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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Slim pickin's

One guy I could never bring myself to vote for is Ron Saxton. You look at that round mug on the front page of the paper, and you can just hear that squeaky little voice nattering on about illegal immigrants, whether their kids should be U.S. citizens, "I'm focusing on the adults," blah blah blah. "I'm not a career politician." Of course not, dude, you can't get yourself elected. People, is that the best we can do? Super gong!

I still can't see why Teddy Cool Long deserves my vote, though. Bernie Giusto, Tom Imeson, Matt Hennessee, Dale Penn -- I've had enough of the whole aerial tramload of face cards that come with the current guv. As Granny Bogdanski used to say, "Show me your friends, and I'll show you who you are."

I was hoping that Gentle Ben would emerge as a potential winner. But now he looks like just a spoiler. Spoiling it for whom? And what's he really got to offer? Guess I've still got three months to figure it out.

Comments (1)

I was polled a week ago Sunday on the Gov's race they asked about all the candidates except Ben Weston, but focused on the R & D. It seemed to be fishing for talking points to use. The pollster reader couldn't pronounce Govenor K's name even after I coached her a couple of times so it must have been an out of state firm.

Saxton's "Public Enemy" commercial is getting a little old. Lord help us the election is still over three months away.

Posted by: Swimmer at July 30, 2006 12:24 PM

There is still plenty of time for Ben Westlund to pick up steam. His signatures have not yet been verified (as far as I know) but when they do, I think he'll have to be taken a little more seriously.

Posted by: ellie at July 30, 2006 01:26 PM

But then, we have Sleepy Ted who dances on the end of a Goldschmidt string and Gentle Ben who doesn't enjoy that advantage.

Posted by: Abe at July 30, 2006 02:04 PM

I think Ted seems like an obvious choice given the options... The state doesn't have many political 'rockstars' that get people motivated. Ted isn't exciting, and I think that affects the public's approval rating for him. I don't think he's tripped up much either, so it's hard to give a thumbs-down.

Seems like a safe pick because the other two have conveniently changed their positions to pick up votes.

Lord, did I just say that?

Posted by: TKrueg at July 30, 2006 04:14 PM

Vote Richard Morley. Seriously. We need an auditor in the worst way in that office. Morley's smart, competent, honest, and not interested in advancing the right OR left's agenda.

Posted by: Don Smith at July 30, 2006 08:33 PM

Regarding TK's comment on TK. . . "I don't think he's tripped up much either, so it's hard to give a thumbs-down."

When faced with disappointing choices, ask the basic question: "What is it that I expect the state government to do." As a left-leaning voter, I expect the state to do four things (in no particular order): 1) Create good conditions for economic growth, 2) Provide a robust public education system, 3) Provide a robust criminal justice system (reform all who can be reformed and lock up the rest), and 4) Provide a safety net for the least well-off. I could also throw some environmental stuff in, civil rights and liberties, etc., but keeping it simple those are my criteria.

Gov. Ted has arguably done the first one reasonably well, and failed all the rest. And let's not fall into the trap of blaming the right-wing -- Karen Minnis is bad, but remember it was Gov. Ted who advocated for lower education funding ("living within our means", no matter how inadequate), who helped kill the extension of the EXISTING cigarette tax ("No new taxes, and I mean it"), who helped eliminate mental health and drug treatment for criminals, and who personally called for the booting of more than 50,000 people off the Oregon Health Plan. Gov. Ted does not deserve another term in office.

I too hoped Westlund would mount a serious, and seriously moderate, campaign. But I think it's too late. Sure voters don't pay attention until September, but the media does, and there's no way to build Big Mo if you're not on the ballot until late August. And there's nothing stopping him from putting ads up before he's certified. He seems to be running a boutique campaign, which is a shame, because in my opinion he's the only viable candidate of the three.

Posted by: Miles at July 30, 2006 11:11 PM

Jack - why don't you "run"? Don't work at it, just put out a half-hearted call for signatures (which you could easily get), attend a debate or two - but otherwise lay low.

It's time the blogosphere spawned a real candidate, and you're the guy!

