THE OREGONIAN CHOOSES ANOTHER VICTIM
April 4, 2006
The Oregonian, my stateís only statewide newspaper, such as it is, has chosen its next victim. Using its considerable but declining readership, this bastion of failed liberalism is about to eviscerate Republican candidate for governor, Kevin Mannix. I hope he knows what he is in for and is prepared for it. Itís going to be nasty.
It is not my intent to dwell on the content of the coming hit piece. You can rest assured that there will be enough truth to the story, just enough, to give the piece some credibility and avoid having the newspaper sued successfully for libel. But will the story be unfair? You can count on it. Will it be biased and grossly misrepresent the truth? You can count on that, too.
Has Kevin Mannix have done anything to deserve the kind of political colonoscopy he is going to get before Oregonians go to the polls to vote in their May primary? I canít fully answer that question, but I can say this: The main thing he did was register as a Republican. A prominent Democrat can molest children in this state, even commit statutory rape, and that story will be covered up forever, if they can get away with it. The more conservative a Republican is perceived to be, the more likely it is that he or she will have their character assassinated by The Oregonian.
I feel for Kevin Mannix. I know better than almost anyone what he is going to experience at the hands of the hatchet men and women who pretend to be reporters at The Oregonian. I know because The Oregonian did a similar thing to me when I was running for governor in 1998. They dedicated two reporters to the task of destroying me. Those two reporters spent several months digging for any kind of dirt they could find. The accuracy of their reporting was secondary to the ugliness they wished to portray.
They were so dishonest that one of the people they used to prepare their story came to me later on and told me that the quotes they chose for their story totally misrepresented the statements actually made by the people they interviewed.
I do not mean for this article to be about me. But looking back to the time, eight years ago, when I went through an experience similar to what Kevin Mannix is about to face, I cannot help but empathize. I was painted as someone who casually ripped off little old widow ladies and lied to investors to get them to invest in a small start-up company I was working with; none of which was true. I was painted as a flake of a businessman and a conman. The story was a gross misrepresentation of the truth and the ugliness and the dishonesty of The Oregonianís story still today leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.
The word on the street today is that The Oregonian is going to do an in depth story on Kevin Mannixís campaign finances, going back 10 years. I have no doubt that they will find some irregularities. Thatís not the point. You can find irregularities in the campaign finance reports of pretty much every major candidate for public office who has run for office multiple times. Kevin Mannix certainly has done that. He has run for and won a seat in the state legislature several times and has run statewide at least three times that I can recall. Thatís a lot of fundraising and a lot of very thick, very complicated reports. There are bound to be errors. There are bound to be questions; some difficult to answer.
You can bet The Oregonian has paid someone to sift through every page of every report Kevin has filed. I have been there, as well. The teachers unions did that to me in 2002 and announced their findings to the world. It was almost funny when we revealed in court that the Oregon Education Association had done some of the exact things they accused us of doing. Little good that did us.
The dishonest judge who presided over our case helped the unions throw the book at us, while they on the other hand were simply allowed to file amended reports. The Oregonian did not see fit to report the unionís campaign finance discrepancies, just as they did not see fit to report Neil Goldschmidt molestation of a young girl while he was mayor of Portland. They try very hard not to say bad things about their friends.
The bottom line is this: The Oregonian provides cover for liberal Democrats and destroys the reputation of conservative Republicans. I take that back, partly. Their Republican targets do not have to be conservative. They just have to be Republicans. United States Senator Bob Packwood was not conservative, but The Oregonian tore him to pieces and ran him out of office allegedly for trying to kiss women who apparently did not want to be kissed.
They also beat the stuffiní out of the conservative congressman from east of the mountains, Wes Cooley. Like with Bob Packwood, The Oregonianís attacks on Cooley were so incessant that they ran him out of office in disgrace. My last memory of Wes was a picture of him flipping off reporters for harassing him nonstop.
Some of us have survived their attacks. They tore me apart back in í98, only to learn that guys who work on initiatives, unlike politicians, are hard to kill. Our names do not appear on the ballot, only our ideas. The next election after they tore me up, I came back and placed a record seven measures on the statewide ballot, much to their dismay.
Now, itís Kevin Mannixís turn. Kevin, who until recently was a Democrat, is not all that conservative, but he is a Republican and is unabashedly pro-life. Also, he has a solid reputation for being tough on crime and even led the drive to require longer sentences for violent criminals. The fact that he leads the Republican primary is enough for The O to target him.
I am not writing this article to help Kevin Mannix. Actually, I prefer State Senator Jason Atkinson, and hope he wins the primary. I will support Kevin if he wins the primary; which is something I cannot say about Ron Saxton. I am writing this article to say that it is time the Republicans in the state of Oregon stopped letting the liberals at The Oregonian decide who their candidates will be.
The Oregonian wants Ron Saxton to win the primary. Problem is, Kevin Mannix leads at this point. Plus, Kevin Mannix almost beat Ted Kulongoski in 2002, coming closer that a Republican has come in a governorís race in Oregon in two-and-a-half decades. That is why he has been targeted for character assassination. Then there is the small technicality that one of the top guys at The Oregonian, a guy high enough up on the totem pole that he ostensibly can fire anyone who works there, is supporting Ron Saxton.
You can bet that the upcoming story tearing Kevin Mannix to pieces will not include a disclaimer that the boss at The Oregonian is working on the Saxton campaign.
So, Kevin Mannix, get ready to duck. I feel for you, man. Itís going to be harsh. Any mistakes you have made are about to be blown up, magnified and distorted by people who have become experts in doing just that, and then plastered all over newsstands and front porches from Astoria to Ontario. And you Republicans, do yourself a favor and donít bother reading the story. Donít let The Oregonian choose your next nominee.
© 2006 Bill Sizemore - All Rights Reserved
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Bill Sizemore is a registered Independent who
works as executive director of the Oregon Taxpayers Union, a statewide
taxpayer organization. Bill was the Republican candidate for governor
in 1998. He and his wife Cindy have four children, ages eight to thirteen,
and live on 36 acres in Beavercreek, just southeast of Oregon City, Oregon.
I am not writing this article to help Kevin Mannix. Actually, I prefer State Senator Jason Atkinson, and hope he wins the primary. I will support Kevin if he wins the primary...