Oregon Gubernatorial Candidate Knute Buehler Off and Running against Entrenched Democrats
He’s not a hard-line conservative by any stretch. He self-identifies as moderate on many issues. He doesn’t draw political capital from the power of President Trump, like entrepreneur Sam Carpenter, the man he beat in Oregon’s primary election for the Republican gubernatorial candidacy.
But Dr. Knute Buehler will need the support of every Republican in the state, whatever the degree or stripe of their conservatism, if he hopes to become Oregon’s first Republican governor since 1987. The Bend, Oregon, state representative will also need the help of independents fed up with one-party rule, and open-minded Democrats who understand that under the current policies of the Blue Party, Oregon is headed for financial Armageddon.
Buehler is cautious whenever the name of our current president comes up. In interviews, he redirects, zeroing in on state issues and what he’ll do to address them, depriving left-leaning journalists of the dissension they’re looking to foment between state Republicans and their candidate. It’s smart, because the fact of the matter is that it is unlikely that an ardent Trump supporter could win a statewide office in Oregon.
Ironically, it will take exactly the same kind of coalition that vaulted Trump to the Oval Office to secure for Buehler the governorship of the Beaver State.
His opponent, Governor Kate Brown, was installed after ethically-challenged John Kitzhaber resigned only weeks after his election to a fourth term in 2014. Brown won a mandated special election in 2016, and in November 2017 announced she would run for a third term, and her first full term as governor.
Brown’s progressive legacy is set in stone. By awarding her another four years, Oregonians will enable more wasteful spending, more taxation, and more counterintuitive liberal policy-making. Brown has already annexed Trump’s tax cuts with a confiscatory grab facilitated by untrammeled Democrat control of the statehouse in Salem. In an effort to mute criticisms of the reversal, she called a special session and threw some crumbs back to Oregon small businesses
But the largest disaster Brown has failed to address is the Titanic proportions of the state’s Public Employees Retirement System (PERS). That’s not a surprise. An unbeaten gallery of Democrat governors has made the state’s unsustainable retirement entitlements the hill which they defend at all costs, and which Republicans who vow to reform the system die on.
By simply addressing the need to recalibrate the monumental obligations of PERS, which starve other state programs of much-needed funds, Republican candidates, Mr. Buehler included, set upon their heels the public employee unions, who spend millions defending the onerous stipulates of the system, citing court battles won to protect them and demonizing any candidate who dares question how PERS spending factors in the overall financial health of the state.