There's been a lot of talk around these parts about John Kitzhaber. Specifically, he's told Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski that he's "seriously considering" running for Governor in 2006. Kitzhaber isn't new to politics, or in fact, to being Oregon's Governor -- he held the position from 1994 to 2003.
I figure it's time to remember what, exactly, the man did while he was in office last time. Mind you, I'm not going to be able to list everything, or even do a very good job of it, but take this as my way of saying in far too many words, maybe you should look him up before blatently "voting democract"...
Dr. John Albert Kitzhaber
(image courtesy wikipedia
- March 5, 1947 - Born, Colfax, Washington (Pisces, Fire Boar [Chinese])
- 1973 - Graduated with a medical degree from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)
- 1973 to 1986 - Practiced medicine as a Emergency Room Physician in Roseburg, Oregon
- 1979 to 1981 - Elected to Oregon House of Representatives
- 1981 to 1993 - Elected to Oregon State Senate (President from 1985 on)
- 1994 to 2003 - Elected Oregon Governor
How impersonal. I never really liked timelines, but it's nice to see what he was doing before being governor.
Oregon Children's Plan
"The Oregon Children's Plan is a systematic approach to identifying needs early and responding with the most appropriate type of support for the child and family. The key components of the OCP include early identification, assessment, referral, service plans and a broad spectrum of early childhood services. The Children's Plan will increase the availability of key services and improve coordination within the service delivery system."
The Oregon Health Plan and Oregon Option
He oversaw the expansion of the Oregon Health Plan, which eventually reduced the rate of uninsured Oregon children from 21% to 8%.
Kitzhaber also broke new ground with the Oregon Option, a cooperative approach with the federal government that attempted to increase accountability and reduce bureaucracy related to the delivery of a number of government services. As one result, the state reduced the number of welfare caseloads more than 50 percent, saved more than $200 million in the state budget, and helped nearly 20,000 Oregonians find work.
Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds - In as many words, save the fish, breach some dams
Education Act for the 21st Century - Increased funding for colleges and universities in Oregon
Despite his accomplishments, near the end of his second term, Oregon's economy took a turn for the worse (along with well, everyone else's) and his popularity fell with it. Additionally, Kitzhaber holds the dubious record as the governor with the most vetos on record, and the nickname, "Dr. No" for employing the power so much. Kitzhaber was frequently in a stalemate with the Republican side of Congress, and many critics claimed it was a "failure to engage legislators in a dialog", while supporters claimed he was "making a stand on principle" (link)