It’s election time – and in Tillamook County there has been an increase in participation in our government process with many races have multiple choices. The Pioneer is proud to provide this opportunity for our community to make informed voting choices and learn about the candidates. Tillamook County Pioneer’s Questions for the Candidates – November 2022. We will post the candidate’s answers (that we received) in all the national, state and local races, including those from candidates in uncontested races. These questions were gathered from a diverse array of Tillamook County citizens, and provides an opportunity for constituents to compare candidates answers directly.
Here are the candidates for US Senator – Note – the Pioneer did not receive a response from Jo Rae Perkins, Republican/Constitution; or Chris Henry, Progressive
Dan Pulju, Pacific Green
– One that controls its own resources and social and economic well-being. The Green party focuses on grassroots economics. Produce locally, buy locally.
“If elected, what would you do within your position to advance this vision?”
– Reverse the disastrous policies that have gutted our country’s manufacturing and small businesses. Our productive industries have been outsourced, and the misguided covid restrictions and trade war against Russia are making things worse. The Federal government needs to stop spending on war and waste, negotiate fair trade, and reinvest in infrastructure and Main Street.
Please provide a SWOT analysis of your municipality/district:
– I’ve lived in Eugene for 33 years. Our greatest strength is being a diverse, mid-size but well-known city. We live in a beautiful forest. We have a reputation for interesting people, or if you prefer, weird people.
Our greatest weakness is a lack of socioeconomic vision and dependence on the ever-growing higher education sector. In parallel to college costs, rents have outpaced inflation for decades, and homelessness has become quietly accepted as an unsolvable problem by city officials.
There is great opportunity in Eugene for the University of Oregon, but the overall job market is chronically weak.
Thousands of Eugene residents are either homeless or struggling. We’re not doing well.
Eugene’s roads are in terrible condition, and city management is currently making matters worse by installing bi-directional bicycle lanes on our one way streets, confusing traffic and adding minutes to the quickest routes.
“Let’s focus on the positive things going on. Tell our readers about what you will do, if elected to make positive contributions to the community.”
It’s difficult to address this as a Federal candidate, but again, Federal policies have driven a massive economic decline for years, and they show no sign of letting up as long as Joe Biden has Congress on his side. After decades of globalization, their games of hegemony inevitably cause us the grief of short supplies and higher prices. We have got to get inflation under control, and that means simply end the trade war that’s causing it.
“There are many challenges facing our community. What are the issues you think are NOT being adequately addressed?
If elected, how would you work to address these issues?”
Since I can’t answer for Tillamook, I’ll reiterate that Eugene’s homeless crisis has become an elephant in the room. No one seems to know what to do. Now some of the candidates for governor are pointing at drug use and blaming Measure 110, as if drug use or homelessness only began in November 2020. They pay empty lip service, talking about shelters or policing, when the root of the problem is economic.
It’s very important to look beyond the symptoms. Yes, the stress of homelessness may lead to mental issues, yes drugs are prevalent on the scene. But is that causal? The working poor now struggle to afford even the lowest available rents, living paycheck to paycheck, one stroke of bad luck away from the streets. Where’s the energy to address this problem?
It’s a general feature of income inequality in our country. I’m not socialist, but I do believe certain essentials, including housing, should have limits to their use as income-generating property. Making a few people obscenely rich and many more desperately poor is not one of the virtues of capitalism.
Income inequality, in turn, is a feature of large corporations infiltrating and controlling government, both in the capture of bureaucracy and the pocketing of elected officials. This is entirely reversible, but only if they can be beaten at the ballot box. That’s why I’m running. I won’t likely win, but I may be able to convince a few people that it can be done. A result near 5% will show the major parties are vulnerable.
“What is your experience in municipal government service?”
I haven’t served in municipal government.
Ron Wyden, Democrat/Independent
What is your vision of a thriving community?
Serving as one of Oregon’s U.S. Senators is an honor because our state is so special. In our state, thriving communities are built on the Oregon Way, where we put partisan differences aside and come together to make lasting change that helps our friends and neighbors build even stronger communities to live and work. No matter what challenges we face, being able to listen and collaborate with each other is a recipe for success.
If elected, what would you do within your position to advance this vision?
I have a long track record of working with anyone and everyone in order to get results for Oregonians in every corner of the state. I have hosted more than 1,000 open-to-all town hall meetings – at least one in every single one of Oregon’s 36 counties each year. If re-elected, I will continue to keep my pledge of an annual town hall in each Oregon county and engage with any Oregonian who wants to make a positive impact on their community and keep fighting in the Senate for Oregon values and the Oregon Way.
Please provide a SWOT analysis of your municipality/district:
Strengths – Our state is full of caring, passionate people who want to protect and support the beauty and bounty of Oregon.
Weaknesses – Our state, our country for that matter, could very possibly surrender to extremists bent on destroying our democracy, and lose sight of our goals for a shared future.
Opportunities – In all my years as an Oregonian, I have seen such innovative collaboration to make our communities better that knows no party line. We have the opportunity to invest in each other and create a state that we want to see, by Oregon for Oregon.
Threats – Partisan blinders and political extremism dedicated to undermining democracy infect our state and our national politics. If re-elected, I will continue my commitment to hearing from Oregonians in every one of Oregon’s 36 counties every single year.
Let’s focus on the positive things going on. Tell our readers about what you will do, if elected to make positive contributions to the community.
Oregonians know me as a senator who listens, works and delivers results. For example, just recently I was proud to secure landmark health care, infrastructure and climate wins for Oregonians and all Americans through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) – two pieces of legislation that repair the long-neglected building blocks of our communities, lower costs for working families, invest in the future of our planet, and will create good-paying jobs – all while doing more to ensure that big corporations pay their fair share in taxes.
If re-elected, I will continue my commitment to hearing from Oregonians in every one of Oregon’s 36 counties every single year. I will build on the successes of the IRA and BIL and continue the fight to further lower health care costs for hard-working families and seniors, support our state’s growing infrastructure, and lower energy and housing costs for families while investing in our shared future.
There are many challenges facing our community. What are the issues you think are NOT being adequately addressed?
Oregon, much like many other states, is in a systemic housing crisis. Housing is a human right, and investing in affordable housing supply while also providing housing vouchers to unhoused Oregonians will lay a solid foundation to support our growing economy – putting folks to work and getting roofs overhead.
If elected, how would you work to address these issues?
In the Senate, I am known for being a consensus builder in solving major challenges. I seek to address tough problems – particularly in the areas of health care, technology, and protecting the environment – by hearing all perspectives. I will fight every day to continue to lower costs for families, such as energy and prescription drugs. I will work to pass legislation to build more affordable housing because Oregonians and Americans deserve to live somewhere they can afford.
What is your experience in municipal government service?
I am currently the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the leading Senate Democrat on the Joint Committee on Taxation. I also serve on the Committees on Intelligence, Budget, and Energy and Natural Resources. Before being elected to the Senate in 1996, I served in the U.S. House of Representatives. After graduating from law school at the University of Oregon, I co-founded the Oregon chapter of the Gray Panthers, an advocacy group for the elderly and served as the director of Oregon Legal Services for the Elderly.