The political silly season has started in earnest early this year. Over the past week, I’ve repeatedly seen two ads running regularly on several Portland TV channels during the nightly news hour. The ads are anti-Kate Brown, and depict several infamous PERS retirees who draw large monthly benefits. The ads are of the old newsreel type, and ask whether these people cured cancer, or won Nobel prizes, and then dismisses them as just ”retired state employees”, as if they did nothing of merit to ”deserve” those benefits. These commercials, which have run multiple times during any half-hour segment of the local news are sponsored by a group called Priority Oregon, whose origins, association, and financing are a bit elusive (there is a bit of information out there suggesting that several individuals may be behind this organization, including the infamous Loren Park). Each ad ends with a picture of Kate Brown, a derogatory statement about her, and a phone number for the Governor’s office. I presume these ads are to make Kate Brown the cause of PERS’ high benefits with the implication that (a) the Governor alone is the solution to the problems; and (b) a change of Governor would dramatically alter the status quo. I presume that these ads are a lead up to more targeted ads featuring Knute Buehler (Buehler? Buehler?) as the savior Oregon needs as it's next Governor.
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