banner of his blog that he's armed with a six-pack, a 12-gauge, and THE TRUTH (though I notice that's been changed).

                  The righties wonder why people post anonymously on their blogs (perhaps in their case they should be called "globs"). I don't really want someone who brags about being armed and drunk knowing who I am.

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                    I hear that. All I am looking for is honest, civil discourse. I agree with 90% of what BO talks about, but there are several issues where we don't. On those I like to challenge you guy to defend your positions so BO doesn't become just an echo chamber. I saw that happen on the right where the moderate conservatives were forced out and what was left was the fringe. Then pretty soon, that fringe is now the moderate and then they are gone. I see that slowly happening on the left and am trying to slow it down if I can.

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      Jason: What do you propose cutting - to get to your 2-3%? Specifics please.

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    I was pleased to see that both Jefferson Smith and Jeff Mapes saw the same thing I did re: the "personal scandal" questions. Kitz refused response on Dudley's tax evasion issue, which--although he's certainly mentioned it in ads--was smart in a debate context. He looked like he was trying to be above it, to talk about real issues. Given the chance to do the same, Dudley couldn't refuse the debate and harped on Kitz's loan (which, honestly, is truly weak sauce for an ethics complaint). It made Duds look desperate and petty, even though as I said Kitz has indeed run negative ads that he promised not to, and his reasoning as to why was rather squirrely ("we're showing contrasts, and I have to because he won't debate.")

    If a bunch of pampered white boys like us caught the freight of that moment, I think the group of voters who typically make their judgement on intangible, "feel" considerations will not be favorably disposed towards Dudley after that.

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      I concur. After Kitz's gracious demurral on Dudley's problem, Dudley came across as very petty going after Kitz. It was a very sharp contrast.

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      Maybe Kitz didn't want to be seen as as hypocritical of the Camas tax dodge plan since Jerry Bidwell, Kitz's private mortgage source, was an Oregon business owner and Camas resident(wow, what a home that was) when Kitz appointed him to the OIC.


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        As he pointed out, he did not appoint him, he nominated him. And a chamber full of Republicans either got loans from him too--or found him qualified for the position.

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          If you look at the article, link marked application[pdf] you will see the official letter from Gov. Kitz. The first sentence of said letter to Mr. Bidwell is as follows:

          "It is with great pleasure that I appoint you to the Oregon Investment Council."

          Governor appoints, senate confirms.

          Either living in Camas while working in Portland is a tax dodge or it isn't. You guys don't get it both ways.

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    KGW inexplicably had five audience questions from white men -- all five. Are there no women in Oregon anymore? No people of color?

    I could have sworn the person asking the question about the cost of renewal energy was a woman but I wouldn't want to be accused of getting in the way of a political correctness point here. :)

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      I'll go back and watch the tape. I may have missed it while tweeting nearly two hundred times in an hour.

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      There was one question from a woman on that you are correct.

      But it was about taxing tobacco and liquor, it was the one that led to Dudley obviously not knowing anything about the topic, not about renewable energy, another topic Dudley obviously knew nothing about.

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        I went back to the video. There were actually TWO women who asked questions, one about taxing "food, beverages and tobacco" (not liquor specifically) and another about renewable energy and whether it could be "available" and "affordable."

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    It was a good debate but neither of these guys have a real clue what to do to get Oregon moving again. I am betting on Kitz as I feel in the end he will figure it out. He always has in the past.

    What I am hoping to hear from anyone is how is Oregon going to create the environment needed for people to invest and a plan to raise wages. We have to increase spending in Oregon and it is in our best interest to get it done before California figures it out.

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    In view of Dudley's comments to the Oregonian editorial board about minimum wage, I'm surprised that didn't come up front and center. Dudley says "Oregonians don't understand minimum wage." http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/10/1/906341/-OR-Gov:-Dudley-says-Oregonians-dont-understand-minimum-wage

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    All those at BO who would change their vote based on this (or any other) debate between Kitz & Dudley say aye.


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      How many here are silly enough to think those who go out of their way to post comments regularly on political blog are swing voters?

      Seems Michael Hamilton might need to be counted as one.

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        Could be Kitzhaber's strong performance could get some people to make sure they vote- at least in the gubernatorial race.

        I liked Kitzhaber's accurate description of the ongoing climate change: "caused by humans" and is a "tremendous threat."

        Dudley, on the other hand, said he doesn't know what the human factor is in climate change.

        It's really not difficult to become familiar with the science which is involved in this issue. Twenty bucks will get you a book that will tell you all about it.

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        I am. Kitz performance last night has forced me to dig deeper into his policy papers to get a better understanding of the man.

        The irony is the BO faithful probably aren't happy with the very things that might make me vote for Kitz.

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        No I'm D who is deeply disappointed in Obama's sellouts in particular his naive belief there were reasonable rethuglicans he could work with.

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      Unfortunately, I completely agree with Mr. Hamilton. As well as Kitz did and as poorly as Duds did, it probably makes very little difference. I stopped putting much stock in debates after watching Bush's performances against Gore and Kerry (particuarly abysmal performances against Kerry) and watching him go on to take the White House both times.

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        It's true debates don't seem to change much. barring a massive f-up like Ford's " there is no soviet domination of Eastern Europe" quip in 1976.

        Also they bring out the worst in voters. Backing someone because he looked "presidential" (WTF?), looked like someone I could have a beer with etc.

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    It matters a lot for Kitz to get Dems to vote. When Dems vote they win. It's Dems sitting out elections that cause them to lose. So a good performance can be a motivator for the apathetic, and to sway a few fence sitting indies. People on this forum have already made up their mind, but I truly believe the debates do matter, and a convincing performance matters.

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      I read somewhere that that is THE reason dems will lose badly this year for congress.

