Did Ron Saxton Hire Illegal Aliens?
There is increasing pressure on Oregon Republican candidate for Governor, Ron Saxton to come clean and level with the voters of Oregon whether Saxton and his business partners hired illegal aliens to pick cherries on his cherry farm business. Last weekend in an interview program aired on KGW, Saxton himself raised this question after he refused to directly state no. Instead an answer claiming that it was not "verified" that he had hired illegal aliens was used by Saxton. This is of course careful "lawyer" language meaning only that he was not directly caught by federal authorities hiring illegal aliens. Not being caught by federal immigration authorities is a very low standard to claim any innocence of these rising allegations, first raised by journalist Jeff Mapes of THE OREGONIAN in the weekend interview program.
While the campaign of Governor Ted Kulongoski has attemptedto take the high road and wage a positive effort based on achievements, Saxton has raised a mostly unfair and negative campaign to distort Kulogoski's record. Saxton has hit hard on the illegal immigration issue claiming that under Kulogoski, illegal aliens have been getting driver's licenses and registering to vote and getting state services. But the Oregon Secretary Of State has already discreded Saxton's claims about any evidence that illegal immigrants are loading up the voter registration rolls.
It has also been known while running his anti-illegal immigrant ads, Saxton still opposes both increaes in the minimum wage for lower income workers and also tougher state laws against employers who seek to profit by exploiting illegal immigrants . Now with increasing pressure from some journalists as well as the campaign manager for Ted Kulongoski it's time for Saxton to come clean and prove that he is not both a hypocrite and a racist who rails against illegal immigrants for political gain, but then exploits these persons for big profits and dehumanizes them by wanting to keep their wages real low. The whole question is coming to a real head, and no doubt there is an effort to find some hard evidence that Saxton broke the law and hired illegal aliens. Saxton may be running neck and neck right now, but his campaign is just one example of any illegal alien that he hired from becoming toast.
Saxton has forgotten way too many lessons of past successful statewide Republicans in Oregon elections such as Mark Hatfield, Tom McCall, Greg Walden, Norma Paulus and others who ran for office as moderates, had great character, were absolutely honest. Saxton has pandered to racism, uses political smear attacks, won't level with voters, and hides behind "lawyer" language when caught in a possible situation of serious hypocrisy. Voters usually expect someone that has been in office way too long to become unethical or corrupt, but Saxton is already appearing to some voters to be heading well down this rotten path, raising his own questions of character by his evasive answers about the possible hiring of illegal immigrant workers and running a high negative rating among voters in polls like a recent one from Rasmusssen.
With both the presss and the Kulongoski campaign likely looking for the illegal alien "smoking gun" to end Saxton's run for Governor, things are more likely than not, looking very bad like the wheels are just about ready to fall off. If Saxton would have run a very respectable campaign as a moderate Republican, things might have turned out far different. The motto at the Saxton office could read like a paraphrase of Pogo: "I''ve seen the enemy, and he is us".