Tuesday, May 25, 2010

2010 Primary: Results

Because my blog isn't boring enough, I'll graph the results of the primary.

Oregon Turnout
386k Democrat votes 863k registered Democrats
327k Republican votes 656k registered Republicans
120k other votes 513k registered other
US Senator
89% Wyden 332k
41% Huffman 109k
OR Governor
64% Kitzhaber 241k 29% Bradbury 109k
39% Dudley 122k 31% Alley99k
OR Treasurer
64% Wheeler 215k 29% Metsger 114k
213k Telfer
OR Supt
50% Castillo 349k 49% Maurer 346k
OR Supreme Ct, Pos 4
98% Kistler 446k
OR Supreme Ct, Pos 5
71% Landau 399k 28% Arlow 156k
OR Measure 68
65% Yes 495k No 265k
OR Measure 69
71% Yes 544k No

US Rep. 3rd District

US Rep., 3rd Dist.
91% Blumenauer 73k Sweeney 6k
98% Lopez 19k

METRO: 208k ballots (Clackamas 36k, Multnomah 106k, Clackamas 64k)

METRO President
36% Hughes 76k 34% Stacey 72k 27% Burkholder57k

Multnomah County: 139,784 ballots

MultCo County Chair
77% Cogen 81k 11% Darger 12k 10% Soderback 10k
MultCo County Sheriff(2011-)
78% Staton 89k 20% Ra'oof 23k

City of Portland

Clackamas (< 200) and Washington (< 200) county results omitted.
Ptld Comm. Pos. 2
79% Fish 77k 10% Nichols 9k 6%
Ptld Comm. Pos. 3
55% Saltzman 55k 11% Volm 11k 8% Cornett 8k

Friday, May 7, 2010

2010 Primary: Endorsements

Here are my picks for the 2010 primary election and a comparison of the significant newspaper and PAC endorsements. Click for details on how I decided on each vote.

(42ND DEM)
(POS. 5)

2010 Primary: OR Measure 69

May 18, 2010, Oregon Primary Election
Oregon State Measure 69

"...Referred to the Electorate of Oregon by the Legislative Assembly of the 2010 February Special Session..." OregonVotes.org

Amends Constitution: Continues and modernizes authority for lowest cost borrowing for community colleges and public universities.

The Way It Is Now
State bonds cannot be used to remodel campus buildings or buy buildings from someone else. Colleges and universities cannot use these bonds to pay for buildings that are used for both teaching classes and community service.

What Measure 69 Would Do
Measure 69 would let community colleges and public universities remodel campus buildings using state bonds. It would also let them buy buildings from someone else and build buildings that are used both for teaching and community service.


[X] Yes
  • "'Yes' vote continues and modernizes state authority to issue lowest cost bonds to finance projects for the benefit of community colleges and public universities." OregonVotes.org
  • "People FOR This Say: The rules we have now about the use of state bonds for community colleges and public universities need to be brought up to date." LWVOR.org
[_] No
  • "'No' vote rejects modernization of authority to issue lowest cost bonds to finance projects for the benefit of community colleges and public universities." OregonVotes.org
  • "No arguments in opposition to this measure were filed with the Secretary of State." OregonVotes.org
  • "People AGAINST This Say: Oregon’s Constitution should not be changed everytime someone wants to do something with state bonds." LWVOR.org
  • "...We think that any change that encourages the state to drag the taxpayers further into hock is a bad change. This is a time to pay off debt, not rack up more of it. And so we're voting no on both measures..." BoJack.org

The "modernizes" language irks me as heavy-handed. I doubt universities are currently bartering chickens and beads. However, I can't find anyone opposing this change, so I'll support it too.

2010 Primary: OR Measure 68

May 18, 2010, Oregon Primary Election
Oregon State Measure 68

Referred to the Electorate of Oregon by the Legislative Assembly of the 2009 Regular Session

Revises Constitution: Allows state to issue bonds to match voter approved school district bonds for school capital costs.

The Way It Is Now
The State of Oregon cannot help local school districts pay for new school buildings or major repairs to existing buildings.

What Measure 68 Would Do Measure 68 would allow the State to sell bonds, which is like borrowing money, to help local school districts pay for new construction and repairs for schools. The state would give some of this bond money to match the funds that local school districts receive through local bonds approved by local voters. The State would repay the state bonds from a special school fund by using some lottery money.


