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Monday, November 1, 2010

Still on the fence

Here it is the eve of the election, and we still haven't turned in our ballots. The hangup is the Oregon governor's race.

We can't vote for Kitzhaber. We didn't like him the last time around, when he was irascible, egocentric, and unproductive. Has eight years made him any better in those departments? We doubt it. During his previous tenure, the economy was positively booming compared to where it is now, and what did we get to show for it? Not a whole lot. Plus, we're so tired of the Goldschmidt people, and this guy is sure to keep them around, running Tri-Met, running the Port, sucking the life out of the taxpayers for another four years. No can do.

But we can't vote for Dudley, either. He wants a George Bush regime of irresponsible tax cuts, and he'll no doubt be surrounded by the usual GOP suspects with their backward social policies. Not to mention that he's already shown himself to be tight with the Gerding Edlen developer types who have Portland and its surroundings on a highway to financial oblivion. His inexperience doesn't bother us in the least. The main problem is, well... he's a Republican.

Perhaps our brightest idea on this is a warped one. We're still thinking that the legislature will stay in Democratic hands, and if that's the case, then a vote for Dudley is a vote for gridlock. Gridlock doesn't look all that bad right now.

Or maybe we just throw our vote away and blacken the circle for a write-in. How depressing.

Comments (61)

I voted for Dudley in the spirit of gridlock as well. Kitzhaber will be a huge win for the SEIU and OEA, and other winners here will be Milwaukie Light Rail. As bnad as it sounds, Oregon needs gridlock right now -- just to protect it from itself.

My vote for Dudley was about placing some small speedbump in the path of the Dems.

I would rather have four years of nothing than another four years of what we have had.

I'm with Mark Twain on this one:

"If a fellow casts his vote to spite the other fellow, he's doubly mocked Democracy. I cannot fathom a man who drinks a bottle of poison in order to do away with his enemy."

I voted for Kitzhaber. But I agree with Jack--both candidates are...far less than ideal.

I voted for Kitzhaber, not because I really ever liked him, but because having served two terms as Oregon Governor and realizing how ugly things can be, he is less naieve than Dudley and perhaps able to pull people together who can do something about the ungovernable state of the state.

The State of Oregon is slipping downhill, most of all financially. Gridlock or a speedbump in the way of demos for the next four years will make things worse. The State can't just hover where it is. It's still who to vote for and I'm stuck like Jack.

Dudley will be elected Gov.... Doc Faded Jeans had his 8 years along with Sleepy Ted, and those two with the Union owned legislators have ran this State into the ground.... Time for Hope and Change....

The problem with gridlock is that we really do have to make large cuts and come up with new ways to raise revenue if we're going to even get a budget for the next biennium.

Gridlock is likely to make us more like California -- their recent budget "agreement" is an absolute farce, smoke and mirrors crafted so that everyone can get out of town.

The tipping point seems to be Milwuakie Light Rail and Dudley's opposition to it. Gridlock is not as bad as going further backward with more wasted money projects.

I went with the Working Families Party candidate. I don't know anything about him other than I like the WFP, and I couldn't vote for Kitz or Dudley for the same reasons above and others. Better than a write in.

If God had wanted us to vote, s/he would've given us candidates.

ecohuman, I can appreciate the Twain quote. It's a good one.

I didn't vote for Dudley to spite Kitz, I voted in the hope that the dysfunctional governemnt in Oregon can have its hands tied for a while.

While it may sound simplistic...in my view, republican candidates always pander to and are funded by corporate thugs, while democrat candidates get their fuel from public employee unions -- and both make promises to these constituants using the public checkbook, and all the while those of us who just want good government and basic services from our vote and tax dollars get screwed...This has been happening for generations, and the dysfunctional momentum is picking up steam (think the Iraq war sponsored by Halliburton, and bureaucracy-bloating $800B stimulus packages brought to you by Obama/Pelosi).

Personally, I don't see many option but to hog-tie our politicians -- and voting is the only way we can do it.

I do agree that it would be great to vote FOR a candidate and not against one. Last time I did that, it was for Obama and I was excited by the process. Now, I feel very let down...

I think you vote for the best candidate, then be vigilant and hold their feet to the fire--and get ready to vote them out if necessary.

Otherwise, you're playing a board game, not participating in a democracy.

