Thursday, August 31, 2006

Walden lies; Oregon yawns

Kari at Blue Oregon is reporting that GOP Congressman Greg Walden of the 2nd Congressional District in Oregon is lying in his latest ad:

First, Congressmen Greg Walden and Earl Blumenauer proposed designating 77,500 acres of Mount Hood as protected wilderness in a bill that passed the House unanimously. Then, Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith one-upped 'em by designating 125,000 acres in a Senate bill.

Now, even before final passage, Congressman Walden is trumpeting his bill in a television spot. Watch the ad here.

There's just one problem. When Walden asks viewers to save places "like this" he's standing in front of Tamanawas Falls -- an area that's not protected by the bill.

Personally, I think its fair to bring this up. Walden's campaign is being dishonest. But in the grand scheme of things..does anyone really care about the fact that he's using deceptive video under these circumstances and parsing the language to pad his cred a wee bit? Probably not.

To be honest, I've never heard of Tamawanas Falls. I've lived in Oregon for 3/4 of my life. I'd be willing to bet that there are a lot of Oregonians who haven't heard of it either. Not that this justifies lying in an ad--but it doesn't feel a little "tempest in a teapot" to me.

I think the greater issue in the Oregon 2nd race is the fact that Walden's opponent has done virtually nothing to persuade the constituency to vote for her. In a climate where Republicans are on their heels, Carol Voisin is still largely unknown in the district. The campaign is a cypher in the media and despite repeated requests from the blogosphere, refuses to engage.

This cycle has been a complete waste for Democrats in OR-2. That's the real story here.