Thursday, July 12, 2018

Field Report: Oregon Governor Kate Brown in Medford

Governor Kate Brown

"I don't remember any other governor doing this. She brought her management team down here and we talked about budgets and priorities. She handled this well."  

                                                                         William Thorndike, Jr.,  Medford.

Oregon's government is making plans for the 2019 budget. Depending on the outcome of the 2018 election, Kate Brown and her team may not be the ones in office. Still, the business of shaping the priorities and budgets for Oregon continue. 

Brown and her top management team were in town to meet with local business and government leaders on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 10. Business and civic leader Bill Thorndike said the meeting went well and was very useful. Thorndike says he is "politically nonaligned," but praised Brown's management and command of the process. Today's Guest Post describes what happened.

Yesterday this blog had a description of a fundraising event that took place Tuesday evening, right after that meeting. The Brown campaign requested that I remove the post. I did. The removal raised questions and suspicions. What did your post say? What happened?  Was something secret? What went wrong? 

Nothing went wrong. 

The campaign apparently thought that what happens at a fundraising event was private or proprietary and shouldn't be public. I don't know their thinking.

The fundraising event was perfectly un-exceptional in every way. The invitation was sent to hundreds of people. I was asked to send it to my network of friends. I think fundraising events like this express wholesome, good, clean campaign financing, so I described it in yesterday's blog post. 

Really, all fundraising events are essentially similar: food and beverages are served, the candidate speaks, someone other than the candidate asks people to give money to assist the candidate. Nothing dark or mysterious happens at these events. Indeed, the meet-and-greet fundraiser is the bedrock of clean campaign financing. Fundraising events are grassroots politics and democracy made real. My goal was to de-mystify them.

Bill Thorndike is a local civic and business leader with a long, long resume showing involvement in the community, with membership and chairmanship of literally dozens of important boards, commissions, and government bodies.  He offers readers a brief description of the meeting that preceded the fundraising event. 

Meetings of this kind, too, are grassroots democracy made real. Here is what happened:

Field Report by Bill Thorndike

William Thorndike, Jr.
"Governor Brown’s official business in Medford on July 10h  included a 2- 1/2 hour  Southern Oregon Budget Briefing for the business community.  Thirty plus business and government leaders from Jackson and Josephine counties  were briefed by the state’s Chief Financial Officer George Naughton, Chief of Staff Nick Blosser, Colt Gill, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction and Chief Education Officer Lindsay Capp on current numbers of Oregonians served and planning for the Governor’s 2019 budget.  

No one could remember another time where a Governor had held these briefings across the state, as they prepared to develop a budget.  

Her  leadership team shared current  demographic and budget  information from  the General Fund, K-12 education, health care  to the state’s pension program.  With this information we were informed of the Governor’s goals in meeting changes and needs of the state in the future.  

Governor Brown joined us for the last hour-plus of the meeting, supported the work of her leadership team ,and responded to questions from our audience on what was presented. She spoke in a very positive and thoughtful way to the concerns raised. She reminded us of the success around the transportation package and support of the healthcare funding that Oregonians supported, and is hoping for other successes as we proceed. She also emphasized the importance of controlling expenses,  as possible.

In wrapping up the meeting, she responded to what she is thinking about when she wakes up in the middle of the night. She said it was the challenge of assuring healthcare and adequate housing for Oregonians."


Diane Meyer said...

I love Kate Brown and I support her, but I do have to wonder why, with all of the other progressive views she has,(like how she has aggressively defended the Monument), she still has not come out against the LNG Pipeline. There are a lot of progressives in this area who hold that against her. There are so many arguments why this pipeline is a really bad idea, and not very many good ones for the pipeline, unless you are a Canadian company or an Asian buying natural gas. Projects like this turn Oregon into a third world country, exploiting our resources and our land to serve everyone else.
Kate needs all of the support she can get, as there are people out there ready to take her down.

Anonymous said...

Peter, seriously? Governor Brown's campaign asked you to take down an innocent story about how a fund-raising event that you hosted went down?

That's pretty sad, and not very transparent. I read it when it was posted, and did not find anything wrong with it. Just a good persepctive as to what a campaign event looks like for those who could never afford to attend a personal event with a governor they would support.

This is just another reminder of her definition of transparency.

Pretty sad.

Anonymous said...

Power, influence, money. In a word, politics,