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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Would gridlock in Oregon government be a good thing?

As a liberal who can't bring himself to like Sponge John Faded Jeans, or find the prospect of another governorship for him the least bit appealing, I keep asking myself whether I could really vote for Chris Dudley. What would happen if he were elected? Mostly, how much harm could he do?

There's no realistic chance of him having the state legislature on his side, is there? Won't we still have the Ginny Burdick-Peter Courtney-Jackie Dingfelder veterans running the show in the legislative branch, egged on by the Bus Kid types like Jefferson Smith, Nick Kahl, Ben Cannon, etc.? Most of Dudley's proposals -- especially his tax cuts or anything having to do with the minimum wage or abortion -- would be DOA. And so what you'd likely be guaranteed to get out of Salem is pretty much nothing, for at least the next two years.

Or maybe a little more than nothing. I'm looking at the Goldschmidt people running the shadow government of this state, particularly in the Portland area, and I'd shed no tears if they got cleaned out of the boards of Tri-Met, the Port of Portland, OHSU, etc. I'm looking at the Milwaukie light rail boondoggle and would very much like to see someone kill it, which Dudley probably could.

And as for all the things that wouldn't get done in a divided government: Would it be a bad idea to take a breather from the continued poisoning of the state's business climate, and from bankrupting the state with more debt for construction pork and government employee fringe benefits?

It would really take a lot for me to vote for a Republican. But this time it's a close call. I'm a proud liberal, but I'm also an adult.

Comments (44)

Im going to give Dudley a chance. Honestly, Kitz and his ilk have constantly proven what they can give this state. High unemployment, high dropout rate, businesses leaving, etc.

Go for it! What Oregon (esp. Portland) needs is something just like this:

Smart vote parlayers, can get things going on a better track moving forward with this golden opportunity.

Don't fall for the Goldschmidt crowd's re-run scare tactics over the governor's race. The legislature will keep Dudley in check, but kiss the looting of the public treasury goodbye. (Especially you light railers).

I think even Kitzhaber thinks the Dud will win, but don't fool yourself: he'll be a disaster.

Nothing but disaster seems possible at this point. It's the lesser of two disasters that I'm looking for. A disaster without the Goldschmidt crowd bleeding the little people dry vs. a disaster with them continuing to do so.

Intrade has Dudley winning. Weird. I didn't realize that he was ahead of the pack.

Kitz just came across as an angry old man brimming with minutia in the debate, while Dudley was affable, if not a bit doe in the headlights.

Good analysis on several levels with this one Jack. The only thing holding me back was the fact that that nothing would really get done, but you are right in that he can impact the business climate and clean out some of the drivel.

I'm a liberal w/r/t social issues and a libertarian w/r/t economic issues. I'd vote for Dudders, or our Blogfather Jack here, or hell, anybody else, if they promised to freeze the state budget and kill idiot projects like light rail expansion to neighborhoods where nobody wants it.

If they still had to promise to blow a bunch of taxpayer cash to win the election, why not make a budget that would fix the goddamn sewers and keep human feces out of the local rivers without charging me a misplaced backdoor property tax of eighty bucks a month for "stormwater fees" during the summer when it doesn't rain at all and while I'm living in a rented apartment.

If cost is an issue, they could certainly fire some of the career hippies in city or state government. There is some local concern that the union representing many Portland City government employees might call a strike in the next month or two...

Howza bout we all just cross our fingers and hope that if the union walks out, our elected "leaders" take the opportunity to fire everyone who doesn't show up for work and start over with the multitude of people who would happily take a City job at minimum wage.

If you're so "adult" or worldly sophisticated, how is it you are almost gullibly suckered by the rightwing authoritarianism of NOthing? "No Kitzhaber" -- that's the total message/position of the Party of NO.

