Thursday, January 11, 2007

Governor K's Baker City Inaugural Visit

I hope you'll bear with me on my "quotes" since I have no recorder and I don't know an actual version of shorthand, ok, I'm apologizing in advance for my crappy notes, but the quotes if not exact are real close. We had a pretty nice day for the Governor's luncheon, just a little fresh snow to make things white and mixed sunny weather.

I shook hands with TK and told him how nice it was to have him back and he thanked me personally "for all the good work you guys have done" (Baker County Democrats). So, kudos folks. Gale Voser, BCD Treasurer, deserves special thanks for closing up her store to come and help with the door. Courtney Warner was charming and efficient as she helped with the meet and greets, this means something in a small town. Sad to report that she's winding up her commitment to the Gov.

Fred Warner (D) County Chair handled the introduction, noting particularly the difference in the economy and employment picture between the Inaugural Ball 4 years ago and today.

The Governor opened up by saying what a pleasure it was to "be back in beautiful downtown Baker City" (if you've never been, it is) and thanking Baker for all the volunteers for state boards noting that "people are starting to wonder if everybody is from Baker City." He said that he never gets to visit Eastern Oregon enough, but sometime too much with the funerals for soldiers and thanked us for how we support those in harm's way.

Most of the remarks were referenced to this "Moment of Opportunity" provided by our improved economy, and that he hoped to turn this into our longest and best opportunity for all of the state's people. He mentioned his plans for education from pre-school to work-force, children's health care, making Oregon a leader in renewable and alternative energy, and other facets of his Inaugural Speech that your correspondent was too slow to get noted.

I'm going to step out of chronological accuracy and group statements by topic and I'll note that these are statements I found interesting and strong.

On the topic of labor and global marketing Ted wanted the worker to know that when "he wonders who cares and will help, that we will." We will see to it that there is more education and skill training. "We will not abandon you." Regarding education and labor he stated that 70% of high school grads will not go on to college and that we need to carry the message to them that "labor is an honorable and worthwhile thing," something that is not being done now.

In regards to opportunities in Oregon, he pledged that "we will close the gap between those who have found the Dream and those who press their faces to the glass looking in." We care about each other in Oregon and take care of each other, "we do not move ahead by leaving others behind."

He believes that "if we remain defined by our differences we can never move ahead," that "before we are members of political organizations, we're Oregonians."

I've condensed an hour of speaking and Q&A considerably more than it deserves and Governor Kulongoski gave a good uplifting speech that I'm sure even the Republican Party of Oregon attendees could get along with. It is worth noting that the Republican Chair Mrs Jan Kerns is on one of the Governor's Boards.

The Geiser Grand Hotel, pre-turn of the century, is a beautiful building, and they served a nice luncheon and ran a good show. It is a premier hotel, worth a visit to "beautiful downtown Baker City."

Thanks for stopping by, Ted.


mbraymen said...

One little item the Gov. slipped in was something about the double-majority rule and that the legislature might take a look at it. I have never liked the double majority because I think it encourages people to not vote, but I recently got to wondering just what the effect has been. Here in Baker County I can think of three times that a tax levy would have passed but failed because of the double majority. The effect: same levy put on ballot again. Think about it, if you are a school, library, or other board and voters approve some money you need to accomplish something; but the vote is nullified because of less than 50% turnout, what are you going to do? Sigh, and discard plans, cut services or put on the ballot again? The hidden fly in the oinment is that each election costs, so the double majority rule is an extra cost for no difference in outcome. Now that is just my hypothisis, but I may just have to wander on over to the Court House and ask the County Clerk how many levys have failed that would have passed without the double majority and what the final result was (never presented again, presented and failed, presented and passed).

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