Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Newspapers back Kitzhaber

Twelve of the 14 "major" newspapers in Oregon are backing Democrat John Kitzhaber because these editors can see the obvious: Kitzhaber is qualified while his Republican opponent, Chris Dudley, is not.

The two newspapers that endorsed Dudley are The (Bend) Bulletin and The (Salem) Statesman Journal.

(The Bulletin further diminished whatever credibility it had left by being the only "major" paper endorsing Republican/Libertarian Jim Huffman over Ron Wyden for the U.S. Senate. Maybe the daily should be called Teabagging Times.)

It should be noted that the Statesman Journal is a Gannett newspaper and the publisher of The Bulletin is Gordon Black, a former, longtime Gannett henchman.

Gannett also publishes USA Today, which is known in the business as "Useless Today."

Of course, a newspaper endorsement is essentially meaningless these days, but 12 of 14?

The discerning dozen represent liberal areas, such as Portland and Eugene, and also conservative regions, such as Medford and Pendleton.

As usual, there is no story on television station endorsements because they rarely, if ever, make endorsements. Not they matter anyway. Besides, almost all campaign money is spent on television ads and no TV station would want to offend a potential advertiser and lose their business by endorsing one candidate over another.

Still, it's ridiculous that a non-entity like Dudley, a former NBA second-stringer, is the best the GOP has to offer against Kitzhaber, who is a former emergency room doctor, state representative, president of the state Senate and two-term governor.

But, it shows what a massive amount of money will do. Dudley has avoided all but one debate with Kitzhaber and it's obvious why: He may stand taller, but he is really short on any experience remotely connected to leadership.

Let's hope these newspapers are right and that Oregonians vote for the real thing instead of a poser like Dudley.

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