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'New low' hit inbox twice

The National Republic Congressional Committee has tipped its hand about the cookie-cutter campaign it is running against Democratic Oregon Reps. Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader. It sent out identical emails criticizing their votes against a House Republican measure to fund the government, except for President Obama’s signature health care program.

The emails from NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek twisted the GOP’s blatantly political move to accuse DeFazio and Schrader of “votes against women and children living in poverty.” Then she added, “It’s a new low” for them in each email.

We’re not sure what’s more pathetic — the “pot calling the kettle black” strategy or believing reporters would use such canned quotes in stories.

Mixed school message?

by: FILE PHOTO - State Rep. Jules Bailey (D-Portland) voted against every bill in the grand bargain at the recent Special Session of the Oregon Legislature.State Rep. Jules Bailey of Portland has talked for weeks about running for the Multnomah County Commission seat that Deborah Karoury is expected to vacate to run for chairwoman next year. So you’d think Bailey would be eager to support public schools in the county, including those already involved in the county-funded SUN Schools program.

But Bailey voted against all the bills that were part of the “grand bargain” that increased school funding by $100 million. He defended the vote in an email to supporters shortly after the session adjourned on Oct. 2, saying, “The positives in the package simply didn’t outweigh the negatives.”

Strangely, Bailey then pledged to “continue fighting the special interests that want to take money from schools.” Does that include the additional $8 million he didn’t vote to give Portland Public Schools?

From middle school to head of the class

by: FILE PHOTO - CannonMaybe it’s part of the Rudy Crew backlash. Or maybe a former middle school teacher really is the best qualified person in the county to lead Oregon’s system of higher education.

Whatever the case, last week Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber appointed Ben Cannon as executive director of the Higher Education Coordinating Committee. Before that, Cannon taught at the Arbor School of Arts and Sciences, was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives from Portland and served as an education policy adviser to Kitzhaber for two years.

A few weeks ago, Kitzhaber named another state employee, Nancy Golden, as his Chief Education Officer. She replaced the high-profile Crew, who had spent much of his time traveling around the country without Kitzhaber’s knowledge.

Golden was another of Kitzhaber’s education policy advisers. Before that, she was the superintendent of the Springfield School District.

By coincidence, Golden and Cannon were recommended for their jobs by committees that found them to be the best possible candidates.