Republican Allen Alley, running for governor of Oregon, is attacking the way things are done in ... Washington, DC.
"Earlier this week, out-of-touch politicians in Washington D.C. voted for invasive federal management of our health care system at a time when our economy is stuck in the doldrums of the Greatest Recession since the Great Depression," Alley said in a mailer. "The federal government is spending money at a rate that would make even Salem politicians blush. What's more, they're enacting policies that will worsen our already stressed financial situation here in Oregon."
Alley goes on to state that people should "push back on Washington D.C. and say 'no' to their trillion dollar programs and unfunded mandates."
Then, sounding like he's channeling George Wallace or Lester Maddox, Alley champions "states' rights": "This is about fiscal responsibility and the constitutional authority of the federal government. Last time I checked this is the United States of America. I think we have forgotten that it was the states that came first and created the federal government in the first place."
"This is weird, at best and pandering, disingenuous pap at worst," writes Carla Axtman on the Blue Oregon blog. "What possible message is he hoping to send to Salem exactly ... on a piece of legislation that they had absolutely nothing to do with?"
Alley's real target audience, of course, is not the politicians in Salem but the Tea Party faction of the Oregon Republican Party, without whose votes he's going to have a tough time winning the nomination.
Can you figure out why Deschutes County, which doesn't have enough money to fix the roads it already has, is planning to build an $8.7 million "road to nowhere"?
Nope, neither can I.
The "road to nowhere" (hat tip to Paul Dewey of Central Oregon LandWatch) is a proposed extension of 19th Street from Redmond south to Deschutes Junction at the north end of Bend. Opponents like Dewey say it isn't needed because it would only parallel Highway 97 and it's a bad idea because it would encourage sprawl. Supporters, like Redmond Mayor George Endicott, say it's needed to handle traffic from future development in Redmond and at Juniper Ridge.
My guess is that the 19th Street extension, stupid as it is, will get built. Nothing must be allowed to get in the way of the grand vision of eventually having a continuous strip mall from LaPine to Madras.
Anti-tax crusader and racketeer Bill Sizemore showed up at a Republican gubernatorial candidates' forum in Lake Oswego last week and, according to The Oregonian's Jeff Mapes, "stole the show."
"More than any other candidate, Sizemore was the one who generated the biggest whoops and cheers (and it wasn't just me who thought that; I asked several people leaving the event and they agreed)," Mapes writes.
Mapes theorizes that Sizemore - who ran for governor in 1998 and got walloped by John Kitzhaber - did well with the crowd "because he could remind the activists of all of the ballot measures he's worked on hit about every conservative hot button, from taxes to bilingual education."
Go ahead and nominate Sizemore for governor again, Republicans. I dare ya.