Dennis Richardson: Oregon's Scott Walker

Paulie Brading

"Rep. Dennis Richardson, R-Central Point, raised hackles in January when it came to light he had used public-records requests to obtain residents' email addresses from state agencies and build an email list containing hundreds of thousands of names." Statesman Journal

"The representative crashed the Legislature's web server while trying to send a newsletter with four large files attached to 475,447 on his email list." Statesman Journal

In a school district next door from the district I serve, Richardson recently used his massive email list to rake the Eagle Point teachers union over the coals in his newsletter. His attack on teachers is over the top! He inserted himself into negotiations between the teachers and the school district with his wacky abuse of email addresses. Richardson stated in the Statesman Journal article, "Who will take on the teacher's unions?"

Richardson energetically ripped a page from Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's playbook with his latest stunt. After reading his latest newsletter I thought about my own teachers who inspired me. I thought about teachers who generously mentor inexperienced teachers. I thought about the teachers who arrive early, stay late and cover their dining room table with papers to grade late into the night. I thought about the students who benefit from their care, compassion and instruction.

Yes, the Eagle Point teacher's union is on strike. I consider Richardson's email an attack on teachers and the middle class. The teacher's union and the district are working together to reach a fair settlement. I am confident they will.

Richardson should go visit a Freshman English class with 40 students and not enough chairs for the students to sit in. He should shadow an elementary teacher with 36 fifth graders jammed together. He should drop by in the evening at one of my district's high schools to see teachers providing free tutoring to students across the district just because they want to help all students to succeed.

Richardson bashed teachers. His abuse of email addresses, his entitlement and waste of public resources to gin up his Scott Walker version of state politics regarding public education is a disgrace.

Your take.

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    I’ve blogged on related issues twice: (1) “Eagle Point students should demand more change” and (2) “Average teacher may cost $92,371 per year in Eagle Point School District”

    Rep. Richardson’s use of personal email addresses may be disgusting and counter-productive, but it is fairly common and we all know how to deal with unwanted emails. His newsletter is here

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    Yes, Richardson has "gone over the top" with his latest email. I'm one of several leaders in the Oregon Education Association that have received his emails. Until lately, I've just dismissed them as silly and uninformed at best. Now he is clearly abusing the privilege of his position in gaining access to email addresses for his own ends. But the best way to deal with such abuse is with the delete key. Why give him any justification by actually reading and discussing his emails. Soon, even Richardson will get the message that his efforts are wasted. He then will regain the (lack of) status his actions have earned him.

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    The best way to deal with SPAM is to tag it as such so your ISP can handle it. If enough (and it doesn take that many) comcast, frontier and gmail customers tag Richardsonś unsolicited emails as SPAM then they will his domain on a blocklist. Since his domain is the legislative server, that will block the rest of the legislature from conducting legitimate business. If Hannah, Whisnant and the rest of the GOP caucus find they can´t send emails because of this boob, maybe theyĺl pressure him to stop spamming the universe

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