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Brown, Buehler Spar in Last Debate

Distinctions emerged between Oregon's leading gubernatorial candidates in their final debate as the two clashed public pensions, immigration, the state's housing crisis and several other hot-button issues.

Posted: Oct 10, 2018 11:46 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Distinctions emerged between Oregon's leading gubernatorial candidates in their final debate as the two clashed public pensions, immigration, the state's housing crisis and several other hot-button issues.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that Rep. Knute Buehler on Tuesday sought to make the case a Republican can lead a distinctly Democratic state, declaring flatly he would approve no new restrictions on reproductive rights as governor. He accused Democratic Gov. Kate Brown of being ineffectual during her long stint in state government, noting that Oregon school districts are cutting teaching positions despite record revenue.

"The most important question facing all of us right now is our underperforming K-12 education system," Buehler said, arguing that Oregon's public pension obligations are siphoning money away from school spending. "Those dollars aren't getting into the classroom," Buehler said.

For her part, Brown sought to undercut Buehler's credibility - attacking his positions on the environment, school spending and for courting the vote of abortion opponents before he became the Republican gubernatorial nominee.

"Rep. Buehler tells some voters one thing and other voters another," Brown said. "Unfortunately, that game won't work tonight because the whole state is watching."

Beyond the rhetoric, the candidates took substantive, divergent positions on key topics. The candidates returned repeatedly to the state's public pension crisis, the state's biggest fiscal issue. Buehler said he wants to transition state employees to a private-sector style, 401(k) retirement plan and accused the governor of "pandering" to public employee unions by raising pay before instituting broad pension reform.

While Brown said public employees "need to have some skin in the game," and pay some of their own pension costs, she didn't answer a direct question of how much they should pay. The governor resisted the notion of wholesale cuts, attacking Buehler directly: "I think it's easy for a millionaire to say he's going to cut the retirements of hard-working Oregonians. I'm not willing to do that."

The candidates were in broad agreement that political discourse must improve, and both faulted President Donald Trump for his words and actions. They also endorsed the scientific consensus around climate change, though Brown endorsed stricter rules governing carbon emissions while Buehler said he wants more flexibility.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 130246

Reported Deaths: 1737
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah27890446
Washington18245166
Marion15878233
Clackamas11445134
Lane8042107
Jackson675782
Umatilla653065
Deschutes480532
Malheur311351
Yamhill309644
Linn304842
Polk236638
Klamath235230
Jefferson166125
Josephine164230
Benton164013
Douglas162943
Union108916
Wasco103723
Columbia100418
Lincoln96817
Hood River93121
Coos92314
Morrow9149
Clatsop6574
Crook5819
Baker5495
Tillamook3572
Curry3164
Lake2275
Grant1821
Harney1673
Wallowa923
Gilliam471
Sherman470
Wheeler191
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2877830

Reported Deaths: 32159
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles97529913234
San Bernardino2415231560
Riverside2334802399
San Diego2041752005
Orange2027532195
Santa Clara883791028
Kern81490550
Fresno78278846
Sacramento782681044
Alameda63866776
Ventura56453388
San Joaquin54796736
Contra Costa49082395
Stanislaus40695720
Tulare39347482
Monterey34072248
San Mateo30196268
San Francisco27863237
Imperial24717460
Solano24291105
Merced22932287
Santa Barbara22769214
Sonoma22610227
Kings18164110
Placer16532172
San Luis Obispo14625119
Madera12570130
Santa Cruz11423111
Marin11126148
Yolo9933131
Shasta9450111
Butte9013120
Sutter737975
El Dorado732639
Napa702838
Lassen504813
Yuba471226
San Benito469841
Tehama391742
Tuolumne327036
Nevada303770
Mendocino300331
Amador291429
Lake232128
Humboldt222024
Glenn179219
Colusa16679
Calaveras149322
Siskiyou137312
Mono10384
Inyo88227
Del Norte8272
Plumas5695
Modoc3733
Mariposa3344
Trinity2994
Alpine730
Sierra670
Unassigned00
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