Monday, October 30, 2006

Sarasohn on Saxton's Magic Efficiencies

In yesterday's Oregonian, David Sarasohn wrote an excellent collumn about Saxton's magic "efficiencies." Saxton claims that Kulongoski is wasting money right and left, and that eliminating this so-called "waste" will allow him to cut taxes and increase/improve services at the same time. Sarasohn effectively calls bullshit. It seems Saxton thinks he can find so many "efficiencies" that he can allow Oregon to remain nearly last in the country in public education funding yet have a top of the line public education system.
So when Gov. Ted Kulongoski supports raising the $10 minimum corporate income tax to offer Head Start to all qualifying Oregon preschoolers, Saxton opposes the tax but supports expanding the program. He can get the money, he says, from efficiencies.

Saxton also opposes the governor's proposal for a car insurance charge to raise the number of state troopers. His new TV spot worries about the drop in the number of troopers, but he's confident he can find money to hire more in "efficiencies."

And he's just getting started.

Saxton has emphasized his skill at finding efficiencies in education, which he says could be improved without spending more money. But he supports strategies that would cost more money, such as increasing starting teacher salaries. His favorite education idea, advanced in multiple TV spots, is merit pay for teachers, which although controversial and complicated might conceivably save some money. But Saxton's campaign manager Felix Schein explained last week the program was meant to reward teachers who "went above and beyond" for their students -- meaning that it's likely to cost more.

By last week's debate, Saxton was talking about "an approach to education that involves more money" -- while the budget space to find his efficiencies gets tighter and tighter.

Maybe he needs an asterisk.

Saxton might need more than one asterisk to cover another of his positions: "Change is needed so we can insure the 600,000 uninsured Oregonians."

If you're going to do that with efficiencies, we've gone beyond medicine to miracles.

The list of things Saxton claims to be able to do while cutting taxes is rather incredible. After his appearance at Linfield I called Saxton the "free lunch candidate," Sarasohn sees the same thing. Unfortunately, Saxton's distance from reality might be why this race is even close. It seems that time and time again voters love the candidate who is going to do the impossible, increase and improve public services all while cutting taxes.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Big Hair vs. Big Ideas: The Peralta-Nelson Debate

Having never actually seen Donna Nelson speak until tonight, I was shocked. This woman really is a complete airhead. The entire debate, I'm not sure she said a thing. That's a bit of an exageration, but not completely off the mark. Donna Nelson came in wearing a Linfield sweatshirt, by her opening statement she had shown the audience what she wore at the football game two weeks ago that earned her "best outfit". And the entire debate, her response to every single question was to say that she "loves us," it was put on very strong that her one message was that she is part of the community and loves everyone in it. Policies were completely irrelevent and almost untalked about by this woman. The closest she ever really came to establishing a position on something was to talk about the constituant work that she has done, which is an important part of the job, but Yamhill County residents (and the residents of all counties) should expect some leadership from their Representative, Nelson appeared totally incapable of providing any real leadership in Salem.

The real debate of the night therefore, was between Peralta and Terry. While I disagreed with almost everything Terry said (immigration being the one exception where I didnt agree with him but liked his answer more than the other two), he came accross as an intelligent hard right winger with ideas. This was in a way what made the debate interesting, since Nelson was so frustrating with the nothingness that she responded to all questions with. There was a strong exchange of ideas tonight, but not because Donna Nelson brought any, the real substantive focus became the exchanges between Peralta and Terry.

The moment in the debate that I thought was most interesting was when David Terry was asked about how poverty should be confronted. Terry took a position so far to the right that it was somewhat amazing, he was literally off the map, and said that poverty needs to be addressed through growth, but not growth in the traditional economic sense of rising GDP, but growth outside of cities, he said that "high density is for insects" and actually supported urban sprawl, this seemed to be driving to the point that we need more economic developement in wild areas and should quit worrying about environmental concerns. Nelson then responded first by arguing with the question, but then (after Prof. Gutterman rephrased it to get her to answer) went into one of her constituant service spiels and finally said that poverty is best dealt with by getting people jobs (which should be so obvious that it isnt worth saying). Next it was Sal Peralta's tern, and he seized upon the question to launch into a pretty compelling discussion of our obligations to one another. The idea that, as Peralta put it "I am my brother's keeper". He talked about a single mother he met recently who makes only $600 a month and yet is above the limit to qualify for Oregon Health Plan coverage. This is something that must change, and Peralta is committed to finding better solutions for people.

