Former candidate for US Senate Steve Novick has responded on Blue Oregon to tomorrow's Oregonian editorial about Measures 66 and 67. He says the editorial board at the paper is displaying a disregard for the truth:
What’s more disturbing, however, to those of us who value newspapers in general and the Oregonian in particular (including those of us working for the 'yes' campaign), is that in the late stages of this campaign — and especially in tomorrow’s editorial — the editorial board is displaying a highly uncharacteristic disregard for factual accuracy.
In tomorrow’s editorial, the paper states that the Legislature decided to “permanently raise the state's top-tier corporate and personal income tax rates, already among the nation's highest.” Clearly “among the nation’s highest” is intended to modify ‘top-tier corporate’ as well as personal .
As you can see from the attached link to the Federation of State Tax Administrators’ web site , there are 27 other states that have higher top corporate profits tax rates than Oregon does. In 19 states the flat rate is higher than our 6.6%; in 8 other states there are graduated rates with the “top tier” being above 6.6. There are 18 states that have higher rates than the 7.6% new permanent profits tax rate on profits above $10 million. We will be tied for 18th (and 19th and 20th) with two other states, Idaho and New Mexico.
So in the Sunday paper, on the eve of the election, the Oregonian editorial board is boldly asserting something that is simply, easily verifiably, false. I do not believe that the Oregonian intentionally lied. But the fact that the paper would not bother to fact-check this claim is deeply troubling.
The Oregonian editorial also "continues to propound the myth that Measure 66 targets small business owners," writes Novick. He continues:
The claim that taxing incomes of $250,000 or more is an attack on “small business owners” is exactly the claim that John McCain made against Barack Obama for endorsing higher taxes on — again — families making over $250,000 a year. That claim wasn’t just debunked by the Obama campaign, or Citizens for Tax Justice. It was thoroughly debunked by a pretty mainstream source — CNNMoney.com.
Novick accuses the Oregonian of adopting John McCain's "Joe the Plumber line of attack" in its opposition of the tax measures. "Emotion is overcoming the editorial board's faculties," writes Novick. And he closes with this:
Robert F. Kennedy once said of a fellow Democrat, “he knows all the facts, and he’s against all the solutions.” When the Oregonian first editorialized against Measures 66 and 67, I had the same reaction. Now, though, the editorial board seems to be losing its connection to the facts.
Make no mistake: When we vote yes on Measures 66 and 67 on Tuesday night, it'll be a sound rebuke not only to the corporate lobbyists who have pushed so hard to defeat these measures. It'll be yet another rebuke to the editorial board of the Oregonian newspaper, which has found itself increasingly isolated and desperate, over recent months.
As a "journalist" myself, I do not want to see the state's paper of record go bankrupt, any more than you do. There are two reporters in our newsroom—we don't have the resources to cover even one percent of what goes on here in the state. But my goodness, the paper is doing nothing to win friends amongst its would-be boosters, lately. And when the victory party starts on Tuesday night, I sure hope somebody pins a few spadeas to a dartboard somewhere.