Wednesday, April 26, 2006

2nd District Interviews: Chuck Butcher

[in an effort to provide useful information on the four Democratic candidates running to unseat Rep. Greg Walden (R) in Oregon's 2nd District, Loaded Orygun compiled a brief, five-item questionnaire and sent it to Chuck Butcher, Dan Davis, Scott Silver and Carol Voisin. As we receive responses we will publish them...]

1) Tell us something about yourself and your background, and explain what prompted you to run for Congress.
I am a small specialty construction contractor from Baker City, OR where I’ve lived for 18 years. I’m married to Scottie Butcher and we have two sons, Nick and Matt. I graduated from Shawnee HS in Springfield, Ohio in 1971, attended Michigan Technological University and Wright State University in the Engineering Physics program, I didn’t graduate, I turned to carpentry. I live a blue collar life and have blue collar employees and watching the state of that group’s economic decline and the decline of rural funding under the current Congress distressed me; and I saw no one on the election filings with that background. The lies and deceits surrounding the Iraq War had a motivating function. I also believe that with a properly run campaign I can beat waldenbush. That would be an important consideration.

2) Because the general meme in your district is that Walden has served his constituency well, and assuming you believe that to be false, please indicate why that is so. Specifically, what are three areas in which Rep. Walden's involvement or lack of involvement at the Congressional level has hurt residents of the 2nd District? Follow up on each example by noting how your approach would have been different.
1) Tax breaks for the wealthy and addressing the inevitable deficit on the backs of the poor and rural

2) Consistent votes that favor the powerful elite and ignore 2nd CD

3) His total mind set divorcement from the vast majority of citizens of 2nd CD, child of privilege and wealthy business owner

3) As you know, Democrats have had a difficult time recently in convincing 2nd District voters that the party can better serve their needs and desires. Please discuss specific areas where policy or perceived policy makes it difficult for Democrats to succeed with your constituents, and how your candidacy represents either a change in policy or an effort to change policy perceptions.
Gun rights are perennially perceived as a Democrat failing, I don’t have that problem. It won’t gain a single vote, but it might take the cotton out of the ears so we can talk about waldenbush’s voting record.

Environment – I am an advocate of finding a middle course, achieving a dialogue that results in actual action rather than an ideological stalemate.

Elitist - hahahahahaha

4) For better or for worse, Rep. Walden's experience and relative seniority in Congress offers political leverage and influence for 2nd District voters. What can you offer to replace that experience, creating a net benefit for Southern and Eastern Oregon?
He has experience at being a lap dog for Bush, DeLay, and special interests, I don’t think that needs replicating. His clout, I’d be the year’s biggest new story for taking him out. That’s hard to ignore.

5) Campaigning together at several stops was a good way to keep the focus on Rep. Walden, and prevent the primary race from degenerating into Democrats tearing down other Democrats. But the voter also needs a way to distinguish you in order to make an informed choice. After observing your colleagues/competitors for a while, in what way do you distinguish yourself from them as the best choice for the 2nd District?
Each of these candidates is a good person with good ideas and I have made friends amongst them, but the question is beating waldenbush and my plain blunt speaking blue collar background gives me common ground with the voters needed to send waldenbush home. Several of these candidates would be better candidates than I in a different Congressional District, but, we’re not in a different district. I have the credentials to show that I can take political action that is considered unlikely and bring it to a victorious conclusion, I know how to work with people to get a good, principled result.