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Take a gander at the governors race

FACE-OFF • Kate Brown and Lars Larson size up those wacky, tax-loving, flip-flopping gubernatorial candidates of both parties for your consideration

I've borrowed the names of some of the strange little people Snow White met in the forest because they seem to fit 'The Three Democrats' running for governor. Thank goodness there aren't seven of them.

Here's my take on the candidates:

Ted 'Sleepy' Kulongoski Ð Kulongoski favors increasing your taxes in bad economic times. Rather than cut back on a few of the Oregon Department of Transportation engineers busy designing roads that never get built, Kulongoski wants to double your car registration fee.

Reason to vote for Kulongoski: He believes Americans have a constitutional and individual right to own guns. In his words, 'I'm not one who reads the Second Amendment as a militia issue.'

Jim 'Happy' Hill Ð He's happy to tell you he's in favor of raising taxes despite the fact that Oregon spends more on education than Washington and California and arguably gets less for its money.

My read of Hill is that he's probably the nicest guy in the competition but not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. On KXL radio last year, I asked Hill about the idea of merit pay for teachers. His response: 'I'm not familiar with the concept.'

Reason to vote for Hill: His rather unusual campaign pitch during a debate on KGW (8) that 'The best way for Oregon to show its diversity would be to elect an African-American governor.'

Bev 'Dopey' Stein Ð For her exceedingly dopey idea three years ago to smack pet owners in Multnomah County Ñ as one reporter noted, 'many of them elderly and on fixed incomes' Ñ with $4 million in annual sales taxes on dog food.

How should voters loathe 'Red' Bev Stein? Let us count the ways. She's in favor of higher taxes. She sued to block Measure 7 (after voters approved it); opposes the charter schools that might save Oregon education and wants to repeal the law that requires ODOT to build at least some new roads every year.

Reason to vote for Stein: Jim Weaver promises to stay out of the race for governor if she wins the nomination.

Lars Larson is the host of a talk show that airs on KXL (750 AM) weekdays from noon-4 p.m. Contact him at lars@

larslarson.com.