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Fair and Balanced Discussion from Southern Oregon

Saturday, August 23, 2003

People-Powered Howard 

I am road-tripping to PDX tomorrow for the Howard Dean event - details upon my return!

Update - me no go :(

issues arose this AM, so I went without a first hand Howard fix today. The news on the Dean blog indicates turnout was well in excess of expected.

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Sunday, August 17, 2003

Why might I run? Look no further... 

Mail Tribune Online Edition - Opinion - August 13, 2003 says it all, particularly this part:
Oregon’s Legislature isn’t just a disgrace. It’s a national laughingstock. We are the last state in the country without a budget.

And Southern Oregon lawmakers are part of the problem, not the solution.

As the Senate GOP caucus first helped craft a compromise, then pulled the rug out, House Republicans, including Reps. Rob Patridge, George Gilman and Dennis Richardson, continue to pretend they can come up with $1.2 billion in new revenue without raising any taxes. Maybe if they click their heels together three times and recite, "there’s no place like Salem," it could happen. But we doubt it.



So ... let's raise a vehicle insurance fee, REFUSE to raise a beer tax, REFUSE over $10 million in federal funds, REFUSE to consider limiting or eliminating deductible mortgage interest on second residences, REFUSE to consider a minimal sales tax, REFUSE to consider restructuring the brackets so that perhaps a top bracket could really impact folks with LOTS of money and no serious discomfort caused by a minimal increase in rate (As opposed to how things are now where our 'low bracket' - 6% and 'high bracket' - 9% are transitioned to by incomes ranging from abysmal poverty to abject poverty, with nowhere else to go for those scraping by, doing OK, living comfortably, or so awash in disposable income so as to not need to decide between a new Range Rover or a Lexus - just get 'em both. Cuz the abject poverty crowd and the two luxury vehicle crowd are currently taxed at the same rate. And I am sure it hurts them both the same (Not!).)

wow, that was a long parenthetical rant. But on with my point. Rob's solutions so far? Consolidate School districts (can you say 'Screw local control'? I knew you could); Consolidate Public Safety providers (Can you say 'Screw local control AND screw appropriate specialization'? I knew you could); Tax vehicle insurance but don't call it a tax, call it a fee... this is leadership? Create monoliths and somehow that is reducing government? Give me a break.

Figure out how to make Oregon a better place for Oregonians or get outta Salem.

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Saturday, August 16, 2003

Tinkering with Comments 

I had a freebie comment tool up for the first few days, but it wouldn't allow for deletion of any posts, and I can't take the risk of someone plowing across my campaign site spewing profanity, so now I am on to another freebie, with an upgrade option. It will allow deletion, and if I upgrade, I can make it all purty to go with the color scheme for the rest of my site. Maybe in November.

Feel free to comment on ANY of the topics I have up here. If I get a regular commenting group, I'll add Open threads every couple of days.

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Friday, August 15, 2003

Not to forget Oregon... 

I don't want it to seem like this blog has been hijacked by my national policy interests. Fact of the matter is, Oregon is tied to the national scene more now than ever. This 'Era of Smaller Government' baloney is very telling - individual states and communities are being far more impacted by the actions, non-actions, and misactions of this government than we ever were during the 'tax and spend' era. And these impacts are going to reach into the future. Someone in the blogosphere (I'll get the link if I can track it down) pointed out the deficit increase of this administation was the equivalent of having each of us go out and charge a brand new BMW to our credit card. That bill will eventually come due. And for Oregon, that bill means using money to repay debt that could be used to keep Nancy Griffith's NMHS classroom open a few more days of the school year. It means leaving unfixed the pothole that will rip the front wheel of a van full of school children. It means leaving unfunded and unfilled nearly 3 dozen certified vacancies in the Medford school district. It means a state parks employee's (or three's) salary is going to have to be funded by user fees at Touvelle Park.

The folks on the other side talk to us about the price tag, they don't talk to us about what we'd GET for it. When you walk onto a car lot, the dealer doesn't approach you and say "Glad you're here, I need $37,000 and you can be on your way." The dealer asks "What can we do for you?" or "You like the blue one? Let's take it out for a drive." This lets you know what you are getting - it makes you WANT what you are getting. THEN and only then do we hear "Let's talk price"... but now we want the car and we are willing to haggle over cost, not to flatly, stubbornly refuse to have the conversation.

The GOP leadership has framed the question in such a way that the majority of Oregon voters refuse to have the conversation. What do we want and what are we willing to do (pay) to have it? That is why we are now a full week past the previous record for a legislative session and no end is anywhere in sight. When is someone going to get out front and, what was the term? oh yeah. LEAD.

But we did find a way to approve luring the Expos to PDX. Good show.

Update
I'd link to appropriate articles in the Oregonian, except the www.oregonlive.com is actually part of an East Coast provider who is ..ehem.. experiencing the aftermath of a massive, international electrical blackout. And suddenly Grey Davis' managment of the California energy crisis seems more competent? Perhaps...

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"Texas Miracle" or lies and the lying liars who tell them... 

Since education reform is something both the pResident and I say we believe in, I think it is important to point out that the term apparently means completely different things to the two of us. Check out the NYT (prolly need a registration/subscription) work on exposing the "Texas Miracle" as a fraud. Kevin Drum's site is where it caught my eye - he leads with this from the Times' article:
Robert Kimball, an assistant principal at Sharpstown High School, sat smack in the middle of the "Texas miracle." His poor, mostly minority high school of 1,650 students had a freshman class of 1,000 that dwindled to fewer than 300 students by senior year. And yet — and this is the miracle — not one dropout to report!

The article goes on to note that Mr. Kimball has been reassigned and speculates on his chances of getting axed at the next opportunity. And most importantly, this is what Mr. Bush and his SecEd, Mr. Paige have plugged for being so impressive and good and miraculous and and and... and want us to have everywhere - school admins with great incentive to misrepresent their school's situation, because telling the truth results in funding cuts and shovels full of bad publicity and fabricating brings great praise.

There is a larger pattern here, and it goes far beyond Education Reform...

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"Healthy Forests", or lies and the lying liars who tell them... 

As a tribute to the embattled Al Franken, let's look at this wonderful post over on Soto's blog about our pResident's Healthy Forest Initiative.

Guest blogger Palamedes writes:

They are, as before, using fear and a desire in the midst of tension to “do something” to subsidize commercial interests at the expense of taxpayers while creating a situation that make the situation worse for all involved once implemented.

This directly effects Southern Oregon. Contact Walden, Smith, and Wyden by phone, fax, and email.

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Check Out the Secret Plan 

I went to the county Dems meeting tonight and came home charged (obviously - it's quarter past 1 and I am blogging it)! Jefferson Smith spoke to the group and was great. Rather than summarize, I'll just tell you to go check out his organization's website, eh?

We need the young, energized blood in the party, and Oregon Bus Project is a GREAT effort towards that end.

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Thursday, August 14, 2003

Welcome 

Hey - this is the next thing I am adding to the campaign. I will try to interact with whoever is interested via this forum on a daily basis. I have a comments capability implemented, and but you can always email me.

I look forward to hearing from you all on the issues YOU feel are important!

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