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Obamacare is working in Oregon!

Oregon's uninsurance rate cut more than half following federal health reforms

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“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

FDR, 2nd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1937

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Oreaviationwatch

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Middle East friendship chart

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California topples a tyrant

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10 Things US does worse than Europe

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Corporations enriching shareholders

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Check video

- Intel tax abatements

- INTEL, come clean!

- Leashing INTEL  

- Free to Be Hungry

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Facts not fiction on universal gun background checks

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Sneaker Politics

Kitzhaber and legislators got rolled by Nike. 

More

 


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"Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere"

Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

Martin Luther King, Jr.


The GOP - Not One of US.

Wall Street, our new criminal class...       

   Business in the USA is sitting on $2 trillion dollars refusing to invest their own funds in expanding and hiring workers.  

   When one adds to this the reserves that banks, equity firms and hedge funds have - the picture is clear - "capitalism in the USA is on strike." 

   The engine of our economy - the spirit of entrepreneurship is not in evidence today.  So much for business being dynamic and risk taking. 

   They hire K- Street lobbyists and their ilk at the state level because they are averse to risk taking - pleading for tax breaks, tax credits and endless loopholes. 

   The "business of business" in America today is not about job creation, it's about wealth hoarding and redistribution from the middle class to the top 1%. 

   So for those who claim government doesn't create jobs, my response is that business doesn't either until given "corporate welfare" by government.  The fact is that the private and public sector are highly integrated, something the anti-tax, anti-government Tea Party types don't understand. 

   Job creation requires public/private partnerships but the benefits of such collaboration should go to the 99% not just the 1%.  

 

RAD'S

WEBSITE PICKS: 


 

  • An Independent View

Oregon Outpost

  • A Middle East View      

Rami G. Khouri

  • RealClearPolitics:

Realclearpolitics

  • Jim Hightower:   

Jimhightower.com

  • Robert Reich:

Robert Reich

  • Thomas Friedman: 

Friedman Column

  • Nicholas Kristof: 

Kristof Column


Oregon's Motto: 

She flies with her own wings! 



Hard Times in Oregon: 

Hardtimes

The Oregon story - the rich get richer, the poor and middle class lose ground.  Check this front page Oregonian article out. 

Oregon wage gap widens

Homelessness in Oregon - a call to action

Chuck Currie The crisis of homelessness


  

      Oregon's coming 34th out of 41 states in the Obama "Race to the Top" illustrates the failure of leadership from Governor Kitzhaber and his predecessors as they have built an educational bridge to nowhere called high stakes testing.

   Instead of being in a race to the top we seem to be dumpster diving to the bottom despite doing education reform since 1991.  Insanity is termed doing the same thing over and over again.  When can we put a fork in this stupidity? 

   To confuse matters more the Oregonian's editorial board has pontificated that this was a lost opportunity to get federal funding for innovation.  How firing principals and teachers equals innovation is a mystery to me.   

   The way to reform schools is to reduce class sizes, to encourage teacher collaboration and to support their continued education.  High stakes testing and performance based assessment of teachers are NOT the answer!    

   If you want students to succeed you first have to resolve the issues they confront before they come to school.  Children who face poverty, hunger, homelessness, health care issues and family instability require wrap around services for them and their families, 24/7.   

   Every child needs a safe home of their own and parents who know how to be good parents.   

There is only one way to address this impending crisis.  Schools must have a stable source of funding. Until that happens - we will limp from crisis to crisis.   

 

Steve Duin Schools get the blame 

School Reform/slate.com 



    

    Why does the richest nation in the world have the moral blight of homeless people?

Invisible People

http://www.npr.org


 Homelessness

    Connecting the dots between homelessness, hunger & health care disparities in Oregon and Washington County: 

Homelessness:  

•    The faces of the homeless are families with children, single men and women, vets, and many who are impaired. It is estimated that in Washington County up to 56% of homelessness occurs to families.

Hunger:

•    Hunger is highest among single mother households (10%) and poor families (15%) as well as renters, unemployed workers and minority households. 

Heath Care Disparities: 

•    Adults in Oregon without insurance represent 22.3% of the state’s population compared to 19.7% of the nation.  In Washington County approximately 


A RAD rhetorical question - Were Madison & Marx "Marxists"?  

 

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments."   

- James Madison

 

"Philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways. The point is, however, to change it. 

- Karl Marx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAD Lines

Obamacare is working in Oregon!

