For Kulongoski Before I Was Against Kulongoski

Most of the focus on Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s performance at the Oregon Democratic gubenatorial debates Monday focused on his floating the idea of a “consumption tax”, viewed by many (including myself) as yet another run at the nine-times-rejected regressive sales tax. More on that later.

One thing that struck me, however, was his use of a phrase that I never thought anyone with a lick of sense would use in a serious manner in a political campaign — at least not anyone who was a Democrat.

This is from OPB reporter Colin Fogerty’s fact-check article on the debates, in a section discussion about former state Senator Jim Hill’s votes on the Oregon Health Plan:

Hill was in fact one of three state Senators to vote against Senate Bill 27 in June 1989, which he explained in his rebuttal to Kulongoski.

Jim Hill: “Governor, the reason I did not vote for it in final passage is because I didn’t feel that it was being given enough money.”

Ted Kulongoski: “Oh, so you voted for it before you voted against it.”

That’s actually true. In April that year, Senator Jim Hill voted in favor of Senate Bill 27, but he voted against it after the Oregon House approved its financing.

Is he serious? Does he think that using a line associated with George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign against John Kerry is a good idea in a Democratic primary? Or does he just not care?