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An Aroma of Desperation 

Talk about beating a dead horse - this is like digging up and beating the decayed corpse of a horse that died 26 years ago.

Talk about beating a dead horse - this is like digging up and beating the decayed corpse of a horse that died 26 years ago.

Ted Piccolo (alias "I Am Coyote") has posted an item about Ben Westlund's 1982 arrest on DUI and cocaine possession charges on his blog, NW Republican. Apparently he did it in retaliation for the media reporting on Oregon House candidate Matt Wingard's 2002 conviction on a misdemeanor assault charge for hitting his 7-year-old son in the head with a screwdriver. According to testimony by Wingard's ex-wife, he also physically and emotionally abused the boy on other occasions. Wingard denies her allegations.

"Well now we know that the Democrats and the mainstream media are willing to dig into the expunged files of a Republican," writes Piccolo/Coyote. "So what will the Democrats and the mainstream press say about Ben Westlund's arrest record?"

Probably nothing - since the Westlund bust happened 26 years ago, it's never been a secret, and the media reported on it the first time Westlund ran for the state legislature back in 1996.

"Ben Westlund hopes that people can learn from his example of how when people who have addictions get treatment, they can go on to become very productive citizens," Westlund spokesperson Stacy Dycus told The Eye. "That's why he has been such a strong supporter for drug and alcohol treatment funding, as well as mental health funding."

With Westlund opening up a double-digit lead against Republican Allen Alley in the state treasurer's race, the GOPers are digging frantically for any dirt they can find. Earlier in the campaign they tried to resuscitate a previously reported story about Westlund fondling a legislative aide in 1997, but that never went anywhere so apparently they decided to look even further back. Before this thing is over we'll probably hear about how Westlund copied another kid's homework in the seventh grade.

Somebody should tell the Republicans that to be "news" a story has to be new.

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