It ain't like duhDudley has or is anything, because he doesn't and isn't. Actually, running a candidate who's a total vacuum, with the specious hollow claim that his NOthing is equally valid as and interchangeable with Kitz's something, (unless MD degrees are now given away as sweepstakes or Cracker Jack prizes?), is a Republican insult of the Office of Governor,
Republican insult of public Administration service,
Republican insult of legislative Law,
Republican insult of respect of Justice and right,
Republican insult of Oregon, Oregonians, history, and future,
Republican insult of voting, voters, and your vote, Jack,
Republican insult of, and demeaning to Dudley, really, undignifying,
and the disgrace and shame of 'purchase price' politics -- cynicism is one thing, but (this and such) partisan prostitution is unprincipled, immoral, self-devaluing, a debasement of individual integrity and the human spirit, (and absolutely corrupt unto criminality in almost every case) -- is brazenly and brutishly the antisocial subversiveness and insubordinate infamy of reprobate Republicans.
And the evidence is a consistent pattern in Sizemore, Mannix, Tiernan, Smith (Gordon, Denny), Parks, Krupf, McIntire, Atkinson, Larson, Clapper, Bunn, Cooley, Walden, ... on and on, how much do you need? ..., and the fixers and kingmakers Gerry Frank, Fred Stickel, Del Smith, and more -- the whole rotten retinue of ignoble sycophants and hollow dittoheads and disingenuous if not dishonest immature unconscienced-character dissolutes who arrived in the wake of, and the model of, ruinous Reagan, and brought the great regret of all in our civics and society.

The very essence of the matter that disqualifies Dudley is, in his heart of hearts, he doesn't care. Whether he is Governor or not. Nevermind no charisma, he totally is unconcerned what goes on or comes to pass, no fire in the belly, it is not his thing, not his calling, not a bad gig if you're going to give it to him gratis. He has zero interest of himself in government, zero aspiration for Oregon and Oregonians, he is satisfactorily blissful in the ignorance of mediocre. He does not care who is Governor. He was importuned to stand for the election, and he had no objection because hey, why not, he doesn't care.

There are plenty of faults and failings and fools among the names on the other side of the ballot, the damnable Democrats, (Kitzhaber not one of them, neither a flake nor a flunkie), but, Jack, no Democrat as awful as these latter-day Republicans so belligerent and disrespectful as to get right in your face and say they do not care, (and like Lily Tomlin's operator for The Phone Company, Ernestine, then add, "... we don't have to" (care) -- get the joke? Ernestine is unearnest).

My last blast upside your head, not to knock some sense into it but to cause you pause to think before you act, look around inside your head and find the good sense that you know full-well, already in endowment. Now listen:
Skip the 'beer drinking buddy' test. Ask yourself instead: If in some grotesque cruelty of Heaven or the Fates, you were taken from your glad and loving duty for your children, and you had to pick the guardian to teach and raise and care for them, do you choose Kitzhaber or Dudley?

Or go down the list: Schrader or Bruin? DeFazio or Robinson? Get to Wyden or Huffman? and you abruptly feel the poignancy and keen essential of the question.

Because, after all, your ballot marking really truly is your drawn designing of the future, where the next generation has to live, and inhabits, irrespective whether you do.

The downside with the Democrats, and worst-case scenario, is just about break-even, perhaps (and probably) not making a better world for everyone, likely fumbling and bumbling even some incompetence and not accomplishing anything and that means not breaking it or damaging much either, they keep the seats warm, they keep the patient stable. And someday maybe the Spirit of Progress manifests by happenstance and then the doing and the forward and the building can be done.
As compared to the worst-case of (right-wing) Republicans, which is: in ten tion al ly to kill the patient ... kill the lame and halt and sickly and itinerant and artist and intellectual and the disapproved and disapproving. Kill the children's chances. Kill the children. Extract and exploit now for instant-gratifying gain all that can be extracted of the naturally-occurring resources of the homeplanet. There is only so much of it, limited and finite, and for the mindset in the (fear)politics of scarcity there is not enough to go around; and as distribution equitably is unRepublican then their only 'final solution' is to cut somebodies out: Kill.

Kitzhaber might not help us much. Dudley means us ill and to do us damage, or unwittingly be the agent and the means of doing damage by the serious same ones in the background who put him up to this ... since he didn't care.

Kitzhaber might not help us much.
JK: Yup!! He'll just continue Oregon's downward spiral into massive joblessness, insolvency and lousy schools.