[X] Yes
  • "'Yes' vote allows state to issue bonds to match voter approved school district bonds for school capital costs. Dedicates lottery funds for matching funds and repayment." OregonVotes.org
  • "People FOR This Say: We need to repair existing schools, and sometimes need to build new schools. Measure 68 would make it less expensive for local school districts to pay for this because the state would provide matching money." LWVOR.org
[_] No
  • "'No' vote retains current law prohibiting state and restricting local districts from issuing bonds to pay for school capital costs, including acquisition, construction, repair and improvement." OregonVotes.org
  • "No arguments in opposition to this measure were filed with the Secretary of State." OregonVotes.org
  • "People AGAINST This Say: We don’t know all the information needed for starting a new bond match program and the effects it will have on local school districts." LWVOR.org
  • "...We think that any change that encourages the state to drag the taxpayers further into hock is a bad change. This is a time to pay off debt, not rack up more of it. And so we're voting no on both measures..." BoJack.org

This seems like a relatively minor change to the bizarre way Oregon funds public education.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

2010 Primary: Portland Commissioner 3

May 18, 2010, Oregon Primary Election
City of Portland Commissioner Position No. 3 Four-year term, $102k salary

[_] Rudy Soto
  • Ugh. Campaign website unfinished: "Come back SOON and check out the NEW SITE" RudySoto2010.com
  • Yikes: Did not respond to League of Women Voters timely. LWVPDX.org (PDF)
[X] Dan Saltzman
  • Good: "Precinct Reconfiguration: Dan cut management and overhead to address the city’s budget cuts..." DanSaltzman.com Made tough decision
  • "...Dan secured funding for a program that assists chronic offenders in finding treatment and housing, helping break the cycle of criminal activity that fund their addictions saving taxpayers millions..." DanSaltzman.com
  • Excellent: "...Dan recouped millions of dollars from telecommunication companies that were not paying their fair share to the city..." DanSaltzman.com
  • Good: "...Payday Lenders: Dan wrote the city ordinance cracking down on predatory lenders..." DanSaltzman.com
  • Excellent: "...Dan led the charge to reform the Fire Police Disability & Retirement system, preventing a financial catastrophe and instituting independently audited system..." DanSaltzman.com; "..in the face of runaway costs and outright abuse, Saltzman pushed reform of Portland’s Fire and Police Disability and Retirement system. That didn’t earn him many union friends but should earn him gratitude from taxpayers." WWeek.com
  • Good: "Major League Soccer: Dan ensured the protection of taxpayers on the stadium deal by requiring that no urban renewal dollars be used..."DanSaltzman.com
  • Good: "...Dan created and renewed the Portland Children’s Levy.." DanSaltzman.com A bit tired to campaign on.
  • Good: "...Reexamine force policies and the use of lethal and non-lethal tools. More focus on scenario based training and real world skills to deescalate situations. Union contract should include: drug testing, annual performance reviews, better ability for discipline that is imposed to be upheld by arbitrations. I support current proposed changes to IPR system" LWVPDX.org; "...In agreeing to oversee the police, Saltzman shouldered a thankless job the mayor shrank from performing. Gumption? Nerve? Leadership? Saltzman fits the bill..." OregonLive.com
  • Good: "Currently enforcement is focused when camps block pathways or when health and safety issues are presented. I support this level of enforcement, but more attention needs to be put into preventing those from becoming homeless in the first place, and helping those who currently are. Unfortunately, too many of our homeless are either mentally ill or former/current foster children. I support innovative programs which find foster kids permanent loving homes and families." LWVPDX.org
  • Good: "...in 2000 he supported a successful charter amendment to end civil-service protection for bureau chiefs, making it easier to fire incompetent directors...." WWeek.com
  • Good: "...Saltzman remains an independent voice on the council. More than anyone else in City Hall, he offers much-needed balance to Commissioner Randy Leonard. And while some see in Saltzman a lack of charisma, we see a politician who doesn’t need constant coddling." WWeek.com; "...Saltzman -- in a City Hall crippled by the mayor's woes -- is a consistently courageous voice and the true center of gravity on this council. " OregonLive.com
[_] Martha Perez
  • Yikes: No statement in the official voters' guide. MultCo.us
  • Interesting answer regarding police: "...Provide mandatory mental health/steroid testing of personnel" LWVPDX.org LOL! Huh? The other candidates recommend drug testing, but I guess steroid testing is good too.
  • Good: "...Police identify those with criminal and drug history and are moving them into treatment. This needs to be continued. Homeless families and individuals are job and housing placements (sic) but the waiting list is long and must be expanded. The challenge is with those who refuse help and perhaps returning them to where they grew up with resources and contacts might help them. Enough study, time for action." Not sure police really move homeless into treatment. Deporting homeless is controversial, but smaller towns do buy one-way bus tickets to Portland.
  • Interesting: "I would make all city employees...decide between a parking space or a bus pass. ...I would earmark funding for more air testing as Federal mandated. I would encourage Tri-Met to consider looking for corporate sponsors for assistance with marginalized communities.." Well, at least her answers regarding climate change are doable. TriMet is already corporately funded.
