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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Kitzhaber, Inslee Differ On Teleprompter Use

Oregon Legislative Media/You Tube

My colleage in Olympia, Austin Jenkins, shared this delightful detail via Twitter during yesterday's inaugural address of incoming Washington Governor Jay Inslee:

"Little known behind the scenes secret. The Governor has a page turner hiding behind dais in case teleprompter fails."


"In unlikely case of teleprompter failure, paper script turned to proper page handed up to governor to read from podium."

Jenkins added that this was considered standard procedure for State of the State/Inaugural addresses in Olympia.

It occurred to me that earlier this week, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber did not use a teleprompter during his State of the State address to a joint session of the legislature. In the video of the speech, you can see the governor glance down at a script and occasionally turn a page.

Kitzhaber spokesman Tim Raphael says that to his knowledge, Kitzhaber has never used a teleprompter. But is there one available should he so choose? According to the Legislative Media office in the Oregon capitol building, the answer is yes. Kitzhaber's predecessor, Ted Kulongoski, did use the device at times. You can clearly see the promptersduring his final State of the State address in 2010, delivered at Portland State University.

What that video doesn't make clear, however, is whether an aide was standing in the wings with a paper copy of the speech in case the teleprompter failed.