A vote for Kizhaber is a vote for Sam Adams, Light Rail, Urban Renewal, the PDC, TriMet, Metro, and EVERY OTHER BIG problem discussed here. It's that simple and certain.

Dudley on the other hand is not.

And despite the misportrayal by Democrats not wanting to vote R, he would be no more problematic than if I or Jack were elected elected governor.

Dudley by 9 points.

You don't want to vote for Dudley because he'll lower taxes? When you cut taxes, tax revenues go up. This has been proven.

I think the real reason you oppose lower taxes is because the working-class boy in you doesn't think that low taxes punish the rich enough.

The point I'm about to make isn't going to help me persuade Jack over to my side one whit.

This election is not about the candidates; it is about the parties. The last best Republican candidate Oregon was offered was Dave Frohnmayer. He lost to Barbara Roberts! (Thanks, as I recollect, to a wingnut spoiler.)

And I (shudder) voted for her.

The biggest fiscal issues ruining the state are the unfunded liabilities of the public employee unions and the declining business environment. We really need to try a Republican governor if not governance for a while.

I'm voting the Party.

I voted for Kitzhaber, happily, after hearing Dudley the Dolt blather his way through the debates. The guy is honestly clueless, and has no idea how to run anything. His performance as governor would make people long for the days when he was just clanging up the free throws.

Kitz will win by 2.5-3 points

CIM/CAM...how many hundreds of millions was wasted on it and then abandoned? New Carissa environmental disaster that could have been avoided?

The state is required to balance the budget, even with "gridlock." Having one party in the Governship and another in the legislature seems to ensure that the gap will be bridged by compromise, rather than just new taxes.

Dudley is less than inspiring, but he really can't get a bunch of scary conservative initiatives through with a Dem legislature.

The biggest fiscal issues ruining the state are the unfunded liabilities of the public employee unions and the declining business environment

If there were zero dollars spent on public employee benefits--no health care, no retirement, nothing--the state would STILL be in a financial crisis. It's easy to verify. As for "declining business environment", that amorphous, non-specific charge seems to get lots of traction, but nobody seems to be able to define what it means, or what its impact actually is. Isn't that strange?

State legislators seem to have no ability or interest for the actual fiscal problem--but they certainly seem quick to blame a union for it.

Here's the real reason for the fiscal crisis that's affecting *every state in the nation*--overdevelopment.

We've built so many roads that we're going broke just trying to maintain them.

We've built so much infrastructure that we're not only going broke trying to maintain it, but we have no idea how we'll pay for future expansions of it.

We've built so many mini (and mega) malls that the electricity and water demand are bankrupting us financially and ecologically--and we want more, more, more.

So I'm confused when I hear that somehow a public employee union is "bankrupting" us while the actual, visible, 800-pound gorilla sits quietly in the room. Most of you want a "pro business" state but you actually have no idea what that means, beyond the profoundly short-sighted goal of "more jobs". More jobs? Is that your definition of a successful society? Is *that* your definition of what government's chief goal is?

"When you cut taxes, tax revenues go up. This has been proven."

You're kidding, right? Are there really people out there who still believe in Reagan's voodoo economics?

If you can't find someone to vote for, look for someone to vote against.

Posted by ecohuman | November 1, 2010 11:10 AM

So roads, infrastructure and buildings are bankrupting us. I guess your handle should have been a clue. I think infrastructure is the first responsibility of state government and the rest of it is what has been , overly and badly built.

Even Kulongowski at the last hour called for a reset and dumped it on the next guy.

Oregon: A state so green that we even recycle our governors.

Thank you for expressing so perfectly exactly what I've been thinking too. I still have not turned in my ballot for that very reason.

Keep in mind what happened the last time a sports loving Yale grad got elected because "how bad could he be" and "I rather have a beer with him and not that smart guy who thinks he invented the intercom".

We found out how bad it could be. It was, and very much still is, very, very bad.

I too wish the Democratic Party found some new faces but seeing the Bob Tiernan's standing behind Dudley should serve as a reminder that Dudley may be a new face but will certainly not bring anything else new to the Capital.

Nationwide the unfunded public employees benefits liability is $3.6 Trillion.

The State of NY has $200 billion liability.

TriMet alone $1 Billion. Their benefits are 152% of wages.

The State of Oregon $18 Billion.

