I believe in Oregon and the people who’ve made it great. Pioneer spirit has always been part of who we are. Oregonians have spent lifetimes enriching this great state to put the next generation in a better situation. When I travel and people learn I’m from Oregon, a common refrain is, “Wow, I hear it’s beautiful. You’re lucky you get to live there.”

Oregon is a legacy and a gift—a state whose beauty is second to none and one filled with human and natural resources that were once used in a balanced way that allowed Oregonians to thrive.

It’s disheartening to see the state my family loves falter. Instead of being first in the nation for ingenuity and a flourishing economy, instead of being a leader in education, Oregon has a high and stagnant unemployment rate, a devastating childhood poverty rate, and one of the highest uses of food stamps in America.

After serving more than 10 years in the Oregon Legislature, I believe Oregonians deserve a plan for Oregon’s future and a leader who understands our state, who has the capability and the resources needed to ensure our families thrive, and one who will see that future generations have the opportunities they need to be successful.

We can do better. We’ve built some of the most revered cities in the nation. Our universities have created a solid foundation for thousands of people. Oregonians have built businesses which have improved the world. This is the Oregon I’ve known. It’s the Oregon I love. This same pioneer spirit is still in us today, but it’s getting weaker because Oregon’s state policies no longer promote self-reliance, individual initiative and personal accomplishment.

We used to make, grow, and build products that were the envy of the nation. As those industries withered, families were left wondering, what’s next? Traded-sector workers have been waiting years for change. It becomes harder to care for each other when we’re no longer able to care for ourselves. Oregon’s most vulnerable citizens—low income earning seniors, children with special needs, and disabled veterans—rely on the services we can provide when our economy is robust. Yet without a vibrant economy and enough family-wage-paying jobs, providing adequate services for our most vulnerable citizens is increasingly difficult.

In the coming weeks and months, with the help of Oregonians statewide, we’ll develop a detailed plan for Oregon’s future—a plan that will reignite Oregon’s pioneering spirit. Our plans will enable and encourage innovations in technology, medicine and foreign exports. Together we can charter a course to greater opportunities and prosperity.

I’m the son of a union carpenter who swung a hammer his whole life. He taught me about honest living and hard work. I put myself through school to make a living for my family, just like many other Oregonians have done. Oregon is our state and it is going to take hard work to move Oregon forward. I’m committed to serving you and our great state. I believe we need a leader who will stop defending the status quo and start championing a new plan for Oregon’s future. I’m running for governor because I believe we’re stronger together.

State Rep. Dennis Richardson

Oregon gubernatorial candidate

What can Oregon learn from candidate?

Rep. Dennis Richardson (R-Central Point) is running for governor.

You probably know Richardson from the massive political spam emails he sends out on a regular basis to (at minimum) a half million Oregonians, whose email addresses he obtained through public records requests of state agencies. This violation of Oregonian’s private information was not only an outrageous invasion of privacy, but also an abuse of state resources and tax dollars.

Months ago, Richardson launched an online survey that reads an awful lot like he’s been building support for a statewide run. In his emails, he bills it as a way to tell him about your legislative priorities, but once you open it, the page is titled “Connect to Support Dennis Richardson!”

The fact that he’s surreptitiously collected so many email addresses from people around the state—the vast majority of whom do not live in his House District—has led people to believe that he’s been planning something for a while.

So, what might a Richardson campaign look like?

A Gun In Every Backpack. In December, following the tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn., Richardson gained national notoriety by claiming that the massacre could have been stopped by arming school personnel. But why stop there? Why not arm the kids too?

Statewide Email Registry. It’s inconvenient and time-consuming for Rep. Richardson to have to get your email address by going through a public records request. Instead, he’ll create a statewide registry for email addresses. If you want to vote, go to school, get a driver’s license (unless you’re an undocumented resident), etc., you’ll have to fork over your email address to Richardson first.

World Class Constituent Services. Richardson has a long reputation for being genial and responsive to the concerns of constituents. For example, this is the stock response he sent out to people who contacted him with concerns about his massive spam email campaign:

Do you realize that you are not in my district and cannot vote for me. If my motives were political, I would not waste my time contacting those who cannot vote in my district. For just a moment stop and consider that I may be sending this information to you for the benefit of informing Oregonians about what is taking place in our state.

Your email address will be deleted, and it will be your loss not mine. Too bad your skepticism overpowers your ability to accept information from one who offers it for free and expecting nothing in return.

Best wishes and good bye, Dennis R.

This is exactly the kind of classy statesmanship we can probably expect from Richardson in a statewide campaign.

Scott Moore

Our Oregon spokesman

We welcome submissions from readers on local issues for our Opinion page. Please send your thoughts by noon Friday to Raymond Rendleman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Keep Letter to the Editor submissions under 400 words; longer submissions will be considered for Community Soapboxes. Submissions may be edited for length, grammar, libel and appropriate taste. Letters must be accompanied by a full name, a telephone number and street address for verification purposes. Readers are also invited to call 503-546-0742 with story ideas and comments.

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