Originally, I thought Blue Oregon's theme of "big hair vs. big ideas" was kind of a funny joke, but it really wasnt, the only thing Donna Nelson had to offer voters was that she was one of us and that she loves us. Voters of Yamhill County deserve a leader, and that leader is Sal Peralta.

The debate was aired on KSLC radio 90.3 FM McMinnville, and was videotaped. When I can I will post the video and possibly audio recording of the debate here so that you can watch it. I kid you not, it was stunning how empty Donna Nelson was, and once I get that posted you can see it for yourselves, because my discription could not possibly do it justice.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Peralta-Nelson Debate Tomorrow!

Just a reminder to anyone in the McMinnville area, the Oregon House District 24 debate with Sal Peralta (D) Donna Nelson (R-i) and David Terry (L) will be tomorrow night (Oct 27) at 6:00 PM, Ice Auditorium in Melrose Hall at Linfield College. It will be moderated by Prof of Political Science David Gutterman, if you're in the area please do come.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Very Strange

This post is not about Ron Saxton, but about Fox News, Saxton only plays a tangeantal role to what I'm sure will be a rotten post.

Why, in a story about North Korea did Fox News feel the urge to show us a video of Ron Saxton calling him a "happy man in a bar"? What the Republican Gubernatorial candidate in Oregon has to do with North Korea is beyond me. If they thought that Saxton had something particularly insightful to say about North Korea it would even be fine, but why of all the "happy men in bars" accross the country they chose to run a video of Ron Saxton, and a better question, why they felt compelled to include a "happy man in a bar" in the report at all is beyond me. FOX News never ceases to amaze me.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

McMorris in Trouble

Word on the street is that Cathy McMorris (R-WA 05) is scared silly of Democratic challenger Peter Goldmark.
McMorris, a freshman Republican, is being challenged by rancher Peter Goldmark, an Okanogan Democrat who has struck a nerve by criticizing spending cuts that affect veterans.

"It's a closer race than I first imagined," McMorris told Craig before the teleconference was opened to callers.

Instead of being placed on hold and blocked, Camden was placed on mute, so he was able to hear their conversation but unable to tell them he was listening.

Goldmark is "hitting very hard" at her veterans budget votes, and on recent cuts in veterans services, McMorris told Craig. She asked the senator to emphasize the increase in overall veterans funding.

Craig told McMorris that Republicans are hurting across the country.

"The new numbers are just devastating," he said.

McMorris campaign spokeswoman Jill Strait said she did not hear the conversation because she had been placed on hold along with other callers, who heard background music.

She conceded that her boss may have made the statements.

Very telling that the campaign spokeswoman wouldn't even deny it. Goldmark has a shot.

As long as I'm talking about the Washington 5th Congressional District I'll take this moment to piss off my Oregon readership by saying "Way to go Cougs!"

House Polling

I thought this was a fascinating post over at, so I'm going to put part of it here on why House of Representatives polling doesnt work very well.
The introduction of Internet telephony (VoIP) services, such Skype and Vonage, wreaked havoc with this scheme. VoIP customers can usually choose any area code they want. For example, a man in Omaha might choose Florida area code 561 so his mother in Florida could call him as a free local call. It also means that a pollster randomly calling 561 numbers might get someone who doesn't live in Florida. Since most people still have area codes that correctly designate which state they live in, for Senate polls, the problem is still manageable.

However, for House polls the problem is substantial. The layout of the area codes and exchanges do not align with congressional districts at all. While 914-949-xxxx numbers all lie entirely within NY-18, other exchanges straddle congressional district boundaries, especially when the CD has been gerrymandered into a pretzel. As a consequence, a pollster assigned to poll for some House race may have to call multiple area codes and exchanges, some of whose numbers lie within the district and some of whose numbers lie outside the district. Reverse lookup of the number about to be called is not always possible because many people have unlisted numbers.