  • Good: Only candidate to take public transit to WW interview. WWeek.com
[_] Spencer Burton
  • Good: "...tell the federal government that we are not going to put in one hundred million dollars to build a filtration system that we don’t need...." SpencerBurtonForPortland.com
  • Development killer: "..."Portland Feed-in Tariff" for renewable energy production and a requirement that new buildings have solar panels on their roof tops..." SpencerBurtonForPortland.com
  • Unlikely: "...have the Portland Light Rail Network, including the Vancouver, Powell Boulevard and Tigard-Sherwood Lines fully built by 2020..." SpencerBurtonForPortland.com
  • Unlikely: "...build the nation's first electric vehicle network..." SpencerBurtonForPortland.com
  • Unclear implementation: "...have farmers markets in every neighborhood..."; "...have neighborhood based cultural centers where artists, craftsmen, musicians, actors and freemen and women can express themselves and earn a living." "Freemen"? Huh? "...pension funds should be invested in local green businesses..."
  • Yikes: Did not respond to League of Women Voters timely. LWVPDX.org (PDF)
[_] Mary Volm
  • Excellent: "...Over the years, the City's elected officials have talked about the importance of maintenance, but have decided instead to invest scarce city funds in new enterprises. The City should be heard on the vital issues that affect our livability, but we must take care of our responsibilities first..." MaryVolmForPortland.com
  • "...the Portland Development Commission and the private sector must work together to identify new opportunities to attract and expand business, as well as keep existing businesses ...Currently, all City rules and regulations are applied the same, regardless of the type of business. Common sense must be applied to make it affordable for small businesses to stay open in Portland." MaryVolmForPortland.com
  • Good: "...improve communications between City Hall bureau and union. Ensure the budget is earmarked for training and a timeline of training goals at all levels is created, implemented, and post-process review performed..." LWVPDX.org
  • Good: "...A former city employee of 20 years who most recently was involved in the first effort to recall Adams, Volm has experience and passion for the job. ...we also think she’s unprepared to manage complex bureaucracies..." WWeek.com Huh, WWeek? Who else but a 20-year city employee would be prepared to manage city bureaus.
  • Good: "...She seems an edgy person, and her personal affiliation with the zany Adams recall guy hasn't gained her any mainstream cred. But she's the only one in her race expressing a lick of common sense about the dangerous direction in which the city is headed..." BoJack.org
[_] Edward (Ed) Garren
  • Okay: Campaign website/blog features an overwhelming collection of ideas: Transparency and Accountability in Government, "bring green technology to Portland", Working Parents & Schools, Sustainability, etc. EdForPDX.com
  • Unlikely: "...Union contracts should require more community involvement (volunteering), as well as drug and alcohol testing, and specific policy to eliminate 'the code of silence' among officers..." LWVPDX.org (PDF)
  • Ugh. Strange answer regarding homelessness: "...There appears to be an obsession with 'fitting in' rather than with celebrating diversity and encouraging people to honestly share our differences. We also do not talk enough about our historic racial and social differences (racism & homophobia)..." LWVPDX.org (PDF)
  • Meh: works seismic concerns into question about climate plan:"...We need to create ways to specifically encourage (or require) energy (and seismic) upgrades to our buildings and homes to reduce energy use by at least 50%, and assure that when our big quake comes our homes and buildings will survive..." "Require" upgrades???LWVPDX.org (PDF)
[_] Jesse Cornett
  • Good: "...opposes using taxpayer money for a soccer stadium..." Voters' Guide
  • Meh. Too little, too late: A Plan For Jobs JesseCornett.com
  • Meh. Police plan with some good ideals, but unclear execution. JesseCornett.com
  • Good: Opposes current Vancouver SUV bridge plan JesseCornett.com
  • Good, but obvious:: "...From day shelters, treatment programs, and employment counseling, there needs to be more of a concerted effort to reduce homelessness in Portland." LWVPDX.org (PDF)
  • Interesting: "...Cornett raised 1,000 donations of $5...and thereby qualified for $150,000 from the city's taxpayer-financed campaign funds..." OregonLive.com
  • Ugh. "...Jesse Cornett is the next Erik Sten, all the way down to the "clean money" machine. You can almost smell the dopey ideas in his pocket..." BoJack.org
[_] Michael J Courtney
  • Ugh. Glenn Beck-like free association rant: "...Bureaucrats and Union executives are rounding up the troops under the Socialist banner...we invest vast sums in our illegal immigrant population. Nearly 18% of our population doesn’t speak English and about 12% of our school kids don’t either...we have been #1 in unemployment over the last 15 years.); Hunger (Nationally #2); Worst schools (#3 in the Nation of the most failing schools...We lead in the culture wares [sic] and class warfare...lead the way in failed transit and in running[sic "ruining"?] our own business..." MichaelCourtneyGroup.com
  • Yikes: Did not respond to League of Women Voters timely. LWVPDX.org (PDF)
[_] Jason Renaud
  • Yikes: No statement in the official voters' guide. MultCo.us
  • Yikes: Declined to respond to League of Women Voters. LWVPDX.org (PDF)

