Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Saxton: Fire All Public Employees; Deport All "Illegals"

Over at Blue Oregon, Kari has pointed out the obvious: having lurched to the right during the GOP primary in order to subsume his Portland non-wingnut roots (which in turn had buried his Albany favored son upbringing), would Ron Saxton be able to move back to the center yet again for the general?

Some folks seem to think it's a lock, since his views are so mainstream and popular in today's climate. I find that awfully curious, since as we all know, Ron Saxton has said the best way to save PERS is to fire every public employee and then re-hire them under new rules. He's also said he'd like to have every undocumented worker (of course he doesn't use that term) criminalized and deported. And then there's the whole tax cut and reduce spending thing, but that's garden variety conservatism.

But fire every government worker in the state and deport all the undocumenteds? That's pretty out there, even for conservatives. Beside the point that the governor's ability to do the first is limited, and the latter is flatly impossible--not to mention totally out of his jurisdiction--they're just not mainstream positions, not even close.

I assumed these positions were known, certainly by Saxton's backers. Maybe not...I was asked,

When and where did Saxton ever say those things?

It took all of about 3 minutes to reply:

Brainstorm NW, last year?
In the May 2005 issue of BrainstormNW, Saxton wrote about PERS reform: “Thus, the radical idea is to ‘reconstitute’ the system by terminating public employees, and later rehiring them under new contracts with different terms.”

or how about the Albany Dem-Herald, earlier this year?

Ron Saxton, a Republican running for governor, has brought up illegal immigration as a campaign issue.

He says he would have “zero tolerance” for illegal aliens, oppose any amnesty for them and push for their deportation.

Now I'm not normally in the habit of reprinting my comments from other websites, particularly ones like Blue Oregon where there's a lot of reader overlap. But I was a little surprised that someone supporting Saxton had to ask where I had ever heard such a thing. And we're talking about people who frequent the Internets and by nature of their visit to places like Blue Oregon, are more plugged into politics than others. So as a public service, let's get it straight right away:

Ron Saxton's idea was to fire all the public employees in the state, in order to change the rules on them.

Ron Saxton's idea was (somehow) to deport all the undocumented workers. Afterplan? No.

We clear? Are those good ideas for Oregon in your view?