As a consequence, some of the people polled may, in fact, not live in the district in question and some people who do live there may be missed. Of course the first question could something like be "Are you a registered voter in congressional district IN-07?" However, most voters probably don't know their CD number and some may be put off by such a question and hang up. Starting with "Hi, I'm doing a poll from the XYZ company. What's your zipcode?" is definitely a nonstarter.

I suppose you could ask zipcode at the end of the poll and just throw out any results that lie outside of the district, of course this would frustrate the hell out of the people making the calls if its a human administered survey, but it seems like it would work fine on an automated one. Whatever the solution I thought it to be an interesting and amusing problem in modern polling.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Farm Bureau Response to Misleading Phone Calls

I pointed out the other day, thanks to the catch from the folks at Loaded Orygun that Nelson supporters had been making phone calls in the name of the Oregon Farm Bureau accusing Peralta of getting nearly all his campaign money from labor organizations in Portland. A charge that is completely false and the exact opposite of the truth. There's been an odd development recently. It seems that the Farm Bureau is in fact taking credit for the calls, but not the script that was used.
It's not clear how the attack on Peralta wound up being included in the script read by phone bank volunteers, but the Farm Bureau's vice president, Dave Dillon, disavowed it. He said it would not be included again.

"The script we approved was apparently not the one that was read to people on the phone last night," Dillon told the News-Register. "Somewhere, there was a miscommunication on the script that we would be comfortable with."

To his knowledge, Dillon said, no one from Nelson's campaign had anything to do with the phone calls. He said the initial request to mount a calling effort on Nelson's behalf, citing the Farm Bureau's endorsement of her candidacy, came from a political action committee formed to back Republican House candidates.

This is getting far too strange. Sounds like a pretty weak defense to me, the Farm Bureau had to know what was in the script unless they contracted out to someone else to do the phone banking, which is plausible given that caller ID records from people who recieved the call said "Gateway Communications". This is a very strange story, not surprisingly nobody wants to take credit for the phone calls. Right now it appears that the Farm Bureau contracted Gateway Communications to make phone calls for them, and someone at Gateway or in the Republican Party changed the script. At least that's the best explanation I can come up with. Its certainly equally plausible that the Farm Bureau is just lying and did approve that script.

In other News, there's a good race summary article in the News-Register today with some good info on all three candidates Peralta, Nelson, and Terry.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Saxton's Appearance at Linfield

Ron Saxton made an unimpressive appearance at Linfield College last night. His entire speech seemed to come down to one central idea, that there is such a thing as a free lunch. Saxton criticized Governor Kulongoski on law enforcement for having "made cuts and cuts," yet he rejects all discussion of raising any taxes. He talked about getting a crime lab and increasing the number of police, yet he also says he's going to cut taxes. This vague discussion of "government waste" is outrageous. You cannot increase services while cutting revenue.

On education Saxton talked about poor student performance and said "its not about more and more money." Its not Ron? That's funny because I believe Oregon ranks 40th in K-12 education funding and 46th in higher education funding both on a per pupil basis. Should it really be that surprising that Oregon schools perform at the level at which they are funded? When you rank near the bottom in funding it shouldn't shock anyone that you rank near the bottom in performance. Yet in the world according to Ron Saxton there is a free lunch and "its not about more and more money."

He made the claim that tax increases are unneccessary because currently "the State is taxing you and not providing services for it." Give me a break Ron, is that why Oregon has vitually no corporate income tax? The Oregonian noted on April 16th that the vast bulk of Oregon taxes are payed by individuals with almost no contribution coming from corporations.
When Oregonians file their state income tax returns Monday, they will be on track to pay $10.6 billion over two years --nearly 90 percent of the tab for state government --while corporations that do business in Oregon will pay $705 million.

But no, there's no one we can tax according to Ron Saxton, everybody is already overtaxed.