However this is on the road to solving the Columbia River crossing problem by just waiting for Vancouver to continue being the job creation engine of the Portland region to the point that commuting to Portland for jobs ceases and Portlanders commute to Vancouver for the new jobs in the region.

The really sad joke on the middle class is that Washington/Vancouver is following the crackpots that run Oregon into the same screwed up policies. They are just a few years behind us.


After the great disappointment between Dr.No
and the Dud.

I am convinced both candidates aren't worth voting for.

I'm looking at writing in someone on my ballot.

Perhaps, Tenskwatawa will do.

I believe it was Albert E. who said "stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different results".

It doesn't matter who's running, vote for NO incumbents past or present and send a message to all the self serving egotistical politicians, "you as-----s work for us not the other way around.

The major theme of the U.S. Constitution, a brilliant document when it comes to freedom and liberty, is to LIMIT what government does.

Over and over again it is stated "...Congress shall make no law..."

I would welcome government gridlock because at least government won't be able to create(during the time they're gridlocked, anyway)new and better ways to shaft the taxpayers.

Also all of these spending bills have expiration dates and no action would effectively mean a budget cut.

The reason spending bills have expiration dates is so the politicians can periodically shake down those who get money from these "programs" for more campaign contributions.

Using our money to shaft us. What a deal!

Are we supposing that the composition of the next legislature will be the same? Perhaps there will be a few more Republican faces there next biennium. Perhaps Dudley and the next legislature can be bipartisan and move this state forward the direction it needs to go. Yeah go ahead, everyone ridicule me for being so naïve or perhaps I have some optimism that is sorely needed here.

Tenskwatawa has this exactly right.

I will vote for the Dudster if and when he actually goes on record that he will kill the Milwaukie light rail, but I am not holding my breath for him to take any real positions on anything.

Until then, I don't know. I don't like either choice.

Jon, we could call Dudster the spawn of Vic Atiyeh (except at least Vic was a real Oregonian) - and look at Oregon's economy during Atiyeh's reign.

I'm in that group of fiscal conservatives and social liberals. Gridlock is the best thing that can happen. Even if it is tough, this is the place to start breaking up the Goldschmidt cabal. Tenskwatawa should make a list of all of the Goldschmidt clan that are in positions to keep funneling money to the contractors/developer weasels. This is even when the public votes against the projects(if they get a vote). Incumbents out!

Thanks to antidemocratic Senate rules, we have essentially had government in gridlock at the federal level for two years. The results? Complex new laws with tortured compromises that fall far short of needed reform and remediation to the economy as a whole, the financial sector, and health care. And no action at all on energy policy, the environment or climate change. We have pressing problems. Gridlock makes them worse.

The missing element with respect to the highest leadership in the country, Governor or President, is the lack of separation from politics and an adherence to the real demands of leadership, which, after all, is neither Republican or Democrat, Libertarian or Green, but truly independent. It feels to me that the individuals holding high office are actually afraid to act on their own, as if some sort of iron grip on their minds, heats and souls impedes any possibility of actually taking pause and assessing the decisions far from the venal minds at work pushing for what is, after all, based on greed, it's roots buried in the fear of insecurity rather than the fear.

I would vote for that person who is willing to take a chance on their own convictions, assessment and insight, informed by the best of the past, to see further than what their political bosses demand they do. I would vote for the person who is willing to look at the wisdom of insecurity rather than the fear.

It was Newton, I believe, that said: "If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants".

In the call to governance is no less a demand for such a perspective.

If the Democrats keep both houses of the legislature, Dudley's veto pen is our best hope.

I really hope he picks up and extends Kitzhaber's promise (yes, Kitzhaber!) to ask for the resignations of all department heads and managers. He should extend that to TriMet, the Port of Portland, the Oregon Investment Council, and any other state-appointed board.

As Nancy Pelosi so famously said: It's time to drain the swamp!

The link to below has been rejected. This comes from the Independent Political Report.

