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Fair and Balanced Discussion from Southern Oregon

Monday, October 27, 2003

All Politics is Local...sort of 

Thomas "Tip" O'Neill of the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts asserted this truism during his tenure as Speaker of the US House.

And so we come to me in 2004. Out on my front page, I mention my support of Howard Dean. Here as part of my links on the right side of this page, I include a lot of national issues websites and blogs. I am running for the State Legislature, why all the national content? Well because the BIG PICTURE is of immeasurable importance this time out, but (cue Mr. O'Neill) "All Politics is Local"

Howard Dean (or any other Dem for that matter) winning the White House will only accomplish so much for the circumstances of the nation and even less for the circumstances of the state. We are in a time of great opportunity, but by the very nature of the opportunity, it is also a time that lingers on the edge of a disaster.

The GOP's control of the Oregon Legislature resulted in marathons of sessions and special sessions over the past few years. Tough decisions - decisions of precisely the magnitude and complexity for which we decided on representative democracy, rather than direct democracy, have been avoided, dodged, postponed, or passed on by that GOP-controlled legislature and either left undecided or referred to the voters, so all the voters who have the background to make an informed choice on the Oregon revenue system can jump right up and somehow manage to be a majority result?

Folks in my district tell me I have tackled a hard task - Rob Patridge is popular and has done a good job representing us, they say.

Really? How many positions went unfilled in 549c this past year because there wasn't enough money to staff them? You may recall schools used to be funded by local property tax base, but the voters of Oregon changed that (and why that wasn't a good idea is an entirely different post) and the LEADERS in the legislature were expected to either find new sources of revenue or to at least propose some workable ideas that the voters could be involved with. How long do we need to wait?

So at some level, I am not running against Patridge, per se. I am running against a GOP majority in Salem. I am running against stagnation and disregard of the common good. I am running against an Oregon legislature that has acted in support of the immediate needs of a limited number of citizens and with apathy as regards the needs of the Oregon of my twilight.

The mismanagement leads to a rage at government which then serves to make the problem worse. The few items we are given to vote on tend to be items which reduce even further the revenue stream and the options for that revenue stream. OR they are attempts to force even more direct democracy decisions over items that a very small percentage of the voting public are qualified (to be charitable) to make.

A comparison (though perhaps a stretch) may be this (and bear with me, this could be convoluted): We hear a lot of "It's our town, we know what is best for it!! We should have the right to vote on all X decisions." Well...it's my body, I know what's best for it, I should have the right to decide on on all surgical decisions...

Sounds like a good start, yeah? But wait...What about the surgical decisions that come up after I am anesthetized and cut open? Not very practical now, eh? But I did say "all surgical decisions", didn't I?

Oregon voters are so chapped about the direction of government that they are passing "All decisions" laws and after the fact realizing what "all" means. We have another one coming up here with Medford 15-49 and I'll bet it passes. And I'll bet we figure out after the fact that in means voting on stuff after the patient is drugged and opened.

Ah, I rant today...

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Saturday, October 25, 2003

JCDCC Roosevelt/Kennedy Dinner & Molly Ivins 

So this has been a good weekend for the consumption of political red meat by left leaning folk. Molly Ivins was here on Friday night speaking at the Medford National Guard Armory in support of her newest effort, Bushwhacked. For those of you familiar with Ivins' work, you can guess the general tenor of her presentation. JPR's Jeff Golden introduced her by referring to some of the local paper's letters to the editor aimed at said work. A good time was had by all.

Then tonight, the county Dems had their annual Dinner. Tonya Graham (fellow Dean organizer), from Headwaters; JPR's Golden, and former congressman Les AuCoin were the planned speakers, though Peter DeFazio (US House Dist 4) made a surprise appearance.

The theme of the evening will be no shock - we have an opportunity and a challenge to step up and take the lead on fighting for progessive change in the face of the current governance of both state and country and it is our duty and obligation to carry on.

I hope I can do my part - I think a candidacy is a pretty substantial part of that, but I am not content simply to run and try to claim a seat in Salem - I know we have an urgency that goes far beyond that.

Please help me in getting the efforts of the party back to vibrant vitality in Jackson County, in Oregon, in America. Help me take the party back, take the city, county, and state back, and to take the country back. The things that matter to us in rural and suburban southern Oregon are matter to a good deal of the country. And we need government that is responsive to those needs from City hall to the White House.

Use the 'Comments' feature at the bottom of each of these posts to join the dialog. This is you making change!

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Friday, October 17, 2003

It's been a while... 

...since I posted here, but in all fairness, I told you I wasn't going to be here until after soccer season - so I am actually overdoing it :)

Something caught my eye today that was written to apply to the national scene, but applies at the state level, as well.

Over on Kos, bullpen blogger DHinMI has a bit on dueling economists and as part of it, we get a quote from Paul Krugman that includes this little bit of wisdom:

George W. Bush is like a man who tells you that he's bought you a fancy new TV set for Christmas, but neglects to tell you that he charged it to your credit card, and that while he was at it he also used the card to buy some stuff for himself. Eventually, the bill will come due — and it will be your problem, not his.

So this is kinda what do with the kicker...give the taxpayers some nice cash up front, only to have the next wave of bonded debt and fee and tax increase to result in a larger bill in the end.

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