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Fair and Balanced Discussion from Southern Oregon

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Air Quality and Hyperbole 

So I encountered the first potential voter to challenge me on something as I walked today - and he was coming from a pretty strong position as regards his background to take on the words I used in my walking piece.

I have some language in my current handout concerning the Dept of Environmental Quality and the proposed particulate emissions plan for the Bear Creek Valley. This voter I visited during my canvas tonight works for DEQ.

So upon further reflection, I am going to temper my comments when I go to the printer with the next version of my walking piece. Air Quality is still near the top of my list (at #2) as far as issues go, and I can't say I am thrilled with a plan which raises limits in the valley, but asserting with certainty that we will be back in the potato chowder soup days of 1970s air quality is taking it too far.

Bottom line: I will need to be getting and understanding good science from the DEQ once I am elected and I may as well start hearing their side now. I think I'll be able to wrap my brain around it and challenge what needs challenging, while backing off on the exaggerated rhetoric.

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Monday, April 26, 2004

Doonesbury? 

Stretch back to "Still a few bugs in the system" - the first strip we ever saw in daily Doonesbury - Mike doesn't arrive until the third frame, but BD is there from the first panel - wearing his football helmet. Since then, he's been in a combat helmet, a CHP helmet, and back again to the football helmet... Well the helmet FINALLY came off on Wednesday, and the punchline was delivered this morning. Of course the main point of this arc is the loss of limb, which many suspect will be Trudeau's entree to criticizing treatment of Vets (recent and less so) by the current admin.

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OPEN THREAD - Issues Discussion, Other Blogs 

The website is printed on the lawn signs, so the unique visitors count is going up... here is a place to engage in discussion of the issues, either as I have mentioned them on my Issues pages or as YOU see them!

Also, remember to check the "Cheers & Jeers" daily diary over at dKos - this is the latest.

Want a break from politics? Try Wil Wheaton...yes... that Wil Wheaton. You will (ehem) be surprised :)

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Sunday, April 25, 2004

Long lost..., Lawn Signs, & Dogs 

Google is an amazing thing - people who I have not spoken to since the LAST Bush administration are finding this campaign site and emailing me! That is cool.

The Lawn Sign 'wars' have started - I am seeing my opponent's signs up as of this weekend. Can't say I am impressed, but asthetics is an individual thing. I like navy and orange in my own soccer wardrobe and on the Dutch national side, but for some reason, they don't seem to do it for me on the signs.

Finally, I plugged my digital camera in and loaded pics taken on March 21 of dear sweet Bandon and have added in some scans, too:
guarding the front door, being mama dog to little Butters Buster Bun Buns (don't ask), and last summer on Little Butte Creek... this 3rd one is big enough the dial-up folks may want to wait.

Update: Nancy sent over one more - This is Bandon with Nancy's Loki - based on the house color, it is from last summer:
Further Update: Nanc is sure it's Loki and thus it must be four years ago. I insist the house was a REALLY gross color (the preferred term isn't suitable for use on a campaign site) four years ago and the color in the picture is a paint job done by College Works at the very beginning of last soccer season, so maybe it isn't Loki. Talked about flawed human minds :) Odds are exceptionally good that she is correct and I am in error, which then makes me wonder how long the gross color was on, and perhaps it is the color from when we BOUGHT the house... but that was pinker... I thought...

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Friday, April 23, 2004

Volunteer of the Week! 

We've added some links to the Volunteer section. Something that my potential future collegue Peter Buckley also started this past week. It's these great people that make democracy possible!!

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Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Open Thread - Discuss anything! 

Started putting lawnsigns out last night! Want one? Email me here

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Monday, April 19, 2004

Mortality and Loss 

There is a weird balance between this being a true Blog and a pure campaign site. That synthesis comes most clear when I use the space to verr into personal refelction on a matter unrelated to the campaign - realize I didn't agree to stop being myself just to win the seat. The site was up before I was a candidate and it will be up after I am not. So.

