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Portland Congressman to George Will: Let’s Debate

11:40 AM PDT on May 20, 2009

bowties.jpgWill vs. Blumenauer: Battle of the bowties.

Just when you thought George Will's pouty, ill-informed tirade against new Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was going to stand unchallenged, here comes Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).

Blumenauer, co-chief of the Congressional Bike Caucus and a Streetfilms favorite,
released a statement this morning that dares the conservative pundit to
come to Portland for a debate on sustainable urban planning and
transportation policy.

The gauntlet was first thrown via Twitter, where Blumenauer posted: "it's LaHood that gets it. George Will doesn't ..." before following up with a sarcastic reference to the love of bowties that both men share.

So
is Will prepared to answer the call and head northwest? We've got a
call in to Newsweek's spokeswoman, and will keep you posted on any
response we receive.

Meanwhile, you can read Blumenauer's full statement to Will after the jump.

Inhis article, Mr. Will proves that he is mired in a one-dimensionalpast, one that the city of Portland has successfully overcome” saidBlumenauer. “He opposes policies that will provide Americans with morechoices while saving them money, creating jobs and protecting theenvironment. In Portland we have been able to increase productivity,boost our economy, and invest in our city’s resources by taking awell-rounded approach to transportation. Secretary LaHood shares thiscomprehensive view on transportation options for our nation — it's notabout behavior modification its about giving Americans the freedom tochoose more than just the highway or byway.

Rather than pontificate about practicality from afar, Ichallenge Mr. Will to come experience Portland, and then debate thefacts, the future and the visions we offer,” continued Blumenauer. “Iam proud to defend the Portland model so painstakingly developed andimplemented over the last 1/3 of a century. Maybe he will understandwhy young well educated people move here without jobs and older, wellestablished business and professional people won’t leave for jobs thatpay more. We will be happy to buy his plane ticket and give him abottle of Oregon pinot to die for.

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