Friday, April 28, 2006

Douchebag Deliverer of Disgusting Deceptions

Thankfully, at least one member of the local Oregon media paid attention to the Saxton ad we outed last week:

David Sarasohn:

But Saxton, who decided that he lost the 2002 GOP primary because he was too moderate, assures us he recognizes himself in the mirror each morning. Which raises the question:

Has he listened to himself lately?

When he's just denouncing bureaucracy and waste, Saxton does fine. But when he gets into specifics, his statements seem to lack the crispness and precision you expect from a $300-an-hour lawyer.

His first TV spot declared, "Let's face facts. Oregon has one of the nation's most inefficient state governments, getting a D for managing your tax dollars."

Oregon did get a D in the annual report of the Government Performance Project, "Governing the States 2005," but not for managing its money. The D was for the state's entire financial system, including the almost total dependence on the income tax, the kicker, the lack of a rainy-day fund and initiatives that can overturn any planning.

On the question of money management, the current report says, "Oregon state officials are doing what they can to make sure Oregon gets the most for what little money it has." As Susan Willie, director of the Government Performance Project, explains: "Given all of these constraints, Oregon's doing the best it can."

So the D isn't really for managing tax dollars.

Maybe it's for Dishonest.

Oh come now Dave, let's be generous. How about Douchebag Deliverer of Disgusting Deceptions?

Its good to know that someone who writes for a reasonably large circulation is attempting to hold Saxton accountable.

Patty at Our Oregon is working on it too:

To: Oregon Association of Broadcasters

Re: False statements in Ron Saxton television ad

Dear Sirs and Madams,

We are writing to request your immediate review, analysis, and subsequent recommendation of removal of an active Ron Saxton television ad.

This ad – called “Money’s Worth” – contains a shocking lie about our state’s fiscal soundness.

The ad cites a report from the Government Performance Project called “Grading the States” as a source for this statement:

SAXTON: Let's face facts. Oregon has one of the nation's most
inefficient state governments, getting a D for managing your tax dollars.
VISUAL: Oregon gets a "D" (Source: Grading the States 2005)

(Link provided below.)

That statement is not true and, in fact, the report “Grading the States” actually says exactly the opposite of what Ron Saxton is claiming. (Link provided below.)

In this report, The state got a D in the “money” category, which is not the same as “mismanaging tax dollars.” In truth, Oregon received a D grade for the fiscal chaos brought about by our dysfunctional tax system, not for mismanaging tax dollars. And in sharp contrast to Ron Saxton’s false portrayal, the report praises Oregon’s state officials for their money management:

“Oregon state officials are doing what they can to make sure Oregon gets the most for what little money it has."

In other words, Oregon taxpayers are getting good service from their state government.

The GPP gives Oregon a D grade largely because of the state’s reliance on income tax, the absence of a rainy day fund, the state’s kicker law and “ballot-box initiatives that make sensible budgeting very difficult.”

Ironically, the D grade comes in part from two policies that Ron Saxton has publicly supported: keeping the corporate kicker and revenue ballot measures like the Colorado spending cap.

But that’s an aside. The most urgent point is that Mr. Saxton is lying in this television ad and the ad should be pulled from the air immediately.

There is recent precedent for such action. In the 2000 campaign, in the context of Measure 91, a number of stations pulled (or at least successfully asked the advertiser to pull or modify) a radio ad that falsely stated that Oregon had the fourth-highest taxes in the nation. The Oregon Association of Broadcasters sent an advisory to your member stations that the ad was false.

Ron Saxton’s ad makes a false statement and clearly misrepresents the source cited. Given the degree to which the public relies upon the judgment of our state’s broadcasters to ensure that demonstrably false claims are not perpetuated. Therefore, we request a similar advisory and even more, a recommendation be sent to your member stations regarding the false “Money’s Worth” ad.

Given the urgency of the matter, your immediate attention is greatly appreciated.


Patty Wentz
Our Oregon

To date, the Oregon Association of Broadcasters hasn't yanked the ad. So the more people that know about Saxton's deception, the better for the public good.

Hopefully more of Oregon's local media will start reporting this.