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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: 397421

Reported Deaths: 5299
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah61160856
Washington42725408
Marion40378520
Clackamas33323391
Lane30531364
Jackson25267363
Deschutes24034198
Umatilla15178184
Linn15004184
Douglas13635295
Josephine10388249
Yamhill9916145
Klamath9144153
Polk8384103
Benton624440
Malheur594093
Coos5854109
Columbia442156
Jefferson427268
Lincoln369155
Crook345558
Union341857
Wasco320747
Clatsop265835
Baker223133
Tillamook220646
Hood River218637
Morrow198925
Curry194639
Harney121933
Grant109216
Lake106418
Wallowa76513
Sherman1953
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1161
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5128725

Reported Deaths: 74953
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153845127262
San Diego4104514351
Riverside3912955388
San Bernardino3784085998
Orange3370455783
Sacramento1699162462
Kern1590231841
Fresno1581872284
Santa Clara1536961933
Alameda1262241514
San Joaquin1084911837
Ventura1049251194
Contra Costa1046451058
Stanislaus923321436
Tulare869791102
San Francisco57458674
San Mateo56861631
Monterey52973626
Solano48014360
Santa Barbara47846555
Merced45506672
Sonoma43609414
Placer42736473
Imperial39148778
Kings35547369
San Luis Obispo31803360
Madera26511315
Shasta26353465
Butte25690320
Santa Cruz22540224
Yolo21792263
Marin18728249
El Dorado18544168
Sutter14691186
Napa13501107
Yuba1084791
Humboldt10360119
Tehama10329133
Nevada10187105
Mendocino873799
Lassen801259
San Benito793980
Tuolumne782691
Lake7073113
Amador583267
Siskiyou480757
Glenn460336
Calaveras449988
Del Norte380442
Colusa329821
Inyo259446
Plumas19679
Mono19274
Mariposa163818
Trinity102117
Modoc7956
Unassigned3820
Sierra2210
Alpine1080
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