Ugh. I put off working through this ridiculous list of candidates. It seems whenever there is a hint that a spot on the city commission is open or vulnerable, anyone with a slight political dream runs for the office. Understandably, city commissioner is an appealing position -- $100+k salary, control of some city assets, and access to taxpayer funds rather than dealing with the poor/sick/criminal as a lowly county commissioner ($88k salary), fixing the state's budget as a part-time legislator ($21k salary), or doing time in an unpaid elected position like school board, etc. So, I can't really blame any wannabe politician dreaming about becoming a city commissioner, but it takes some hubris to run for this office first without considering a more attainable public office.

I previously voted for Saltzman and didn't really have strong negative or positive feelings about his long tenure on the council. I was concerned about his role as police commissioner during the bureau's on-going controversies, but he seems to be trying. The latest alleged scandal involving Saltzman's girlfriend receiving a city grant does suggest maybe he is getting too comfortable in the office (but, really, this is the best dirt after 12 years in office?). Willamette Week and The Oregonian make convincing arguments that Saltzman has been burdened with fixing problem bureaus and deserves to be re-elected. I agree.

I spent two days reading these about these other kooky campaigns, Mary Volm is the only candidate I seriously considered voting to replace Saltzman. A run-off between her and Saltzman could be interesting. considering her public support of the Adams recall, I hope she spends more time either running against Adams or recruiting someone to run against Adams in 2012.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

2010 Primary: Portland Commissioner 2

May 18, 2010, Oregon Primary Election
City of Portland Commissioner Position No. 2
Four-year term, $102k salary LWVPDX.org (PDF)

