By Carey Tosello
Guest Columnist 

Real change for Oregon


Last updated 10/25/2022 at Noon

We have an opportunity to set a new course for Oregon by replacing decades of one-party leadership. For 40 years we have anointed the next Democrat in line for governor even while a large majority of Oregonians believe our state is heading in the wrong direction. Yes, I am unsure that Republicans have the answers, but we can all agree that Democrats have proven that they don’t.

Governor Brown has consistently ranked as the least popular governor in America. She has worked hard to earn that distinction, to the dismay of even those who voted for her. A review of some of her actions the last two years and how Tina Kotek would be different is in order:

During the pandemic, Governor Brown closed down local businesses while allowing the big- box stores to remain open. Many locally owned businesses didn’t make it, but it appears corporate America did just fine under her leadership. Instead of educating citizens as to the risk of COVID, Brown took it upon herself to determine which businesses were “essential” and which ones were not. You were safe to shop at an “essential” business, but if you went to one that didn’t make her list, well that would be dangerous. She had outdoor masking recommendations/requirements in place long after the science was clear that being outdoors was not contributing to transmission.

As for Brown’s “medical facility” mask requirement, less than 10 states have such a mandate. Are the other 40-plus states piling up COVID bodies at the morgue? No, they are not, but the rest of America is laughing at Oregonians as we mask up for a cleaning at the dentist.

Governor Brown moved teachers to the front of the vaccine line — ahead of the elderly and immune-compromised. Then she failed to compel teachers to return to the classroom despite millions of children in other states having already moved back to in-person education. We are just now beginning to see the tremendous educational loss and mental health issues as a result of this terrible mandate. After eight years as the leader of the legislative branch (that controls the budget) Kotek still has Oregon schools ranked in the bottom 10 percent. Why should we expect solutions from her now? Mississippi and West Virginia rank ahead of Oregon schools.

As speaker of the House, Tina Kotek had the power to rein in Governor Brown’s overreaching use of her powers at any time. Yet, she did not. It is pretty much a given that Kotek will use emergency powers in the same way as Brown did to control our lives and livelihoods. As governor, maybe she will declare a climate emergency and mandate how we should live to save the planet. Just let that sink in for a minute. We already know that the state legislature will do nothing to stop a Governor’s executive overreach.

Under Brown/Kotek “leadership” Oregon continues its reputation as one of the more unfriendly places to do business, and misses out on attracting good-paying jobs. Our cost of living ranks as the fifth most expensive in America — which is obvious when we see our housing costs, tax burden, etc. The Brown/Kotek solution? More regulation and taxes.

Tina Kotek claims to have solutions to crime, homelessness, jobs, and education, yet she spent eight years as Speaker of the House where she controlled legislation to address these issues, and either did nothing or her ideas were abysmal failures.

Fortunately, we have two other options as we vote for governor this time around. Betsy Johnson does not appear to have enough support to actually win, so Christine Drazan is our best hope to change the future path of Oregon. For all you one-issue, pro-abortion folks, while Drazan is pro-life she has repeatedly stated she will enforce the laws and constitution of Oregon. Abortion is legal in Oregon and those laws are passed by a Democratic super-majority in our state legislature, making her personal opinion irrelevant.

As we prepare to cast our ballots, I will close with a common definition of insanity: doing the same thing and expecting different results.


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