Thursday, October 12, 2006

Saxton doesn't believe in illegal immigrants unless they're cherry pickers--part 2

Ten days ago we posed questions here at LO about whether Ron Saxton's workers at his cherry orchard were all legal workers.

Today the O says, maybe not so much:

The Republican candidate for governor, Ron Saxton, has run ads saying illegal immigrants are "pouring in" to Oregon and criticizing Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski for his handling of the issue.

But Saxton, who was part owner of a farm near Salem until about 2000, acknowledges that he used migrant workers on his farm and that he can't say for sure whether some of them were undocumented.

In a September interview with The Oregonian, Saxton responded, "I don't know," when asked whether illegal immigrants worked on the farm. Illegal immigration wasn't such a big issue in the 1990s, he said.

Well as long as it wasn't a big issue--right?

Saxton says he's withdrawn from the partnership of the orchard (which has since been converted to a vineyard for the most part) but is still part owner, as he stands to collect a 5 digit check should the property be sold.

The O does a superb job on this piece. Kudos to Harry Esteve,Alex Pulaski and Jeff Mapes for pulling this together. The best part (for me) was when Saxton tries to downplay his role in the orchard partnership and the reporters link to the fact that Saxton touts his ownership in his campaign literature.


Nice work, fellas.