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Posts published in “Day: August 4, 2006”

The TABOR line

Though it was apparently in a specially-released state, it isn't on Ron Saxton's web site, much though we looked. But maybe there's good reason for that . . .

Ron SaxtonThe topic is the state spending initiative, slated as Measure 48, and certain to be hotly debated between here and November. We have no hesitation in declaring this one a dog of the most mongrelly sort, for this reason: It's been tried elsewhere and failed abysmally. (We've addressed this before.) Under the label TABOR (Taxpayers Bill of Rights), it was passed in Colorado in 1992 with strong support from the elected leadership of the Republican-led state. By 2005 those same officials, including Republican Governor Bill Owens, were supporting a ballot issue to table TABOR - put it on hold for five years - because the state's finances had fallen to ruin because of it. One of the other political effects of TABOR was to help shift a state that seemed strongly Republican into one, in the last few years, moving fast into the blue column - anti-TABOR Democrats won a Senate seat there in 2004 and have swept the state legislature.

But in other states which haven't yet experienced the wonders of TABOR, there's still a strong Republican base in support of it. Now, in Oregon, it's qualified for ballot status, and will be a top subject of discussion. So, if you're Ron Saxton, Republican nominee for governor, what do you do? Agree with the Democratic incumbent, Ted Kulongoski, that it shouldn't be passed, and thereby drive a wedge between your most enthusiastic party members and yourself (and united them with minor-party candidate Mary Starrett)? Or endorse it, risk losing the Great Middle, and support what you know isn't supportable? (more…)

Switching sides

It's an indication of changing times, when politicians which sides. Tony Edmondson's change and appointment today is among the more noteworthy.

Tony EdmondsonIt would be a small point if he were new to electoral politics and if he lived in a place where Democrats were not an exotic species. In this case: Edmundson has been a local government official, on city council and (as a Republican) on county commission, f0r quite a few years, and active on a range of civic activities. And this isn't in a place where you say lightly that you're a Democrat: This is Weiser in Washington County, where Democrats haven't gotten elected to the legislature in decades, seldom get winning votes for major office and aren't often seen at the courthouse either.

“Despite my nearly 40-year identification with the Republican party, I find that my centrist views have been pushed aside," he said in explaining the switch. (Notice was sent by e-mail; no links available yet.)

The Idaho Democrats wasted no time with their new acquisition. He will replace Robert Barowsky, a former sheriff, as candidate for state Senate in District 9, opposing Republican incumbent Monty Pearce.

Pearce, naturally, gets the odds in this very Republican district. But Edmondson's switch changes the district's coloration one more little bit.