Friday, July 11, 2008

Treasurer Race Turns Into an Alley Fight

You wouldn't normally expect a campaign for the prosaic office of state treasurer to get down and dirty, but the race between Republican Allen Alley

Posted By on Fri, Jul 11, 2008 at 7:01 AM

You wouldn't normally expect a campaign for the prosaic office of state treasurer to get down and dirty, but the race between Republican Allen Alley and Democrat Ben Westlund just did.

Alley has been touting his business experience running the semiconductor company Pixelworks as a qualification for the job. But yesterday the Democratic Party of Oregon launched a website questioning the worth of that credential.

"Allen Alley: How to fail at business without really trying," the headline sneers.

"When Allen Alley launched his campaign for Oregon Treasurer, he said that 'We desperately need people with business experience in government.' His campaign is circulating a biography calling him a 'business leader who has been instrumental in growing two of Oregon's most successful technology companies.'

"But given the type of 'experience' and 'leadership' that Alley offers, Oregonians may wish to look elsewhere for someone to manage our state's investments.

"Alley is co-founder of Pixelworks, a semi-conductor company. Until 2006, Alley served as CEO and still serves as its chairman.

"Since its founding in 1997, Pixelworks has managed only one profitable year: 2004. That means almost an entire decade of debt. In some cases, debt bad enough to threaten the company's NASDAQ listing. Allen's poor decisions and leadership have left the company plagued with problems."

The Alley campaign wasted no time firing back:

"That's one view of a company that sold $1 billion worth of product over the last 11 years and paid out over $150 million in compensation to Oregon workers. The only regret is that there isn't five more of them," Eric Wareheim, Alley's campaign manager, said in a statement on

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