November 6th, 2009 5:33 pm | by HANK STERN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics

Al Gore, John Kitzhaber and Not-So-Ancient History


Yesterday, I wrote how former Vice President Al Gore will do a fund-raiser in Oregon for Bill Bradbury, who's running in the Democratic gubernatorial primary next year along with ex-Gov. John Kitzhaber and former Hewlett-Packard exec Steve Shields.

The Bradbury-Gore connection makes sense because Bradbury has been one of the folks who's traveled around to highlight Gore's warnings about global warming. But I had planned a follow-up Murmur for next week's paper on the back story of how Gore fought Kitzhaber's Oregon Health Plan when Gore was in the Senate. Former U.S. Rep. Les AuCoin (D-Ore.) beat us to the punch on Blue Oregon this morning by providing that history, which included a back-and-forth between Kitzhaber and Gore that had Kitzhaber endorsing heavy underdog Bill Bradley over Gore in the 2000 presidential primaries.

And if you have any doubts that Democratic insiders had forgotten any of this tale, put them away. I had asked Josh Kardon —chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)— for his recollection this morning on Gore and the Oregon Health Plan. This is the response Kardon emailed me:

"Vice-President Gore was the single biggest impediment to securing the necessary federal waiver for the Oregon Health Plan," Kardon wrote. "I know this because then-Congressman Wyden was tasked with getting administration approval given his background, seniority, and committee assignment, and I was the lead staff in the eventually-successful effort."
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