Kulongoski State of State Speech (Oregon)
Ted Kulongoski is the governor of the state of Oregon. He was elected to that position two years ago in a rather close, for Oregon, race. Despite all of Governor Kulongoski's posturing, this state has been through a rather hard two years. While the recession hit the entire nation, Oregon was in the top three for number of unemployed, and it hasn't changed (we're presently tied with Alaska as having the highest unemployment in the nation) - yet that hasn't changed Kulongoski's speel.
I listened to his speech today (1/10/05) and was rather appalled by how the man can't seem to get out of his own way. He shot veiled (and not so veiled) threats at the federal government in disputes (disputes if you buy Kulongoski's slant on the issues) regarding the forests, salmon and wilderness areas. He took a nuanced potshot at the property rights issue that the voters just passed in this state; making it clear that he disagreed with it and wanted to 'fix' it. News flash Ted, the land use laws in this state have helped to cripple our economy. The voters have finally figured it out, when will our elected leaders also hear that message?
While the rhetoric that I mentioned above got to me, there were two other comments that he made that really made me wonder if he had taken his meds this morning. I will quote them from his speech (link here). "There is also the matter of global warming. The Administration should never have walked away from the Kyoto Treaty. Global warming is real and it is here today. The facts aren’t the issue. The policy is the issue. I think the Administration’s policy on global warming is dead wrong."
Let's examine a couple of points here, first, is it really within the 'powers' of a state governor to comment on a national/world issue? Yes, he has every right as a private citizen, but to bring it up during a speech that is suppose to be about the state of the state? Second, look at the language that he uses, "The facts aren't the issue. The policy is the issue." Excuse me Ted, but the FACTS are INDEED the issue. Global warming has been disputed time and time again, here, here and here ( and more sites available upon request). The point is that global warming is anything except an established fact so the only reason that Ted can be bringing it up is to establish some kind of policy. What does Ted intend to do, in this state that has $1 billion more expected in revenue for the next two years but still claims that it is $1 billion short of what it needs? Why he is going to do what any good democratic governor would do, he "... appointed an Advisory Group on Global Warming, which reported to me what
The other issue I wish to bring up almost went unnoticed by many folks. He was speaking about the state educational system, he said "Nothing will put
Allow me to close my first (long) posting by saying that Governor Ted started his speech talking about how we needed bi-partisan help in the legislature to make it a productive session. However, throughout his entire talk, it was only the democrats in the legislature that applauded all of Ted's various talking points. Bottom line, looks like another long, hard legislative session ahead of us - God Help Us All.