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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.

Confirmed Cases: 32994

Reported Deaths: 547
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7204138
Marion469594
Washington454060
Umatilla298741
Clackamas242061
Malheur163327
Lane123417
Jackson11615
Deschutes85212
Yamhill76213
Jefferson5418
Polk53215
Linn52213
Morrow5056
Lincoln48213
Union4462
Benton3146
Wasco2963
Klamath2802
Hood River2520
Douglas2334
Clatsop2170
Josephine1982
Columbia1791
Coos1570
Baker942
Crook621
Tillamook530
Lake330
Curry310
Wallowa311
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant100
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 812711

Reported Deaths: 15633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2684556515
Riverside589321206
San Bernardino54482925
Orange534481216
San Diego46734776
Kern31994369
Fresno28441382
Sacramento22356406
Santa Clara21241314
Alameda21240406
San Joaquin20245441
Contra Costa16640206
Stanislaus16471356
Tulare15970263
Ventura12775150
Imperial11852317
San Francisco11195101
Monterey995372
San Mateo9897150
Santa Barbara9090113
Merced8872142
Kings765180
Sonoma7412122
Marin6730118
Solano640065
Madera453965
Placer358745
San Luis Obispo356229
Butte283344
Yolo281555
Santa Cruz23609
Sutter170511
Napa169013
San Benito134811
Yuba11537
El Dorado11304
Mendocino93418
Shasta88317
Lassen7400
Glenn5783
Tehama5735
Lake55511
Nevada5377
Colusa5316
Humboldt5088
Calaveras31714
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18815
Mono1662
Siskiyou1650
Del Norte1391
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
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