27 October 2010 by Published in: Opinion No comments yet

Final Election Thoughts

Editorial Comments
by Deborah Steele Hazen

A letter to the editor inside this edition seems to imply that people who believe in “limited government,” think that private enterprise could and should do everything – from interstate highways to the space program.

On the contrary, I certainly believe in public funding of major infrastructure projects, the military, scientific and research projects that impact the entire nation, or indeed the world, such as the space program, and public education – although I believe education decisions and funding should be kept at the local and state levels.

I believe that some degree of government regulation to ensure the safety of food, water and medicine, and to protect the environment is necessary.

I believe in good, efficient government to “establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

I don’t believe in inefficient, over-spending bureaucracies that unnecessarily interfere with the freedoms of the American people, and exist, at least in part, to perpetuate themselves. I don’t like the constant growth in rules, regulations and restrictions that, in my opinion, cause more problems than they cure. Most of us can take care of ourselves and our families without government involvement or interference, and I think we should.

I think we have too many career politicians who have lost contact with life outside of government. Both state and federal government has grown to a level that is too expensive to sustain and is driving us deeper and deeper into debt.

Indeed, the U.S. Constitution itself limits government – that is one of its primary purposes.

I believe the election that ends next Tuesday, Nov. 2, is a very important one for our state and nation. It has been the subject of this column for several weeks, and we will reiterate and expand on our endorsements here.

Dudley for Governor

Oregon is over-burdened with inefficient, out-of-control bureaucracies and career politicians. We need to change that direction and that isn’t going to happen by returning John Kitzhaber to the governor’s office. He bears much of the responsibility for growing state government to its current unsustainable levels.

Chris Dudley is our best hope to bring a fresh, non-politician’s perspective to state government, rein-in runaway bureaucracies and revive Oregon’s economy.

An improved economy will not only create jobs in the private sector, it will bring tax revenue for those programs which we truly need and which are appropriately within the sphere of state government.

Huffman for Senator

Ron Wyden is a career politician who has comprised half of Oregon’s representation in the U.S. Senate for too long.

When your wife and children live in New York, and you have spent 30 years in Washington, D.C., how can you not be out-of-touch with your constituents in Oregon – especially in rural Oregon.

This year, we have a highly qualified, non-career politician challenging Wyden. Jim Huffman is a professor of law who served as dean of Lewis and Clark Law School for 13 years. He knows the constitution and believes in it.

Cornilles for Congress

For many of his 12 years in Congress, I have tried to give David Wu the benefit of the doubt. I personally disagree with him on most national issues. He is a dependable vote for the liberal Democratic leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives.

But local issues are primarily of a non-partisan nature, as are the needs of local constituents. If Wu served his district with anything like the energy and devotion shown, for instance, by State Senator Betsy Johnson, I might consider voting for him.

But, he doesn’t.

What’s more, when the issues, problems and expenses of the levee certification now being required by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) first surfaced, a representative of local diking districts tried to bring it to his attention when Wu visited Clatskanie on an “aren’t I great” tour of the district in early 2009.

Drunk with his party’s recent victories in the White House and in Congress, Wu showed no interest at all in this important issue, clearly knew nothing about it, and rudely brushed her off. That was the day that Wu proved to me he does not deserve the benefit of the doubt.

Our congressman then went back to Washington, D.C. and gave a speech at a ports conference during which he completely distorted the local diking district representative’s words and intentions, and insulted Clatskanie as a whole. Unlucky for Wu, Clatskanie’s Robert Keyser, president of the Port of St. Helens commission, was in the audience. When our representative in Congress realized that local leaders back in the hinterlands of his district weren’t taking these lies and insults lightly, Wu apologized.

Now he’s congratulating himself for some legislation that, if passed, would address the dike certification issue. It’s too little, too late.

In the summer of 2008, David Wu announced his support of Barack Obama for president in a telephone news conference with reporters from around his district. I was among the last to have a chance at asking a question. Most of the important, relevant questions already had been asked, so I threw him a softball. “Congressman, if Senator Obama is elected, I assume you will be keeping him informed about the issues and concerns of the people of Northwest Oregon.”

“Debbie,” he replied, condescendingly. “I wouldn’t presume to tell Mr. Obama anything.”

So, there you have it folks. In his own words, Wu will not advocate for our interests with the Obama administration. His only function is to be a rubber stamp for Nancy Pelosi.

Rob Cornilles is a successful Washington County businessman with a positive, common sense approach. He’s smart, well-informed and shares the core values embraced by most of the residents of this district – regardless of party affiliation.

He knows where Clatskanie is – he marched in our 4th of July parade – and he will represent all of Oregon’s first congressional district – its rural areas rather than just the far left enclave in northwest Portland which is Wu’s stronghold.

Please join us in voting for Rob Cornilles.

Telfer for Treasurer

Prior to Oct. 12, I was undecided about the race for state treasurer.