Seriously Jack, you and I disagree about a bunch of stuff, but for a Portland office, I'd vote for you in a heartbeat.

Posted by: Andy-in-Korea at July 31, 2006 05:14 AM

I'm not a career politician." Of course not, dude, you can't get yourself elected.

Exactly what I said back in March. Saxton's not a career politician - though not for lack of effort.

He runs and runs and never gets elected. It may be different this time, though to no particular benefit. My dog could beat Ted in an election. I'd have run with Spot, but I was pretty sure that Bradbury would just re-district him out of the race.

Posted by: Max at July 31, 2006 09:30 AM

Run your dog...they are doing it in Alaska...might work here....

Posted by: thaddeus at July 31, 2006 10:55 AM

If only voters would wake up to the fact that, from the governor's office to the humane society, Oregon is a puppet show with figurehead leadership. Then instead of playing to the "powerful", they might use their power to elect real representatives who would appoint real leaders who would permit legitimate checks and balances.

I usually vote the man or woman and not the party. If Bradbury doesn't manipulate Ben off the ballot, I will vote for him, otherwise for a third party candidate.

Posted by: Cynthia at July 31, 2006 11:18 AM

Dear Mr. Bogdanski:

I am writing to call your attention to a new danger to our beloved American democracy! Foreign Words! Yes! Foreign words are invading Oregon! Our beloved Oregon Republican Candidate for Governor Ron Saxton has sounded the alarm, and you must listen to him!

Yes! Our English language is in danger of becoming infested with foreign words! Brought to our land by foreigners from other countries! Yes! This is true! The Oregon Republican Party must act swiftly! The Oregon Republican Party Platform will save America!

The debate about protecting our borders is missing the real danger to our way of life! Yes! The foreigners will make us speak their language! Yes! The proof is in our beloved English dictionary!

Spend only a few minutes with our English dictionary, and what you will find there will chill your bones! On every page, there are words from languages that are not English! Yes! It is true! Yet they have been printed in our English dictionary next to our own beloved English words!

“How can this be?” you ask. I assure you that it is true! If you do not own a dictionary, you can look for free at the public library.

I will give you several examples:

“Tortilla” is not English! It is not English, but it is in our beloved English dictionary! “How can this be?,” you ask. "Yes," I reply. It is there, between "tort" and "tortoise!" It is not an English word, it is a Mexican word, spoken by Mexicans! Spoken by Mexicans from Mexico! Yes!

Do you realize that every time you say café, you are speaking French? Yes! Saxophone! Named for a Belgian! Are you feeling the chill in your bones? Chile con carne! Not English! All in our beloved English dictionary!

Furthermore, foreigners have been putting their words into our beloved English language for centuries, in their foreign, insidious ways! Yes, this is true! Since the times of the Latins and Greeks! Did you know that “algebra” is not English? It is Arabic! Yet we say this word every day, not realizing that we are speaking Arabic! The camel’s nose is under our precious American tent! Yes! Our beloved Oregon Republican Candidate for Governor Ron Saxton will stomp on the camel's nose. Yes!

Furthermore, Oregon Republicans must continue to find ways to reduce funding for public libraries until out-of-control librarians stop spending our hard-earned tax dollars on books written in foreign languages! Our beloved Oregon Republican candidate for Governor understands this! Yes! And we must punish out-of-control librarians who insist on undermining our American way of life! Punish them!!!!

English-speaking Americans must unite and stop this assault on our precious beloved English language! We must close our beloved English dictionary to more foreign words! Foreign words are not only un-American, they are harder to spell and pronounce than our good English words!

We have a Constitutional right to speak only English--not foreign--words! Oregon Republicans will work to cut off all funding for those who want to use our public schools to teach foreign languages in America. WE ARE AMERICA! WE DO NOT NEED FOREIGN WORDS!

We must send a message to all foreigners: “Thank you, but we do not want any more of your words. We have plenty of English words that are not used up yet.”

We must close our dictionaries to new words! Unless they have been spoken by law-abiding, tax-paying, property-owning English-speaking American citizens! Only with this step can we stop the threat!