So my weekend was a difficult one - my father, who has been living with Parkinson's for several years, fell the Friday before spring break. that resulted in a broken hip, days before my mother was scheduled to fly to France for a month. Between the hospital, me, and several very dear friends, it was decided we could care for Dad and still give Mom the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The demands of providing for some aspects of his care required me to make the drive from the Rogue Valley to the coast (my parents live in Bandon, about 2:45 away) for three of the past four weekends. That scenario on it's own is enough to make one wax philosophical. But this weekend, a new item entered the picture: EXPECTED loss. People who know me know I've had a tough pet year, losing one cat to a car in June, one mysteriously in August and two more to dog attack just before Christmas, none of them more than 18 months old. Those losses are shocking and tragic, but their impact is due mostly to the their sudden and unpredictable arrival. Dad's situation (while not at all looming) was a subtle reminder of that which is inevitable (someone with Parkinsons WILL eventually have a balance loss resulting in an injurious fall, for example) about the living and those who grow old.

This weekend I got it twice - first from the visit with my father, but then from a phone call from home, where a friend was feeding my pets. When my ex-wife and I were engaged in 1992, we visited the Humane Society on a lark. There we met an energetic, personable, loving Shepard-Akita mix named Bandon (yes, that name comes up a few times in my life tapestry). Nancy proposed to me on the beach at Bandon in the summer of 91, and we believed this dog's name was a sign... We adopted her on the spot. After we divorced, we shared her - Nancy's new family was also very dog-laden, so Bandon was mostly with me, but Nanc took her during this most recent soccer season, and on occasional weekends and trips.

Bandon was at least 13 years old - a remarkable age for her breeding. Her weight was a challenge over the past several years and her hips were failing fast. This weekend, the slope slid completely away - from Friday afternoon to Saturday evening, she deteriorated rapidly. Saturdy night, she apparently took herself out for her final rest, though it had not come yet when my friends arrived to feed on Sunday morning. From where I was on the coast with Dad, there wasn't much I could do - call Nanc and her husband, ask that they get over and see what was going on, and get back myself as quickly as possible.

Nanc worked to figure out a way to restore some level of comfort to Bandon for the past 24 hours, but this morning, she again took herself outside to try and find a quiet secluded place. She was telling us what we knew, though didn't want to know. It was her time. I sat with her until the last minute I could this morning before going to work. Nancy and Troy took her in a little before 10am and called me at 10:20 to let me know this wonderful, gentle creature who had shared my home for a dozen years was no longer with us in this world.

And I am supposed to be focusing on Lawn Signs.

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Sunday, April 11, 2004

Two headlines that make us all say "Whhuuuaaaaaa?" 

Orig Posted 4/10, 6:45pm
"The state Department of Human Services avoids $120 million in cuts it expected after Measure 30"... hrm ... Damian Mann's subhead April 8 points to exactly the kind of thing that brings people like Kevin Mannix and the rest of the GOP group in Salem to claim to have a secret plan involving all the 'hidden money' in Salem. And the reporting on this pair doesn't do anything to look for any other possible explanations.

First we have "Miscalculation boosts DHS budget" in the 4/8 edition wherein we learn initially of the recent recalculations yielding this big new chunk of change. Recalculations from initial estimates and assumptions that were vetted through the legislature (but notice NONE of the various "There is money in Salem" types could actually itemize and locate any of it before the Measure 30 election either. Politics is being played by the righteously indignant crowd, too)

Then we get the "Patridge fumes over DHS budget revision", wherein the current occupant of the seat I am seeking utters the memorable, "I'm pissed," as the first of several quotes in the article - all from Republican lawmakers, including my opponent who hasn't actually SERVED IN SALEM, yet. Patridge goes on to ask if we would have made the cuts we made had we known about this extra money - And here is the problem with elected officials talking about money these days - All big numbers are equally Huge and Big and Close enough to each other that they believe we go all stupid. They don't think we can do the math. This was $120 million in an $800 million short fall, so in answer to your question, Rob, "Yes, we (Oregon) still would have made the bulk of the cuts." Almost 7 of every 8 anticipated dollars is basically still gone.

Bottom line is that A: there needs to be improvment in the service delivery agencies ability to account (the funding crunch has impacted the "bean counters", too.) and B: the GOP 'leaders' need to figure out that we want legislators who will be accountable BEFORE the mess hits and will step out boldly to intervene - instead of pointing fingers after the fact, smug and content in their rage ("I'm pissed") - knowing they proved once again government can't be trusted. Newsflash guys - YOU ARE GOVERNMENT - you are the part that we can change and you are the party that has been in charge.

UPDATE 4-11, 1:45pm - The MMT's OpEd for Sunday also addresses this.

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Saturday, April 10, 2004

Who needs a Connection or Authenticity? 

