Letter to the editor, May 30, 2012
Re-elect Johnson in District 52
Now that the primary election is over and November's general election candidates have been selected by the voters, I think it's a good time to reflect on Rep. Mark Johnson's accomplishments in Salem.
As our representative from District 52, Johnson has been involved in shaping legislation that matters to us.
His experience as a first-term legislator has been characterized by legislating through building relationships.
This very positive attitude and work ethic has proven the key to an impressive first-term list of accomplishments.
With our Legislature balanced by an equal number of representatives from both major parties, we have seen achievement rather than gridlock in Salem. This benefits us all.
In these very difficult economic times, Johnson has emerged as a leader with these achievements:
• We have a balanced budget without raising taxes on Oregon's wage earners and businesses.
• Funding for education and safety nets for critical social services like health care and public safety have been maintained.
• As co-chairman of the House Higher Education Committee, Johnson has been actively involved in helping craft many of the education reforms that have been passed by the Legislature in the last two years
• We have new education policies that will challenge our students and educators while at the same time seeking to maintain local control of education
• Perhaps most important, Johnson has developed a cooperative working relationship with Gov. John Kitzhaber.
Rather than paying attention to sound-bite tactics and the "occupy" rhetoric of Democratic nominee Peter Nordbye, I think it's far more important to support a candidate who has appropriate private and public experience backed up by a track record of solid cooperative accomplishment.
It's a red herring to look only at campaign financing as Nordbye has done.
The facts are that the Democratic Party outspent the Republicans in District 52 in the 2010 elections ($547,291 to $362,582), according to OreStar.
The voters in that election overwhelmingly rejected the big-money approach of the Democratic Party. It is perplexing why Nordbye would now view this as such a compelling issue, and in fact use it as his only issue. What we need in this area are more jobs, less taxes and a cooperative spirit among our elected officials. Occupier-type political slogans are harmful, false and do nothing to get our district and our state on the road to economic recovery.
Small-business owners and those fortunate enough to still be employed should be very worried about Nordbye's leftist leanings.
Asking for us to pay more, or as the Democrats say, "your fair share," is nothing but code for confiscating the paychecks and income of others to fund their socialist dreams.
A balanced Legislature equally representing all of our points of view is what mattered most in 2010, and is what should matter most in 2012. It's why I think the voters of District 52 should send freshman representative Mark Johnson back to Salem for another term.
Editor's note: This letter first appeared in the May 26 edition of The Outlook.
Buoy needs to get his facts straight
So David Buoy wants us to know the facts about financing of local campaigns. Fair enough.
His source apparently shows heavy expenditures by both campaigns, and with Democrats outspending Republicans by about $185,000. Mine shows the four campaigns for the two local offices (Senate and House) in 2010 at over $2 million, with each of the four campaigns spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. For House District 52 the difference from this source was $97,000.
Now regardless of any discrepancies, who is going to say this is anything but disgraceful? Not us in the Nordbye campaign, including Peter. Doesn't matter which party is offending the worst when both are so heavily invested in mudslinging conceived, controlled and instituted by these outside funding sources. And particularly when the dollars come largely from the wealthy and from organizations seeking a foothold in deciding who will represent us.
Moreover, Buoy is absolutely wrong (no question here) that campaign financing is our only issue. It is our main issue, but our website (PeterNordbye.com) makes clear his position on a host of issues.
And our published letters and other public statements have also made this abundantly clear. And there will be more, including whether candidates for re-election of all parties are wise in claiming credit for what came down in the state budget, regardless of the evidence now clear about effects on our schools.
As for the cheap shot referring to the occupy movement: No one who has had contact with Peter would suggest such a thing. Nor would they crudely refer to him as leftist. This label doesn't apply to this gentle-spoken, rational and thoroughly decent person.
We'll be taking no such cheap shots at Johnson, and hope Buoy's style of campaigning will not signal such by others, as was commonplace by both campaigns in 2010, though conceived, funded and directed by outsiders.
Just us local folks engaging as best we can in the self governance conceived by our founders.
But behind all this is what a growing number of local citizens recognize as the corruptive influence of huge outside dollars on campaigns, regardless of the qualifications, political positions and parties of the candidates.
I can't help but believe that if Peter (or one of us close to the campaign) had a quiet, rational conversation with Bouy, he would also agree. Almost everyone we contact does, including Republicans and those registered in other ways. It's just too obvious to ignore.
Then we could move on to discussing the issues and qualifications of the candidates. And let our local residents decide who should represent them.