Oregon's uninsurance rate cut more than half following federal health reforms

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"There are men who believe that democracy... is limited or measured by a kind of mystical and artificial fate [and that] tyranny and slavery have become the surging wave of the future..." 

FDR, 3rd Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1941

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A Just Peace

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SIP contract online

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Oreaviationwatch

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Mourning for a Judaism Being Murdered by Israel

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Taking on the Pro-Israel Lobby 

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Kansas' ruinous tax cuts

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Sign the petition ►

Walgreens - pay your fair share of taxes!


"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws." - Mayer Amschel Rothschild



Check video

Miguel de Cervantes, from The Duke - "I accuse you of being an idealist, a bad poet and an honest man."  Cervantes' response - "Guilty as charged, I have never had the courage to believe in nothing."   from Man of La Mancha

 Sign the online petition on Intel emissions in link below:  

Intel failed to report fluoride emissions for almost 30 years   

     Why do Intel employees who are house hunting in Hillsboro, Aloha or Beaverton refer to an area within a 5 mile radius of Intel plants as "the dead zone?"  

      Do they know something we don't?  QuestionIntel.com  We couldn't trust banks "too big to fail," so why should we trust Intel?

Rediscovering Government

Is the US #1? 

 

Professor Kingfield, from the Paper Chase

   "I'm not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead – ahead of myself as well as you." 

- George Bernard Shaw

 

BLOGS:

From the Left Wing:

Paul Krugman 

krugmanonline.com 

 

Democracy Now
democracynow.org

The Daily Kos

dailykos.com

Blue Oregon

blueoregon.com

 

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." 

- Emilie Buchwald 

 


    "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." 

- Justice John Paul Stevens, Bush v. Gore, 2001


    The state of our union - check out the map, it's a reality check for those who can't figure out why people are so ticked off... 

americanobserver

    Here's Garrison Keillor's rap on the rightwingnuts:   

GarrisonKeillor

 

  

     Garrison Keillor - "...The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to be a fount of wisdom... but when you consider...  moon-faced Mitch McConnell, your faith in democracy is challenged severely. Any legislative body in which 41 senators from rural states that together represent 10 percent of the population can filibuster you to death is going to be flat-footed, on the verge of paralysis, no matter what. Any time 10 percent of the people can stop 90 percent, it's like driving a bus with a brake pedal for each passenger. That's why Congress has a public approval rating of [11] percent...." 


"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war"

- John Adams

 

"Loyalty to country always.  Loyalty to government when it deserves it."  

- Mark Twain  

 

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  

- George Santayana 

 

"The love of one's country is a natural thing.  But why should love stop at the border?" 

- Pablo Casals

 

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." 

- William Butler Yeats  

 

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?'

But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?" 

- George Bernard Shaw, "Back to Methuselah" (1921)

 

"...the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society...  The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government..."

- James Madison, Federalist Papers #11


"Why … should we have government? Why not each individual take to himself the whole fruit of his labor, without having any of it taxed away?”  

The legitimate object of government, is to do for the people whatever they need to have done, but which they can not do, at all, or can not do, so well, for themselves – in their separate and individual capacities … There are many such things … roads, bridges and the like; providing for the helpless young and afflicted; common schools … the criminal and civil [justice] departments."

- Abraham Lincoln

 

Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society

- Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

 

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests, which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates, but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole..."

- Edmund Burke 

 

“It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever hath been done before may legally be done again, and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice and the general reason of mankind.  These, under the name of precedents, they produce as authorities, to justify the most iniquitous opinions.”

- Jonathan Swift

 

" Every satirist who drew breath has flung pots of ink at this parade of tooting lummoxes and here it is come round again, marching down Main Street, rallying to the cause of William McKinley, hail, hail, the gang’s all here, ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay."

- Garrison Keillor


 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

  

 


  

 

