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Farm structure

Best be careful what you sow; the reaping can be unpleasant. Consider this picture from rural Oregon, which today went national and is likely to get a lot of circulation soon around the home state.

migrant housing

That’s a picture from the web site of the Polk County assessor, which posts pictures as well as statistical information about places it appraises. It shows a farm building at Rickreall, a small town east of Salem, at a farm which has been owned by Oregon gubernatorial candidate Ron Saxton (Republican). The building apparently has been used as housing for migrant farm workers.

This creates a couple of problems for Saxton. One is that a number of people might disapprove of the conditions workers lived in at Rickreall. But that could be the lesser issue.

Saxton has been making a big issue of illegal immigration, flooding the state with TV spots proclaiming that the number of illegal immigrants – 175,000 of them, he said, no more and no less – would constitute the second-largest city in Oregon. They are, he suggested, an imminent crisis, costing Oregon taxpayers millions of dollars. (None of this is well substantiated, despite requests for same from this site and others; the 175,000 number, which did appear in the Oregonian, is only an estimate, a raw estimate.)

So comes now the picture of the farm where Saxton employed migrant workers – many of whom presumably were there illegally – which is sure to get wide circulation.

The Daily Kos liberal site gave that a big boost today, front-paging the story and posting the picture. It also included this couplet of quotes, the first from a Portland Lars Larson radio show:

In January of this year, Saxton told radio show host Lars Larson, “I owned a farm for years, and we used farm labor, we had migrant camp and everything involved. I’ve got a lot of personal experience involved with that.”

When asked on a radio interview on KLCC on Oct. 3 if he had ever hired an illegal immigrant, Saxton said, “Not to my knowledge.”

Up to now, Saxton has been beating Democratic Governor Ted Kulongoski over the head on immigration. He may want to put on some protective headgear to deal with what could be coming next.

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