Back in the old days — you know the days in which we actually held people accountable for their acts — one of the things for which people were horsewhipped was public lying and cheating. After reading about Gov. Kulongoski’s faux State of the State speech, I think it is high time we bring back horsewhipping — reserved exclusively for lying cheating politicians. One of two things would happen. Either the lying and cheating would stop, or the line for punishment would be so long the government couldn’t get anything else done — I’m okay with either outcome.
The Oregonian reported:
“In his departing State of the State speech, Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski warned Friday that state government must “dial back” what it offers the public if Oregon wants to survive 10 years of looming budget deficits.
“Kulongoski, addressing a friendly, invitation-only crowd of about 200 at Portland State University, said the state has relied too heavily in the past on one-time bailouts and other temporary fixes that now threaten to undermine its financial stability.
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“Kulongoski, serving his last of eight years in office, is calling for a “reset” of state government to shrink costs and at the same time stabilize the money the state takes in. Without offering much in the way of specifics, he said his handpicked “reset cabinet” will offer a series of recommendations for cutbacks to the next governor and the 2011 Legislature.
“Those could include eliminating some state agencies and programs and “˜investing less in some government functions,’ he said.”
Kulongoski has spent over thirty years as an elected or appointed government official. Not once during that entire time did he find a state agency or program that he thought should be “eliminated” or even reduced. Despite two extraordinary recessions Kulongoski presided over double digit budget increases in each biennium. He increased the number of state employees during that period from 73,100 to 78,800 by the close of 2009 while sitting idly by as 66,000 Oregonians lost their jobs in his first recession and 163,800 lost their jobs during the current recession.
There is not a single instance to which Kulongoski can point in which he undertook a critical review of any function of state government or the personnel performing it. On the other hand, it would take an encyclopedia to chronicle all of the state programs for which he has promoted growth in cost and personnel. He has granted the public employees unions a “no compete” clause in which no function provided currently by a public employee union member can be “outsourced” regardless of the efficiencies or savings that could be gained.
He has watched the costs of the gold-plated Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) spin out of control mounting an unfunded future liability the exceeds the totality of the biennial budget and his solution was to announce that any attempts to reform the system were “off the table.” This guy is such a slug that he even declined to acknowledge, in response to a public document request, that he was even a member of PERS or that the state picked up the tab for his “contributions” to it.
He has virtually turned the Governor’s Office over to Oregon’s public employees unions hiring three of their former officials to the top three positions in his office. No person or proposal gets to the governor’s desk unless vetted by these former public employees unions’ officials.
Kulongoski has denied repeatedly that he knew of or helped cover up the repeated rape of a fourteen year old girl by his political mentor, Neil Goldschmidt. Yet his good friend, Fred Leonhardt, testified that he told Kulongoski about it on more than one occasion. Kulongoski’s equivocation about the events and even his long time relationship with either Goldschmidt or Leonhardt leaves one wanting to wash his hands immediately after meeting Kulongoski.
What sort of man spends his entire political life in such fashion and then has the audacity to suggest that the very system he helped build is not working. This is the moral equivalent of John Kitzhaber, after having failed to accomplish a thing during his two terms as governor, declaring Oregon to be “ungovernable.”
On second thought a “horsewhipping” is too good for Kulongoski — it lasts too short of time and the pain goes away too quickly. Kulongoski should be required to don a sign each month and walk the I-5 corridor between Salem and Portland carrying a sign that says “I AM A LIAR AND A PUBLIC HYPOCRITE” each time he picks up his handsome PERS check for the rest of his life.