Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Let the general election deceptions begin

While Ted Kulongoski waited all of a few hours before lobbing the fall election's first volley against Ron Saxton, an attack of a different kind was happening at roughly the same time. And this attack was blatant in its partisanship and deception.

In the span of nine paragraphs, the Oregonian's editorial on the upcoming Supreme Court runoff labeled Jack Roberts:
  • An opportunist -- "Some Oregon lawyers spend their whole careers hoping to become judges. They dream of it, scheme for it and carefully position themselves for it. Jack Roberts, however, fell into it." (How do they know Roberts hasn't held this as a long-term goal?)
  • Substituting proper qualifications with money -- "[Virginia] Linder is more qualified and experienced, but Roberts has the money, name recognition and political experience to win this election. Linder's only hope is to make sure voters know who she is -- and who's paying for Roberts' campaign." (It couldn't be that, gasp, a Republican would be qualified for a seat on the state's highest court; he must be trying to buy the election!)
  • Lacking ethical standards about campaign contributions -- "She's no politician, however. Like many judges, she's slightly horrified by the idea of selling oneself to voters. And as a sitting judge, she faces ethical limitations in the money she can accept. Roberts has no such qualms or constraints. As a former labor commissioner and gubernatorial candidate, he is accustomed to self promotion and fundraising. He raised more than $370,000 for the primary from backers including Oregon Right to Life; the American Justice Partnership, an out-of-state group that supports lower jury verdicts; timber groups; and eccentric millionaire Loren Parks." (That last sentence was quite a feat -- tying Roberts to the state's leading pro-life organization, "out-of-state" special interests and Loren Parks in the span of just 36 words.)
  • Preferring "partisan activism" to "judicial restraint" -- "Roberts is a good candidate, no question. He's smart and nimble, and he's got a way of boiling complicated issues to their essence. The question is whether he can let go of noisy partisan activism for the quietude of judicial restraint. The other question is whether Linder, a consummate professional who is utterly prepared for this job, has any chance against a big-name Oregon politician with ambition to spare." (A nice job of raising questions about Roberts' political history when there's no evidence to suggest he would be a "partisan activist." It's kind of like asking, "Jack, when did you stop beating your wife?")
  • An unprofessional slacker with no support among the state's legal community -- "She won the bar poll in this race, earning more than five times the votes from the legal community as Roberts did. She enjoys the support and respect of legions of her peers . . . Linder is backed by at least eight district attorneys -- including several from conservative and rural counties." (Um, two problems here: 1) the legal community, aka the Oregon State Bar, is notorious for its liberal leanings; and 2) the state has 36 counties, which means that roughly 28 district attorneys -- including several from conservative and rural counties -- have not expressed support for Linder. I might add that one DA who does support Roberts is a self-identified Democrat and the most high-profile DA in the state, Clatsop County's Josh Marquis.)
I might also add that the O's choice of words in its opening paragraph -- "scheme for it" -- was appropriate for the myriad candidates who resign early in order to allow 25 years of left-wing governors appoint their lawyer friends to the bench. Among those who got a judicial seat through such an appointment was Virginia Linder.

If the Oregonian wonders why its credibility is falling into a sewer hole, it should look no further than the partisan hack job it printed in today's editorial page.


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