Tuesday, June 13, 2006


It's been two weeks since I have posted. I've been otherwise focused, and for some reason every time I thought to myself "I oughtta post something on that issue," I never ended up doing it.

So, there's a good bit of pent up things I'll comment on here, in short.

Governor's race:
Saxton jumped on the kicker gaffe by Kulongoski and took the unusual move of running radio ads to highlight the issue six months before the election. In my view this is a good move. Most campaign consultants will tell candidates to sit tight, raise money, and spend it all on media during the election cycle.

Saxton spending $$ now on these ads shows a couple things. 1) He is confident he will raise whatever money he needs in the general, so he can spend a few hundred thousand now and still have plenty in November. 2) He understands that he couldn't let the Governor's gaffe get covered up by months of other political noise and lose the chance to brand him as a tax hiker. This means Ron will be running the general election on fiscal conservatism, a winner for Republicans.

OSU Beavers:
I'm a baseball fan and spend a good deal of time watching my son play catcher for Lake Oswego. A good friend's son is one of the Beavers' starting pitchers, and so I've been really paying attention to the Beavs all season long.

Pat Casey has built a program that will benefit this state for years to come. He has developed a national baseball powerhouse using primarily northwest players. Almost all the talented high schoolers in Oregon now want to go to OSU. A few weeks ago my son, a rabid Duck fan, said "Dad, for the first time ever I would consider going to OSU."

Casey has shown that the northwest is no backwater when it comes to baseball talent, and that the kids don't have to go to USC or ASU to play at the highest level. They had NINE players drafted last week!

My kid is a freshman; he has some talent, and I can't tell you how much having a top tier baseball university in the state adds to the high school programs.

A lot of my time lately has been consumed with the Blazer deal. For new visitors: I am helping ex-Blazer Terry Porter raise the capital to buy the Blazers from Paul Allen. The effort is going extremely well. Portland is begging to fall back in love with this team. The city has rallied around Terry Porter. The process will take several weeks to play out, but we are very optimistic that our effort has some very attractive elements to the seller.

This was a long shot when we started, but we have made far more progress than anybody really expected. We fully expect to be shoulder to shoulder with all the other bidders for the team.

It's going in, as I write. Macadam Avenue has been closed for two days as they install the big tower. This thing will be a forever monument to the Portland "vision" and its way of doing things. It is becoming increasingly clear that Portland simply does not want to compete.

Read Thomas Friedman's "The World is Flat." That is not a world that the Portland political culture wants to be a part of.

No, my friends in charge of Portland prefer sustainability and prevailing/living wages and planning and light rail and streetcars and bubble curbs and smart growth and transit oriented developments and eco-rooves and public private partnerships and tax abated $300 a square foot condos and urban renewal districts.

Can't be part of the flat world when we want to control all the outcomes, now can we?

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