Friday, May 05, 2006

Loaded Orygun's Political Endorsements

[Updated 8:30PM--I'm adding commentary to the Washington County races below. My comments will be in italics--Carla]

Yeah, it's a bit late in the game--a fair chunk of people have likely already turned their ballots back in. Darn that efficient vote by mail system! But it's not as if people were awaiting our endorsements with bated breath...yet. So better late than never, here's who Carla and I are jointly backing for the May 16th primary:

Democrat for Goobernor--no endorsement. Like I said, these are endorsements we both agree on--but this is the only one on which we disagreed. Carla thinks Hill can do the job and can win; I'm not so sure of either. Carla thinks Ted has been no help at all in his first term; I'm a little more sanguine. Nonetheless, neither of us are tickled with the choices, and so for the primary we have no endorsement. Come November, I'd say there's a 90% chance we'll back the Democrat, whoever it is.

Republican for Goobernor--
neither of us thinks any of the three GOP candidates are what the state needs, but just to throw it out there, we think Jason Atkinson is the most honestly conservative and least corrupted/zombified of the three. Mannix is a money-corrupted creep, and Saxton is a phony. Enjoy your evening with Hobson, Oregon pachyderms!

Democrat for Congress, 2nd District--Dan Davis. This was a tough call. We think all four candidates are worthy and passionate, and what the 2nd District really needs instead of Greg Walden. However, there is a pragmatic choice, and in our view it's Davis. He has the most political experience of the four, and also presents himself as the most mainstream candidate, without sacrificing progressive principles. We really, really like Chuck Butcher's hardscrabble outlook and Schweitzeresque emphasis on Git-R-Done government, but he, like the other two non-endorsed candidates, lacks pieces of the puzzle.

Portland City Council, Position 2--Erik Sten. As if you had to guess, right? Contrary to what may be the consensus blogosphere opinion, that we've always been in the tank for Erik and can't be forced to take our blinders off, we had no favorite candidate when the race began. We knew we were suspicious of Burdick, and didn't think Lister was ready to seriously take on the task of governance, but I personally had high hopes for Emilie Boyles at the beginning. Now, not so much. Erik is not without flaws, and mistakes have been made. But we believe mistakes made under the umbrella of good intentions and valid rationales are forgivable, if there are other successes to point to. Sten's votes to address campaign finance, boot the Joint Task Force from Portland Police and draw the line on further tram spending, his work to find new lives for the city's homeless, and his smooth stewardship of the Fire Bureau deserve another term to take on the big projects that others are justifiably afraid to tackle.

Portland City Council, Position 3--Amanda Fritz. We're not entirely down on Dan Saltzman, he's essentially a good guy and not a train wreck in the Councillor's chair. But Amanda is the kind of candidate we hoped would be encouraged by public financing of campaigns--smart, dedicated, and from the grass roots. She has the perfect mix of leadership experience (helping lead a nurse's union strike; working on the Planning Commission; developing school programs; spearheading parks allocations) and woman-of-the-people bonafides. Utilizing a large group of volunteers who covered nearly every inch of the City in collecting support, Fritz's campaign is the first in a long while that truly rises out of the neighborhoods, seeking to give more power to ordinary citizens in the decisions that affect their lives and livelihoods.

Multnomah County Commission, Chair--
Ted Wheeler. Diane Linn is another pleasant, well-meaning person. But unlike Saltzman, Linn really HAS been somewhat of a train wreck this past term. We could forgive all that, perhaps, but repeated and corroborated allegations about malfeasance in office are too bothersome to overlook. Wheeler's a bit of an unknown politically, to the extent that his stated views don't always mesh with his background, but we're willing to take him at his word, and like his focus on setting a new tone from the height of the Chair's raised pedestal.

Multnomah County Commission, District 2--Jeff Cogen, Lew Fredrick. I like Lew as someone with the right bio to help further shake up the Commission, while Carla prefers Cogen's insider experience relevant to running the county. We'd be happy with either, so both receive our blessing.

State Superintendent of Schools--
Susan Castillo. Any Superintendent who recognizes that CIM/CAM is hopelessly outdated, and has nearly doubled the number of kids in full-day kindergarten while also concentrating on closing the achievement gap, gets our nod to help finish the job.

Oregon Supreme Court Justice--Gene Hallman. Some like Jack Roberts for his legal experience, others prefer Virginia Linder because...well, mostly because she's a woman (although we agree she's also qualified). We think Gene Hallman's the best choice. He has the legal chops to nearly match Roberts, but he also has political perspective from his time on the OLCC and work in the Kitzhaber administration. But the best reason may be that Pendletonian Hallman would be the first OSC Justice from somewhere other than Portland, Eugene or Salem in almost 20 years.

These last few are courtesy of Carla, who keeps an eagle eye open out in Washington County. Over in Clackamas, I admit I've not been paying much attention, mostly because Darlene Hooley has no opposition, Brian Newman's a lock for Metro re-election, Greg MacPherson is beloved by nearly get the idea. So I'll leave these without comment; Carla may step in and offer some insight on the choices.

Oregon House, 27th District--Tobias Read: I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Read at Drinking Liberally. And honestly, I'm not sure there's a major difference between Read and his Dem opponent Mike Bohan when it comes to issues. But I was impressed with Read's energy and intelligence. I believe he'd do the 27th proud.

US 1st Congressional District--Shantu Shah: This is my "kick the bums out" endorsement. I have been throroughly disgusted with David Wu's voting record the last two years. I believe he's completely ignored the constituency in the 1st Congressional District and has failed to vote in its best interest. Specifically, Wu's vote for the Bankruptcy Bill in Congress demonstrated an utter contempt for those he represents. Of the 3 remaining candidates in the Dem primary, Shah appears the most experienced. So he gets my endorsement.

Metro Council Position 4--Kathryn Harrington: When we started Loaded Orygun, one of the main goals TJ and I articulated was to get progressives into office. That's exactly what this endorsement of Kathryn Harrington is about. 'Nuff said.

Washington County Commissioner--Desari Caldwell: Caldwell has it all: Progressive chops, a fantastic background--having been schooled under the tutelage of the great Mitch Greenlick --(and I can even let it slide that Bruce Starr likes her, too). Caldwell is far and away the best choice for this seat.

Beaverton City Council--Bruce Dalrymple,Betty Bode: This is one where I'm going completely on the word of friends and neighbors in the area. These are the two that the people that I trust--trust.