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Westlund Ups the Debate Ante 

On Wednesday morning, Republican state treasurer candidate Allen Alley challenged Democratic nominee Ben Westlund to a series of five debates. On Wednesday afternoon, Westlund called

On Wednesday morning, Republican state treasurer candidate Allen Alley challenged Democratic nominee Ben Westlund to a series of five debates. On Wednesday afternoon, Westlund called Alley's bet and raised him by five.

"I wholeheartedly agree that the people of Oregon deserve a real discussion about the role and responsibilities of the office of state treasurer," Westlund said in an open letter to Alley that was e-mailed to The Eye.

"But as a business owner and as a rural legislator, I have traveled extensively to all parts of this state... I know how big it truly is and I believe that five joint appearances are far too few to really reach 'the entire State of Oregon' as you indicated. In the sprit of your proposal, I propose that we conduct, at a minimum, ten joint appearances, at least two in each congressional district and at least two in each month, beginning in June."

Trying to out-green his opponent, Westlund also suggested he and Alley should car-pool to their debate sites:

"I would further like to suggest that we emulate the example of two of Oregon's great statesmen, Bob Straub and Tom McCall, who, when running as opponents for governor, traveled to their appearances together in the same car. It would strike a chord with voters that they deserve and have seldom seen. ... I'm ready to go ... Call me when you're ready, I'll drive."

As of this morning there was no response from the Alley camp, and The Eye is kind of hoping there won't be any. It's hard to picture anything more boring than 10 debates over the state treasurer's job.

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