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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 9, 2006 3:36 PM. The previous post in this blog was Cover and simmer. The next post in this blog is Missing Portland. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Monday, January 9, 2006


There's been lots of talk over the weekend about ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber. He's rolling out his plan to Change the Face of Medical Care in the United States, which he's talking about possibly trying to get onto the November ballot here in his home state. And he's still talking about running for a third term as governor, but only if he decides that a ballot measure isn't the way to go on health care. He says he couldn't imagine running for office and spearheading a voter initiative at the same time.

The cynic in me isn't buying a lot of this. I have no doubt about the good doctor's sincerity in wanting to lead radical health care reform. But from a coldblooded political perspective, as I've discussed here before, his supposed candidacy for elective office looks like a ploy to get rid of State Sen. Vicki Walker so that Governor Ted can sew up the Democratic nomination. And in return, Dr. No would get to run OHSU for well north of a half million a year plus free use of the Playboy mansion.

If that's the strategy, it appears to be working. When last I heard, Walker was still telling folks that her still-"exploratory" run for governor depends on what Kitzhaber does -- and precious time keeps slipping away. She's got to decide whether to give up her senate seat, and if her fundraising is really on hold, she'll be way behind the eight ball for the primary, which is just a little more than four months away.

I haven't seen anything about this angle in the local press. In The O interview with Kitzhaber published over the weekend -- which they assure us, golly, was an hour long -- nobody said a peep about Walker and OHSU. Which is why this town needs bloggers, I guess.

Comments (18)

Did you know Kitzhaber wears lifts in his cowboy boots? That alone should doom his re-run. Remeber what Randy Newman said about his kind.

C'mon, they're just the same as you and I.

Did you know Kitzhaber wears lifts in his cowboy boots?

So does Chuck Norris. [shrug]

I saw Sly Stallone in person once. Way short.

"Which is why this town needs bloggers, I guess."
Jack, I’m taking up the blogging mantle with a little effort I call “The Portland Freelancer” at Give me a while to get up to speed. Who’s Kitzhaber again?

Kitzhaber is the one guy who can blast our shameful U.S. Senator, Denny Smith, out of the water. He could do much more in the U.S. Senate to advance his cause. I can understand he may have needed some time out after two terms as governor, and didn't want to run against Smith, but now I have to ask just whose side Kitzhaber is on.

I assume you mean Gordon Smith, but wow, Denny Smith, there's a blast from the past.

"I assume you mean Gordon Smith, but wow, Denny Smith, there's a blast from the past."

So you're saying they're two different guys?

You may be right about Kitzhaber eyeing the OHSU job, but I really don't think that he's playing this game to freeze Vicki Walker.

Walker is at best a long shot in a primary against Kulongoski. No money, no soldiers, just a bit of pluck.

I think you are way overestimating the threat Walker is to Teddy.

I agree with you Jack about the ploy to scare off Vicky Walker and any fundraising she might be able to do.

I do believe that the health care initiative Kitzhaber is proposing was planned way before Walker's plan to challenge Kulongoski. Fortune magazine ran an interview way back in which Kitzhaber announced his health care initiative plans. Toss on top of this the speech given at the city club way back in October and this was clearly planned (I think the speech was in October).

Its my expectation that Kitzhaber has a plan to jump on board with a democratic heavy-weight for President and hope for a Cabinent slot. My guess is it'll be Hillary. This initiative will be the spring board establishing crediblity as a reformer.

Combine health care reform with the most aggresive salmon warrior and you've got a seriously powerful stump and cabinent asset.

Gee, I think we need a newspaper, maybe two. Well, Willamette Week tries and sometimes succeeds on digging out the news. Occasionally even the local community papers do a better job. Keep trying big O. Your public has been telling you so for years.


If Sleepy Ted can't unite his party its going to effect him in the general. Instead of being able to play to the general election and criticize the conservative front runner he will be captured by his own party faking left to satisfy the special interests of the party. Ted is after all what I'd consider a moderate. He may support the liberal wing of the D's special issues but chooses a middle ground as his playing field.

If he lost a few endorsements in the primary it would hit him below the belt. It also would significantly impact is fundraising as a donor who normally might give $1000-$25,000 might give half as much if they aren't completly excited about the candidate. If Walker makes an effective challenge and garners media-ink she will remove all benefits of incumbancy.

Ted is one of the most vulnerable incumbent governors, if not the most vulnerable, in the nation. If he has both Walker and Sorenson carping at him over the next four months, he'll be considerably weakened. He barely beat Mannix the first time, and those two, especially Walker, are going to expose him to a larger audience for what he is.

I have no doubt that Kitzhaber would love a cabinet position in a Democratic adminsitration (if we ever get one), and this show would help him get that. But that's a long-range contingency plan. I think he wants to be sitting somewhere very high up by this time next year -- but not the governor's office.

Picking whose going to be the winner in a Presidential bid is no easy task. I beleive that Kitz has the credibility to be a huge asset in the West for any candidate running for the Democratic nomination. Specifically if the candidate is a southernor or urban easterner who lacks environmental cred to run on. He's also one of the very few medical doctors who've been succesful in politics which makes him a rarity in discussing the medical coverage issue. I think if Dean would have pulled the nomination away from Kerry you'd have seen alot of Kitz out there nationally in his campaign and the national party.

I don't think the doctor-turned-politician thing is going to play well anywhere but in the states that are already blue. Especially if the doctor is named Howard Dean.

The Doctor thing-
Its truly knowing the issues and communicating them well as it relates to healthcare. I see Kitz doing this well though I don't trust him one bit. He also has alot of support around the country for his OHP as flawed as it was.

The Prez. thing-
The truly blue western states are critical for fundraising in order to swing the early primary states.

The point I was trying to convey-
Welcome John Kitzhaber to the spotlight on both accounts.


I can be as cynical anyone, but your amusing theory stretches credibility beyond belief. What enquiring minds want to know is this: will you still keep the Walker "button" on your site if Kitz does announce today - say, as your own "silent protest"?

Although a registered Democrat, I will not vote for Kitzhaber or Kulongoski. If that's the best the party can offer, it really doesn't matter if it wins.


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to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
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Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
MarchigĂĽe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
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Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
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Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
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Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
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Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
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Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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