Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Trib Demonstrates Why It Is Little More Than Birdcage Liner

Good fucking grief:

While the race between Oregon House Speaker Karen Minnis and Democratic opponent Rob Brading is of statewide interest, it is up to voters in House District 49 to decide which candidate would best represent their community.

On that score, it is clear that Minnis, a Republican, has the experience necessary to be the most effective advocate for eastern Multnomah County.

Minnis has represented the district – which extends from Portland’s edge to Troutdale, and takes in Fairview, Wood Village and parts of Gresham – for eight years now. Before that, she was legislative aide to her husband, John Minnis, an east county representative and senator.

Minnis’ knowledge of the legislative process would take years for a newcomer to acquire. That’s the chief difference between Minnis and her opponent, whose assertive campaign has been fueled by the desire of many Democrats to topple Minnis from the speaker’s post.

If Minnis were defeated, however, the balance of power wouldn’t change. Republicans still would control the House, but east county would lose.

The community benefits from Minnis’ place in the legislative structure. One small example: When Multnomah County commissioners proposed allocating $6.4 million to schools earlier this year, they at first planned to award most of the money to Portland Public Schools, ignoring the fact that half of the county’s public-school students are part of other school districts, such as David Douglas and Centennial.

Minnis used the carrot and stick of additional state funding to convince commissioners that east county must get its fair share.

Certainly, there are times we disagree with Minnis. On balance, though, she has represented her district well. It makes no sense to trade her experience for someone who would start anew.

It makes no sense to reward corrupt liars who go out of their way to deny civil rights to Oregonians in East County with elected positions of power. Or do the gay and lesbian residents of East County not count to the Trib? What about those East County residents who need their schools funded..and Minnis plans a cut with her 51% Plan, which would be a CUT in school funding (again)?

No wonder this paper remains second rate, at best.