I have given considerable thought to the District 37 state representative race between Scott Bruun and Michele Eberle.
Bruun, the incumbent, seems like a nice guy, who has a direct, pleasant way of talking to people.
He appears to have done a good job on the school nutrition bill that he sponsored.
However, I have the following concerns about supporting Bruun's candidacy for reelection:
n Bruun has been difficult to contact in my, and some others', experience.
With most elected officials, it's usually easy to contact them. Just call their office, where someone usually answers the phone and converses with you.
My experience with Bruun's office was that there was always an answering machine that fielded calls. Bruun never returned my calls as I requested.
I have chatted with multiple other West Linn citizens about this.
They reported the same experience, i.e. the answering machine, and no return calls.
n Although Bruun's campaign flyers emphasize his bipartisan work in the House, the bills he co-sponsored were, for the most part, non-controversial bills which are apparently the majority of bills in the House.
With the minority of bills that have been politically controversial, my perception is that Bruun has generally sided with his Republican colleagues.
The following are examples of this:
Bruun opposed the Governor's Healthy Kids' Plan. Bruun explained to me and others attending a HSNA meeting at that time, that although he supports reducing the number of children who do not have health care insurance, his 'conscience' would not let him support the Healthy Kids' Plan because of the funding by way of increased tobacco taxation.
He inferred at the time that he had his own plan for solving the problem of the medically uninsured.
I am not aware, however, of any alternative plan he has produced to deal with this problem. Meanwhile, more than 100,000 kids in Oregon still do not have health insurance.
Bruun opposed a House bill to let voters decide if health care is a fundamental right.
He was quoted as saying in a House floor speech then that 'health care is important, but it is not a right.' (Oregonian 2/14/08.)
Bruun opposed a House bill promoting stem cell research.
Michele Eberle has less of a public record to review because her first Oregon political office has been as a West Linn city councilor since 2005.
She appears to be a conscientious worker as a city councilor and was voted to be their president in 2008.
She also has a nice way with people, but is more reserved then Mr. Bruun.
She has stated to me that she does support healthcare as a right, and that she did vote for the Healthy Kids Initiative.
She is pro-choice.
Because of Eberle's stand on the above important issues and my stated concerns about Bruun, I will vote for Eberle for state representative.
I discount the importance of Bruun's claim that Eberle intentionally misrepresented his position on abortion because it remains unclear to me who was responsible for what, and because this is a distraction to the main issues relevant to this election.
Alan Rosenfeld is a West Linn resident.