Saxton was also shielded from criticism by the College Republicans, probably anticipating hostile questions. They reformulated questions to suit their desires and skipped other questions entirely. Instead of allowing questions from the floor they had questions placed in a box which they then screened and asked him. I know for a fact that there were Saxtonville questions in that box because I asked him a couple. Yet after being screened by the College Republicans they came out as the following "what do you think about illegal immigration?" Please, that's nothing approaching the questions that were actually in the box. His response there was amusing however, and brings up a good point about Saxtonville. He talked about drivers licenses again and said "we need to have rules that we need to follow." Do businesses not need to follow the rules Ron, if you're that concerned about immigration laws being followed shouldn't you have taken more personal action to ensure that it didn't happen at your farm? Because illegal immigrants are so much more enticed by the possibility of getting a drivers license than gaining employment. Message to the College Republicans: If you don't want your candidate to have to answer questions then don't allow questions, don't pretend to have him take questions when in fact your screening out everything that might make him look bad. I noticed they were sure to ask the question that began with "when you are governor..." Yes, pretend to take questions but don't actually allow anyone to ask something you don't like.

One more thing came out in the speech. Saxton's opposition to the minimum wage. He tried to dance arround this, but his position came out quite clear when he said the following: "I don't think we aught to have automatic adjustment." He opposes keeping the minimum wage in step with inflation, meaning that he supports allowing it to slip as prices go up, to the point where it represents nearly nothing.

Ron Saxton, breaking the laws of economics, getting by with a little help from his friends, and sticking it to workers.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Nelson Supporters are Desperate

Thanks to Loaded Orygun for bringing this to my attention, very interesting development here in McMinnville. The Nelson campaign must be feeling very desperate to hold on to her seat. Recent developments lead me to really believe strongly that this definately a competitive race. First there's the newspaper endorsements, both from the Statesman Journal and from the News Register. Then there's the very fact that Rep Nelson agreed to a debate, something that I had it on good authority from within the Republican establishment here that she would not agree to. And now there is this gem from Loaded Orygun.
During the day his campaign had begun to receive reports from supporters that a caller identifying themselves as from the "Oregon Farm Bureau" was saying that Peralta gets most of his money from trade unions based in Portland (the district is in Yamhill County). That of course is not only untrue, it's the complete opposite of Peralta's centerpiece pledge to limit his money to local interests. It's a textbook Swiftboating, because it takes something generally seen as a positive (being a veteran, not taking outside money) and turns it on its head, using simple untruths to sow doubt.

Not only was the Farm Bureau dumb enough to identify itself as the sponsor, they were unlucky enough to push-call Sal Peralta's house, and his wife:
My wife, Tanya, answered and took down the following transcript:

CALLER: This is Eric from the Oregon farm bureau asking you to elect Donna Nelson and wondered if you knew that his opponent gets almost all of his money from Portland Business and Trade Associations and big unions

TANYA: Where did you get your information from.. I’m intimately familiar with his source of funding and you couldn’t be more wrong.

CALLER: From the computer

TANYA: From the computer… where is your source?

CALLER: Supervisor?

TANYA: Who is that? Who is funding this call?

Hang up

The allegations made by these calls are blatantly false. Moreover, they are in direct contravention to a campaign pledge that I made not to accept contributions from businesses, trade associations, or labor unions with no ties to Yamhill County.

I have returned checks and money from all such unions that have made such contributions, directly returning checks, uncashed, from the Northwest Carpenter's Union, and am in the process of returning a check received today from the United Steel Worker's Union, even though both of these unions have locals in my district.

Peralta has made campaign finance reform and not accepting PAC donations from outside of the district a major priority of his campaign, this is just spreading lies to try to convince voters that this is a lie.

The folks at Loaded Orygun do a good job of pointing out that this is really about Nelson's extreme opposition to the minimum wage, and her support for lowering all the way down to the federal minimum. From the comments however, Sal points out that this might not have even come from the Farm Bureau.
One of my supporters contacted the farm bureau, and apparently, this may not have even come from them, but rather, from Nelson's campaign, or possibly the Republican Caucus.

Stay tuned.

