Candidate’s Statement Declining AAUW Forum Shows Lack of Knowledge, Disqualifies Himself

www.tillamookcountypioneer.net

Dear Voters:
The first time I read this letter by Candidate Jack Bloom (running for North County Recreation District Board Position #5) I thought it was a joke. No knowledgeable and serious candidate for the NCRD Board would write this gross misunderstanding of local government processes and hurl insults at the AAUW at the same time!
He was responding to an invitation from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to participate in a Candidates Forum. The AAUW has been sponsoring Candidates Forums in our County for at least 30 years.

Thank you for the opportunity but I respectfully decline. I am not really running for a political office. The NCRD Board isn’t even a governing board. It’s mission is to do three things: set overall policy, determine the budget and hire the Executive Director who actually runs NCRD. I’m uneasy with a candidate’s forum because it is not appropriate for a NCRD Board position. I fear that it contributes to the noxious trend to politicize everything including public service positions like NCRD Board. Our mission is to serve the entire community to our collective best ability, not to pander or curry favor with supposedly blue or red entities of our community in order to justify ourselves.
I give you my permission to read my statement into the record of proceedings if you think necessary.
Very Respectfully, Jack Bloom

It is hard to believe that this candidate who has contributed so much to the on-going betterment of NCRD has such a poor understanding of political process, local elections, and governing boards. His letter could derail the campaign of a serious seeker of public office, someone who wants to win votes in a democratic election.

1. Not really understanding democratic elections for public office in local elections. It seemed out of any reasonable possibility that a serious candidate for public office in a local jurisdiction would actually declare “I am not really running for political office.” Such a feeble understanding of how democracy and elections work and are defined seems like it should disqualify a candidate.

2. Not understanding governance as exercised by elected officials in local jurisdictions. Then he says “The NCRD Board isn’t even a governing board.” This must be a surprise to all the Board members who have served to set overall policy, determine the budget and hire the executive. He did get that last part right—it is the task of government Boards, City Councils, County Commissions to set overall policy, determine the budget and hire the executive. To dismiss this work as “not governing” is to misunderstand governance. This misunderstanding should disqualify a candidate.

3. Maligning the motivation and insulting the AAUW. He says the Forum he was invited to “contributes to the noxious trend to politicize everything.” Really? Getting to know candidates in an AAUW neutral setting is part of a “noxious trend”? That comment alone probably swung a lot of women voters toward his opponent. This insult should disqualify a candidate.

4. Politicizing a simple invitation to a Candidates Forum. Finally, he suggests that Board candidates are set up to “pander or curry favor with blue or red entities” if they participate in the Candidates Forum. He is doing the very thing he accuses the AAUW of doing. Contributing to the divisions we are living with today should disqualify a candidate.
With his own letter, Candidate Jack Bloom disqualifies himself from his misunderstanding of elections and the democratic process and to his insults aimed at the AAUW, the organization that always steps up to help voters be better informed with a Candidates Forum.

A vote for Constance Shimek is a vote for the entire NCRD community. She is the advocate who will work for you. She participates where appropriate for candidates, she encourages all she connects with, and she fights—without insults—for the little guy and the underdog.

Julianne Johnson