September 30, 2022
To the Editor: As election day in Oregon draws near, we’ve heard candidates’ positions on nearly all the issues of the day. Homelessness, crime, Covid, abortion, the urban-rural divide, and the list goes on. One subject which has received little attention in the race for Oregon’s next Governor is management skills and the proven ability to run a large organization. Oregon’s general fund budget is in the $ 30 Billion range and the all funds budget is well over $100 Billion. State employees number over 40,000 with thousands more under contract work. That puts our state in a class of big business along with Intel, Nike, large hospital chains and Oregon’s largest organizations. Not a place for the untested, inexperienced, or timid CEO. In recent years, Oregon’s governance has been conspicuous by its failures. Our state’s management structure is a textbook example of the well-known Peter Principle. One need only recall such fine examples of management as the Columbia Crossing, the Employment Department’s handling of claims during Covid and recent attempts to develop comprehensive user-friendly web sites.
That’s where Betsy Johnson has a clear advantage over her two opponents. Betsy owned and operated a medium sized company for many years and had her signature on the front of paychecks. She has also served on the boards of several large organizations. All experience her opponents cannot claim. As an elected official in Tillamook County myself, I have known Betsy for over 20 years. I’ve seen her deliver on promises and solve problems regardless of political affiliation. She knows the state budget like a preacher knows the Bible. I’ve seen Betsy cry and I’ve seen and heard her analyze a government department in exceptionally clear language. Betsy is the real deal. Betsy will make the hard choices necessary to deliver services and keep state government departments on track and accountable. Can’t deliver – find another line of work. Something our state government has not been able to do for many years. Government should not be a guaranteed job for life. Betsy Johnson can be compassionate, patient, sympathetic and understanding. She can also be firm, resolute and results driven. That’s why she’s my choice for Oregon’s next Governor.
Doug Olson Pacific City, Oregon