Matt Wingard’s Laundry List

by Steve, February 15th, 2008

Last month I went up against Republican House District 26 candidate Matt Wingard in the Portland Tribune in a procon about charter schools. (Some people think my argument for the greater common good won the debate.)

Today I found a speech Wingard gave to the King City/Tigard Women’s Republican Club yesterday. He’s got some real laugh lines, though I don’t think our suburban friends were laughing.

Wingard doesn’t shy away from bringing up the “negative stories…with details and headlines that are misleading and false,” but doesn’t mention that the central point — that he was convicted of striking his child on the head, leaving a welt — is not disputed.

But let’s not dwell on that. Matt’s an advocate for children in my neighborhood, it turns out: “…I have organized poor, minority parents in north Portland to go down to Salem, and face to face, demand from Democrats on the House Education Committee school choice for their children, even though they are forced to attend low performing schools.”

His weaseling distortion of this charter schools boosterism trip aside (he sure as hell doesn’t care about poor, minority children who want equity in their neighborhood schools), he better not come anywhere near my North Portland kids.

What’s worrisome to me about guys like Matt Wingard, all this literal and figurative child hitting aside, is the distrust of “smart people.”

“I think there is a lack of skilled people in our Party who are willing to step into the arena and challenge the certified smart people and the elected and appointed elites who are running Oregon,” said Wingard.

Is the Republican party declaring war on “certified smart people?” If so, they’ve found their man for House District 26 in Wingard, who has “shown time and again that I am not afraid to stand up to these people.” Why, he even stood up to Eric Sten! (I hate to say we have something in common in having some issues with Sten, but it’s for entirely different reasons.)

One last guffaw was about our mysterious “school district’s funding increases of 20 percent from the state.” I think we’re still waiting to get ours here in Portland.