The World, in Coos Bay, was the 11th newspaper around the state to endorse Knute for Oregon Secretary of State.
October 22, 2012, The World Newspaper, Coos Bay, Oregon
A little corrective surgery
Democrats have held the Oregon secretary of state’s office since 1985, but their long-term lease could end this year. Republican Knute Buehler makes a strong case for replacing incumbent Kate Brown.
Buehler, a Bend orthopedic surgeon and Rhodes scholar, lacks Brown’s two-decade political resume. In fact, he has never held elected office. But he’s no neophyte, despite Brown’s testy observation that being secretary of state is ‘not an entry-level position.”
Along with his surgical career, Buehler is a published researcher and holds patents for medical devices. More importantly for someone who wants to run a state agency, he has been a managing partner in a 170-employee medical practice. He serves on the Bend hospital system’s board of directors.
Unlike Brown, Buehler has a demonstrated history of working for campaign spending limits. He was a chief petitioner for a successful 1994 ballot measure on the subject, though it later was struck down.
Buehler has ambitious plans for the secretary of state’s office, which he describes as chronically underperforming. He envisions a reorganized Corporate Division with a more pro-commerce focus, and hopes to become a national ombudsman for Oregon.
Along with managing an important state agency, the secretary of state also casts one of three votes on the state Land Board. Even if Democrats control a 2-1 majority, Buehler sees the board as a ‘bully pulpit” to advocate for increased harvests on state forests.
Buehler faults Brown for politicizing her management of Oregon elections, and he has a point. She damaged public faith by rescheduling the election for labor commissioner — a move that benefited the Democratic incumbent.
Brown is not without accomplishments. Most notably, she boasts that her audit team has found $180 million in savings and efficiencies.
Still, Buehler’s record, skills and vision argue persuasively for a change of leadership.