Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Wacky Third Rate Politics Of Ron Saxton

When Ron Saxton was a Portland, Oregon School Board member, he seemed like a far better public servant, and a Republican moderate. But in this year's bid to become the first Republican Governor of Oregon since carpet selling Arab American, Victor Atiyeh in the 1970's, Ron Saxton is running a wacky campaign against incumbent Democrat Ted Kulongoski that is a confused mess of misleading nonsense meant to appeal base instincts such as anti-illegal immigrant voters.

Saxton claims in his ads hammering Kulongoski that illegal immigrants number 175,000 and would constitute the second highest population city next to Portland. Saxton also claims that under the Democratic Governor, illegal aliens are getting driver's licenses and registering to vote. Yet the Secretary Of State, a Democrat claims that there is no evidence that he has that illegal aliens are getting driver's licenses so they can get involved in skewing the political system. Saxton finally admitted on a KGW unterview program that he "thinks" that's what illegal aliens are doing. Apparently whatever Mr. Saxton thinks is somehow now fact. On the same interview program Saxton was asked if he ever hired illegal aliens to pick cherries on his cherry farm, and he only can claim that hasn't been "verified". Basicly Saxton is saying that because immigration authorities have never caught him like many agriculture busineses hiring any illegal aliens, then he has clean hands and is not a hypocrite who took advantage of cheap wage labor to reap profits. This sounds like typical big business Republican hypocrisy, use low wage labor to reap huge profits but then wage racist attacks against these persons who only seek to find work and will accept almost any type of work for type of wages. If no for immigrant agriculture workers, then produce may cost up to twice as much. Then these wealthy agriculture interests would probably go to China or South America to seek profits and even more of the U.S. economy disappears.

Another side of this issue is that everyone on the road should have a valid driver's license and insurance regardless of their immigration status which is a seperate Federal Government issue. What does Saxton want to do, increase the number of uninsured drivers on the road? Saxton just doesn't think issues through like this. It's simply screwy that Saxton attempts to link these two seperate issues of safe motor vehicle operation with Federal immigration policies together. It's also sad that some persons haven't bothered to realize the nonsense of Saxton's viewpoint on this issue which indicates a limited ability of Saxton to reason through issues. It proves that Saxton is merely a weak Governor wanna-be candidate who is really not up to the broad wisdom expected for someone who wants to be taken as a serious possible candidate for this office.

On the issue of a proposed tax on cigarettes by the Governor to help fund health care for as many as 177,000 unisured children in Oregon, Saxton seems to side with the big tobacco companies and doesn't want this tax, even children and babies tend to some of the most injured and damaged by second hand smoke. Any tax that helps to cut down smoking and helps to fund health insurance for children. For everyone but Saxton, this issue should be a no-brainer, win-win proposal.

For all his antitax political claims, Saxton cannot cite the name of a single state agency to cut, and only cites that some other organizations or commissions have made some recommendations. Saxton does cite funding the state police as perhaps the highest priority, but will not mention what he believes to be the lowest priority, which might even mean cuts to social services such as food stamps or public health care for the poor of Oregon. Saxton doe admit that perhaps the $10 minimum tax for corporations may be too low. A few years ago, the Enron owned Portland General Electric paid only this $10 minimum tax despite millions in income.

When Jeff Mapes of THE OREGONIAN newspaper asked Saxton if he will attend the funeral of every serviceperson killed in Iraq and Afghanistan like the former Marine, Governor Kulongoski, Saxton replied that "I haven't thought about it", but he might do it. This is an interesting example of giving very little thought to just area of character that seperates this weak challenger from the Governor. Saxton also has publicly voiced support for the Iraq War, while offering only this lame level of possible respect for those that have lost their lives in the wars by not really committing himself to attending funerals of those fallen in those wars. By comparison the respect felt for every Oregonian who has lost their life in war has been proven by the incumbent Governor. It's little issues like this that prove a wide difference in character between the two men. Saxton has run mostly unfair and outrageous attack ads with few specific ways in which he'd actually run the state if elected, while the Governor has run positive and warm ads that spotlight little ways he has helped specific persons with problems or other positive ways of governing the state. The ads for the Governor are very low key and not very exciting, but compared to Saxton, the Governor appears engaged in issues important to the quality of life of Oregonians. Saxton begins to look like his feet just don't reach the pedals upon a closer examination.

Saxton is probably only where he is is because Native America casinos put so much money into attack ads against his Republican primary opponent. Two rival tribes operate casinos and Saxton supports the big money interests of one Native American casino over the interests of the other Native American casino interests. Being a preferred candidate of some rival casino operators is hardly any ringing endorsement of the quality of a candidate.

It is also disturbing that Ron Saxton is running close in some polls. He's obviously little more than a weak challenger for the office of Governor with a big bankroll of $3 million campaign dollars to spend, much of it from big business related contributors compared to much smaller $1 million dollar campaign war chest of the incumbent Democratic Governor. And Saxton reminds me of the satirical bumper sticker that I saw a few years ago which boldly stated, "Vote Republican.....It's Easier Than Thinking". The chipmunklike Saxton seems like a candidate tailor made to fit these lowered standards of reasoning ability on the part of some Repiblican leaning voters who seem to fall for any lame line of reasoning. Just like the grossly incompetant George Bush, Saxton's motto could well be "why not the worst". What the voters need next to a hole in the head is a candidate for Governor not really up to the job, but with plenty of money to run for that office. Such is the problem with American politics.


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