Saturday, November 04, 2006

Ron Saxton: Dino Rossi Redux (Wthout the Outcome, Please)

The DPO Office has been churning out as much material on Ron Saxton as any one mailbox can handle, giving 13 reasons in the final 13 days not to vote for Saxton. While it all looks like accurate and useful information, it's both late in the campaign and also largely stuff we've talked about several times during the long season.

But today's entry hit me in a soft spot: they compared Saxton to failed Washington goobernatorial candidate Jim Dino Rossi, who as you may recall closed a late deficit in 2004 and won a first count before recounts gave Gregoire the victory, then whined his way through several months of litigation before being handed his hat with prejudice. It was the Rossi challenge that brought Carla and I together as bloggers, so I know when she returns Monday morning she'll be pleased to see the DPO make the connection between them. And it's actually an uncanny comparison that I hadn't even noticed. So herewith, the unmasking of Ron Saxton as Rossi Redux:
Lowering the Minimum Wage:

Dino Rossi: Opposed Indexing Minimum Wage to Cost of Living. Rossi voted to undermine a voter-approved initiative that allows the minimum wage to increase each year with cost-of-living standards. Rossi voted for a bill that would freeze the wage increase when the state unemployment rate is above the federal jobless rate. [SB 5697 3/12/03, Associated Press 3/13/03]

Ron Saxton: Vowed to Eliminate Cost of Living Adjustments to Minimum Wage. Saxton told the Oregon Restaurant Association, “We will … challenge the indexing of minimum wage. Never has our opportunity for victory been greater.” [Daily Journal of Commerce, 2/2/06; Oregon Restaurant Association,]

Undermining Our Schools

Dino Rossi: Advocated Cuts in School Spending. In his 2003 budget, Dino Rossi undermined a voter-approved initiative to provide annual cost-of-living increases for teachers, cut funding that public schools had been slated to receive under voter-approved Initiative 728 in order to reduce class sizes, and cut operating funds for all public higher education institutions by $131 million. [The Olympian 6/5/03]

Saxton Acknowledges Schools Need More Money, But Opposes Funding and Admits We Can’t Fully Fund Education Through Increased Efficiency. In the Welches Debate, Saxton stated, “Do schools need more money? They probably need more money. [Welches ONPA Debate, 7/14/06] He has refused to say how he would pay for it. Asked on on Oregon Public Broadcasting, Saxton was asked, “Can you fully fund schools solely by eliminating fat?” He responded, “No.” [OPB, 5/5/06,]

Forcing Parental Notification

Dino Rossi: Pushed Parental Notification Bill. o Rossi voted twice to mandate parental notification before abortion. [SB 6290 2/16/98, Seattle Times 2/17/98, SB 5255 3/19/97, Seattle Times 3/19/97]

Ron Saxton Supports Parental Notification Efforts, Puts Himself on the Side of Oregon Right to Life. As Saxton told an interviewer in April 2006, “If you look at the issues Oregon Right to life brought to the legislature this last session; they were parental notice, and a ban on partial birth abortion … So when we talk about … the things the governor actually has influence on, the issues where the legislature has a role to play, then I do side with limiting those rights.” [WB’s “Outlook Oregon, 4/2/06]

Threatening our Environment

Dino Rossi: Consistently Put Business Interests Ahead of Environmental Protections. “Rossi does enjoy the staunch support of the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW), [Washington] state's biggest development lobby. The BIAW has spent $500,000 in support of Rossi, opposing Democratic gubernatorial candidate and state Attorney General Christine Gregoire. The BIAW says Rossi backed its legislation an astounding 99 percent of the time in his seven years in the state Senate. In the same period, Rossi only voted for legislation backed by the Washington Conservation Voters 36 percent of the time.” [Seattle Weekly, 10/13/05]

Saxton Thinks Polluting Industries Should Police Themselves. Saxton campaign manager Felix Schein told the Oregonian, “We tend to favor the marketplace and trusting the folks who work in the agricultural and natural resources industries to be good stewards of the environment.” [Oregonian, 7/13/06]

Refusing to Fight Global Warming

Rossi voted against efforts to fight global warming: According to the Washington Sierra Club, “Rossi voted against a bill to create a privately funded Washington climate center that would research simple and innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Washington. The center would have also helped identify what types of impacts climate change could have on Washington and what we can do about it.” [SB 5674, 2001]

Saxton Has No Plans to Combat Global Warming. “To be really blunt, I’m not running for Governor to deal with global warming.” [Oregon Business Association Board Meeting, 9/13/06]

Teaching Creationism in Our Schools

Dino Rossi: Thinks Schools Should Have to Teach Creationism. In 1992, he told the Bellevue Journal- American that he supported the teaching of creationism alongside evolution in public schools. [Seattle Weekly, 10/13/05]

Saxton Catered to Right Wing, Ducked Question on Teaching Intelligent Design in Oregon Schools. During the April 14 City Club Debate, Saxton did not answer a question on whether the state should mandate the teaching of Intelligent Design or creationism theory in Oregon schools. Intelligent Design posits that life on Earth is the result of a plan by a higher power. Saxton later explained that he didn’t know enough about current law to know what the policy should be in local schools. [Oregonian, 4/15/06]

Reducing Access to Health Care

Dino Rossi’s Budget Cuts Cut Low Income Children Off Health Insurance. Rossi wrote the 2003 Washington State Budget that cut 40,000 kids in low-income families off health insurance at the same time he renewed -- and expanded -- special interest business tax breaks.

Ron Saxton: Has No Health Care Plan, Sees No Role for Government in Ensuring Health Coverage. “I don't think it's government's role to deliver or pay for health care,” Saxton said. [AP, 4/22/06]

(Being Rejected By Pacific Northwest Voters)

Dino Rossi: Ran as Bush Republican and Lost 2004 Washington State Governors Race.

Ron Saxton: Has Lower Approval Rating in Oregon than President Bush. [Oregonian/KATU poll, 11/2/06]
From LO's typewriter to the DPO's ear!