by Sean Cruz
Portland, Oregon--Oregon GOP candidate for Governor Chris Dudley revealed more than his 26-Point "Plan to Control Spending and Reform Government" yesterday.
He put in writing a true measure of how poorly prepared both he and his campaign staff are to deal with the state's problems and issues.
More a list of dreams and statements of ideology in numbered paragraphs than an actual plan, the document does not describe either how Dudley will accomplish his goals or how he will pay for what he proposes.
Where actual cost information would be provided in an actual plan, Dudley only provides additional rhetoric.
For example, he continues to claim that he will privatize the OLCC "without sacrificing existing revenue streams" but fails to explain how he "plans" to get that done. A real plan would identify those revenue streams and describe why they are important and how they would be maintained under Dudley.
Dudley's website states that he plans to put a fee on liquor sales and distribution, but that fact is completely omitted from his 26-pointer. A real plan would include projections on how big that fee is going to be, where it will be collected and from whom.
One of Dudley's key "new ideas" in his plan is that "Oregon's two-year biennial budgets should be built based upon forecasted revenues."
Two points to make here: (1) Oregon's budgets are already built based on the revenue forecasts. That's why the forecast reports are so crucial, especially the May forecast. That's why everyone with an interest in how the state budgets its resources pays close attention to the reports; and (2) "Biennial" means "two-year." Look it up!
Dudley's 26-Point Plan runs aground right at the beginning, with Point #1.
Dudley wants to create a host of new positions, commissions and committees, beginning with his desire to create a new Office of Budget and Management in the Governor's Office, easily a multi-million dollar budget item itself, and staff these offices with his political appointees.
The work of the Dudley Budget Team, other than to duplicate non-partisan work already performed by the legislative revenue and fiscal offices, will be to explain the budget to Dudley.
At the same time that Dudley claims he will attract top talent to work in his much-enlarged Governor's Office, it is worth noting that Dudley Plan Points 7, 8 and 9 are going to be hard news for their pay and benefits. State workers are already taking unpaid furlough days.
In Point # 5, Dudley plans to ask Oregon voters to change the Constitution to give him and any future Governors more power. Hahahahah hahaha hahahahah....
Point # 6 is simply ludicrous: "Legislators lack an independent evaluation of a law's ability to create costs or regulatory burdens on the private sector." Actually, the private sector, through its lobbyists, provides the information most important to them to the legislators directly, and those arguments are heard in televised committee hearings.
In Dudley's plan, legislators are going to get "an independent evaluation" from his political appointees, at public expense, with PERS benefits.
In a nutshell, there are fewer than 26 actual points in the Dudley plan, and the plan's success depends on these three:
(1) Dudley drastically enlarging the Governor's Office staff with new positions, commissions and committees with no discussion at all of how much they will cost or how he will pay for them; and
(2) Events that are already occurring; or
(3) Like amending the Constitution to grant this rookie more power than the governor's office already has, are impossible.
Dudley's 26-Pointer makes the point most clearly that both he and his team lack the most basic understanding of Oregon's system of government, and that they believe that replacing it with an imaginary system is a real solution, and it makes that point again and again.