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Buehler: 'Oregonians can't trust' Sam Carpenter

The GOP candidate for governor launches an attack ad against his Republican opponent for failure to pay his taxes on time.

KNUTE BUEHLER CAMPAIGN - Knute Buehler, candidate in the GOP primary for governor, launched an attack ad on his Republican opponent, Sam Carpenter, and incumbent Kate Brown, a DemocratBend Rep. Knute Buehler, a GOP candidate for Oregon governor, has launched a radio ad attacking opponent Sam Carpenter's record of failing to pay his county, state and federal taxes on time.

Carpenter was the target of several state and federal tax liens in the 1990s, according to a public records search. His business had 15 liens, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported Wednesday, May 2.

"If Oregonians can't trust Carpenter to manage his own taxes, how can they trust him to manage theirs?" Buehler's campaign said in a statement.

Buehler, an orthopedic surgeon who has represented Central Oregon in the state House of Representatives since 2014, said he is joining of a chorus of voices calling on Carpenter to resign.

Most notably, the Oregon Tea Party in a public Facebook post asked Carpenter to withdraw from the gubernatorial race.

Carpenter, a Bend business owner, said he has since paid all of the money he owed to the state and federal government, with penalties.

At the time of the federal and state tax liens, he said his business, Centratel, a national telephone answering service, was struggling, and he was going through a divorce.

He described Buehler's ad as defamation and said he is contemplating taking legal action against the state representative.

"He represents that I didn't pay those liens back. I have never not paid anybody," Carpenter said in a phone interview. "I have never filed bankruptcy."

"Struggling with a business is not a sin or an indication that someone doesn't know what they are doing," he added.