Oregon Progressive Party Nominates Candidates, Skips Gubernatorial Race
August 21st, 2010 · No Comments
Richard Winger reports at Ballot Access News:
The ballot-qualified Progressive Party of Oregon held a nominating convention on August 19, and nominated five congressional candidates, one nominee for state office, and two for partisan county office. The nominee for State Office is Walt Brown, who is running for Treasurer. Brown was also the Socialist Party’s presidential nominee in 2004.
The congressional candidates are: for U.S. Senate, Rick Staggenborg; for U.S. House, 1st district, Chris Henry; 3rd district, Michael Meo; 4th district, Mike Beilstein; 5th district, Chris Lugo.
The nominated slate represents a major setback for Soloflex founder and gubernatorial hopeful Jerry Wilson.
…the Oregon Progressive Party decided Thursday night not to run a candidate in the governor’s race. That was a blow for Soloflex founder Jerry Wilson, who was hoping to be the Progressive candidate for governor in November.
Now, Wilson … says he will probably continue to run as a write-in candidate. [note: another source claims the candidate is "unsure" about conducting such a campaign]
But a write-in candidacy won’t have nearly the power to draw votes. And the way it shapes up, Kitzhaber won’t have any candidates running to the left of him. At the same time, Republican nominee Chris Dudley has to cope with two candidates on the political right: the Constitution Party’s Greg Kord and Libertarian Wes Wagner…
Greg Kafoury, a founder of the Progressive Party, said there were concerns about Wilson’s plan to run an internet-only campaign. Wilson said Friday morning that he was told the party didn’t think he could get at least one percent of the vote (which minor parties generally need to do in at least one statewide race to keep their ballot status).
One poll of the gubernatorial race had Jerry Wilson at 7% support. Now that the candidate has no place on the ballot, such a result is practically unattainable.
It must be noted that the Progressive Party is not the only leftist party declining to participate in the gubernatorial contest – the Pacific Green Party is too.

The D’s and R’s have failed us.
The two party system has turned sour.
Looks like the system has also been set up to disadvantage other parties.
Other parties need our vital interest and involvement now. Where else have we to turn? Was disappointed to hear that the Progressive Party declined to participate in the gubernatorial contest as did the Pacific Green Party.
Have not looked into all that Jerry Wilson represents, but seems to me he has the kind of independent and in depth thinking we so desperately need.

We the people should not be deterred from considering a write-in. We should not be "held in" by these two parties in having to vote for what we do not want in critical times. We should no be "held back" by minor parties concern about keeping their ballot status.

We the people can and in my opinion should not just shrug our shoulders here, not only blog, but become active and stand up for a change in this system, work for a write-in. This may just be the time in our history where write-ins may work. So we have a month, we also have new ways of communicating, via internet. Alas, I think we have been brainwashed into dismissing alternatives, but all we have before us now, is to go for it.
I hope Jerry Wilson has not given up on a write-in.

Hell, lets vote straight TEA PARTY ticket and hang on for the ride!

I'd like to see people like Jerry Rust and Pete Sorenson give some decidedly un-Goldschmidt action to the Dems.

I'm reminded of the final scenes of the film Flight of the Phoenix (yes, the 1965 version) and the quandary they faced.

Do you do the right thing, with the near certainty of failure or the wrong thing and expect disaster? I doubt that in real life our outcome would be as good as in the film.

We need a Mark Hatfield or a Warren Magnuson so much right now....

al m,
Interesting thought.

I do believe though that what has gotten us into this entire mess, is that too many have taken that voting is what gets us where we want to be. In these critical times, it takes more than just voting. Democracy, although some may say we never really had it, needs our attention and care. We do not keep a sense of democracy anyway, as though we are entitled to it by doing nothing or not much. We need to press, to be active, pick something, go to meetings, organize, communicate, support independent thinking, and so forth.

We all can do a part in this. Jack has done his part by providing us this forum and continued watch dogging.

Know your strengths and give where you can.

I got push-polled this morning by Dudley supporters (who hired out of New York rather than Oregon).

I know Dudley's supposed to be a "new face" but who are the people behind him? Who are his advisors and staff likely to be? Because if there's one thing anyone who didn't already know this should have learned from the "CHANGE" campaign of Barack Obame it's that the the people who run the campaign and the administration are never as "fresh" as the figurehead at the top.