These are severe problems not because there's a desire to simply provide decent benefits but because the benefits are excessive and not affordable.

There is a huge distance between good benefits and the level that created this problem.
And there are plenty of people willing to work for the less but reasonable and affordable benefits.

As for the rest of the State's fiscal mess, that's the rest of the stupid we got from the bought and paid for politicians who hand out benefits they can never pay for.

Go look at the lottery spending or any other fiscal comedy act and know where billions have been going because of the democrat mission creep this state has suffered from.

Every big bureaucracy is inundated with Democrat management, Democrat policies and Democrat waste just like the PDC.

The details are astounding and discussed here regularly.

So why can't more moderate democrats figure out this problem?

I'm busting my hump here this morning and spending my own political capital in an effort to get a ballot hand-carried to, and carried back from, a house-bound friend who forgot to update the county Elections office about her change of address 4 months ago -- and the irony is (I'm fairly sure) her vote I'm striving to deliver is going to cancel mine.

Vote Kitzhaber and quit beating yourself up, Jack. You're inventing apparitions of the Devil, out of your own subconscious, most probably planted in you by the spur-spite suggestions of massmedia, projected onto Governor Kitz.

Try to recall the snarling Sizemore subversions damaging all the civil discourse, poisoning Pioneer brains, championed by the disparaging & death-throes desperate massmedia ('OMG, what if PEACE and Domestic Tranquility breaks out and there's no spurt-hate blood-letting to lead the News with?') gawdawful mutilating Kitz's progresses the entire time he was working.

It ain't like Kitz is anti-Oregon; whereas the Dud dude and his shadowy goonsquad IS.

Search and point everywhere you may to identify the politician in Oregon who caused the current economic devastation in Oregon, and you are never going to find the culprit, nor even a political Party culprit. If it's bad economic news in Oregon, the source is in Washington DC.

It sounds to me like you're blaming Kitz for damage he didn't do. And you loathe Goldschmidt as an absolutely (and perversely) corrupted drinker of absolute power. (Nothing new in that -- take a look at any absolute power 'stricken' or 'annointed' officeholder ... please.) Kitzhaber is not Goldschmidt. Kitzhaber is a medical doctor, and there is something in that 'kind' of person which obtains a better-than-ordinary perspective on human nature and human affairs seen in others and seen in us all.

Kitz may be no paragon of purity and not your idea of a Champion of Justice, but he serves well enough as a placeholder, a seat warmer, a sullen (but sober!) sop who is sufficient for the status quo. And simply standing pat, placeholding, hanging on to what we got / what there is / our progress so far, is a LOUD REBUKE and utter 'refudiation' of the fear-flicker apocalypse-bent crisis-causing off-the-edge MANIACS pushing the clueless Dud dude.

Here's what the dirty Dudley-like doers have gotten to in Ohio, and they'll push it into Oregon if they have hollow 'trojan horse' Dudley leading the way for them to sneak inside:

Story here.

You can happily vote for Kitz for this one reason alone: When the massmedia above-the-fold tomorrow morning around the world features the face of the New Governor of Oregon, could you like it to be Dudley's droop-jaw dopeyness to feast your eyes on? Look: Kitz is photogenic.

Easy on the eyes. And that's enough to be worth a vote these days when everything is hard.

I'll be voting against the Goldschmidt-Status Quo this evening. As others have said, a Rep Governor and a Dem legislature will have to work together if they want to achieve anything, and who is responsible for what if that doesn't happen will be much more visible. We've been going down this same path for far too long.


Divided government .

Speed bump on spending.

State operated by the public employee unions.

What did Kitz do that was so great last time?

I watched a lot of it from the inside. It was like SamtheScam is now.

Government by empty press release.

The fact Tenskwatawa is voting for Kitz should tip the favors in Dudley's favor.

Even though some of the issues like TriMet/Light Rail, Metro and PDC are upper Willamette Valley issues, the buck still stops in the governors office. Adding issues like Urban Renewal, LCDC, PERS and Union Dominance which are state-wide issues requires me to vote for Dudley to have a new mindset in Salem.

