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By Mary Starrett
21, 2006

Back in the 60's Leslie Gore sang the rousing chart-buster titled "It's My Party" and whipped up teen angst with the sad song about how miserable she was at her own party.

Kind of reminds me of the race for Oregon governor. The party rules! Party labels above principles! Those who say we MUST defeat the incumbent Governor Ted Kulongoski by electing a Republican because then we'll get things our way need to ask themselves whether electing a Republican would make any difference at all.

Ah yes, a Republican governor would make the state, indeed the world, a better place. I know land use was considerably improved under Tom McCall. Bob Packwood served us well, too and Gordon Smith is a guy who's stuck to his "conservative" ideals.

They need only be Republicans to get my admiration, my vote! I think back fondly to 1999, when the Republicans controlled the state House and the Senate. Those were the days- Mannix, Adams, Bryant! Yep, that was the closest we have come to new gun control. All brought to you by Republicans. (At least Mannix had the smarts to lie about it from then on). Ron Saxton. Now there's a guy we can trust! Yessirree, no changing HIS positions. He will be our savior. He's a REPUBLICAN!

Just what advantage will there be for those who want limited state government to have a governor who talks the talk during a campaign (come to think of it, he's not even bothering to do THAT anymore...witness his going all "squishy" on such issues as spending limits. Saxton's The proposed ballot initiative on keeping spending in line with inflation and population) but doesn't walk the walk? The Republican candidate for governor has never before supported candidates or causes which would lead us believe he is fiscally or socially conservative. Now the effort is being made to paint this big-spending liberal (who's been supporting the left for decades) as the great hope simply because he has an "R" after his name. Where was Saxton the loyal Republican when Kevin Mannix was running for governor in 2002? Nowhere to be found.

It is disingenuous to pretend Saxton's stand on tax spending ("I support the concept of a spending limit"...(Notice he didn't say he supported the actual, real, live ballot initiative which would bring us that spending limit!) would be any different than what he's done and how he's voted to spend in the past. Saxton voted with the liberal D's on the Portland School Board almost straight down the line! How does someone simultaneously purport to be a fiscal conservative(albeit "squishy" as we note in Saxton's comments about the proposed spending limit ballot initiative in The Oregonian (7/19/06) and hope voters will ignore the big-spending liberals he's supported in the past, like Ron Wyden, Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Gov. Ted Kulongoski (when he was running for A.G.)?

Saxton is neither fiscally conservative nor socially conservative. He is FOR civil unions. FOR abortion (as in the state funding of abortions in the Oregon Health Plan) and not anywhere NEAR tough enough on illegal immigration.

My suggestion? Ask Saxton to step aside and let a TRUE conservative take it from here. I have contributed to conservative candidates and causes consistently since I have been old enough to vote. Saxton can't say the same thing. I have held the same beliefs my entire adult life. Saxton apparently has changed course a number of times depending of what would be politically expedient.

Can you trust a candidate who holds back from endorsing a perfectly reasonable ballot initiative because he doesn't want to "polarize" voters? Or do you take that as an indication the man's a politician first, a principled servant of the people second? Just food for thought as we ponder what exactly what benefit there would be in electing someone simply because he's running (albeit not acting) as an "R."

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We sure would be fools if we bought this con job because of a label that means little anymore. R? or D? Will it really matter in this governor's race or will the voters who've had enough of the party boys finally say "I'm putting principles over party labels so we'll actually see some change in Salem!"

� 2006 Mary Starrett - All Rights Reserved

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Mary Starrett was on television for 21 years as a news anchor, morning talk show host and medical reporter. For the last 5 years she hosted a radio program. Mary is a frequent guest on radio talk shows.


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Can you trust a candidate who holds back from endorsing a perfectly reasonable ballot initiative because he doesn't want to "polarize" voters? Or do you take that as an indication the man's a politican first, a principled servant of the people second?