Four Statewide Officeholders Endorse Kulongoski's Re-election Bid

Portland, OR - Four of Oregon's statewide officeholders gave the nod to Governor Kulongoski's re-election bid today praising his leadership through "tough times and tight budgets". Treasurer Randall Edwards, Attorney General Hardy Myers, Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo and Labor Commissioner Dan Gardner all joined Kulongoski's re-election effort and endorsed his plans to build on a record that has already given Oregon one of America's fastest-growing economies.

The decision by these four leaders bucks the trend of Democrats sitting on the sidelines during a contested primary.

Responsibility, accountability

Treasurer Randall Edwards praised Kulongoski's competent, responsible management of the budget crisis that afflicted Oregon at the beginning of the Governor's first term. "When the state was on shaky financial footing Ted instituted pay cuts to top managers and found ways to make government more efficient. He even found a way to save millions by demanding that the government bulk purchase office supplies," said Edwards.

Edwards expressed appreciation for Kulongoski's efforts to control predatory payday lenders, who charge up to 600 percent interest on payday loans to Oregon's poorest citizens. "Ted shares my concern about the huge increase in predatory pay-day lending in the state and has gotten credit unions and banks to offer lower-rate alternatives to Oregon's most poor and vulnerable citizens."

More new jobs, a growing economy

"At the beginning of his term, Oregon had the highest unemployment rate in the country. Ted rolled up his sleeves and helped put thousands of people back to work." Labor Commissioner Dan Gardner declared. "Thanks in large part to Ted's aggressive efforts to expand our state's economy, Oregon has added 80,000 new jobs to the statewide workforce since he took office."

Education- the key to long-term prosperity

Susan Castillo, Superintendent of Public Instruction had this to say: "The Governor is committed to the investment in our future, our children and our schools. He is working to make sure that we never return to the dark days where schools had to shut their doors early."

A safer, healthier Oregon

Attorney General Hardy Myers praised Kulongoski's support of Oregon's tough new approach to fighting meth. "Ted signed into law the toughest meth measures in the country," Myers said. "and we are seeing the positive results."

Myers lauded Kulongoski for helping beef up protections for senior citizens, "Ted pushed through and signed into law three important bills that protect the elderly from physical abuse and identity theft and provide recourse for these victims. It is going to help my office tremendously." Myers said.

The Attorney General also spoke appreciatively of Kulongoski's "steadfast support" of Oregon's Death with Dignity Act, which former US Attorney General John Ashcroft tried to negate under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Oregon's voters had twice approved the Death with Dignity Act. Last week, the US Supreme Court ruled that Ashcroft had overreached his authority in his effort to thwart Oregon's landmark law. "The Governor stood with Oregon's voters throughout the entire battle," Myers said.

Posted on February 20, 2006
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