WHERE’S TED? Governor Saxton Puts ILLEGAL Immigration Front and Center in Oregon Governor’s Race

October 1, 2006


Governor Ron Saxton takes on illegal immigration with a new ad that will hit the airwaves soon. Find it here. Saxton’s Immigration ad just lays out the facts. Kulongoski, future former guv, spent time during last week’s debate arguing in favor of keeping all illegal aliens in the state (and all the freebies along with them). Such clearly wrongheaded thinking just makes him look out of step.

Even the people who are thinking of holding their noses and voting for him aren’t fooled by this hubris. Friends of the future former guv are trying to portray Governor Saxton as nativist, isolationist, mean, and a basically bad guy. Kulongoski knows better of course and he also knowsSaxton’s ad will put him in a position where he must respond. Kulongoski can’t respond effectively because he’s done nothing to alleviate the illegal alien scofflaws in this state.

Don’t forget Oregon is still a laughing stock because of the ease with which illegal aliens from all over the world can get “ID” in the state of Oregon (Would you like your voter registration form with your fake ID, Senor, Comrade?) Don’t ever forget the 80,000 driver’s licenses divvied up to ILLEGAL ALIENS who spent nothing more than a cup of coffee in the state.

After the classic showdown between the incumbent ‘tax and spend’ status quo Ted and Governor Saxton last week it’s clear Kulongoski’s been outclassed by a man and a message who makes the future former governor look as if he’s grasping at straws or at least grasping for a meaningful message. His please -vote-for-me-because-I-grew-up-in-an-orphanage-and-will-do
anything-for-the-teacher’s-union gambit is pathetic. His message should have been look-at-me-I’m-strong-despite-the-odds against me-and-I’m-ruling-from-a-position-of-strength. Unfortunately for him he can’t do that. Why? Because he’s so busy selling out to the left’s constituencies that you can’t believe him. There’s nothing more uninspiring than a person who runs for office because it’s expected of him and it’s his turn. If you have no reason, no message except elect me, I’m the least odorous liberal on the left, then get out. You’re done.

Tell me time why Neil Goldschmidt’s choice for Guv–“it’s his turn”–considers it a selling point when he gives state money to a program (started by Neil Goldschmidt) that is made up of volunteers to read to kids for free in schools?? To me that tells me he’s throwing money at his friend’s charities pretending to DO something. How much does Neil get out of this program that does less than what parent volunteers were already doing in classrooms all over Oregon FOR FREE. Shame on him. Email me if you want my insights into the SMART program.

Paging Karen Minnis: You gave this lightweight the only decent issue he has going for him: Jessica’s law. No one will remember that he and his apparachiks, Peter Courtney and Kate Brown–DEMOCRATS–, fought against bringing Jessica’s law to a vote in the last legislative session. Only after Oregon’s Crime Victims United already had enough signatures to put it to a vote in this November’s election that Kulongoski, Courtney and the comrades capitulated and asked Minnis to serve up a quid pro quo for this election. She got a clamp down on pay day loans for her campaign. File this is the “say what?!” file. Don’t try to make sense of it. It just doesn’t pencil out.

NEXT DEBATE: SAXTON – KULONGSKI DEBATEOn Wednesday, October 4th, there will be a debate between Ron Saxton and Governor Ted Kulongski at 10:00 AM, at Chemeketa Community College in Salem. If you can attend please do so and submit a question on immigration to them. It is sponsored by the Statesman Journal. 10:00 Am, Wednesday, October 4, Student Center, Chemeketa Community College, 4000 Lancaster NE Salem, (503) 399-5000

The future former governor in his own words when speaking to some high school students in 2003 (blogger shout out to Jim Ludwick, Oregonians for Immigration Reform):

