Sometimes political campaigns aren't altogether what they're supposedly about. Sometimes you have to makes connections and pull pieces together.
In Oregon, for example, there's Measure 48, and then there's a set of ads that have begun appearing on another, apparently unrelated subject. We're betting they're closely related.
Go back to our post yesterday on 48 - the TABOR-derived spending cap - and the quotes from its Oregon petitioner, Don McIntire. Who does he see as his opponent in the battle over the ballot issue? Not someone most Oregonians probably would cite: "the real leader of the government class in Oregon – Tim Nesbitt, recent President of the Oregon AFL-CIO. I will debate Mr. Nesbitt as many times as he would like between now and election day."
All of that was largely in response to Governor Ted Kulongoski's offer to debate the man most responsible for underwriting the Measure 48 campaign, New York businessman Howard Rich. Kulongoski's move drew fresh attention to the non-indigenous nature of the initiative, that it's a clone of brethern circulating in a bunch of states, all funded by Rich and associations he's closely linked to.
McIntire's comments sounded like an attempt to swing the spotlight in another direction. In Oregon, unions had been peripheral in the discussion about Measure 48 up to that point, but McIntire went well out of his way to make them central.
But in a bigger context, his comments look in no way accidental. (more…)