Current treasurer Ted Wheeler, a Democrat, had a good reputation as a Multnomah County commissioner when he was appointed by Governor Ted Kulongoski to the treasurer’s position made vacant by the death of Ben Westlund.

Since his appointment he has done some sensible things in regard to state investments and accountability in his own office.

However, he lost my vote on Oct. 12 when, despite much input from community leaders of various parties around the state and especially from Northwest Oregon, he voted along with the rest of the State Land Board – comprised of the governor, secretary of state and treasurer – to reappoint Louise Solliday, the controversial director of the very controversial Department of State Lands (DSL), for another four-year term. By the way, it was Kitzhaber who first appointed Solliday to a highly-paid bureaucratic position.

Submitting to this kind of political cronyism three weeks before we’re going to elect a state treasurer and a new governor (two-thirds of the State Land Board which oversees the DSL), disqualifies Wheeler on my ballot.

I’m voting for Chris Telfer, a certified public accountant, a Republican and a state senator. Among her other pluses is the fact that Telfer is from Central Oregon – as was our last elected treasurer – rather than from the Portland metropolitan and upper Willamette Valley area which dominates state politics.

Johnson for State Senate

A couple of weeks ago this column led off with a strong endorsement for State Senator Betsy Johnson, a Democrat.

While we do not agree with many of Johnson’s votes on statewide issues, she is an extremely hard-working and very effective representative for Northwest Oregon. She has a bipartisan philosophy, and is not afraid to work with Republicans or take on her own party leadership when necessary.

Those of us who have had to deal with the DSL – and that number is growing all the time as the agency continues to expand its tentacles – appreciate Johnson’s strong advocacy for local landowners and drainage improvement districts in their disputes with the DSL.

While I generally agree on political philosophy with Johnson’s Republican challenger Bob Horning, Johnson has earned my vote for the work she does on behalf of her constituents.

What’s more, I was disappointed to learn that the advertisement Horning ran with The Chief and several other newspapers last week was misleading. The photo, which implied that Johnson was “Missing in Action” from a Seaside Chamber of Commerce debate, was posed. The debate was not held because the schedules of Johnson and State Representative Deborah Boone – who was criticized in a similar ad run by her Republican challenger Lew Barnes – were full when Horning asked the Chamber to schedule a debate on short notice. The candidates have appeared together at other forums.

Horning and Barnes contend that the ads were meant to call the incumbents’ voting records into question. That’s fine, but the faked picture and the wording that implied a debate had been held and Johnson and Boone had failed to show were deceptive. I don’t like deception.

Measures

Last week we made the following recommendations on ballot issues.

Columbia County Measure 5-206 making the office of Columbia County commissioner non-partisan. Yes

It has been suggested that we point out more strongly that the Democratic Central Committee argument against the measure in the Voters’ Pamphlet is factually wrong. Making the office of commissioner non-partisan does not make Columbia County a “home rule” county. County commissioners already have the right to hire a county manager if they so choose. We have conservative, moderate and liberal “Democrats” in Columbia County because traditionally no one could get elected to county office unless they were a registered Democrat. So that registration tells the voter very little about the candidate’s philosophy, and national and state party platforms are pretty much irrelevant on the county level. Since most races for Columbia County commissioners have been, in effect, decided in the Democratic primary election, the current partisan system disenfranchises all other voters.

Columbia County Measure 5-208 imposing a 3.5 cents per $1,000 assessed value for five years to fund two veterans services officers for Columbia County. Yes

Our recommendations on state ballot measures are as follows:

Measure 70, which expands home ownership loans for Oregon non-combat, National Guard and post 9/11 veterans, is only fair. Yes

Measure 71. While we can see some practical logic in allowing the legislature to meet every year, we don’t take amending the constitution lightly. This one seems to take us farther away from the ideal of a citizen legislature. No

Measure 72, which authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds to finance the state’s real and personal property projects, makes us a bit nervous. We don’t want any more borrowing – period. But, for projects that must be done, this could save some money. Yes

Measure 73 will cost money, but we agree with increased minimum sentences for repeat “major felony sex crimes” and repeat drunk driving offenders. Yes

Measure 74 establishes a medical marijuana supply system. If marijuana helps the desperately ill, they can get it under Oregon’s current law. But marijuana is, and always has been, a dangerous, mind-altering, lung-damaging drug that should be avoided if at all possible. Measure 74 is a thinly-veiled attempt to fully legalize marijuana and will open the doors even wider to abuse. No

Measure 75. We don’t need more gambling in Oregon – especially not in Multnomah County where it would compete with the positive economic impact the Indian casinos have in some rural areas of the state. No

Measure 76 amends the constitution to continue dedicating 15 percent of net lottery proceeds to a parks and natural resources fund. Now is not the time to be locking up money we may need for more essential services. Voting no doesn’t mean the funds can’t be allocated to parks, wildlife habitat, watershed protection, etc., it just doesn’t dedicate them permanently for those purposes. No

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