Friday, April 30, 2010

2010 Primary: OR Governor (Dem)

May 18, 2010, Oregon Primary Election
Democratic Party
Oregon Governor
Four-year term, $93k salary

[_] Roger Obrist
  • Yikes: No statement in the official Oregon voters' guide.
  • Unlikely: "I would support legislation 'Eliminating property Taxes' as a way of raising revenue. Finding an alternative such as a sales tax."
  • "...a retired construction worker from Damascus, is also in the race, but not running a serious campaign."
[X] John Kitzhaber
  • Jobs For Oregon plan
  • Making Americans Healthier plan
  • Education plan
  • Energy and Environment plan
  • Wow. I forgot about that: "In 1994, he displayed a level of aggressiveness and naked ambition unusual in Oregon politics. Democrat Barbara Roberts was finishing her first term as governor and planning to run for a second. Kitzhaber decided to take her on and forced her out of the race."
  • "..The good news is Kitzhaber seems interested in more than a farewell tour. His brain is filled with ideas—about how to cut healthcare costs by putting a brake on ineffective procedures; about combining K-12, community colleges and higher ed into one K-20 entity; about budgeting in a different way."
  • "..told the OEA to improve teacher performance if the union wants more money. He told enviros that before agreeing to their desires on LNG, he’d need to figure out a way to avoid short-changing employers and low-income ratepayers..."
[_] Bill Bradbury
  • America's Green State plan
  • The Bank of Oregon plan
  • LGBTQA plan
  • Quality Education plan
  • "...improved Oregon’s dreadful campaign-finance reporting mechanism, creating a new system that allows real-time reporting, easy searching and far greater transparency."
  • "... exhibited little leadership...ignored abuses in Oregon’s initiative system, such as signature fraud...excessively partisan when he oversaw a post-census legislative redistricting in 2001...did nothing about the fact Oregon is one of only five states that places no limits on political contributions..."
  • "...has also been shameless in his pandering to interest groups...promised the state’s most powerful labor additional $2 billion for education...[although] projected $2.5 billion budget deficit...pledged to shut down the state’s largest coal-fired power plant without proposing another source of juice...opposition to liquefied natural gas...proposing no viable alternative...create a “Bank of Oregon.”...prohibited by the state constitution...."

In the other races, I complained about the lack of specific plans from the other candidates. However, Kitzhaber's and Bradbury's similar campaign websites are overwhelming in their plans. Admittedly, I relied on Willamette Week's analysis more than reading through each website.

As our former governor, I automatically favored Kitzhaber. Although his health plan didn't really work out, he at least tried. Also, his efforts were largely hampered by a hostile Republican legislature. So, hopefully, he will have better luck with a friendlier legislature.

Even before the race and Willamette Week's brutal critique, I was not impressed with Bradbury. I was disappointed with his half-ass 2002 senate race that gave Gordon Smith another six years (although Kitzhaber's own indecision to run also didn't help). Bradbury seems to be part of the Democrat elite that panders to the base, gradually works their way up, and quietly expects to ascend to office by default.

There is also the electability factor in the general election. Although his last stint as governor may not have been stellar, Kitzhaber still is the impressive Oregon governor candidate: former ER doctor, jean-wearing outdoors man, and independent non-panderer. To me Bradbury seems to be a stereotypical Democrat candidate that may struggle against a strong Republican candidate.

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