Monday
Aug212006

POLITICAL HOKUM

    EDITOR'S NOTE:  Edward Walsh, of The Oregonian in an article in Saturday’s paper – “Term limits would end Legislature of today,” very fairly dissects the pros and cons of Measure 45 which will be on the November ballot.  Don't be taken in by this piece of political flim flam.  Term limits is a very bad idea.  We already have the functional equivalent of term limits - elections!
    Those who are sponsoring Measure 45 - are part of a national anti-government movement out of Washington D.C.  - who think voters are too stupid or lazy to make informed decisions.  Translated this means, the voters are likely to re-elected incumbents.
    While RAD carries no brief for the current members of Oregon's legislature - much of what is wrong with the current crew goes back to the '92 term limit measure which passed, but was then declared unconstitutional by the Oregon's Supreme Court because it involved more than one issue. 
   Vote NO on 45... 
    SALEM -- The term limits measure on the November ballot would hit the Legislature like an earthquake, automatically ousting 12 of the 15 senators who are up for re-election in 2008 and almost half the members of the House, an analysis by The Oregonian shows.
    If approved, Measure 45 would bring more than 40 newcomers to the 90-member Legislature by 2009, including at least 28 House freshmen.
    RAD:  If one were to apply the "logic" of Measure 45 to the business world it would mean cleansing the management and employee base of every major corporation every 6 to 8 years.  How does one develop institutional loyalty and memory under such a draconian system? 
    The potential first casualties include House Speaker Karen Minnis, R-Wood Village; House Majority Leader Wayne Scott, R-Oregon City; House Minority Leader Jeff Merkley, D-Portland; Senate Majority Leader Kate Brown, D-Portland; and Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day.
    By the 2011 session, almost every current legislator would be gone. Freshmen elected this November would become the veterans in their final terms.
    RAD:  As much as one would like to see Minnis and Ferrioli gone from the legislature - the cure is worse than the disease.  Again elections in the hands of an informed citizenry are the key to renewal not the blunt instrument of term limits. 
    Such sweeping change in Salem would be good for Oregon, argue sponsors of Measure 45.
    Paul Farago, spokesman for the Restore Oregon's Term Limits Committee, said the new limits would produce "a surge of diverse, qualified Oregonians" running for the newly open seats, "creating a competitive and healthy democratic election."
    "These candidates would not step forward for an unwinable incumbent challenge," Farago said in an e-mail. "Newly elected legislators are always closest to the people. The longer in office, the closer legislators get to lobbyists and bureaucrats."
    RAD: Term limits would simply institutionalize mediocrity in the legislature.  The '92 version created a legislature which often time had no concept of how to govern, organize committee meetings, manage staff and/or call for a quorum.  It takes time, several sessions before a legislator can do their best work.  And moving into the leadership should take even longer.  Term limits would simply create a culture of incompetence and ideology. 
    But opponents -- including legislators -- view Measure 45 as a blunt-instrument approach that doesn't discriminate between lawmakers who deserve to be re-elected and those who don't.
    Brown said it "would devastate the Oregon Legislature," discouraging lawmakers from developing long-term relationships while increasing partisanship as impatient legislators pursued "narrow agendas." She also said it would tilt the balance of power in Salem to lobbyists and the governor, who aren't affected by Measure 45.
    "It's absurd to me that conservative interests would support this measure in a state like Oregon, where Democrats have controlled the executive branch for so long," she said.
    Scott, said term limits would cost the Legislature "a lot of history, continuity and knowledge that help keep the thing working.  "If it does pass, I think Oregon loses," Scott said.
    RAD:  Brown and Scott are correct.  If you want members to be collaborative - then they have to take the time to learn the ropes.  Otherwise, they are the captive of the leadership of both caucuses - which has been the trend as of late. 
    A recent study of term limits sponsored in part by the National Conference of State Legislatures said they had robbed legislatures of experience, shifted power to governors, state agencies, legislative staff and lobbyists and produced "a decline in civility and an increase in conflict" in state capitols.
    Farago dismissed the study as the work of "a politicians' trade association."
    RAD:   Mr. Farago is woefully misinformed.  The NCSL is a very respected national association which has a track record of non-partisan study of state legislators.  They have no ax to grind - Farago clearly does. 
Greater impact than '92
    The 2006 version of term limits would have a more immediate impact than the 1992 term limits measure Oregon voters approved. That measure, which the Oregon Supreme Court struck down 10 years later, did not count prior years of service in the Legislature against the limits.
    But Measure 45 does. It would change the constitution to limit lawmakers to six years in the House, eight years in the Senate and a total of 14. All lawmakers elected this year, and the 15 senators who are midway through terms they won in 2004, would be allowed to complete their full terms, but their prior service would count against the limits.
    Thus Minnis, if re-elected to a fifth term in November, could serve two more years. But in 2008, she would have 10 years in the House and would be ineligible to run again.
    The same is true of Scott (six years in the House in 2008) and Merkley (10 years in 2008) if they are re-elected.
One irony of this approach is that it would temporarily spare one of the longest-serving lawmakers. Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, who has a combined 22 years in the House and Senate, is running for a third Senate term this year. If re-elected, Courtney could remain in the Senate through 2010, when he would be barred from running for any legislative office.
    The other Senate leaders, Brown and Ferrioli, would not be spared. Their current terms expire in 2008, when each will have served 12 years in the Senate, and they could not seek re-election. Brown has also served six years in the House and, like Courtney and several other veteran lawmakers, could not run for any legislative office because she would be over the 14 year overall limit.
"A citizen legislature"
    Farago said the quick phase-in of term limits was put into Measure 45 because one-third of current members of the Legislature would be in violation of the 1992 law if it had not been overturned. "The intention of Measure 45 is to restore the conditions of a citizen legislature in a manner similar to the original law's phase-in," he said.
    RAD:  Again, Farago et al are part of a national conservative movement based in Washington DC and Chicago which are trying to achieve via ballot measures what they can't achieve through legislation.  They are trying to hyjack the political process to serve a narrow political agenda.  Oregon's part-time legislature is as close to a "citizens" legislature as you will get.  But frankly, think about it - who has the time and money to run for office?  Mr. Farago is using the mythology of a citizen legislature to disguise his real agenda - like other anti-government, anti-tax activists - he wants to end government as we know it. 
    Of the 12 senators who could not run for re-election in     2008, five would be barred from holding any legislative office by the overall 14 year limit. In addition to Brown, they are Margaret Carter, D-Portland, Avel Gordly, a Portland independent, Jeff Kruse, R-Roseburg, and Ben Westlund, Bend independent, who recently dropped his campaign for governor.
    The constitutional amendment that Oregon voters approved in 1992 not only limited legislative terms but also applied to other statewide office holders and the state's representatives in Congress. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not impose term limits on federal office holders, and the Oregon Supreme Court struck down the remaining part of the law because it violated a provision of the Oregon Constitution that requires that ballot measures make no more than one substantial change in state law.
    Organizers of Measure 45 say their measure would pass legal muster because it is limited to terms of state legislators."    

