Press Releases

All of Dudley’s Money and his Ads Can’t Put Minimum Wage back Together Again

Oct 11, 2010


Contact: Amy Wojcicki, Communications Director amy [at] dpo [dot] org (503) 960-2227

PORTLAND, Oregon (October 11, 2010) – 

Chris Dudley is attempting to re-write his own words on minimum wage. For the first time in this campaign he’s been caught saying something and now he wants to go back to saying nothing.  Too bad for Chris Dudley, he was caught on camera agreeing that Oregon’s minimum wage is too high.  All of his money and his ads can’t hide the truth.
Watch the Video here
Chris Dudley believes that the wealthy deserve an $800 million dollar tax cut, and he believes Oregon’s minimum wage is too high – and has said that his first priority would be a so called “training wage.”
“Chris Dudley should start getting paid a training wage himself  if he is elected governor,” said Trent Lutz, Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Oregon. “The point of Oregon’s minimum wage is that it is the absolute least that anyone can get paid for an hour of work. Creating a so-called training wage is just playing a word game to lower that minimum.”
The question we want answered, is what the so-called “training wage” that Dudley is proposing would be.
Full Transcript of the exchange:
[Questioner]: Alright, thanks again Chris for coming.  Um, my question comes back to labor and labor costs.  Um, I’ve noticed that our state tends to have a very high minimum wage and uh I think that’s difficult for our businesses but I think it uh, it also attracts uh people from other states to come to our state and take our jobs away from our kids and uh and those that might need them.  I think it attracts the wrong end of the labor pool to our state uh and they tend to stay here and uh – uh I uh I – I’m concerned about that, I’m interested to know what your – if you share that philosophy and if you have any idea what – what you would do about that or if you want to address that issue.

[Dudley]: Well it’s not a – it’s a – I agree with you on – on – on that issue.  Um it’s one that is very difficult to ex – it takes time to explain so that people understand why you’re talking with – with having the highest minimum wage in the country uh negatively impacts the state, um it’s something that I, from an economic standpoint, I understand and you talk to restaurants, restaurants will say listen, we’ve got less employees than we would otherwise because of this and it doesn’t make sense that our – our waitresses are getting tips plus the highest minimum wage in the country where our – those in the back – there’s a dispri-disproportionate amount of compensation, there’s so many negative issues with it that I think need to be addressed.  Um so it’s something I’m – I’m not going to make a forefront campaign issue on it because I think it’s something – it’s a hot button that people don’t really understand, um but at some point I’m – I’m well aware of the issue and I’m also concerned about with – with – I’m very concerned in our state that we have unemployment rate uh between ages 18 and I think it’s 22 it might be 24 of 35 percent in our state.  And in minority population it’s above 50 and what I get concerned about is if you don’t learn how to work it gets harder and harder to get in the workforce and so I think it’s very conc- that – that’s one area I would like to tackle first is to at least get a training wage going um to get people so that they at least have the opportunity to work and I think – think we’re really hurting our future by – by not doing so.  [Dudley Campaign Event, 9/9/10]
Back up:
9/9/10 Dudley says he supports a training wage. Chris Dudley said at an event in Hillsboro: “…one area I would like to tackle first is to at least get a training wage going…” [Dudley campaign event, 9/9/10]

9/27/10 Dudley says he supports a training wage. Dudley told KGW that, “At one point, I said that we should consider a training wage for younger people…” [KGW, 9/27/10]
9/28/10 Dudley said “everything should be on the table” when it comes to minimum wage. In a meeting with The Oregonian's editorial board, “Dudley left some uncertainty about whether he'd consider a lower ‘training wage’ for some young workers. At first, he said a training wage is ‘something that I'm flat-out not pushing for.’ But he added that he wants to look at the minimum wage in light of high unemployment among young people and disadvantaged communities. "Everything should be on the table," he said.” [The Oregonian, 9/28/10]
9/28/10 Dudley campaign says he supports a training wage. The Oregonian reported thatLater in the day, a Dudley spokesman, Jake Suski, further elaborated on Dudley's stand on a training wage. ‘He has not proposed a specific training wage program…That is an issue as governor he'd like to work with,’ said Suski…” [The Oregonian, 9/28/10]
Oregonian: Dudley “didn't rule out taking up the tip credit issue…” Jeff Mapes of The Oregonian wrote in July, “At any rate, it's clear that Dudley – who didn't rule out taking up the tip credit issue if he is elected governor – is a favorite of the Oregon Restaurant Association.  The group's political action committee reported that it gave $40,000 to Dudley's campaign on the very same day.” [Oregonian, 7/23/10]

Dudley agreed that Oregon’s minimum wage “attracts the wrong end of the labor pool.” At an event earlier this month, video clearly shows Chris Dudley answering the questioner who asked Dudley if he agreed, “that our state tends to have a very high minimum wage” and that “it [minimum wage] attracts the wrong end of the labor pool” Dudley responded with, “I agree with you on — that issue” [Dudley campaign event , 9/9/10]