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Kulongoski debate comment on farmers badly misses the mark
Oregon Farm Bureau Oct. 13, 2006, followed by Kulongoski ad


In today’s gubernatorial debate, Gov. Kulongoski criticized a Ron Saxton campaign ad, calling it, “A great disservice…to the farmers of this state….” Oregon Farm Bureau executive vice president Dave Dillon says Kulongoski is out of line in his comments: “The governor’s own radio ads suggest that his so-called solution to illegal immigration is imposing harsh penalties on family farmers and others who unknowingly hire undocumented workers. Without a better federal document verification system, the effect of the governor’s approach would be to hurt both workers and employers.


In a face-to-face meeting with Farm Bureau leaders in 2002, the governor promised to help agriculture solve its labor challenges. Since that time, he has actively worked against collective bargaining rights for farmworkers and used his veto pen to ensure that family farms get no help in paying Oregon’s high minimum wage. In fact, Kulongoski’s own radio ads attack Saxton for wanting to help farmers in ways that the governor has not been willing to. While many issues can and should be solved at the state level, immigration is an issue that can only be solved at the federal level. Ron Saxton promised to work with Oregon’s members of congress to get that solution in place. Kulongoski has not engaged anyone in a productive way on this issue.


“Kulongoski’s radio ads suggests that he supports penalizing farmers who unknowingly hire undocumented workers, claiming that it would only affect, ‘Corporations who won’t pay a living wage.’ That characterization is a disservice to Oregon farmers both in tone and substance, and shows a governor who fundamentally misunderstands family agriculture, one of Oregon’s most important economic drivers.


“The real disservice is a governor who has actively opposed positive outcomes for family farmers for four years.” said Dillon.



About Oregon Farm Bureau: Oregon Farm Bureau is a voluntary, grassroots, non-partisan nonprofit organization that works to find solutions to the challenges facing family farmers and ranchers in Oregon. With roots dating to 1919 with the state organization founded in 1932, Oregon Farm Bureau has over 8,500 member households professionally engaged in agriculture, and over 50,000 member households overall.


Copy editing note: Farm Bureau is a registered trademark and should be capitalized whether used with a geographic modifier or without.




Kulongoski radio ad text:


ANNOUNCER: You can tell a lot about a man by whose side he's on.

Ron Saxton opposes an increase in the minimum wage, siding with big

campaign contributors who have given him hundreds of thousands of dollars.

ANNOUNCER: He opposes tougher penalties for employers who hire illegal

immigrants, siding with corporations that won't pay a living wage.


ANNOUNCER: And he opposed a crack-down on pay day lenders, siding with

predatory outfits that charge over 500% interest.


ANNOUNCER: It's easy to tell whose side Saxton is on.

He opposes eliminating the corporate kicker, siding with out-of-state

corporations instead of Oregon schools.


ANNOUNCER: Saxton supports privatizing Social Security, siding with

George Bush.


ANNOUNCER: As a corporate attorney, Saxton represented BP and Conoco,

siding with big oil companies that are charging record prices - and making record profits.


ANNOUNCER: And he even sided with the anti-choice lobby, promising

them he'd - quote - sign any bill they brought him.


Ron Saxton.  It's easy to tell whose side he's on.


TED KULONGOSKI:  Paid for by Kulongoski for Governor.
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