This question is worth asking: Can East County Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson live up to her own billing as an effective moderate Democrat while at the same time posting a nearly 100 percent (98.4 percent) voting record along the caucus line?

What that record really says is that Sen. Monnes Anderson almost never casts a favorable vote on a bill if it doesn’t first pass muster with her party compatriots. To us, that sounds more partisan than moderate. And if not partisan, then it certainly sounds as if she’s more follower than leader.

After four years in the Oregon House of Representatives and eight years in the Oregon Senate, we would have hoped that Monnes Anderson would have risen in the ranks to become one of Oregon’s most influential lawmakers. She has not.

Instead, her reputation is one of being kind and friendly, but far short of the dynamic advocate needed by constituents here in East Multnomah County. Let’s be clear: Like many people, we believe Monnes Anderson’s heart is in the right place. But empathy and compassion must be accompanied by legislative effectiveness if East County is to receive the type of representation it deserves.

An interesting observation is that the Oregon Business Association is honoring three Oregon legislators for their work in overhauling health care. Among the honorees are Sen. Alan Bates, D-Medford, and Reps. Tim Freeman, R-Roseburg, and Tina Kotek, D-Portland. Monnes Anderson wasn’t even mentioned, even though she’s the chairwoman of the Health Care, Human Services and Rural Health Policy Committee. The fact that Monnes Anderson wasn’t even mentioned speaks volumes about her leadership on the health-care front.

With these things in mind, The Outlook is recommending a vote for Republican Scott Hansen.

Hansen has been in business as a dentist for 22 years, which provides him with important insights on matters of economic development and health care, two of the most important topics facing state government in the next legislative session.

He also has served on boards and committees in the Gresham-Barlow School District, which gives him a starting point from which to engage in the conversation on statewide education issues.

Hansen also has proved himself to be a quick learner, which is important to local cities and schools when help is needed on legislative issues.

On education

Hansen says he will work to cut back on administrative and bureaucratic costs so that more money can be spent on teachers, classrooms and supplies. He says he will encourage parental involvement, which he calls “one of the best indicators of student success,” and commit himself to improving Oregon’s high-school dropout rate by making sure all children have opportunities to succeed.

On public safety

Hansen says he’ll work to increase police presence on MAX lines and transit terminals. He’ll support funding to deter gang violence. And he supports full prison sentences for violent criminals who violate parole.

On jobs

Hansen wants to work toward job creation by freeing up shovel-ready ground in East Multnomah County. He also says he’ll insist that transportation planners take into account the needs of business, industry and commuters when they plan projects, and he’ll work to ease the regulatory burden on Oregon businesses.

On spending

He fits the mold of moderate Republican, opposed to runaway spending and reckless borrowing. He says if elected he would strive to make sure Oregon lives within its financial means. At the same time, Hansen has persuaded us that he greatly values the public services the state provides — particularly education — and he will work with legislators of both parties to accomplish what’s best for Oregon, not just what’s best for his party’s political interests.


We feel confident that Hansen will bring to Senate District 25 a heightened sense of passion and urgency. After eight years, Monnes Anderson has had her opportunity for service. Now, it’s time to give someone else a chance. We strongly recommend a vote for Scott Hansen.

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