Score +1 for BlueOregon on Politifact: Jim Weidner wants to take health care away from 80,000 kids

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

PolitiFact on BlueOregon's post about Jim Weidner: "We rate this claim True."

As I mentioned earlier, I'm excited that PolitiFact has come to Oregon. After all, too much in journalism is "he said, she said" reporting rather than a dogged search for fact and truth.

Here's the claim that was made in a post last week.

Susan Sokol Blosser is one of the founders of Oregon's world-renowned wine industry where she’s a leader on environmental sustainability. Her opponent, Rep. Jim Weidner proposed a bill taking away health care for 80,000 of Oregon's children.

That particular bit came from, but it's a claim we've made and repeated multiple times here.

Here's what PolitiFact Oregon had to say:

Forget taking candy away from children. Blue Oregon, a liberal political website, is accusing one Republican candidate of trying to take health care away from 80,000 of Oregon’s youth. ...

Ouch. Not exactly the sort of thing that wins you votes.

Naturally, PolitiFact Oregon wondered if Weidner, who has four kids himself, really has it out for Oregon’s children.

PolitiFact goes through their research, noting what we already knew -- that Weidner sponsored a bill to repeal a 1% tax on health insurance companies to fund health care for children. Their conclusion?

So, it seems, Weidner does want to eliminate a tax that is being used to provide health care to children.

But wait, PolitiFact wanted to know one more thing:

Before we settled on a ruling we wanted to check one other thing: Even if Weidner’s bill had gone through, are there really 80,000 children who would lose health insurance? We called Oregon Healthy Kids to find out.

As it happens, since the bill passed, about 57,000 children have been enrolled in the program, according to Cathy Kaufmann, manager of the Healthy Kids Office. That’s as of August. Kaufmann expects that the full 80,000 will be enrolled before the end of the 2009-2011 biennium.

And in summary, we get the big thumbs up:

So where does that leave us? Well, while we’re feeling pretty confident that Weidner isn’t anti-health care for kids, he did, as the website alleges, propose a bill that would have eliminated the funding for health care for 80,000 children. Whether he thought it would pass or not doesn’t much change things. And some context about how he was really targeting a tax would have been nice. Still, we rate this claim True.

Thank you, PolitiFact. No, everybody, go help Susan Sokol Blosser and get this guy out of the legislature.

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    One thing - it was interesting that the source was "BlueOregon" rather than you, Kari. (You wrote the piece, right?)

    Seemed like an interesting citation, like citing something a candidate told the Oregonian as "The Oregonian."

    Small quibble. Weidner needs to go.

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      I agree. I've asked various reporters at the Oregonian to cite our people by name before, but they mostly don't.

      It'd be like saying "The Oregonian said..." when referring to an op-ed by Anna Griffith or Steve Duin or David Sarasohn.

      Apparently, we're just the borg over here.

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        Well...I think its common courtesy to cite the author of the piece. I hope you continue to ask reporters cite the blog authors by name.

        I certainly try do that for reporters when I link to their work.

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        I am guessing the O see's you as a threat and don't want to enhance the credibility of the individual contributors here. THe reality is that the last place I would go for info is a mainstream paper.

        How 'bout them Cardinals. bye bye USC :-)

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          The notion that BlueOregon is a threat to the Oregonian is utterly absurd. Anybody that thinks that over there is a paranoid delusional.

          According to, is getting roughly 1.8 million monthly visitors, while is at around 25 thousand.

          Oh, and they also have this print version that they deliver to doorsteps throughout the region every single day.

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    Good job, unmask these jerks, and expose them for what they are.

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