Dudley recognizes that he hasn't the finite knowledge of government insider knowledge, but he'll surround himself with staff and advisors that will help. Kitz's dictatorial style doesn't fit the times when we need a collaborative, sustainable effort.(Gosh, I did it, I used "sustainable")

Even though I'm a demo, when you separate out all the issues that are discussed here and throughout the state, and add a few more that are of interest to each of us individually, the count becomes that Dudley reflects more of my interests.

To top it off is that for 16 years we've had Kitz and Kulo doing little for fiscal prudence.

"Kitzhaber is not Goldschmidt. Kitzhaber is a medical doctor, and there is something in that 'kind' of person which obtains a better-than-ordinary perspective on human nature and human affairs seen in others and seen in us all."

Ahh, yes. Doctor's are GODS! Unless of course they're corrupt greedy bastards who make too much money for your taste... then they need to be reined in with single payer healthcare.

Is Kitz still even licensed to practice?

His having graduated from med school more than a quarter century ago, and not having had an active practice since he became Senate President w back in the day does not, in my humble opinion, give him any special insight into human nature.

Far too many practicing MDs have zero insight into human nature and are real jerks as human beings, seeing their patients as , in my opinion, for example '...96 year old trigeminal neuralgia sufferer, had three operation for tgn over last 60 years, is now terrified of operations and doctors, but who MUST MUST MUST I say have another operation right now", like a certain chief of neurosurgery at a certain teaching hospital on a hill in a city in Oregon.

Just sayin'.

"Dudley has no experience in government." Neither did ex-U.S. Senator Bill Bradley, New York Knicks.

Funny, I don't recall Bradley being governor of anything. A better example of inexperience might be in that parlous state to the south of us — the Austrian export.

Also, by the way, a fine example for us of the salutary effects of government gridlock. If that's what you all want, it's yours for the taking with just a short, easy move across the border.

So much to say...

Jack, man-up, do the write in. Hell write yourself in. You'll be getting a fair number of votes.

Ben, you would be an utter disaster as governor, but I am not worried about your being elected ever. Jack could be an interesting governor.

Tensw... - nothing new in companies telling employees how to vote. When I worked at Georgia-Pacific in the 1970s, memos went to each and every manager with the company's candidates/ballot measure stances/etc. They did not do that with the union employees or salaried folks who were outside of management.

Dudley could do no worse than Kitzhaber or Kulongoski have done - or Roberts for that matter.


"Kitzhaber is not Goldschmidt"

No, but he is everything the Goldshmidt status quo is. Including Kitzhaber's former chief of staff, Bill Wyatt, running the Port of Portland and

Tom Imeson , former Gov. Neil Goldschmidt's business partner and the prior transition director for Gov. John Kitzhaber.

Read this and vote for Dudley.


Neil's Network


What disaster? Gimmie a hint.

I'll not be running but there wouldn't be much difference between Jack or I as Governor. We'll likely soon discover not much difference between Jack and Governor Dudley either.

I was overtaken by cognitive dissonance this weekend when the guy I expect to see in his cowboy costume at all times was sporting a WWII bomber jacket at a campaign event. Maybe it was a change of outfit in honor of Halloween.

In any case, I am so glad this s*** is almost over.

I voted for Dudley because I want to see all those connected to the Goldschmidt cabal purged from the state's boards and commissions.

I voted for Dudley because I want to see all those connected to the Goldschmidt cabal purged from the state's boards and commissions.

What he said...

A good start - one we wouldn't get with Kitzhoover.

Why is this difficult?

These were the two most recent gridlock periods in Oregon:

1979-86 Republican Governor Atiyeh while both chambers held by D's

1995-2004 Kitz-Kulo governors while both chambers held by R's ('03-04 senate was split 15-15)

I think history favors the decisions made during the Atiyeh years (when R's and D's were forced to compromise to make tough compromises on spending and taxes) than the Kitz-Kulo years (when a booming economy made both parties forget fiscal discipline altogether).

I wince remembering (then Oregon Senate Pres.) Gordon Smith's cynical political maneuver to raise the 1995-97 K-12 budget above Kitzhaber's budget request to the Legislature. Even funnier to remember that Kitz responded to Gordon with a K-12 re-raise that Smith accepted -- paving his way to the US Senate.

Jack - Bush era tax cuts are not irrepsonsible. You need to do some listening to a real economist. I suggest the following:

Walter E Williams' speech "The entrepreneur as American hero" and virtually anything by Thomas Sowell.

