Tuesday, August 08, 2006

What the governor race is really about

Saxton vs. Kulongoski is a proxy race.

In Larry Huss's latest column he quotes Governor Kulongoski from a speech he gave on July 25 to AFL-CIO, which is dominated by the public employee unions. Kulongoski said: ". . . I've never lost sight of who I represent, and that's you."

There you have it. From the horse's mouth.

The real race is for who will control the state government, and determine in important ways the economic future of the state.

Will the public employee unions be in charge? Or will the private sector set the agenda. Does Oregon want to grow and be a part of the global economy, or does it want to pretend that it can have its own sandbox and just play with toys like light rail, sustainability and smart growth?

That is the big picture. Everything else is just details. Please keep your eye on the ball.

Sure, issues are important, and for most of us certain issues are paramount. No movement conservative wants the Republican candidate to take a powder on his or her pet issue. We all care about things like parental notification, spending limits, gun rights, illegal immigration, school choice, fiscal restraint, low taxes and the host of other hot button issues.

But at the end of the day, this race is about Oregon. Do we want to grow, or not? Do we want to be a part of the economy, create wealth, and have a robust private sector? Or do we want choo-choo trains, trams, bureacrats and unions calling the shots?

I'm sad to say that this is a tossup in Oregon.

I grew up in this great state. I left for ten years to find my fortune in Chicago. When I moved back with my fortune (Their names are Mary, Jessica and Jeffrey) I was stunned at what had happened to Portland and Oregon.

Our political and social institutions were taken over by people with decidedly different values from the Oregon values I grew up with. They took control of the government, grew planning bureaucracies, took property freedoms, handed the budgets over to the unions, and ruined what was a terrific transportation system.

Has this state had enough? Are we going to grow, or die? That is the choice. Every organic organism either grows or dies.

Clark County has chosen. Bend has chosen. Seattle has chosen. They all want to be competitive, and they choose their public policies carefully because they know capital has quick feet.

Portland has made the opposite choice: it doesn't want to compete. It wants eco-roofs and trams. But does Portland speak for the state?

If so, Kulongoski will win, and the unions will control the schools and the government and planning will reign supreme.

If not, Saxton will win, and we have a chance to get the economic train back on the tracks.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rob, I'm not optimistic. The infection runs too deep. There are legions of people like Eric Sten who truly do not understand that the private sector pays the bills.

The Soother said...

I say Kremer for governor!

you stupid fools said...

Sadly many on the Republican side who recognize the saturation of liberal policies in everything from education to land use and transportation planning, can't seem to focus on that abhorant domination by democrats.

Instead they wallow in their fantasy about a perfect candidate while denegrating the one we have.

The amount of chatter and speculation about the perceived flaws of our own candidate is muffling the and clouding the far worse tract record and promises of the other side.

That's just swell.