[_] Jason Barbour
  • Yikes: No statement in official voters' guide. MultCo.us
  • Ugh: Homemade campaign website, www.electjasonbarbour.com, a bit glitchy.
  • Um, okay?: "...I'm running because I can..." ElectJasonBarbour.com
  • Not quite: I'm still calling 911.: "We’ve had numerous recent high-profile incidents that reduced citizen confidence and trust close to zero..." LWVPDX.org (PDF)
  • Ugh: "...Jason Barbour did not attend our scheduled interview and gives no indication of mounting a serious run..." WWeek.com In a bizarre rant, Barbour disputes interview was scheduled. ElectJasonBarbour.com
[_] Walt Nichols
  • Interesting: (too) pragmatic solution regarding homelessness: "We need to add more shelter space, We should look at adding to dignity village...we should change the law for folks that have RV and motor homes parked as per the law at home...." LWVPDX.org (PDF)
  • Meh: "...Nichols has a track record of community involvement in his Southeast Portland neighborhood, but suffers from a first-time candidate’s inability to point us to specific differences with the incumbent..." WWeek.com
  • Good, but naive: "...Nichols...says he doesn’t plan to seek public financing because he considers it a drain on public coffers..." WWeek.com
[_] (TOY) Timothy O Youker
  • Yikes: No statement in official voters' guide. MultCo.us
  • Yikes: Did not respond timely to the League of Women Voters. LWVPDX.org (PDF)
  • Ouch: "a professional clown who says he was once arrested for not paying child support" WWeek.com
[X] Nick Fish
  • Meh: Campaign website lists bio and endorsements, but no actual plans for what he intends to do. NickFishForPortland.com
  • Good: Seemingly knowledgeable answer about the controversial police bureau: "Reexamine ... the use of lethal and non-lethal tools. More focus on scenario based training and real world skills to deescalate situations. Union contract should include: drug testing...better ability for discipline that is imposed to be upheld by arbitrations. I support current proposed changes to IPR system and believe they can be strengthened by more inclusion of citizens on the review panels." LWVPDX.org (PDF) Huh, Portland cops are not drug tested????
  • Good answer regarding our homeless problem: "Currently enforcement is focused when camps block pathways or when health and safety issues are presented. I support this level of enforcement ... too many of our homeless are either mentally ill or former/current foster children. I support innovative programs which find foster kids permanent loving homes and families." LWVPDX.org (PDF)
  • Good: "Fish’s rookie term has been, in sum, a good one. He’s consolidated aspects of the city’s work on housing, maximizing efficiency when demand is up and tax revenues are down. ...he showed some steel in his willingness to be in the minority on controversial votes, helping to protect taxpayer money by improving the deal to redevelop PGE Park for Major League Soccer..." WWeek.com
  • Meh: "...Fish...is still a fledgling commissioner and has yet to chart a bold trajectory. But he has been a calm, analytical influence in countering the volatility at City Hall. At the very least, he rates an 'incomplete' and a chance to make his mark on housing and homelessness..." OregonLive.com

I voted for Nick Fish two years ago. I'm disappointed Fish hasn't been more outspoken regarding regarding some of the bigger issues such as the mayor's scandal, the Vancouver SUV bridge, but I can understand that he is playing it safe.

As for Fish's challengers, they are hard to take seriously. I'm support 'average' citizens stepping-up and throwing their hat in the ring, but it would be nice if these guys took themselves seriously. Nichols seems the one challenger with a bit of credible experience, but his campaign website lacks even a reason why he is running. Why waste voters' time if you're not going to at least campaign and differentiate yourself from the incumbent?

Monday, May 3, 2010

2010 Primary: OR Superintendent

May 18, 2010, Oregon Primary Election
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Four-year term, $72k salary LWVOR.org