Sure, Kitzhaber's been around a long time and the people he'd bring in are going to have been involved in Oregon politics but anyone who thinks the people who Dudley's is going to surround himself with a similarly inexperienced crew is deluding themselves. It'll be the same Republican operatives that have been on the scenes for various parts of the past couple of decades.

Even though Jack is probably right that the legislature won't change much, I see the election of Dudley as a referendum on at least ideas of fiscal restraint, government can't do it all; and a change in all the appointed positions in over 300 commissions, boards, etc. that in large part run this state.

If you're really a democrat you'll want someone who professes the need to fund basic services and not mass transit to help the average citizen. That's a generality, but that is what it boils down to.

I can't understand how Kitzhaber's answer to the budget crisis is to weatherize schools. The economics proves that to be a mistake.

I've served on several boards and commissions in over 30 years. Asking even fiscal restraint questions have been more than ridiculed. You seldom can even get those kinds of questions and comments in edge-wise. With Dudley as governor you might not be asked to leave the table when you do. A new mind-set is needed to be more fair to the discourse.

...Vancouver to continue being the job creation engine of the Portland region...

That's pretty funny. Clark County has an unemployment rate several points higher than the rest of the Portland metro area. Clark County has consistently had the highest unemployment rate in the state of Washington. About a third of workers in Clark County work in Oregon. If it wasn't for jobs on the Portland side of the river Vancouver an Clark County's unemployment would be off the charts.

I posted "and not mass transit to help the average citizen". My grammar is poor. I do not mean that mass transit helps the average citizen. In Portland it has become primarily the opposite because urban renewal has been the "linch pin" to its funding. UR takes money from the average citizens because of the millions taken from schools, fire, police and other basic services. And Portland's mass transit has deprived the bus system which would actually serve more people at less cost than fixed rail.

I don't understand what makes any of you guys think the people behind Dudley would want to kill projects like MilMAX or some future tram-like idea. All of those projects mean buckets of money go from public coffers to developers and construction firms, all of whom are connected to politicians of various stripes. They may have opposed specific projects when they were out of power but that's largely because they couldn't steer the money to their own list of cronies. I keep reading about "fiscal restraint" and cleaning out boards but you do realize that the cronies who are working to get Dudley elected are going to expect the money funnel to swing their way just as assuredly as the Kitzhaber's would, don't you? Maybe it'll be different projects but you know, I don't think all those infill houses were built by Democrats. When life hands you a MAX line you make money. And people of all political persuasions love money.

Heh...To paraphrase Emma Goldman, if your votes would actually change anything, they'd be illegal.

Despite Tenskwatawa's choice fevered rant, I still have to agree with darrelplant. It really doesn't matter whether it is Kitz or Dudley Doowut at the helm, the corporate masters will continue to bilk the taxpayers.

Know your strengths and give where you can.

Amen brother!

if your votes would actually change anything, they'd be illegal.

Now that's a great quote!

darrelplant; several times Dudley has commented on the $250 Million appropriated from Oregon's lottery fund for Milwaukie Light Rail. He has said he'd strongly consider opposing it, and even opposed to it, as he stated in a Larson interview.

Kitz doesn't even answer the question when he or his staffed is asked the question.

Because Alley strongly opposed the MLR funding in the primary with strong, thought-out reasoning, Dudley agreed with him. Hopefully there is a new mind-set with Dudley contrary to the Neil Legacy.

I will vote for the Dudster if and when he actually goes on record that he will kill the Milwaukie light rail

Other than pulling the state money, does the governor even have the power to kill a light rail project? Or any construction project for that matter?

Pulling the state money would be enough to kill Milwaukie MAX. He could also appoint a Tri-Met board that would kill it.

Kitz has Tensky's vote.

Need I say more?

Tenskatawa has an interesting point. Would you leave your kids with Kitzhaber or Dudley, if you took the wrong train in Berlin, or wherever, and wound up barbecued in a terrorist statement?

Well, actually, I think Dudley would be a hands-down choice for that. Let's see, interested in children enough to have THREE of them, and stay married to their mother, who clearly adores him. Hmm. I think my kid might a lot happier with Dudley, than with a busy old academic pol.

