My View: Oregon can't risk a GOP governor
I was greatly disappointed — and, more to the point, confused — with your newspaper's endorsement of Knute Buehler ("Our Opinion: Buehler brings necessary tension," Oct. 16).
As far as I can tell, the center of this argument is that Oregonians should vote for Knute Buehler (despite Oregonians' overwhelming support for progressive government) because he's a Republican who will overturn the apple cart.
With Donald Trump in the White House, we cannot risk having a Republican run our state. Buehler is a member of the party that is actively promoting racism, xenophobia, and limits on reproductive freedom. Here in Oregon, Buehler's record of accomplishments is nearly nonexistent and provides voters little proof of his policy positions. Furthermore, he has never demonstrated the ability to work with colleagues across the aisle. To assume that he would be able to as governor is putting a lot of trust into a legislator with negligible evidence he's up to the task.
Point by point, here's what I found was left out of an endorsement that focused on party over policy.
1. Buehler's views are out-of-step with most Oregonians
This is actually straightforward and self-evident: If most Oregonians wanted conservative, right-wing policies, then Republicans would control both chambers and/or the governorship.
Buehler says he's pro-choice, but NARAL Executive Director Grayson Dempsey said otherwise.
"If a candidate says he's an environmentalist and every environmental group comes out against him," she told Willamette Week, "who are you going to trust?"
2. He is aligned with a party that is actively promoting racism, xenophobia and limits on reproductive freedom via ballot measures
Buehler has declared his support for Measure 105, which would repeal Oregon's more than 30-year-old anti-racial profiling law. Worse, we're living through a presidential administration that seems determined to inflict as much pain and grief on the immigrant community as possible — do we want a governor who's a part of that?
3.The editorial completely fails to take into account the many policy successes under Kate Brown's leadership.
In an editorial of nearly 1,100 words, exactly 18 even marginally address Buehler's policies — and give Buehler credit that he doesn't deserve when it comes to health care policy. In reality, Knute Buehler voted to take away health care from 430,000 Oregonians — including 80,000 kids — and he was out of step with nearly every health care organization in the state and 3 in 5 voters by opposing Measure 101 to fund Oregon's Medicaid expansion earlier this year.
Gov. Brown's policies and positions hardly get more attention — only 45 words, less than 5 percent of the article. So in the interest of informing those who do not obsessively follow state politics, here's a non-comprehensive list of Gov. Brown's accomplishments:
• She raised Oregon's minimum wage to bring our state closer to a livable wage;
• She greatly increased access to community college for low-income Oregonians, some of whom can attend for as little as $50;
• Ensured sick leave for all Oregonians;
• Made voting more accessible than ever with the Motor Voter law at a time when many states are making it harder to vote;
• Achieved the lowest unemployment rate in the history of Oregon;
• Expanded health care to nearly all kids in Oregon and 95 percent of adults.
These accomplishments merit more than 45 words. Just because Gov. Brown competently does her job without fuss or flash doesn't mean she's not working incredibly hard and successfully for Oregonians.
I ask all Oregonians to join me in rejecting divisiveness and continuing to support the critical work of Gov. Brown.