My name is Greg Kendoll and I’m a senior from McKay High School. Do you think that in light of the recent budget crisis that there is money to be saved in the state budget by reducing social services to illegal immigrants?
Gov.: Well, you know, the answer to that is an easy yes. Obviously if you didn’t provide service to them you would reduce the budget.
The question is, is it good public policy? And I would tell you no. And so though there could be some money saved in doing that, obviously because there are non-citizens who access the social service agencies, I don’t think that would be good public policy for us and so I would just as soon keep them having access to those programs.
Greg: It’s not only that they have access to those services, but according to Oregon Statute 181.575, public employees are prohibited from asking whether or not a person is a citizen of the United States until they are already in jail on charges of another crime. I just fail to see how whether or not it’s good public policy could make it right.
Gov.: Let me separate them into two different subject matters. One is the issue of accessing governmental programs. And the other issue, I don’t know the statute you’re referring to, 181 whether it refers to … Is that that statute which immigration officers can actually ask the people about their legal status in the state?
Let me go back to what I said to you about programs. I think it is good for Oregon to have people here who have a need, have access to the programs whether it’s food stamps or whether it’s housing or whatever we’re doing. That does not offend me at all. And so I don’t think that statute applies to that general principle, although I would not be surprised that if there were laws that do not allow employees to ask one’s nationality because a lot of these social service programs are actually federal mandates. And you cannot ask certain questions or else you’re disqualified (the state is). So that doesn’t bother me as much.
On the criminal justice side, the statute you’re referring to arose out of the fact that the immigration authorities were riding around with local law enforcement agencies. And when they would pull people over, a system of racial profiling of which if they were Hispanic, particularly, that’s what it was directed toward, they would come in and, though the officer pulled them over for a traffic stop or something, it immediately turned into an immigration interrogation as to whether they were here legally. And then if they weren’t and they couldn’t provide identification, they were taken to the local jail and then they went through a deportation process.
The Legislature passed a statute expressly prohibiting that type of relationship which the statute was used, in my opinion, improperly over the Sept. 11 event when the federal authorities came in and they asked to have the state and the city of Portland, I should say, help them through investigation and they used that statute as a way not to cooperate. I don’t think that statute was ever intended for that purpose. So I think that, as it relates to a criminal act, the police officers have a right to ask as they would, any person, citizen or non-citizen, whatever the processes that they’re in, I see the two distinctions between the two of them they are not the same.
I’m Tyler Reynolds from Stayton High School. A moment ago you said that it was good government policy to give government programs to illegal immigrants. I fail to see how that would be good public policy when it’s illegal to hire illegal immigrants for a job so the state’s not getting revenues back. All they are is giving revenues.
Gov.: Let me draw some lines. In fact, there are a lot of people who come to this country and they come here under a variety of circumstances. The way I look at it, is that if in fact the people are in need, if they are hungry, their child needs medical care, they need medical care. I really don’t think it’s a line that we draw as a society here in Oregon or in this country where we say, look, you’re not going to get anything. That isn’t the way we live. That isn’t us as a people so I don’t see it in conflict with who we are as a people to be able to say look, if you’re here, you access it, so be it.
Tyler: OK then, a follow-up to that, how is that unfair to the immigrants who come here legally and go through the time and effort to fill out the paperwork when they could just skip the border and get the same benefits?
Gov.: Look, these are the questions that are debated constantly and in terms of that’s all it is whether it is fair or not, it’s unfair. Now there are a lot of things in life that are unfair but they are the right thing to do and this is one of them, trying to provide people with opportunity.

I’m Kristen Gerlicher. I’m a home-schooled junior. Right now there are senior citizens whose medical benefits have been cut to the point that they can’t afford their prescriptions. And these are people who have worked and paid taxes in Oregon all their lives and at the same time, there are non-citizens who receive free health care and prescriptions. So what can you say that can reverse the situation?

Gov.: Well, you know, first of all, the original program on the Medicaid didn’t really cover the prescription drug side of it. That’s something the state does voluntarily. You know, the Oregon Health Plan, of which many seniors avail themselves of, and, understand that if I go back one, the Medicare where the seniors are covered under Medicare, which is a federal program, there are a group of seniors who are called dual-eligibles. They are people who qualify for Medicare, but because of their income, also qualify for Medicaid. And those people then fall under the state’s side, under Medicaid.

And what’s happened with the Oregon Health Plan, we had about 450,000 people on the Oregon Health Plan. That’s probably what we have about now. About 350,000 of those are what we call the Medicaid-eligible. In other words, if there was no Oregon Health Plan, they would receive Medicaid under the federal government.
There are 100,000 to 150,000 at different times other Oregonians who do not qualify for Medicaid but who are covered under our health plan. An awful lot of them are in that group you just described, as seniors. The truth of it is, the state on the health plan, this last year counting the general fund and lottery, probably spent in federal match, because it’s a 60/40 (federal government provides 60 percent and we put up 40), it probably cost the state somewhere in excess of $2.4 billion.
Right now, the state’s share is less than a billion. Where we were putting in about $1.4-1.5 billion. And what I’m suggesting to you is that there’s a reduction in the plan. We basically now only have enough money to cover the Medicaid eligible, those who are required to be covered by the federal government.
So the question you ask isn’t something that I want, or, of course I would like to see they have prescription drugs. They don’t qualify for Medicaid eligibility and that group, unless

e provide some other funding mechanism, have no health care at all, whether it’s prescriptions or not. We will provide prescription drugs for the Medicaid eligible.
Kristen: So you don’t think it has anything to do with non-citizens and that might …?

Gov: No, I don’t think that the significance of it at the magnitude of the dollars you are talking about are not going to resolve that one. That’s not going to change that.

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