Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

Dudley wrong to blame Kitzhaber

To the editor:

Any fair-minded person has to feel outrage, or at least mild disgust, at Chris Dudley's attempt to blame John Kitzhaber for the current state of the Oregon economy. Everyone knows the national economy is dragging every state down, and Gov. Kitzhaber left office eight years ago.

In the KGW debate, Kitzhaber pointed out that he had tried, as

governor, to establish a rainy day fund for Oregon, as nearly everyone

now admits is necessary, but the Republican legislature stopped it.

This is only one example of how Kitzhaber, with the opposition party

controlling the Legislature during his years as governor, was generally

prevented from pursuing the reforms he knew were badly needed. His term

was notable for his record number of vetoes, but Oregon would be in

much worse shape today if not for the man who was derisively called

Doctor No.

Nevertheless, Kitzhaber had some solid achievements in getting

bipartisan legislation passed, and his 14 years in the Legislature had

prepared him for such success. By contrast, Dudley's total lack of such

experience would likely mean stalemate in Salem, and stalemate is a

luxury we can only afford when the economy is humming along and nothing

much needs to be done.

Dudley's main campaign promise, to drastically cut the capital gains

tax and open up an $800 million hole in the budget to benefit a wealthy

few (trying to con the voters into swallowing the old trickle-down

snake oil once again) is just the kind of recycled, overhyped idea that

Kitzhaber has seen many times before, and Kitzhaber advocates a more

moderate alternative. Dudley seems quite fond of Washington state's tax

system; especially their lower capital gains tax rates (not to mention

the low property taxes on his former home), but the news from

Washington is the state is in deep financial crisis, with a $4.5

billion projected shortfall in the 2011-2013 budget, resulting in

drastic across-the-board cuts in schools, public health, prisons,


Craig Martell

Baker City