If this is coming from the Nelson campaign or the Yamhill Republican it shows a new level of desperation that speaks volumes to just how much danger Donna Nelson is actually in. McMinnville residents, come to the debate next Friday then throw the bum out on November 7th! McMinnville doesn't deserve to be represented by dirty tricksters.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What Drives US Iraq Policy?

The New York Times today ran a depressing yet enlightening article about the knowledge that members of congress who sit on key oversight committees have about the conflict in Iraq, and accross the middle east.
Take Representative Terry Everett, a seven-term Alabama Republican who is vice chairman of the House intelligence subcommittee on technical and tactical intelligence.

“Do you know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?” I asked him a few weeks ago.

Mr. Everett responded with a low chuckle. He thought for a moment: “One’s in one location, another’s in another location. No, to be honest with you, I don’t know. I thought it was differences in their religion, different families or something.”

To his credit, he asked me to explain the differences. I told him briefly about the schism that developed after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, and how Iraq and Iran are majority Shiite nations while the rest of the Muslim world is mostly Sunni. “Now that you’ve explained it to me,” he replied, “what occurs to me is that it makes what we’re doing over there extremely difficult, not only in Iraq but that whole area.”

Gee, you think that might have been a good thing to know before going into Iraq? Were you going to start another war in Iran still not knowing that? Jesus, what do these people do in committee hearings? This seems like something that would be fundamental to understand before you start a war.
Representative Jo Ann Davis, a Virginia Republican who heads a House intelligence subcommittee charged with overseeing the C.I.A.’s performance in recruiting Islamic spies and analyzing information, was similarly dumbfounded when I asked her if she knew the difference between Sunnis and Shiites.

“Do I?” she asked me. A look of concentration came over her face. “You know, I should.” She took a stab at it: “It’s a difference in their fundamental religious beliefs. The Sunni are more radical than the Shia. Or vice versa. But I think it’s the Sunnis who’re more radical than the Shia.”

Did she know which branch Al Qaeda’s leaders follow?

“Al Qaeda is the one that’s most radical, so I think they’re Sunni,” she replied. “I may be wrong, but I think that’s right.”

Did she think that it was important, I asked, for members of Congress charged with oversight of the intelligence agencies, to know the answer to such questions, so they can cut through officials’ puffery when they came up to the Hill?

“Oh, I think it’s very important,” said Ms. Davis, “because Al Qaeda’s whole reason for being is based on their beliefs. And you’ve got to understand, and to know your enemy.”

It's very important yet even after the conversation quoted Rep Davis has no clue what a Sunni is and what a Shia is. If radicalism is the standard than I guess Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda must be the same group right? Oops. These people who are in charge of US policy in Iraq and accross the middle east really have no concept of the situation in that part of the world. As was said at Atrios, "we are governed by idiots." Congress clearly doesn't know a Sunni from a hole in the ground.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Saxton: Not a Small Business Leader

Ron Saxton has run much of his campaign claiming to be a small businessman, someone who knows the issues of that community and will be a strong advocate for them. His support for this? The cherry farm (or vineyard), that he owned in the 1990s.

Saxton's website makes frequent reference to his ownership of the cherry farm in an effort to play up his small business credentials. Saxton clearly does not want anyone putting his web content into blog postings, so I will kindly oblige him here by not linking to his site either. The beginning of Saxton's "Economic Development" plank under "issues" makes immediate mention of the cherry farm. It is also mentioned as a biographical highlight in his "about ron" section. Clearly Saxton wants us to believe that because he owned a cherry farm he knows small business. So how does that mesh with his response to the Saxtonville matter?
"I was not involved in any arrangements with the labor," Saxton said Wednesday. He said one of the partners handled the paperwork. He said they took pains to make sure their employment practices complied with the law, including withholding taxes from paychecks.

He portrayed a picture of himself as a hands-off partner, although in his campaign literature he frequently refers to his ownership of the farm.
"It's our policy not to hire undocumented people," said Jose Perfecto of Salem, who handled the labor force for Oak Grove Farms during the 1990s. "Is it possible? Anything is possible."