Monday
Aug212006

A TIGER ROMP

tiger_trophy_t1.jpg    MEDINAH, Ill. -- Under a beautiful, blue, late afternoon sky, with shadows splashing across the green and a mass of admirers engulfing the length of the 18th hole, Tiger Woods tapped in for par to cap a five-shot victory in the 88th PGA Championship at Medinah Country Club on Sunday.  With a 12th majors victory, the legend of Tiger Woods grows.  He attacked each tee, fairway and green with a surgical approach which continues to amaze golf fans.  And when he seems to have put himself in trouble he comes up with the most incredible golf shots – like the 55 foot 8 iron shot out of a bunker to the 16th green.  As the “Golden Bear” Jack Nicklaus noted several years ago at the 100th US Open at Pebble Beach – Tiger plays a game nobody recognizes.  Well Jack should know – that’s how his generation of competitors felt about him and clearly Tiger sights are set on eclipsing the Golden Bear’s records.  With this victory, Tiger is on his way to achieving that childhood goal.  It should be a fun ride...  "Pops" must be smiling. 

Friday
Aug182006

LINE OF THE DAY

    A lot of work.  Today's editorial headline in The Oregonian says it all - "In Iraq, the level of sacrifice exceeds the likely level of achievement - It's time to prepare the world for America's exit."  Amen! 

Friday
Aug182006

A NEW GILDED AGE

    Wednesday's Oregonian op ed piece "A distant mirror on the here and now" by author Thomas Frank put the culture of GOP corruption and incompetence into historical context.  He argues that the "...orgy of plunder and predation" in our nation's capital has an historical predicate which dates back to the 19th century, an era of private excess much like the current one. 
    He urges that the Democrats "...turn their eyes to the conservatives' beloved 19th century, an era relevant again in all sorts of startling ways.  The reigning economic faith of our time, they will find, is merely a souped-up version of the Victorians' understanding of the market-as-nature.  Again, Americans thrill to the exploits of the great tycoons and gradually we are becoming reacquainted with pervasive inequality, the wrenching "social issue" of our great-grandparent's time.."
    Fortunately, the tracking polls show that the voters are restive and ready to take their revenge on the party of plunder and predation - the GOP - despite the Democrat's inability to articulate a coherent message.  As McLuhan said - "the medium is the message".  In this case the culture of corruption and incompetence is so palpable the loyal opposition only needs to be available as we take our revenge in the ballot booth in '06 and '08 by throwing the GOP bums out.  