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        In polling there are huge differences between the registered voters and "likely" voters. And there are also growing differences between the voter screens that pollsters are using to determine "likely" voters.(hence the diversity of polling results) It is notable that there is a trend of Dems coming home and getting motivated to vote. Why any Dem would stay home when you have someone like Duds who wants to cut services to give away the store to his investor friends,and trash the environment, and on the national scene a gang of extremist thugs running for the Senate and the House who are in favor of destroying Soc. Sec., Medicare, and the Veterans Administration, and make war on the Islamic world, is inexplicable.

        Hence, debates do have an effect of bringing home your base, particularly if you do well.

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          Typically, past performance is a good indicator of future performance. But the huge influx of new voters in 2008 has a lot of pollster wondering if they'll show up in 2010.

          Pollster also ask voters how likely they are to vote, how enthusiastic about voting they are, etc.

          But in Oregon, that's a tougher bit of analysis than most other places -- since vote-by-mail reduces impediments to voting, so lower enthusiasm may not translate to quite as much less voting.

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    I note that Duds has an attack Ad out this morning about the (horrors) "secret loan" that Kitz got. (which was debunked by a neutral accountant). That tells me Duds is worried about no bounce from this debate.

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    So why is BO so quiet about Kitz' support for a sales tax?

    Anyone willing to reply and argue that Kitz doesn't support a sales tax? (Warning: better do your homework first).

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      Why are Republicans so quiet about sales tax support previously articulated by their legislative candidates? Even going so far as to have them lie about their position?

      Goose, gander..right?

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        You must be referring to Nick Kahl's flat out lie that Matt Wand supports a 30% sales tax?

        And Republicans and the media were anything but quiet about FuturePAC's lies.

        And why would Kahl stoop to lying about that in HD-49? Because he knows a sales tax in so unpopular with Oregonians.

        So, back to my original question, which you failed to address.

        Why doesn't BlueOregon - actually you would be a perfect apologist - write an article extolling Kitzhaber's support for a sales tax?

        You're a talented writer, Carla, and an obvious Kitzhaber loyalist.

        It's time BlueOregon's editors articulated why Kitzhaber's support for a sales tax is good for Oregon in 2010.

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      They are quiet b/c this is a bash Dudley site. Given the expected low voter turnout among Dems, they can't risk alienating any potential Kitz voters by examining his platform.

      Let's not forget his desire to cut back the tax increases imposed by M66/67, something BO supported so fervently.

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    the students on my debate team could run laps around Chris Dudley. John Kitzhaber was in the best form we have seen from him in a long time. It seemed to be a very generic debate in terms of what was discussed. We need two or three more to play catch up with these two. Odds are that won't happen. Who is to blame? Chris Dudley of course. To say the Kitzhaber campaign has not been accommodating would be misleading. Over the summer Chris Dudley decided to go to a republican meeting out of state than face a crowd of local newspaper editors. Stick to the basketball court Chris; leave debating to high schoolers and governing to John Kitzhaber.

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    (1) I watched the debate and I did not hear Kitz say he supported the sales tax. I understood him to mean that it needs to be included in the discussion about tax reform/restructure. Our tax structure is F'd up, IMO, and I agree we need to have a more thorough look at it. (All due repect to the task force that was put together by our legislature but IMO they did not have the hard discussions we should have soon.) (2) I saw Duds latest commercial that was referred to in other posts. Shame on you, Duds. You pissed and moaned about negative ads and then did it yourself, again.

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    Challenge for BlueOregon Editors

    Not surprisingly, things got noticeably quiet around here regarding John Kitzhaber's long-time public support for a sales tax in Oregon. The only exception was Carla's meager attempt to deflect attention to Republicans who supposedly also agree with Kitzhaber's desire for a sales tax - which I assume means Kitzhaber supporters should be congratulating these Republicans for agreeing with their Chosen One.

    Kitzhaber's support for a sales tax was a prime point of disagreement in his primary race with Bill Bradbury.

    Yet where are the Kitzhaber apologists on this issue? Hello? Anybody out there?

    BlueOregon has five talented progressive editors, one of whom (Kari) built Kitzhaber's web site, while another (Jesse Cornett) I know personally and consider a friend despite our polar opposite political views.

    My challenge to the BlueOregon editors - any one of the five will do - is to write a main article defending Kitzhaber's support for a sales tax in Oregon.

    C'mon Team Kitz. It's time to rally 'round the sales tax and help make your candidate's dream come true.

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    Don't be absurd, Bruce! Kitz isn't promoting a sales tax and he didn't say so in the debate. The word he used was diversification. So you can confabulate all you want to and say stupid things as an attempt to be provocative, but that doesn't make it true.

    A number of Dem and GOP leaders in this state have favored the adoption of a sales tax to balance our dependence on an income tax. But there are many taxes on consumption including luxury taxes and "sin" taxes. I would favor a sales tax as a supplement to the sales tax particularly if it were dedicated to education. But as a life long Oregonian I have observed that here in Oregon the sales tax has historically been a "no sale." You can beat that ridiculous drum that Kitz is covertly promoting a sales tax but it doesn't make it true.

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      I agree that Kitz is not covertly promoting a sales tax. John Kitzhaber has openly and notoriously promoted a sales tax for most of his long political career.

      What is absurd (I won't call you stupid) is your assertion that John Kitzhaber doesn't support a sales tax, when that was one of the distinguishing differences between him and Bill Bradbury in this year's Democratic primary.

      The only "confabulation" here is your pitiful attempt to say John Kitzhaber does not support a sales tax, when his own words refute you.

      Still waiting for the BO editors (or maybe a guest article from the good doctor himself) to explain why a sales tax today is good for Oregonians.


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