To the Editor,
   Ballots will be going out to Oregonians in a week or so. This will be the first presidential primary in 40 years in which the voice of Oregonians will be heard -- and mean anything!
   The Republicans have settled upon Arizona Sen. John McCain as their standard bearer, but the Democrats continue with their usual circular firing squad to determine their nominee. Sen. Barak Obama supporters are claiming that he has an insurmountable lead in pledged delegates, but Hillary Clinton supporters insist that the primary "ain't over till it's over," and that includes our primary here in Oregon.
   Yes! Oregon! The Oregon primary is, in fact, in a position to be pivotal in the ultimate selection of who the Democratic nominee will be. As a Democratic activist of many years standing, as a former Democratic candidate for the Oregon House, and as a longtime resident of rural Oregon, I have a keen interest is what is taking place. And although when the final votes are counted, and a nominee is ultimately chosen, I can enthusiastically support either Barak Obama or Hillary Clinton, I do have a favored candidate.
   And it's time that we Democrats got out there and started telling our candidates' stories! Hillary Clinton is the candidate who can and will do the most for all Oregonians, particularly those of us living in rural areas. We know she will bring a fierce determination and fighting spirit to the presidency, as she does to everything she sets her mind to, as well as bringing the wealth of experience she has gained in the Senate and the real world.
   Her position on the war in Iraq, and her position on health care for all Americans, reflect the opinions of a majority of American voters. Right there is enough for me to want her as our next president.
   But to quote Tip O'Neil, "all politics is local," and what can she do for us here in rural Oregon? In countless campaign appearances, she has stated her support for "expanded access to capital and strategic planning for rural entrepreneurs and small businesses." If our special part of Oregon is to thrive and grow, this is the kind of rural economic development support we need from the next occupant of the White House.
   Hillary Clinton has also stated that one of her high priorities will be to assure that rural America gets broadband and other high tech wireless technologies and high speed fiber optics. As a resident of Fossil, I am constantly aware of the need for bringing 21st century technologies into our rural communities. Here in Wheeler County we still don't have cell service! Hillary Clinton understands this and will work to bring the latest technologies to all rural residents.
   In her recently announced "Oregon Compact," Sen. Clinton has made it clear she will fight for rural Oregonians by supporting restoration of the county payments program to rural Oregon counties. This would prove a lifesaving action to many of our rural counties. She also supports the creation of sustainable jobs by the thinning of our choked, unhealthy and second growth forests. These are concrete issues she supports that will benefit all rural Oregonians!
   This presidential election seems to have been going on forever. From our original eight or nine serious candidates in each party, we are now down to only three. Sen. McCain for the Republicans, and either Sen. Clinton or Sen. Obama for the Democrats. It is time for all Oregonians, regardless of party to get out there and make their voices heard. To get out there and work for their candidate. The time is upon us. My time will be spent in support of Hillary Clinton.
   Jack Lorts
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