Can Dave Hunt have it both ways?

Toby Forsberg
Dave Hunt

This week the Democrats released their new “Road Map (to tax increases) for Oregon.” Any good Boy Scout knows that if you have a map and a compass you need to find “magnetic” north before you really know where you are going.

Magnetic north on this map?

Tax increases!

This type of economic policy does not make a whole lot of sense when you consider this piece of news from the state’s most recent economic forecast:

Including the beginning balance of $1,436.7 million, total available resources amount to $14,091.9 million, a decline of $46.9 million from the Close of Session forecast.

When you run through the ten to twelve new or expanded government programs that Hunt and his caucus are talking about it does not take long to determine the goal.

Everywhere Hunt and his leadership team go they talk about the need to get to 36 Democrats in the Oregon House so that they can put tax increases on the agenda. Brad Cain of the Associated Press even noted the fact in his article on Wednesday:

Any revenue raising plans could have smoother sailing next session, depending on the outcome of this November’s House races.

In the Oregon House, where all tax proposals must originate, Democrats hold a slim 31-29 majority.

In the coming election, Democrats would need at least five seats to get to a three-fifths majority in the chamber, enough votes to pass new taxes without GOP help.

“Obviously, the more House Democrats we have, the more policy priorities we can adopt in a whole series of areas,” the House majority leader said.

Since each of the seats Hunt is targeting this year are needed to pass his tax increase plans, we should expect to see Hunt’s crop of candidates extolling the virtues of tax increases at each campaign stop right?


Just Wednesday Hunt’s boy Toby Forsberg looked skittish. Hunt hand-picked this guy to run and even talked him into moving into the district. Forsberg actually lived in Hunt’s district until he registered to vote at his new residence in October so he could run for office without challenging Hunt. Now he lives in the adjacent district held by Wayne Scott where Bill Kennemer has the backing of Republicans.

Word is that Hunt is even telling lobbyists in Salem that this one is personal for him. Sort of a support him or else type theme going on.

But on Wednesday, Forsberg was asked point blank at a forum hosted by the North Clackamas Chamber of Commerce about tax increases. He responded that he did not think tax increases are a good idea during a recession.

What? Does SEIU know? Does the OEA know? What about Stand for Children? And, what is the point of Hunt getting to 36 if his backyard buddy is turning against him?

My suspicion is that Forsberg has promised the unions the moon. Hunt? I bet he told Forsberg to lie through his teeth then beg for forgiveness if he gets caught.

Pull out your compass. Magnetic north is pointing right at your wallet.