For someone who decries mudslinging in political campaigns, Rep. Julie Parrish didn’t hesitate to throw the first handful. I have already been the target of her negative campaigning through social media, but this is the first time it’s appeared in print.

My staff is professional, courteous and ethical. Ms. Parrish has manufactured outrage about having her comments recorded in a public forum. Why is she reluctant to have her statements put on the record? No one seeking to represent this district in the Legislature should shy away from going on the record in support of the issues they believe in. Here are the issues I believe in and I would be happy to say them in front of any recording device Ms. Parrish chooses.

The most important issue facing the voters of House District 37 is investment in public education. Let me be clear: I strongly support investing in our education system so that our children are prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

In the two years since my opponent has been in office, school funding has been cut and schools in this area have been forced to lay off more than 100 teachers, increase class size and cancel school days. In addition, students have to pay to participate in sports and to attend music and art classes. Teachers are spending their own money to purchase classroom supplies. This is unconscionable.

During this time of cuts in public education, my opponent voted to divert $160 million from public schools to private for-profit schools. She also sponsored six bills to reduce taxes for corporations and high-income people.

In addition to an excellent public school system, business leaders consistently cite Oregon’s “quality of life” as a primary reason to locate here. I have led the effort to assure that people have access to natural areas within walking distance of their homes while preventing out-of-control sprawl and overdevelopment.

I support increasing investment in our schools and public infrastructure as the foundation of our economic future.

This year, the Legislature had an opportunity to create jobs and improve our economy by investing in workforce training at our community colleges, as well as investing in water, sewer and other projects identified by the Oregon Business Development Department as essential to promoting economic development. Along partisan lines, Rep. Parrish voted to defeat a bill that would have made these critical investments. Had she voted “aye,” the bill would have passed.

These are a few of the issues that distinguish me from my opponent. I look forward to discussing the real issues that impact the residents of this district.

That is what my campaign is all about!

Carl Hosticka, Tualatin, is running for House District 37.

(Editor’s note: This Citizen’s View is in response to Rep. Julie Parrish’s Citizen’s View.)

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