I’ve been out of Eugene for most of the summer and, unfortunately, haven’t had much chance to read the ODE’s commentary pages. Most people wouldn’t consider this a bad thing, but last year the tenor of my week was primarily determined by the amount of pleasure I took from reading Ailee Slater’s Monday column. A carnivalesque column could set the tone for the rest of my week– or hell, my month.
Anyway, today’s been particularly long and annoying so I figured I’d at least try and find myself some cheap laughs. No such luck. “Republicans are unified, but around crazy ideas” had potential. After all, how could one say no to such an inventive and surprising headline? But I liked “Rod Adams” better when he was comparing Frohnmayer to Bush and the sale of the Westmoreland apartments to the Iraq War. Good stuff. (Side note: if this comparison holds, does that mean Bean Complex is Israel and Pizanos is Tel Aviv?)
And speaking of supposed neo-conservatives, the Emerald printed what amounted to a Kulongoski campaign press release as a commentary piece a few weeks ago. I’ll quote a big chunk so you can taste the flavor of the language:
Oregon SEIU Local 503 (Service Employees International Union) Board of Directors voted July 29 to endorse Governor Ted Kulongoski’s re-election. This was followed on July 31 with an endorsement by SEIU Local 49. Locals 503 and 49 represent about 45,000 public and private sector employees in Oregon, including state employees, home care, child care and nursing home workers, as well as janitors and health care workers.
The SEIU locals join in a solid front of organized labor support for Kulongoski, including Oregon AFL-CIO, Oregon Education Association, several trade unions, fire fighters, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
After the 503 Board meeting, one member leader emphasized that “working families will be better off if Ted Kulongoski is re-elected.” Kate Pingo, a Local 49 member leader explained that the Governor is “committed to standing up for working people and to addressing the crisis in our health care system.” Joe Di Nicola, a corporate tax auditor who serves as President of SEIU 503, said, “Ron Saxton is too extreme for Oregon. If elected, Saxton will dismantle the services Oregonians rely on.”
The race for Oregon Governor may be close, especially with the candidacy of Independent Ben Westlund. Westlund is more likely to draw votes from estranged Democrats than from the Republican ranks. It’s in the state’s best interest if Westlund would come to his senses and understand that he may be the disaster factor that helps the neo-con Saxton. Mr. Westlund: Will you please drop out of the campaign and endorse Kulongoski?
We know from the past three and some years that Ted Kulongoski will at least listen and consider the appeals of working people, progressives, environmentalists, free- choice voters and civil rights advocates. We can work with our current governor, and he’s proven that he will work with us. That’s what really matters in the art of possible politics
Anyone who’s ever had to read press releases for their job can recognize this prose. Of course, getting endorsed by the AFL-CIO (and to a lesser extent the SEIU) essentially acts as a confirmation that a candidate will have regressive and foolish economic policies. But while I suppose that “working families” of union lobbyists may be better off if Kulongoski is reelected, actual working families will, unfortunately, be losing jobs thanks to contribution whoring on the part of state Democrats. As OregonUnionFacts.com points out, Unions spend nearly eight times more on Democrats than Republicans. This is the inherent nature of politics in Oregon: most Democrats are indebted to unions and most Republicans are indebted to timber interests.
(Incidentally, the Union Facts site has a new television ad that’s airing which promotes the site. I suppose the ad will be effective, but personally I think it would’ve been infinitely more interesting if they’d gotten, say, Mary Kay LeTourneau to have a cameo as the teacher’s union boss.)
Anyway, enough rambling. The point of this was to get a damn post up since apparantly noone with the OC in Eugene has Internet anymore. Continue all conspiracy theory, intern, and horse porn website talk below….