Thursday, June 14, 2007

Kitz comes out swinging for Johnson

Former Guv John Kitzhaber has penned a pro-Betsy Johnson "In My Opinion" piece, which appears on the online version of the Oregonian:

Today, as a law school graduate, business owner and heir, Betsy Johnson could be living in the lap of luxury. She could ignore the problems caused by unemployment or lack of health care. She could ignore the dozens of phone calls she gets each day asking for her help. Instead, she and her husband live in a modest house in Scappoose. She earns $18,000 a year as a state legislator and quietly spends her free time as a philanthropist.

In 1993, she acquired the family home in Camp Sherman and, since the death of her parents, has been solely responsible for the care of 160 acres near the headwaters of the Metolius River. Recently she has been criticized for supporting legislation to protect the Metolius basin from the development of destination resorts. What has been forgotten, however, is that 50 years ago her parents donated the headwaters themselves and the surrounding land to the U.S. Forest Service to ensure that this set of crystal clear springs emerging from the base of Black Butte would be protected for all Oregonians to enjoy.

The remaining family property is extremely valuable and would almost certainly qualify for a claim under Measure 37. And yet Johnson recognizes that it will be even more valuable to future generations if it is left just as it is -- wild, natural and beautiful.

That last paragraph is an exceptional slap in the face, in my opinion. The above is just a snippet. The whole thing is a must read.