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

[_] Rick Metsger
  • Top 3 things I want to do if I win.
    • "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."
  • "...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..."
[X] Ted Wheeler
  • Yikes: His campaign website doesn't specify his plan or accomplishments as treasurer and is still written toward Multnomah County voters.
  • Top 3 things I want to do if I win.
    • "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."
  • "...only Wheeler has the relevant private-sector financial experience to pair with his public service..."

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".

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