Saxton said he has no memory of a contractor hiring the labor and said he never has heard of or met Perfecto. Likewise, Perfecto said he never had met Saxton and was unaware the candidate had been an owner of the farm.

Which is it Saxton? Are you a leader in the small business community as evidenced by your ownership of a cherry farm? Or did you hire illegal immigrants? These two don't match, and if Saxton wants to say he had nothing to do with it he shouldn't go arround bragging about how he owned a cherry farm.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Nelson Agrees to Debate Peralta

Donna Nelson has agreed to participate in the Debate on a different date. It is now going to be held on Friday October 27th at 6:00 PM in the same place, Melrose Auditorium (also known as Ice Auditorium) at Linfield College. Other than the date, time, and participants, all else remains the same. I send out thanks to Representative Nelson for agreeing to participate.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

HD-24 Debate to be Held October 18th

UPDATE 4:30 10/13---Donna Nelson has agreed to participate in the debate. To make it more convenient for Representative Nelson it has been moved to Friday October 27th at 6:00 PM, the location remains unchanged

Next Wednesday, the Linfield College Democrats will be hosting a debate between the candidates for House District 24. Sal Peralta the Democrat, and David Terry the Libertarian have agreed to attend. We have not heard back from Rep Nelson, and while we would love for her to attend the debate will commence without her presence. The unfortunate fact of incumbency is that there is rarely a motivation to agree to debate. Donna Nelson, as far I can tell has no desire to participate. This is unfortunate but will not prevent a debate from being held.

The debate will be held on Wednesday, October 18th at 7:00 PM at Linfield College in the Melrose Auditorium, now renamed to "Ice". The debate will be moderated by Associate Professor of Communication Arts at Linfield College, Jackson Miller, and Associate Professor of Mass Communication at Linfield College Nancy Cornwell. The debabte will be aired live on the Linfield College radio station KSLC 90.3 FM.

Representative Nelson really should get out of her bubble and agree to participate, but she seems hell bent on avoiding it. Should be some excellent clash between Peralta and Terry though. If you're in the neighborhood please do come, it will be free of charge.

This is why Bush Needed His Interrogation Bill

Also known as "the torture bill." We now have an allegation with a court filing of torturing of an American citizen.
An alleged operative for Al Qaeda imprisoned for 3 1/2 years as an enemy combatant is saying he was tortured and forcibly medicated with "a sort of truth serum" while in a Navy brig.

Jose Padilla, 35, was arrested in 2002 on suspicions that he was plotting a radioactive explosion, also known as a dirty bomb. He spent several years in a military jail in Charleston, S.C., without facing criminal charges. As legal wrangling over his fate continued, prosecutors in Miami charged him late last year with providing material support to a terrorist group and conspiring to murder, maim, and kidnap Americans abroad.
"He was threatened with being cut with a knife and having alcohol poured on the wounds. He was also threatened with imminent execution," the chief federal defender in Miami, Michael Caruso, wrote. "Additionally, Padilla was given drugs against his will, believed to be some form of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) or phencyclidine (PCP), to act as a sort of truth serum during his interrogations."


Mark Warner Out

Mark Warner will not be running for President in 2008. The favorite of the "we need a southerner" crowd is now gone, will they jump to Edwards? Clark?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Chalk Another Endorsement Up For Peralta

I initially missed, and was informed this morning of the recent News-Register (McMinnville) endorsement for Sal Peralta in the HD-24 race. While the Statesman Journal endorsement was significant, this is more so. For starters the News-Register is very very conservative, accompanying the Peralta endorsement is an endorsement for serial liar Ron Saxton in the Governor's race. I recognize that newspaper endorsements do not win elections, but the string of endorsements from conservative papers recently for Peralta gauges what I believe to be a general mood here in McMinnville that Donna Nelson is in fact, not "a keeper". She has precious little to bring back to her constituants and is visciously anti-worker.
He [Peralta] has gained insights into local communities through various civic and political activities. More importantly, he has a strong grasp of important state issues and clear thoughts on how to improve quality of life for Oregon citizens.
Some might worry that Peralta will become a leader for causes that increase public costs without an offsetting curb on government excesses. We accept his claim to fiscal conservatism and believe that he knows how to compromise on tough issues.

