Monday, October 16, 2006

The O Endorses Abusive Maj. Leader; Hoping He'll Change

This afternoon, Democratic challenger for HD39 Mike Caudle made what appears to be his Blue Oregon debut, and he used the opportunity to bust Wayne Scott in an egregious papering over of the facts:
During a ballot measure forum held by church leaders on Measures 41, 44 and 48, a question was raised regarding why Measure 44 (bulk purchasing of prescription drugs), a well-written revenue-neutral measure, even had to exist: "Why didn't the legislature just do this last session?" someone asked...

His answer: "It actually was not a decision of the leadership. That decision was made by the committee chairs and their interests.'" (close paraphrase)

I did a little research and discovered that the bill was referred to the Budget Committee in the middle of the legislative session. Rep. Scott is the Chair of the Budget Committee. It was Rep. Scott who single-handedly blocked the effort to expand the prescription drug purchasing pool -- yet he still refuses to take responsibility for it.
This is not exactly a surprise; Scott and his people do and say whatever they have to in order to make them look uncorrupted. For instance, back in July, Scott's spokesman Nick Smith flat out lied to me when he claimed Scott had no current financial connection whatsoever to a fireworks company that splintered off from the one he still owns. So the idea that Scott would say a bill he personally killed wasn't killed "by leadership" is pretty dog-bites-man on the eyebrow-raising scale.

Now, The Oregonian knows this stuff as well as I do. In fact, they admit as much in their HD39 endorsement piece this morning:
Scott is smack in the middle of the scandal involving the unreported Hawaiian junkets funded by the powerful beer and wine lobby. He also was a leading player in the theater of the absurd that was the Legislature's budget process last session.

...Scott, 59, has not consistently put his formidable personal and political skills to constructive use in Salem. Instead, he's done things such as blocking a bill to pay for a badly needed expansion of the North Bend Airport because that town's Democratic representative, Arnie Roblan, had dared to oppose the House Republicans' school budget.

Scott needs to decide whether he wants to be the House's partisan enforcer or its top budget negotiator on the Joint Committee of Ways and Means. Last session he tried to play both roles, and the result was predictable: a badly politicized budget process. Scott and Minnis abandoned the joint committee and went their own way on the budget. Their decision added weeks to the near-record-long legislative session.
I surely don't intend to make light of the serious impact of domestic violence, but The O's editorial writer in this case somehow manages to tune out the voices in his head that say, "Wayne Scott bad! Wayne Scott hurt me!" and pens the words "I want us to be married to Wayne Scott for another two years."

Is it something wrong with us? Are we just too pathetic to hope that The O would actually listen to itself and recommend accordingly? As with the utterly ridiculous, Pulitzer-burning Saxton endorsement this weekend that Carla has made tasty hay of, this endorsement simply defies logic. On what planet do politicians who get away with murder, suddenly decide that a life of crime is no longer for them? I don't want to overgeneralize things down from the federal level, but how many Bush voters in 2004 pulled the lever for him again, figuring that he'd change his ways and get the ship turned right around again? And to quote Dr. Phil, "How's that working out for you?"

Sure, Scott acted like a bully and a child in his last term. Sure, he's at least half of the problem with the Oregon Legislature. Sure, he's mired in scandals that show he's pretty much open for sale whenever necessary. But he didn't mean it, The O! He was just drunk! Look, herez some pretty flowers; I can do better! I promise.

Mike's not buying the bullshit; neither should you. Give Wayne Scott a thank-you anvil and send his fatcat tucchus back to Canby.