Oregonian trashes Kotek … in their endorsement?

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon


We don’t think we have ever seen a worse endorsement than this one.

The Oregonian endorsed Tina Kotek and had this to say;

“Our endorsement, however, comes with deep reservations about Kotek’s ability to overcome partisan gamesmanship, show independence from her longtime donors and lead with a true commitment to all Oregonians. Her opponents accurately and convincingly laid out why so many – even in Kotek’s own party ­– are wary of her taking the reins, from broken promises to legislation she pushed that favors Democratic donors and allies. The abuses of one-party rule and Kotek’s own manipulations make this our most conflicted endorsement in recent years.”


“She does not bring the same rigor or interest to improving education, however. She leans toward supporting a state education department recommendation to permanently remove a requirement that high school students prove proficiency in math, reading and language arts – opening the door for students to earn diplomas with no more than Ds on their report cards. While she said she would focus on ensuring districts use education tax dollars to improve outcomes, she has not provided much detail on how she would do so, contrary to her extensive plan on housing. Such inattention – as well as her consistent support for teacher’s union priorities that have diminished accountability – is one of the biggest marks against her candidacy. And broken promises, such as her abrupt cancellation of a power-sharing deal with Republicans over congressional redistricting, mean she has challenges ahead in rebuilding trust. While Kotek has sought to put the blame on Republicans, the map Kotek pushed was so blatantly unfair that not a single independent redistricting organization characterized it as accurately representative of Oregon’s voters.Such negatives help explain why Drazan, 50, and Johnson, 71, both former state legislators, are appealing to so many voters. Contrary to how opponents are painting them, the two are not extremists”. 

The Oregonian even exposes Governor Brown:

“…state agencies that have failed repeatedly and inexcusably under Gov. Kate Brown.”


“She panned how Brown – who has endorsed her – has managed government, faulting the current governor for being absent during crises and dithering when situations called for decisiveness.”


“Despite numerous chances, Brown never evolved into something more than her past record would predict. We have faith that Kotek can and will. Voters should give her the chance to prove it.”

One of the items The Oregonian uses to praise Kotek is inaccurate:

“She also secured the votes necessary to pass laws that raised $1 billion a year in new revenue for public education and modestly trimmed public employee retirement benefits that have been seizing more and more of schools’ budgets.”

The state is still in $26 billion debt to the Public Employee Retirement System, something that even a PERS executive once said was a “Ponzi scheme” because it was so dysfunctional.   The PERS reform bill Kotek passed, had a key component that ended up stretching payments over time, costing taxpayers more to pay in the long run but making it easier in the short run.    That is not success.   That is more manipulation that is the hallmark of the Governor Kate Brown and Speaker Tina Kotek era.

As described by cartoon at the time…

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