POLITICAL OPINION: Oregon House Dist 32 Election – Who and Why

by Mick Taylor, Committee Person, Precinct 21, Pine Grove, Manzanita
This is it. This primary is likely going to decide our next Oregon state house-person. November is not shaping up to be much of a contest. Your vote is important and in this race it matters.
I won’t be voting for Tim Josi. He plays for the wrong team even though he’s trying to wear our jersey. He takes corporate money. He, through a political action committee, takes money from the company that clear-cut the drinking water source and poisoned the water in Rockaway Beach. When I saw him speak it appeared as though he was running out the clock to avoid taking questions from the audience. He started out by trying to tell us he thinks Global Warming is the greatest threat to Oregonians and at the end, when asked about his ties to the Oregon landslide and river silt production industry (Timber), he wound up trying to tell us all that clear-cuts were good for us and good for the fish. At the end of the meeting when the other candidates were trying to shake as many hands as possible, he slipped out the back. He didn’t even show up to the candidate forum in Manzanita. We need to get the money out of politics.

Although she lacks relevant experience theoretically, today I like Tiffiny Mitchell’s position-ish statements because by-and-large I agree with the SEIU (State Employees International Union), and the League of Conservation Voters. They, among other special interest groups, have gifted her campaign significant amounts of money and top notch campaign staff. What happens to her positionish statements and actual actions when the interests of the weak and powerless conflict with the interests of the powerful that fund her political campaign? What happens when she starts taking money from entities that are out to do us actual harm? It’s the centrist Dem paradox of the ’16 primary – How can we get the money out of politics with a candidate who’s on the take?
John Orr isn’t taking money from corporations or special interest lobbyists. He’s only taking money from individuals (you!). He and I may not agree 100% on all policy or paths forward but he listens, he has ideas of his own and is willing to state them. He holds actual positions. He’s independent from the neo-establishment Mitchell is desperately seeking to be a part of and he’s definitely independent of the rapidly fading order Josi used to be a part of. John Orr is competent and has relevant experience with the Law and legislators write laws. He’s been on our team since at least the 90’s. He was chairman of the NCLC (North Coast Land Conservancy) when Nancy and Nora (my twin aunts) were doing fundraisers to protect the little beach estuary from the Sahalie condo development in Gearhart. If you don’t remember We The People won that one by a fluke – after a long fight we thought we’d lost, a Native American spirit came to the developer in a dream. The developer scrapped the project and donated the land. Anyway, I like Orr’s philosophy: Water, the legal system, roads, education and healthcare are all among the public goods that we should leave to our children in better shape than they were left to us. If you think about it, it’s actually pretty radical. It’s like this: you use the medical system like you use a road. You need medical care, you go to a provider – much like you need to go somewhere you use the road. One of his positions is that we need to raise corporate taxes. We need to close the loopholes and raise the rate. We have to get back at least to where we were in the 80’s. Right now we are extracting money from the poorest among us – mostly children in the form of underfunded education, and we are subsidizing the biggest and most profitable corporations.
Orr was willing to go to the SEIU and tell them that we need to take an honest look at the budget and PERS (Public Employee Retirement System) is a part of the budget and in response they drafted a candidate at the last minute that put us at risk of splitting the vote.
We have to get the money out of politics. It’s sad and frustrating that powerful outside interests are involved but that’s how party politics goes – but really that shit doesn’t matter. John Orr is the best candidate. He’s competent and he’s not on the take and that’s what it comes down to for me.