 

Friday
Aug182006

THE WESTLUND EXIT

By Russell Sadler
    Independent Ben Westlund’s exit from the governors race is variously getting the horse race, celebrity or cutesy treatment.
    From the start, Westlund’s candidacy was subjected to the horse race treatment that has become the unsatisfying standard of political journalism, as in - “He can’t win but who will he take support from and who might win as a result.”
    The celebrity treatment included the inevitable article on - “What will the State Senator who recovered from cancer surgery in 2003 do now?”  It’s a good heart-tugging yard, but does little to illuminate the consequences of  Westlund’s withdrawal from this year’s governor’s race.
    The cutesy treatment is summed up in an Oregonian columnist’s headline, “Ben Quixote: The Windmills Win Again.”  Westlund is not Don Quixote. Dismissing Westlund’s  independent candidacy as quixotic deliberately marginalizes the threat he represented to entrenched political interests and the voters who rallied to him.
    Westlund’s independent candidacy threatened the established Republican and Democratic parties. Neither party is a majority party any longer. Both parties represent a dwindling percentage of registered voters.
    The Oregon Legislature responded by passing a law prohibiting voters who cast ballot in either party’s primary from signing nominating petitions for any independent candidate. Any Republican or Democrat who is unhappy with their party’s nominee is prohibited from participating in the nomination of an independent candidate.
    Westlund’s candidacy also threatened the lobbyists for interest groups that have hijacked Oregon initiative process and turned it into a private, parallel form of shadow government that bypasses the constitutional system of checks and balances imposed on the Legislature.
    These interest groups, now organized as the grandly misnamed “Tax Coalition,” no longer represent Oregon interests. They are thinly-disguised, wholly-owned subsidiaries of national interests, like Movement Conservatism’s Freedom Works and scandal-tainted Grover Norquist’s American’s for Tax Reform.”
    Their Oregon subsidiaries are astroturf. Their agenda and finances come from the national organizations or money from a handful of wealthy Oregon conservatives whose identities and contributions are conveniently laundered through Norquist’s organization.
    Any resurgence of independent Oregon political leadership threatens the effort of this shadow government to impose their national agenda on Oregon through the initiative process.
    This shadow government has also discovered that while the Oregon Legislature is constitutionally prohibited from deficit spending, the voters exercising the initiative are not. Thus the voters can pass initiatives requiring new spending that suits the shadow government while the Legislature cannot. The Legislature no longer controls Oregon’s purse strings. The shadow government controls spending by manipulating the initiative.
    The voters who were rallying to Westlund’s candidacy included the deliberately disenfranchised independents and disenchanted Republicans and Democrats who hold more moderate opinions that the dwindling members of their respective parties. The cynical manipulation of the registration process for independent candidates has infuriated these voters.
    Arguably, Ron Saxton, with his inexperience and narrow base of support in the Portland metropolitan area, would not be on the November ballot if he had been forced to follow the same laborious, contribution-sapping process of collecting qualifying signatures arbitrarily imposed on Westlund. Saxton simply signed up for the Republican primary with its easy access to the ballot, beat an opponent with a record as a loser and is the party’s nominee in November.
    This deliberate discrimination infuriates independents and other who are not satisfied with the nominees of the Republican and Democratic parties.  Frustrated by a closed primary system that deliberately prevents them from influencing the candidates presented to them in November elections, these independents have stayed away from the polls in frustration in recent years. The response of the partisans is to dismiss independents as “people who just can’t make up their minds,” which just alienates them further from the existing political system.
    Westlund withdrew, I suspect, for the reasons he stated publicly. He wanted to win, not be a spoiler for one side or the other. Polls suggest the Legislature’s manipulation of independent candidates was successful. Westlund ran out of time and money trying to qualify for the ballot rather than campaigning for office on the issues he thought important.
    The consequences of Westlund’s withdrawal means that the issues he and his supports thought serious -- Oregon  Republicans’ practice of borrow and spend,  the lobbyists who have hijacked the initiative and turned it into a private, parallel form of shadow government, the bitter and excessive partisanship that has paralyzed the Legislature in recent years, school finance, tax reform, a new direction for the state -- will simply not be discussed -- again.
    With these issues unresolved, Oregon government will continue to drift, leaderless, rudderless, buffeted this way and that at the whims of the shadow government and the initiatives that buy their way onto the ballot. Those are not quixotic consequences.
    Editor's Note:  RS is correct, Westlund's exit means the issues he targeted won't be discussed.  That means our choices as voters of candidates and issues have been narrowed.  This is why he should have stayed the course.  Campaigns are not just about deciding winners and losers, they are also about setting the public agenda.  By dropping out Ben keeps "the shadow government" in power which as RS says is "rudderless"...