Jason represented everything that I want in a governor, with the exception of supporting the President's position on amnesty. I would have voted for him anyways, if he would have risen to the challenge of debating it with Lars Larson. Lars would have disagreed with him but probably would have supported him in the end.
We have had too many governors and other public officials that have shied away from public accountability and reasonable confrontation by their constituents. Lars represents the single largest platform in the state to not only get your message out, but for the constituents to talk with and question their elected officials. Today was a perfect example with Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams. Lars disagrees with him on almost everything, but because he is willing to answer tough questions, he gets fair and civil treatment on the show.
I truly hope that Jason runs again, and assuming that he learns from this experience, I believe he will win.
The following is a copy of an email that I sent to Senator Atkinson this evening.
Dear Senator Atkinson,
I was flipping through stations this evening and saw you on "Answers For A Thirsty World" originally broadcast on 5/11/06. I have to say I am very impressed. I really like how you truly believe in your convictions, and your belief in servant leadership.
I supported you until that fateful day on Lar's show. I would still have voted for you, even with your response to the illegal immigration questions. The reason I did not was that you did not want to stand for your position. Lars can be tough, but he is fair. I can't stand the thought of another Governor that will not answer tough questions, and be accountable for their decisions. Lars has even said that he may not have pulled his support for you based on that one position, but your lack of willingness to debate it, and "face the fire" so to speak is why he made that decision.. I have to agree. I think that if you had participated in the rest of the "round table" events, and spoke from your heart like I saw you do tonight, you would have won. I did not know half of the things about you that I heard tonight.
Lars has a huge audience, but I would venture to say that very few of his listeners agree with everything he says. What we agree with are his core principles, and his insistence on accountability from public leadership.
I really hope you run next time, and I will support you if you are willing to "face the fire".