Former City Commissioner, Portland Business Alliance puppet and one-time mayoral candidate Jim Francesconi (we reluctantly endorsed him, but his rival was Tom "form a committee" Potter, so what were we to do...) has taken a leaf from the Mercury's bl-ook and called out the Oregonian editorial board for endorsing a "no vote" on the upcoming tax measures Sunday.
- FRANCESCONI: BACK WHEN HE WAS BENEFITTING FROM OREGON HIGHER EDUCATION
The Oregonian got it wrong when it editorialized against Measures 66 and 67 on Jan. 3. The editorial acknowledged that "schools, community colleges and universities make up more than half of the state budget" and that if the measures failed "they could not and would not be fully shielded from the cuts."
This is exactly the wrong time to cut education funding. Oregon's economy, employers and residents need more investment in education, not less. Educating Oregonians produces higher state tax revenues as incomes increase. Educating Oregonians produces a more highly skilled workforce to attract companies.
Higher education research creates jobs for Oregonians. And investments in education support the regional economies in Portland, Salem, Eugene, Bend, Medford and in rural Oregon.
Yes, it is difficult to raise taxes on business during a recession. But it is worse for business and for Oregon to continue to cut education.
Meanwhile, we're struggling to convince Pat McCormick from the "no" side that it's worth his time coming in for an endorsement interview later this week. "It seems like you've already made up your mind," he said on the phone yesterday. I told him I'd be surprised if he could get us to side with him, but asked, "isn't it your job to change our minds?"
We've told McCormick's people we're willing to tolerate verbal, and if necessary physical, abuse, in exchange for an endorsement interview. Yet he's still on the fence. We're hoping to get a call back tomorrow. What do you think, readers? Is he chicken?