So we had a parade today. The kind with bands (Go Pirates!!) and guys with tractors (there was a VERY cool old John Deere with a huge flywheel on the side facing me) and Shriners in tiny cars (LOTS of them this year... like, LOTS of them) and local dignitaries being dignified in classic American cars - old Plymouth convertables, late 50's 'vettes, Pontiacs, Fords, etc... with two notable exceptions:
1: Rob Patridge (current Representative of District 6), in his family's Rolls convertable ("PATCO" vanity plates) and
2: Sal Esquivel (appointed state senator & current GOP Candidate for District 6) walking (that part is good) in front of

a 10 passenger limo (sim to the one pictured here). It was actually amusing, since his sign was kinda undersized for the vehicle. Might have worked better on a Miata.
Can you say disconnect? This is who represents you, Medford.


I propose we vote for someone who drives something that the bulk of us a: could or b: could (in a pinch for a parade) get a friend to loan us. Just so there is actually a chance that the person can authenically represent us.

If you are curious, I drive a '97 Nissan extra cab, featuring oxidizing paint and usually sporting an aluminum canopy I found in the Nickel. The pirogue that is sometimes on it, I built from a $65 kit (plans and ribs) I got online.

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Monday, April 05, 2004

Nader Falls Short in OR 

On the national political scene, we have Mr. Nader, now running without the "I will build the Greens to greater prominence" excuse. He thought Oregon would be a solid place to stage a 'get on the ballot push' and as Chuck Currie reports, he missed.

Hrm. Message, Ralph? Perhaps to quote Air America's Randi Rhodes, "We can't afford you right now, Ralph"

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Blog Fundraising Update 

Well, I have a few outreach pieces that project beyond the state of Oregon, including the progressive discussion blogs www.blogforamerica.com (an outgrowth of the Howard Dean campaign) and www.dailykos.com, which started as a blog to discuss the looming war effort of the Bush administration and has expanded significantly.

In the grand scheme of things, blog fundraising is NOT something I have placed much budget planning stock in, because I don't imagine the impetus to donate to a state race in a relatively small state is going to play on the big national scene, but never-the-less, I have had some response!

Cash donations have come in from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and today, Wisconsin, Delaware (update and no sooner do I post, than Maryland gets in , too) joined. Donations of effort ("In Kind") in coding some things for this website and in starting my Spanish Language translation effort (hoping to unveil on May 1) come from California, Illinois, and from way upstate here in Oregon...

My new Amazon fundraising tool will graph donations and total donors...it was installed today, so we shall see how it works. It has an initial goal of $5000. PayPal donations are still coming in, as well. I will try to post updates semiregularly, though I doubt I will get a cool Dean Bat graphic going on :)

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Canvassing, Interviews and Open Thread 

So I'm out walking this week - working from a printout of registered Dems, looking for lawn sign locations, donors, voters. No slammed doors yet, though some lukewarm respondants.

Tonight, I am off the canvas to do a few 'must address' things at the house (still have to, you know, live :)), which is nice since it lets me stream the new Air America Radio show "Majority Report", with regular host Janeane Garofalo and guest host Stephen Colbert from the Daily Show...on tonight, DailyKos' Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga.

Later tonight, I sit down with a group from the Oregon Education Association, to see if I can convince them that I am a worthwhile candidate for teachers to support.

You may of course comment on these or anything else you want.

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Sunday, April 04, 2004

Open Thread and TV heads up 

My November opponent will be on Cable Access as part of the "Living Wage Debate - Medford, Oregon." The debate (originally from Feb 29) will...
"be broadcast on RVTV cable channel 31 for Jackson County and channel 15 for Josephine County on Wednesday April 7, 6 PM. Repeat broadcasts, same time and same channels, will be Friday, April 9 and Wednesday, April 14.

On February 29, 2004 an interesting and revealing debate took place at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Medford, Oregon. Speaking for the concept of living wage resolutions were Bill Mansfield with the Oregon Action Living Wage Campaign and Father Liam Cary, with the Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Bill Schueller with St Vincent de Paul took a neutral position and provided an overview of poverty in the Southern Oregon region.

Arguing against the concept of living wage resolutions were Brad Hicks, President of the Chamber of Medford/ Jackson County and Sal Esquivel, newly appointed Oregon State Senator."


Feel free to discuss any matters that come to mind.

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Thursday, April 01, 2004

Buckley's Full Site is Up