This is the News-Register folks, not exactly a bastion of liberalism. Nelson is in trouble, while there is no polling to prove this I think that Peralta has a serious shot at winning this. The second paragraph is relevent to address, while the Register sounds skeptical but trusting about Peralta's committment to a sound budget as he advocates improving Oregon schools, law enforcement, and health care. He has a very good idea how to fund these needed increases in essential services. He is definately sincere and has good ideas for paying for his ideas. The corporate kicker for example causes massive budgetary problems defunding our schools, health care, etc. This State can't afford to do what it needs because out of State corporations are giving nothing back to Oregon.

Monday, October 09, 2006

David Reinhard Is Delusional

In the midst of a Democratic wave in the 2006 elections David Reinhard appears to have stepped up his delusion factor above even what it normally is by suggesting that Darlene Hooley (D-5th) is in danger of losing her reelection bid. Never mind that nobody who knows what they're talking about or has a reputation to uphold has this race even on their radar screen, Reinhard is convinced that Hooley is likely to fall.
Y es, it takes some getting used to. Oregon has one of the nation's competitive congressional races, and it's a Democratic incumbent at risk. Something like this just isn't supposed to happen in a true blue state in a season when Mark Foley and "Red America" Republicans -- sorry, make that George Bush and "Red America" Republicans -- are on the run. And yet, a month out from Election Day, Rep. Darlene Hooley is in the race of her life in Oregon's 5th Congressional District.

The signs are everywhere. There's the Moore Information poll that shows Hooley with only a 44-37 lead over Republican Mike Erickson, and 17 percent of likely voters undecided. OK, Moore Information is Erickson's pollster, but that poll is not the only sign or even the most important one. The first came when Hooley felt compelled to run fact-challenged attack-ads against Erickson early on.

Mostly I found this collumn funny, particularly since Reinhard shows that it is himself rather than Hooley who is out of touch. In other news, Reinhard (this shouldn't be surprising) is a liar.
n independent expenditure group (the Economic Freedom Fund) hit Hooley for, among other things, favoring Social Security for illegal aliens.

I don't know what this is talking about, but there was no vote in the House that did this, so this is badly distorting something, I've never heard anyone support that idea, in fact its not even on the table. This dishonest collumn was good for only one thing, a good laugh.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Saxton Turns to Immigrant Bashing

Ron Saxton must be getting desperate, he has turned to non-existant problems and immigrant bashing in his campaign for Governor.
More are "pouring in," the ad states. The commercial attacks Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski for taking a soft line on "illegal aliens" by allowing them to obtain driver's licenses and vote in state elections.

Saxton must really be desperate if this is all he has to run on, illegal immigrants are clearly not voting in Oregon, as was pointed out by Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury when the US Congress passed a law requiring all voters to show ID at the polls in order to vote.
Oregon, Bradbury wrote "does not have a problem with ineligible voters." Of the more than 10 million votes in Oregon cast since 1991, Bradbury wrote, "only 10 people have met criteria that would even warrant an investigation into their citizenship. Of those 10, two have been prosecuted."

Howard Dean recently claimed that this was really a cynical attempt to disinfranchise voters.
Dean said he was particularly irked at Saxton's charge that illegal immigrants are obtaining driver's licenses in Oregon that they then use to be able to vote in elections. "There's never been any evidence of that whatsoever," said Dean, arguing that Republicans are really interested in discouraging less-affluent citizens from voting.

This would clearly be the effect of such a law, proving that at the very least Republicans don't care if they disinfranchise legal voters. However, I think Dean goes a little too far here. This is not about disinfranchising voters for disinfranchisements sake, it is about finding this years public enemy. A clear part of the Republican strategy this year seems to be to run against the most marginalized population in the United States. Immigrants, as though they are some threat to the American way of life.

Saxton makes a front and center problem out of something that simply is not happening, sounds to me like a campaign with nothing real to bring to voters, just hatred and xenophobia.