By Sean Cruz
Former basketball player Chris Dudley confirmed throughout his debate with former Governor John Kitzhaber that, while he can manage a mouthful of rhetoric, he cannot manage it over the course of an entire hour without a prepared script.
He did especially poorly when he took questions from the audience, such as this one:
Q. “Where do you stand on taxation of food and beverage and also tobacco and liquor?”
Dudley: “Well, we have, I mean, in addition to what we already have in place?"
Dudley: “So, what we have, I have not brought up changing what we have in place and, uh, so I think we should continue it, and that is something, by the way, that our cities and counties rely on as well, uh, for their funding and so, it’s not something that I’ve talked about changing.”
I listened to Dudley’s response to this question in semi-stunned silence, because not only is it complete gibberish, but one of his big “new ideas”, championed on his website and in his several multiple-pointed Plans to Make Everything All Better in Oregon, is his determination to privatize the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, and “put a fee” on the sales and distribution of liquor in Oregon.
It’s his own plan, it’s right there on his website, been there for months, that he wants to “put a fee” on the sale and distribution of liquor to make up for the loss of revenue supporting local governments that privatizing the OLCC would cause.
The more Dudley spoke, the worse it got, and it is appalling to think that we could possibly have to listen to this mumbo-jumbo beyond the first week of November.
If this was a boxing match, they’d have to ring the bell every fifteen seconds to keep this man on his feet.
KGW could perform an important public service by rebroadcasting this debate at different times and dates. If this is the only debate we've got, then it won't hurt to see it several times.
We all have too much at stake to allow Oregon to fall victim to the Tea Party mentality that is at the root of the Dudley campaign.
John Kitzhaber is clearly ready to lead the state through this critical time.
Oregon needs a leader ready to come to work, not a person whose principal accomplishment is being tall and reasonably athletic, and certainly not a candidate who cannot remember his own rhetoric.