[_] Susan Castillo
  • Top 3 things I want to do if I win. LWVOR.org
    • Vague/Obvious: "...continue to work to improve student performance through clear, high expectations."
    • Good: "increase access to Head Start, Early Head Start and full day kindergarten."
    • Unlikely: "advocate for adequate, stable funding so our schools don’t suffer when the economy is bad."
  • Interesting: "...The good news is that we know which students are at risk of dropping out and Oregon’s high school dropout rate is at an all-time low..." LWVOR.org
  • Yikes: "In 2007...Castillo almost cost Oregonians millions after lawmakers discovered she’d mistakenly told local school districts they could charge tuition for full-day kindergarten. That was illegal actually...To fix her mistake, the Legislature passed emergency legislation, retroactively rendering her actions legal." WWeek.com
  • Yikes: "...a Marion County Circuit Court ordered Castillo’s education department to pay $3.5 million to an online testing company the department had accused of breach of contract. ODE is appealing that decision. But if that effort fails, Castillo will have to lean on the Legislature for another major fix..." WWeek.com
  • Unfortunate: "In 2008, one of Castillo’s employees embezzled almost $1 million in taxpayer funds from the department. Although Castillo says the department has recovered most of the money and put in place new accounting protections, we see a pattern here." WWeek.com
  • Ouch: "...Castillo failed to put Oregon in the running for millions from the federal education grant known as Race to the Top. (Oregon’s application was 35th out of 41 states.) Oh, we forgot—she did help the teachers union in its efforts to curb the growth of online charter schools." WWeek.com
  • Ugh: "...Castillo hesitates to tread outside boundaries set by the Oregon Education Association, one of her key backers. She lacks a strong agenda..." OregonLive.com
  • Ouch. Isn't this her job?: "...Castillo too often has been on the sidelines of big issues. She does not command wide respect at the Oregon Capitol....She had to be pushed...to ask for a state audit of the financially troubled Willamette Education Service District." StatesmanJournal.com
  • Yikes: "...we continue to be confounded that Castillo appointed a non-educator to the department's No. 2 position...despite her own lack of a background in education." StatesmanJournal.com
[X] Ron Maurer
  • Top 3 things I want to do if I win. LWVOR.org
    • Obvious: "Have more students graduate high school."
    • Good: "Prepare students for career jobs"
    • Good: "Prepare students to go to college."
  • Interesting: "...We need to reconnect our schools with vocational and technical career paths that provide a living wage. When the baby boomers retire, Oregon will face a significant skilled workforce shortage..." LWVOR.org
  • Interesting: "...The Department should strive to reduce the administrative burden placed on schools in order to improve quality. We must reduce paperwork for teachers so they can focus more time on their students..." LWVOR.org
  • YIKES: "...Maurer’s view that teachers with concealed handgun permits should be allowed to pack heat in homeroom. Maurer also says the content of sex education should be community-driven, rather than a state matter. ...he’s torn between faith and science. 'I am not a supporter of creationism,' he says. 'I am not a supporter of evolution.'..." LWVOR.org
  • Good: "...Maurer freely admits that he is not the most qualified person in Oregon to serve as schools chief. He says he's running out of frustration that no one else would challenge the status quo. He deserves credit for doing so. In fact, if his vision and agenda were clearer, this newspaper would have endorsed him..." OregonLive.com
  • Great: "...Maurer has an education background, including a doctorate in the field...As a state representative from Grants Pass, and former school board member, he may be closer to grassroots educational concerns that Castillo....He understands the problems created when local districts get inconsistent answers or are delayed in receiving information from the Education Department." StatesmanJournal.com

Well in this case, there is reason to vote out the incumbent. In what has to be a thankless and impossible job, Castillo has made several headline-grabbing blunders. It would be irresponsible for voters to reward her with a third term and hope for better results.

I don't believe in casting protest votes for unqualified candidates. Although, for some reason there are concerns about Maurer's qualifications (education doctorate, former school board chair, state rep.), he seems to be as or more qualified than Castillo (a former TV reporter and state senator). I'm hesitant about electing a Republican with, apparently, the usual biases against sex education and science, but the office is technically nonpartisan. Fortunately, he doesn't seem to be rallying the right wing base.

In nearly every national, state, and local political campaign, education is touted as a top priority, and yet Oregonians have left the top education job to a little-known elected position that offers no incentive to attract an effective executive (really, $72k salary???). It should be an appointed position.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

2010 Primary: OR Judiciary

May 18, 2010, Oregon Primary Election

Oregon Judge of the Supreme Court
Position 5
Six-year term, $122k salary LWVOR.org
[X] Jack L Landau
  • Great!: "...Landau has ruled on just about every issue that matters in this state... he’s not afraid to call bullshit on his fellow judges. He’s been critical of the current Supreme Court for ruling on original intent—the idea we should interpret the state constitution based on what we believe the framers were thinking when they wrote it 150 years ago (nothing like those “storied times” when blacks were excluded from residency). And he chastised the court for its slow pace in turning around cases...." WWeek.com
  • Wow: "Jack L. Landau will go down in Oregon constitutional history as a Court of Appeals judge who pushed the state closer to equal rights for gays and lesbians..."

