Saturday, October 28, 2006

Newport News-Times: ENDORSES SAXTON

Newport News-Times

Posted: Oct 25, 2006 - 10:26:02 PDT

To lead or be led

The one consistency in politics is that one is never far from a debate or a difference of opinion. This is what our forefathers had intended when they crafted our constitution and oh, my how we've excelled in the art of debate ... right into political paralysis.

The failure of our state legislature to openly come to a resolution of pending legislation in the last session is an example of a breakdown in leadership at the highest level. Our current governor failed to step in and provide direction at a critical time, long into an extended session, with bickering and paralysis rampant. Where was our governor?

A lack of leadership is also evident by the proliferation and popularity of state-wide ballot measures which demonstrate that taxpayers are fed up with the direction of state government. These measures are often harsh and have significant unintended consequences and once law by a popular vote of the people, the opportunity to negotiate and minimize the unintended adverse effects is lost.

It should not be incumbent on voters to mandate policy, this should come from our policymakers and it should be at the direction of a governor who has a defined strategic plan for state government. A governor should not be led ... a governor must lead and clearly we are a state in need of a new direction. Reform within state government will not happen with a governor who either chooses to ignore the will of the people or lacks the political will to effect change.

The people of Oregon have been asking for change. Ron Saxton has outlined several bold, sometimes controversial, actions to be taken if he is elected governor. He is the only candidate that is on record with specific plans to reform state government. Ron Saxton proposes further PERS reforms that didn't go far enough under Kulongoski. In fact, it is estimated the reforms negotiated by Governor Kulongoski will take in excess of 20 years before program costs come under control. That's an entire generation of children whose education will be adversely affected by a governor's inability to arrest a burgeoning drain on education and other programs that suffer because of the inequitable distribution of state benefits.

Ron Saxton has also vowed to find ways to streamline government and redirect gains from these efficiencies into other areas where the dollars will be better utilized to serve the people of Oregon. Now, while the economy is experiencing growth, is the time to make changes in state government, not later from a reactionary posture.

The true worth of a governor is not in the pursuit of the hot button topics of the day; PERS reform, education, state police, etc., rather it lies in the vision, conviction and ability to address the issue beforehand. Ron Saxton offers the people of Oregon the greatest opportunity for change and leadership. Our choice, and the one we recommend to our readers, is Ron Saxton for Governor.

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