Oregon Republicans must unite and close our borders to insanity! If only we had not cut funding for the Oregon State Police, we would have the officers to set up roadblocks and examine every incoming vehicle for language infestation. Yes! We realize that was a mistake, but we know better now. Yes! You will see!

The Oregon Republican Party Platform demands an end to the expenditure of public funds on dictionaries and other books written in foreign languages! Yes! It is true! You can look it up for yourself! Only the Oregon Republican Pary Platform can save America!

Furthermore, the Oregon Republican Party Platform and our beloved Candidate for Governor Ron Saxton demand that every foreigner entering our beloved land of the free and home of the brave be issued an English dictionary upon arrival with instructions to use only the words in this book while you are here. This is a very good and necessary idea to help preserve our precious American freedoms! Yes!

Remember: Many foreigners = many foreign words! Less foreigners = less foreign words! Do not let them speak their foreign words in our America!

I urge you to write to Congress, to all elected officials, to demand that they focus on the real danger and lock down our beloved dictionary! Yes! Today! Lock it up before it is too late! Stomp on the nose! Viva America!

A.Y. Caramba

Posted by: A.Y. Caramba at July 31, 2006 11:45 AM

K.... funny, if not overlong. But why the letter format?

Posted by: TKrueg at July 31, 2006 12:02 PM

Seems like a safe pick because the other two have conveniently changed their positions to pick up votes.

Safe for whom, TK - public employees and PERS retirees?

As for changing positions to pick up votes, read some of Teddy's "positions" from his last campaign and ask yourself honestly whether he's been so steadfast in comparison to the others.

If "(changing) their positions" is some sort of litmus test for you, think of two things: 1) apply the test fairly and evenly to candidates from all parties; and 2) realize that it fails to acknowledge the value of positions evolving and changing as a candidate learns more about issues and their implications.

Too simplistic, if you ask me.

Posted by: rickyragg at July 31, 2006 02:10 PM

People who insist Teddy K is something other than a Goldschmidt/ big business/mafia flunkie, look back on his opinions when he was Insurance Commissioner-tortured and twisted to favor the industry. Maybe it looks like he is less inconsistent than the others because he is not capable of forming independent opinions.

Posted by: Cynthia at July 31, 2006 02:29 PM

Ricky- I waste inordinate amounts of time re-explaining my points to you. But I'll indulge you.

My points were not meant to be a rock-solid endorsement of Ted K, which I think was fairly obvious. It's a 'safe' pick because the three choices don't offer much in the way of excitement. And politically, Ted K is a safe pick for both Dems and moderate Republicans because he rarely acts on anything considered to be 'fringe'. He's a middle-of-the-road kinda guy who doesn't offend sensabilities, for whatever that's worth. Don't mistake me for being a Teddy K cheerleader.

As for changes in positions, it's not a litmus test because everyone has a change of heart. But Saxton has been dodgy and his ambiguous positons seem to conceal a more extreme conservatism than this state really wants. Westlund seems like a better alternative, but he's had some pretty amazing 180 turns that most non-politicians don't experience in the span of 1 or 2 years. Mind you, he represented Bend, and his opinions seem to have shifted with their changing demographic. Whether that deserves applause or jeers, who knows.

So who do you want for Guv? Why? You always seem to nitpik other opinions without explaining your position or why you feel a certain way. Is it just easier to sneer and dismiss everything? Are you afraid you're opinions will get picked apart? Come on, we're all friends here.

Posted by: TKrueg at July 31, 2006 02:55 PM

My .02 cents. Westlund's campaign sort of reminds me of Ross Perot's run for the presidency. Perot was somewhat intriguing there for awhile, but in the end I came to the conclusion that he was a rich flake, and he didn't even come close to getting my vote. Westlund's last minute signature gathering does not impress me because it telegraphs unreliability and disorganization. For the sake of fairness he can't use signatures from people who voted as a registered party members in the primary, so it would naturally take more time to gather signatures then it would otherwise, so I haven't ruled him out completely. In the end, I don't see Westlund as much of a spoiler for TK, because Saxton appeals to a narrower slice of the Oregon electorate, and I don't see him taking in more than 30 to 40% of the vote on a good day. If Westlund makes the ballot, TK will probably still win because in addition to the the fact that he is the incumbent, he is a decent human being and hasn't made any major policy blunders. Hopefully, Westlund will at least make the race a little more interesting by forcing debate on critical issues like health care and a permanent solution to school financing.