It's not trickle down economics, it's economics. It's the reality of capital investments. It's not about being pro-tax or pro-corporation, it's simply the fairness of capitalism.

And then when you're done, Ayn Rand's 60's era speech "Conservatism: An obituary". Bush era tax cuts were the saving grace. Barney Frank and government intervention seeking lower approval criteria for mortgages held the gun to the head of investors in mortgage institutions. they caved, sought counter-balance investments in what was already an unstable derivative and the rest is 2008. One cannot escape the non-partisan implementation of capitalism and its success except when government is allowed to collude in its implementation under the guise of regulation.

What Barney Frank did broke the back of this economy, not a politician from Texas.

you nailed it D , Dudley = W Bush
silver spoon in the mouth Yalie who woke up drunk on third base and thought he hit a triple.

I wish Allen Alley had defeated Dudley in the primary.

So nice to get news here from other planets.

Those of you who want Dudley because it will produce gridlock: isn't that what we had last time Kitzhaber was governor? You all don't seem to like that so much. I don't quite get it. It's almost as if you actually wanted Republicans in office or something.



Don't worry Allan L...I'm sure you'll wake up on Wednesday with your future government bennies still in tact...that's what the polls are saying.

This is indeed a difficult call Jack. Could Kitz "fix" things given he's admitted his past shortcomings and has the experience to do it? Or does his unabashed fundraising from the unions make that no more than campaign rhetoric in an R year? How does the fact that Dudley is the first non-radical, legitimate R candidate in recent times factor in? None of us know, but given their recent performance it's reasonable to suspect that the D gatekeepers in Salem will do everything in their power to water down reforms to our fiscal house. They're too beholden to folks that are paid by the very tax dollars we're short on just now. I think those that say this is a vote against an incumbent party that has failed us are on to something.

I voted to get a new set of rascals

So why don't you write your own name in?
You've spent a lot of time criticizing both candidates, a man with your excellent judgement should be a qualified candidate. I just wonder why you waited till the nite before the election to start your campaign?

Dienhart: Halloween versus Election Day: Which one is scarier this year?
By George Dienhart
It's scary out there. Ghosts, goblins and ghouls. Zombies and monsters galore. Even a witch or two. It's October and that brings us closer to Halloween- and election day. Which is scarier? . . .

I voted to get a new set of rascals

Same here. I voted for anyone who wasnt the incumbent. Person or party. The way to vote is to look at the situation our state is in, and then realize who has been running it for the last couple decades.

I am back to where I started when first faced with this choice: 2 candidates who say
they can create jobs, one with a program that won't do much, the other with a tax cut plan, which won't work either. Taking consolation in the state being broke. Neither one can do much damage without money, both will have to cut budgets, nobody is going to vote for trick borrowing, and deciding on cuts will be horse trading politics. Just be glad you aren't the last state trooper or classroom teacher hired. More heads will roll than in 1789.

nobody is going to vote for trick borrowing

Are you sure? This place has been living on overextended credit cards for some time now.

The picture of the McDonalds document above makes me laugh, because no labor union, especially not the SEIU, would ever EVER send out such a thing.

No wait, they do it every year, in every single election, for every candidate and ballot measure.

Stop acting like one side is better than the other - they both do the same stuff allowed by current election law.

It's always the lessor of two evils in American politics.

Hold your nose and vote for Kitzhaber.

You might be a Republican if...

You'll spend $20 billion guarding a bridge against the possibility of a terrorist attack, but won't spend 20 cents to keep it from falling down on its own.

"You'll spend $20 billion guarding a bridge against the possibility of a terrorist attack, but won't spend 20 cents to keep it from falling down on its own."

But al m....several layers of democrats have been in charge of the Sellwood bridge for several election cycles...and they won't replace it...They's rather have MLR and other pet projects...

I don't see your point.

It's always the lessor of two evils in American politics.

Sounds like Karl Rove and Bush/Cheney.

As an independent, I couldn't vote in the primary elections. I blame myself and others like me who can't bring themselves to identify with either Democrats or Republicans. I could have changed my registration for a day and voted for one of the gubernatorial candidates' opponents, but I didn't. Often, I can't believe that a certain candidate was chosen by a party, but then I was trusting that the best options would prevail.

Jack: maybe you should never publicly reveal what you decide on this one. Heh heh heh.

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