Secretary of State Kate Brown may have her work cut out for her retaining her position as a Central Oregon Doctor with a background in political activism runs an aggressive campaign with the polling numbers showing him a strong contender for the state's second highest executive post.
In a live interview on KAST 1370 Thursday morning Dr. Knute Beuhler, who is appearing at an event sponsored by the North Coast Republican Women at the Astoria Golf and Country Club at noon, laid out his vision for the Secretary of State Job. Beuhler is an orthopedic surgeon who runs a large practice in Bend where he sits on the board for the St. Charles Medical Center. He is the first Rhodes Scholar from Oregon State University and used his Oxford education to learn about politics and economics which he says gives him a different view of what the office of Secretary of State should be and hasn't been under Brown. He says that for example Brown is responsible for government audits which he says are conducted and left to gather dust on the shelf with no follow through. He blames Brown for not actively pursuing cities that have not filed their audits as required. Beuhler says he supports open primaries and has won the endorsement of the independent party for his stand on the issue which he says Brown has been slow to embrace.
Dr. Beuhler is a strong advocate for campaign finance reform. He was responsible for sponsoring a citizen petition that was passed by Oregon voters in the mid-90's but then overturned by the State Supreme Court. Since that time another initiative on reform was passed by voters, has not been overturned by the courts and yet has not been enforced by Brown. In an unusual move by an incumbent, Brown has offered four debates with Dr. Beuhler which he says is an indication of her lack of support for re-election.
Beuhler told KAST news that the Secretary of State should not be treated as a place to retire, or solely a stepping stone to the Governor's office. He mentioned Norma Paulus as an excellent example of someone who held the office effectively using the powers of Secretary to do remarkable things for Oregon.