Vic Atiyeh, the former Republican governor who led Oregon through tough economic times in the 1980s, died Sunday at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center the age of 91. Atiyeh served as governor from 1979-1987, a time when Oregon was mired in a terrible recession resulting from the collapse of the timber industry. In response, Atiyeh cut welfare funding and raised taxes on high-income earners. In his second term, he greatly expanded international trade in Oregon, which became a cornerstone of his administration. As the nation’s first Arab-American governor, he was also a champion for the rights of minority groups in the state.
We’ll talk with Jim Moore, director of the Tom McCall Center for Policy Innovation at Pacific University and Vic Atiyeh’s biographer about the former governor’s legacy.