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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Magical Mystery Tour

For PERS members, the Fall elections present some interesting conundrums. As local pundit Jack Bog noted on his blog this morning, "welcome to Neil Goldschmidt's third term as Governor." Jack was referring to the fact that either the Democrat Kulongoski or the Republican Saxton are pretty much creatures of Neil Goldschmidt, and no matter who wins it will simply be another Goldschmidt term. Whatever. What concerns me is that voting this fall will be, for me, a choice between Tweedledum and Dr. Evil. Kulongoski's position on PERS is well-known and hard-felt by any of us in the "favored" group. Saxton's animus toward PERS and PERS members has been just about as in-your-face and public as any politician's position - he is, indeed, the Lars Larson of realpolitik. People will confuse you with Saxton's "moderate" views, but I've heard nothing from Saxton that separates him from Rush Limbaugh. Of course, few PERS retirees can stomach voting for Ted. This leaves, who? Ben Westlund? Pundits are already trying to figure out who Ben Westlund really benefits and hurts. Some say that newly independent Ben is still a Republican in sheep's clothing; hence, a vote for him hurts Saxton. Others point out that union members and PERS retirees - a sizeable group of people - will be hard-pressed to support Kulongoski and so a vote for Westlund helps Saxton. For me, the gubernatorial choice comes down to which weapon I'd like to use to kill myself - a 9 mm Glock or an Uzi. No matter who I end up voting for, I'm gonna hate myself in the morning. Not a comfortable position to be to be sure. More mushrooms please. Time for that magical mystery tour.

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