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On Budget Policy, Chris Dudley Tosses Kevin Mannix Under the Bus August 18, 2010

Posted by FairSentencing in : Current News , trackback

Chris Dudley and Kevin Mannix share one thing in common: they have both been nominated by the Oregon Republican Party to run for governor.

But Dudley, the party’s current nominee, showed Tuesday that this bond only goes so far. As part of his drive to portray himself as willing to make the tough budget decisions, Dudley announced that he would oppose the Mannix ballot measure toughening sentences for sex crimes and drunk driving.

Dudley also announced he would oppose another ballot measure continuing the diversion of lottery dollars into parks and wildlife habitat. In both cases, he said the state simply could not afford it.

“While the goals of these measures are laudable, their cost is simply too high,” Dudley said.

Mannix said Wednesday morning that he had a “brief conversation” with Dudley about his measure and tried to persuade him that it would be several years before the tougher sentences would have much of an impact on the budget. And even then, it would at most be one-fifth of 1 percent of the general fund budget, he said.

Of course, as anybody knows, you can get yourself in financial trouble by telling yourself that each individual purchase is no big deal as you whip out your credit card.

Whatever the case, Dudley has clearly decided that he’d rather take a stand for limiting spending than backing Mannix, the GOP nominee in 2002, on another one of his crime issues.

Mannix noted that voters bought his really big crime initiative – Measure 11 – back in 1994 despite widespread warnings from the political establishment that it would have a huge pricetag.

Still, it’s worth noting that the Republican nominee for governor that year, Denny Smith, supported Measure 11.

Now, opponents of Mannix’s new initiative, Measure 73, will be able to run ads saying that both nominees for governor are opposed. That will be interesting to see if that catches the attention of voters in this volatile political year.

UPDATE: Josh Alpert, who is managing the parks initiative, Measure 76, also sought to minimize the political impact of Dudley’s announcement. He said supporters had unsuccessfully sought a meeting with Dudley in recent months to argue the merits of their initiative.

Interestingly, Mannix also supports the parks measure, saying that the diversions have been particularly successful in improving state parks and open space.



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