Press Releases

Local Leaders Say Republican Knute Buehler is Misleading Voters on Health Care, Housing, Environmental Protections

Oct 08, 2018

For Immediate Release
Contact: Molly Woon
press [at] dpo [dot] org 
October 8, 2018

Local Leaders Say Republican Knute Buehler is Misleading Voters on Health Care, Housing, Environmental Protections

In a press call this afternoon hosted by the Democratic Party of Oregon, state and local leaders denounced Republican Knute Buehler’s attempts to run from his conservative record on three of the most important issues facing the state: health care, housing, and environmental protections. On each of these issues, Buehler has a track record of saying one thing to try to earn voters’ support, but then doing the opposite.

State Representative Rob Nosse (D – Portland), Vice-Chair of the House Health Care Committee, highlighted the major differences between Kate Brown and Knute Buehler’s actions on health care.

“It’s unconscionable that as a physician, Knute Buehler would actively work to undermine the Medicaid program by opposing the funding for it,” Rep. Nosse said. “His opposition to Ballot Measure 101 sends a clear signal to voters about who really cares about health care in this state. At a time when President Trump is trying to eliminate the Affordable Care Act and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions, we can't trust Knute Buehler to stand up for Oregonians' health care."

Felisa Hagins, political director for SEIU Local 49, noted the huge contrast when it comes to housing policy.

“I don’t know a nicer way to say it — Buehler is frankly talking out of both sides of his mouth when it comes to housing. He’s expecting Oregonians to be tricked,” Hagins said. “It continues to be this story where Buehler is claiming one thing in his commercials while he’s actively taking donations from wealthy property owners who oppose real housing solutions and are evicting people for no cause. Buehler has proven over and over again that he will not buck his party or his campaign donors when it comes to housing policy,” Hagins said.

Hagins pointed to a troubling “in-kind” donation for a fundraising event that Buehler reported on October 5. His campaign accepted $40,000 worth of fundraising event expenses from developer Sean Keys, who is a partial owner of Titan Manor, a 72-unit apartment complex in St. Johns that has been in the news for the past two years.

Titan Manor, which was built in the 1970s, suffered serious neglect and deferred maintenance in recent years. When tenants requested legally-mandated repairs, they received no-cause evictions instead.

Meanwhile, as OPB uncovered in a bombshell report in 2017, just a month before Sean Keys purchased Titan Manor, the IRS filed a lien on his business for $337,240 he owed in federal taxes. He is also facing a $14,553 lien for taxes he owes the state of Oregon.

“This is the kind of company Knute Buehler keeps, and he cannot be trusted to solve our housing crisis,” added Hagins.

Finally, Morgan Gratz-Weiser, Political Chair for the Oregon Sierra Club, spoke about why Buehler can’t be trusted to protect Oregon’s environment.

“In the second debate on KOBI-TV last week, Buehler falsely suggested that the Sierra Club opposes Oregon’s landmark Clean Fuels Program. This is wholly off the mark; the Sierra Club strongly supports the Clean Fuels Program,” Gratz-Weiser said. “Real policy solutions require thoughtful understanding. It’s a shame that Knute Buehler can’t offer that to Oregonians. That's why we are fully supportive of Governor Kate Brown.”

Tomorrow is the last general election debate in the Governor’s race, airing on KGW at 7pm.

“We’re seeing a phenomenal amount of grassroots support for Governor Brown because while she is laying out her vision for the future of Oregon, voters are seeing more and more inconsistencies between Rep. Buehler’s campaign message and his actual record,” said Jeanne Atkins, chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon. “The stakes in this race are too high for Republican Knute Buehler to get away with misleading voters on the biggest issues facing the state.”