Posted by: Kevin at July 31, 2006 02:58 PM

Ted K is a safe pick for both Dems and moderate Republicans because he rarely acts on anything considered to be 'fringe'.


If your definition of "fringe" is the basis for your judgement, then your assessment of Teddy's "safety quotient" definitely differs from mine. In my view, you could have ended your sentence with "...anything".

As for Saxton, whom I do (tentatively) support, your concerns about his underlying conservatism are mirrored by my concerns over his underlying liberal tendencies.

My jibe about public employees and PERS retirees was heartfelt. They represent an almost monolithic bloc of voters who, like (I think) all of us, vote in their enlightened self-interest. The issue is at the point where their self-interest intersects with that of the rest of the general public, including mine. Kulongoski kowtows shamelessly to them and most all unions. Again, I don't share that perspective. Therefore, his not acting on anything YOU consider "fringe" makes him dangerous to me - not safe.

As for "sneer(ing)" and "nitpick(ing)", I guess to some degree I do nitpick - I enjoy it. As for sneering, that's in the eye of the beholder. On a site where the predominant wind blows from the left, one needs to lean pretty hard to the right to remain standing. I've got my own blog to air my views and visit this one for the stimulating repartee and to laugh and poke fun at those who often don't even realize they're funny.

It's one of the freedoms of self-employment. You should try it - although you seem to have plenty of time to post here as it is. Oh well, got to go mail my quarterlies so I don't have to pay penalties and interest - again.

Posted by: rickyragg at July 31, 2006 03:33 PM

To have guarantee a safe pick wear a condom as you cast your ballot.

Posted by: Bark Munster at July 31, 2006 03:54 PM


You aren't wasting your time to "indulge" me.
You're wasting your time indulging yourself.
In order to indulge me, I would have had to have asked you for something.

There, now that is some nit pickin'.

Posted by: rickyragg at July 31, 2006 04:13 PM

All 3 lean lean left. I just wont vote. Saxton is running far from his 02 stance on issues (Kerry of the right), Ted K hasnt done anything to deserve relection, Westlund is interesting but isnt a serious canidate.

Saxton... dont know what you get
Ted K... get nothing

I wont vote

Posted by: Robert at July 31, 2006 04:34 PM

I don't know if he's sincere, but I'm for Ben. (If he qualifies.)

If he's sincere, he'll be a breath of fresh air. If he's not, he'll probably be no worse than either of the other guys.

Posted by: Alan DeWitt at July 31, 2006 09:41 PM


You still should vote even if you write in Tom McCall for Gov.

There are some good candidates out there, and they deserve what little time and effort it takes to punch the card and lick the stamp to let them know they have some support.

It is as much of a statement and sends a message when you choose to Vote but choose not to cast you ballot for candidates in a race where you can't support anyone.

But do vote, there will be plenty of initiative measures and such.

Think of the message we could send if we all abstained from voting in the races where we didn't feel any candidates worthy of our vote. Maybe then some others tht were not in the party machine would have the courage to run.

Posted by: Swimmer at August 1, 2006 12:46 AM

I'm either voting for Ben Westlund or Mary Starrett. Not sure which yet. Yes, they are polar opposites. But they are both better than either Ted or Ron. As a staunch conservative, I'd rather see Starrett and voting her would be voting my conscious. But realistically, can she get more than 5% of the vote on a good day? If, by late October, it looks like Ben has a shot at winning, I would vote for him if only to prevent Ted or Ron from winning.

Posted by: Gullyborg at August 1, 2006 01:46 PM

Oh, I forgot:

Very nicely done, AYC.

Posted by: Alan DeWitt at August 1, 2006 05:02 PM

[Posted as indicated; restored later.]

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