Thursday, April 27, 2006

2nd District Interviews: Dan Davis

[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 have an extensive and varied background, starting in blue collar small town Oregon (Mapleton/Swisshome) ranging through a Viet Nam War Veteran Army Officer, Research staff, General Electric manager, consultant, entrepreneur and CEO. I have had extensive management and leadership experience and know well how badly we are being mismanaged, mislead and un-represented.

I became politically active, starting with the tragedy to our democracy of the 2000 election, repeated at least in 2004. Seeing the massive incompetence, failures, corruption, excuses and downright lies by this neo - con administration, aided, abetted and rubber stamped by the Republican congress, I then read the voting record of the incumbent Republican, Greg Walden and it was done. I was then committed to do everything I could to allow Greg Walden to be a “Nice guy” at home, where he cannot follow Tom Delay and George Bush over 90% of the time, while voting against our interests in Oregon and the 2nd District.

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.
Most of the good people of the 2nd CD are aware of Greg Walden as a feel good image created by PR campaigns which the Republicans have excelled at, with the help of large sums of money. I am tired of hearing that “Greg Walden is a Nice Guy” Many people think that and so have a positive image and no public figure has really blasted his rubber stamp record of support for Tom Delay, Jack Abramoff, and George Bush, until me. Many people seem to think “Oh a little money here, a little money there, so what? Everyone does it.” Well I am here to connect the large quantities of money to the votes and point out that, No, everyone does not do it and the hard working people of the second CD deserve better – deserve true representation, not a few months of publicity every 2 years. Walden has already begun his parade of appearances and we can now expect to see him in front of rural hospitals, fire departments, schools, community colleges, small businesses, etc., etc., things he has consistently voted to un fund or underfund. We must prepare the public for this and inoculate them against it. Greg Walden has voted:

a) against an amendment to protect financially distressed veterans and military families from the harshest aspects of the means test in the bankruptcy bill (S 1920). This is not “Supporting the Troops”. I would have voted opposite of Greg Walden.

b) to suspend collecting royalties from oil company for offshore oil and gas production. (HA 96) Voted for oil companies, giving them an additional 1.5 billion on top of the $4 billion in tax breaks in the so called energy bill. (HR 3893) Since then oil company profits have soared and so have the prices we are paying. I would have voted opposite of Greg Walden.

c) to cut funds for; rural health care, community college grants, Medicaid, child support enforcement, student loans AND terminated; rural business investment programs, rural business strategic investment grants, rural firefighters and emergency personnel funding, initiative for future food and agriculture systems, and many other programs to benefit small businesses and the people of Oregon and the 2nd District. Walden cast the deciding vote; 217 to 215. (HR 4241, 11/18/2005)
This vote helped pay for extension of tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 % of Americans. I would have voted opposite of Greg Walden.

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
One of the main things that most moderate Republicans, independents and Libertarians seem to fear is that “Democrats will increase my taxes”. There is an extreme distaste for any and all taxes among many who could be swing voters. My background in business seems to reassure them that I will not try to “Give away the store” but will work for responsible fiscal management that reprioritizes the tax structure and expenditures more fairly. Most people, in my experience, understand and believe that we can reduce the vast waste of our multiple foreign misadventures and certain wasteful military programs, to solve many of our problems and that the current “Borrow and Spend” policies are a recipe for disaster. They also understand the difference between a competent business person, like me and incompetence such as in our White House and Rubber Stamp Republican congress.

Other issues like taking away their guns and gays destroying their marriages are bogus and most people of the 2nd CD are smart enough to know that. The few that don’t, even when they understand that I am a gun owner who doesn’t want to steal away their guns, will not change in any event and so we need to work with those who do understand issues better, and that is most voters.

Another issue that we hear frequently is that Democrats are weak on defense, albeit, not as frequently as before due to the near total incompetence of the administration. My background in the military with full knowledge of what that is all about, also reassures many voters. I have and will use this more judiciously than John Kerry did, but if there are “Swiftboat Liars”, I will not hesitate to counter punch.

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?
As I have said before, seniority is of no value if it is used to benefit special interest and not the people. My offer is myself as an honest representative of the people, who cannot be bought and who considers honesty and integrity more important than money and “stuff”.

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?
I have full respect for my colleagues in this race and one of my conditions upon entering was that we would not attack each other, but keep the focus on the true problem and all 3 respectfully agreed. The reason I entered the race, besides my passion to leave a democracy and a country to be proud of to my children and grandchildren, was that despite the great qualities of the other candidates, I did not feel they had as good of a chance to defeat Greg Walden as I do. I believed that in March and I believe that now, completely. I have by far the most leadership and management training and extensive practical applied experience to help lead this country back from the abyss and to the potential greatness of our country as a beacon of morality and democracy. I am up to the task and ready for the challenges.