Gaye - Just how much time do you think pro athletes really have for their kids? Really? And pro athlete's wives are a special breed. Duds probably didn't philander or at least not notoriously so his wife sees him as a cut above and the rest of us don't see him as a himbo.

Jerry, my point was that Dudley might not built MilMAX because the people who support him didn't manage to get their noses into that particular trough. THat doesn't mean they're not going to get fed by a Gov. Dudley from some other, equally lucrative trough.

It's like half the people here have forgotten that the developers and real-estate people in Portland are mostly Republicans (as they are most everywhere). Their business is to make money no matter who's in charge and the idea that Dudley is going to single-handedly shut off the spigot of money flowing from public coffers to developers is simply ludicrous.

I agree that his legislative agenda would be dead in the water, and that it would be great to get the current corrupt crowd ousted, but what makes you think that their replacements would be any better? Dudley's backers are the same sort of old-money, power-behind-the-scenes goons that we have too much of already, so we'd just get right-wing operators replacing the current left-wing operators. I'm sure Hoffman and the condo crowd will be pulling the strings either way.

Actually, I think we'll be worse off with Dudley, because the guy seems to have no respect for public service. I think we can trust Kitzhaber to at least give lip service to hiring qualified people, but I bet Dudley will just appoint everyone who gave him a few bucks, regardless of ability or experience. I think the best--only, really--reason to vote for Kitzhaber is that he actively dislikes everyone else in the party. I'd rather have someone I can trust to be irascible to a political puppet like Dudley.


"The very essence of the matter that disqualifies Dudley is, in his heart of hearts, he doesn't care. Whether he is Governor or not. Nevermind no charisma, he totally is unconcerned what goes on or comes to pass, no fire in the belly, it is not his thing, not his calling, not a bad gig if you're going to give it to him gratis. He has zero interest of himself in government, zero aspiration for Oregon and Oregonians, he is satisfactorily blissful in the ignorance of mediocre. He does not care who is Governor. He was importuned to stand for the election, and he had no objection because hey, why not, he doesn't care."


"Gaye - Just how much time do you think pro athletes really have for their kids? Really? "

Wow. I guess I didn't know I was in the honored presence, here on this blog, of minds so great that they can see into other men's hearts and apparently homes, too. I came close to ignoring these two arrogant and ignorant comments because in the long run such foolish statements only serve to reveal the true character of those who make them. But I can't.

Tensk, no need to tell you how foolish your sentiments are. If you think you know another man's heart, I doubt you know your own.

LucsAdvo, shame on you. Professional athletes don't care for their families? Why? Because they have a demanding schedule and travel a lot? Does that mean that the directors and producers and support staff of their televised shows who travel the same hours with them also neglect their families? Are all corporate sales reps who spend half their lives on the road negligent mothers and fathers? A lover in every port? And you suggest that Dudley probably did chase tail on the road, but not enough that his wife was concerned? You must be a very simple, weak, little person to stereotype people according to your own ill-conceived simple tabloid-popularized notions. Shame on you again.

The real humor is that people like you two and so many others help to paint a very good portrait of the type of mentality and maturity that accompanies blindly voting along your own party line.

Now I have to get back to work.

One of the scariest trends I've seen lately among Republican and Tea Party candidates is that - in many cases - it's their first run at political office and they're aiming for positions they would *never* have had a serious chance of reaching for in the past without putting in some serious ladder climbing and mentorship - everything from Governorships to Senate seats.

During the recent debate, Dudley mentioned that this was his "first election." "Election"

I'd like to think differently but he has all the earmarks of a complete puppet.

I'd like to think differently but he has all the earmarks of a complete puppet.

That's my problem with Dudley, and why I won't vote for him. Kitzhaber, for all his faults, I know what I'm getting. I'm not saying Dudley isn't a reasonably bright guy, or that he isn't well-intentioned. But it sure doesn't seem like he's given a whole lot of thought to what he wants to do with the governorship.

Many of you may be surprised by the outcome of the upcoming election: Kitz, Wu, fire trucks, light rail and the like. There are a lot ot Tensky's drinking the water of Portland, Eugene and Corvallis. Ain't this fun?

Split the difference, vote libertarian. No regrets.

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