Because I want a Republican governor, I have tried to only stress the positive things about my chosen candidate, and have refrained from tearing down either of the others on my radio show, BrainstormNW column, this blog, and other public utterances.
That said, I don't think it is out of bounds to point out when one candidate is stretching the truth so far as to make it unrecognizable, as was reported in the Oregonian today.
The story is about the kicker, and each candidate's position on whether to keep it or send it back to the taxpayers. I'm assuming that what the O reported is accurate here. If not, I am perfectly willing to stand corrected.
The Mannix campaign, according to the O, is telling people that Ron Saxton voted to keep the kicker.
Here is the actual text of the story:
On the Republican side, Kevin Mannix's campaign staff pilloried Ron Saxton for what they claim is an election-year turnaround, saying Saxton supported spending the kicker on schools when he was Portland School Board chairman but opposes the idea now.
"Saxton voted to have state government -- rather than taxpayers -- keep state tax 'kicker' refunds," according to a flier Mannix campaign workers hand out at events. As evidence, the flier cites a Nov. 22, 1999, Portland School Board resolution.
What the resolution actually supported was voluntary donations from parents who wanted their kicker refund check to go to schools. Saxton has never favored repeal of the kicker, said his campaign manager, Felix Schein.
That's about as misleading as it gets.
Look - I have no problem with Kevin Mannix criticising Ron Saxton's record. That is fair game, even if the 11th
Supporting voluntary contributions of the kicker returns is not the same thing as voting to keep the kicker. It isn't even close, and the Mannix camp knows it.
Mannix doesn't do himself any favors by making such obviously false claims. If he wants voters to trust him, he should stick to the truth.
So, I will say it first:
Knock it off, Kevin.