"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.


Not so much for the specifics noted – which seem incomplete and sometimes, to non-wonks, a little unclear – as for the basic approach, take a look at what the Oregon Democrats did with the economic proposal put forth by Republican gubernatorial nominee Chris Dudley.

They took an original version of the file (PDFed originally, probably) and effectively used a red pen to editorially mark it up. (Writers who have worked with editors will immediately grasp the approach.) It makes for a visually arresting approach.

One comment here on one of Dudley’s 26 proposals, the one being part of number 3: “He will budget the way Oregon families and businesses budget, by determining how much money the state will have and then building a “Priorities First” budget within existing revenues.” First, that’s actually not so very different from what’s done now in times of revenue downturn. Second, it assumes something sacrosanct about the current revenue levels: What’s the argument for why they should not be higher or lower? But we’ll return to some of this in another day. The Democrats, as you might imagine, didn’t take quite that approach in their markup.

Share on Facebook