    "...in Tanner v. OHSU, he wrote the opinion for the court, which found that employers cannot discriminate against gay and lesbian couples when providing health benefits. This 1998 ruling was revolutionary at the time and it electrified the left..."
[_] Allan J Arlow
  • Top 3 things I want to do if I win. LWVOR.org
    • Good: "Make justice easier and more understandable for everyone"
    • Good: "Help people believe that courts will listen to them respectfully"
    • Good: "Write decisions that are clear and easily understood"
  • Interesting: "Any flat fee for government services disproportionately impacts lower income Oregonians. Court and filing fees are set by the legislature and not the courts. ...judges can give exemptions in some cases. ...Under the ethics rules, I cannot express an opinion on any matter which might come before me, including this question" LWVOR.org
  • "...The Judges need to have a thorough understanding of many of society’s complexities and simultaneously give deference to the language and intentions of the authors of the Oregon Constitution and of elected representatives" LWVOR.org
Oregon Judge of the Supreme Court
[X] Rives Kistler
  • Good: "...courts have the power to waive those fees when people lack the funds to pay them. The courts should waive or defer fees when appropriate." LWVOR.org
Oregon Judge of the Court of Appeals
Position 3
[X] Darleen Ortega
Oregon Judge of the Court of Appeals
Position 7
[X] Robert Wollheim
Oregon Judge of the Circuit Court
4th District (Multnomah County), Position 15
[X] Alicia A Fuchs
Oregon Judge of the Circuit Court
4th District (Multnomah County), Position 20
[X] Eric J Bloch
Oregon Judge of the Circuit Court
4th District (Multnomah County), Position 25
[X] Kathleen M Dailey

--MultCo Elections PDF, Oregon Blue Book

The judicial elections seem one of the most bizarre and dull aspects of the ballot. The candidates don't really campaign and can't appear to be political. Ultimately, it comes down to credentials.

The one contested race, the open supreme court position, is somewhat interesting. Initially, I was leaning toward Arlow as I liked some of his answers to the League of Women Voters, but I think I'll go with Landau. Yep, I have to admit it is because of 1998 gay rights ruling. I remember that ruling and appreciate his reasoning.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

2010 Primary: OR Treasurer (Dem)

May 18, 2010, Oregon Primary Election
Democratic Party
Oregon State Treasurer
Four-year term, $72k salary
Manages investment of state monies
Manages the sale of state bonds
Along with Governor and Secretary of State, oversees management of state lands LWVOR.org

[_] Rick Metsger
  • Top 3 things I want to do if I win. LWVOR.org
    • "Create Jobs..."
    • Interesting: "To improve financial literacy in our schools. In 2009 I authored and passed a bill to put the State Treasurer on the Board of Education."
    • Meh: "Protect retiree pensions."
  • "In 2009, as chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, Metsger steered through a 6-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase, the first such hike since 1993. In earlier sessions, he faced off against powerful interests, helping reform the state’s workers’ comp insurer, SAIF Corp., in 2003 and taking on abusive tax practices by utilities in 2005." WWeek.com
  • "...Metsger is arguably the best-qualified sitting member of the Legislature to serve as treasurer. He's worked on everything from mortgage reform to financial literacy to co-authoring bills to finance several billions of dollars in bonds to pay for massive transportation improvements and create thousands of badly needed jobs in the state..." OregonLive.com
[X] Ted Wheeler
  • Yikes: His campaign website doesn't specify his plan or accomplishments as treasurer and is still written toward Multnomah County voters. TedWheeler.com
  • Top 3 things I want to do if I win. LWVOR.org
    • "Wise financial management of state funds through safe and diversified investments..."
    • "Create jobs..."
    • Excellent: "Provide independent evaluations of financial products like mortgages and credit cards so consumers get the best value."
  • "Wheeler maneuvered the tricky shoals of the county without alienating constituents or most of his peers at City Hall and Metro. That collegial style will play well in Salem. Wheeler’s prior experience at Wells Fargo and Copper Mountain Trust give him stronger financial credentials than recent state treasurers." WWeek.com
  • "...only Wheeler has the relevant private-sector financial experience to pair with his public service..." OregonLive.com

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz. I can't imagine many Oregon voters are familiar or knowledgeable about what exactly the treasurer does, at least I know I'm not. Bond ratings, land management, pension management are important, but these seem hard issues to politically debate -- especially with the Democrat contenders seemingly agreeing with other. I like what Wheeler did in Multnomah County and he is already in the job, so there is no reason to throw him out.

The Democrat will face an unopposed and unknown (to me) Republican state senator Chris Telfer, a Bend CPA. Her outdated campaign website still refers to January 2010 election as a future event, quotes Ronald Reagan, and claims she "is the only individual currently serving in the Oregon Legislature, with a financial expertise".