Monnes Anderson, Hansen resort to negative attacks

Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, D-Gresham, reactivated her lapsed nursing license Monday, Oct. 8, in response to Republican critics who said she was not a registered nurse as she claimed during her bid for re-election.

Now, Democratic leaders are accusing her opponent, Republican Scott Hansen, of misrepresenting himself in ads.

It started last week, when reporters investigating an allegation that Monnes Anderson was not a registered nurse discovered that her license expired in December 2009.

“When I realized late last week that my nursing license was not current, I began the process of reactivating my license immediately,” she said in a prepared statement. “As a nurse and state senator, I am committed to leading the bipartisan effort to make Oregon's health care system focus more on prevention and providing quality, affordable health care that meets the needs of local families.”

Monnes Anderson worked as a public health nurse before being elected to the Oregon Legislature as a representative and then as a senator for District 25. She last saw patients in December 2000, and her license dates back to July 18, 1985, according to the Oregon State Board of Nursing's website.

Her new license is valid through 2013.

The day after she announced reactivating her license, the Senate Democratic Leadership Fund issued a press release titled “Candidate Scott Hansen Misrepresents School Board Service.”

It quotes a television ad in which Hansen claims to be a school board member, but counters that he hasn't served since 1994 when his two-year term on the Gresham Grade School Board ended. “Hansen's Republican campaign backers have made hay about candidate biographies lately,” reads the release. “This development shows that they should spend more time fact-checking their own ads.”

Hansen said his school board experience is part of his history, which the ad implied.

He's chalking it all up to the political machine that's known to grind during election season.

“I'm not deterred by it,” he said. “I've got pretty thick skin.”

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