I doubt that our senior senator here in Oregon, Ron Wyden, is losing sleep over Jim Huffman's announcement that he's seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Wyden next November.
At least, I assume Huffman is running as a Republican.
You can't tell from his campaign web site, which as far as I could tell doesn't mention his party affiliation at all (a wise move, given the demonstrated inability of R's to win statewide offices).
His web site is rather strangely named jobsfororegonians.com, a URL that has nothing to do with either (1) Jim Huffman or (2) the race for a U.S. Senate seat.
This also isn't an accident, since Huffman is going to have to overcome some major obstacles if he's going to have a chance of winning: himself, and Ron Wyden -- who has beaten the Republican candidate by 27% (1998) and 31% (2004) the last two elections.
Wyden wins because his moderate centrist positions appeal to Oregonians. I predict that Huffman is going to lose, by another substantial margin, because his fervent far right-wing conservatism is way out-of-touch with the majority of this state's voters.
The Democratic Party of Oregon has put up a Meet Jim Huffman site where we learn that Huffman...
-- defends massive Wall Street bonuses to those who engineered this country's financial meltdown
-- wants Social Security to be privatized so seniors can risk their retirement income to the whims of the stock market
-- denies that global warming is occurring and urges that we adapt to horrendous changes to the Earth's climate rather than try to prevent them
-- wants more conservative activist judges who will issue edicts on right-wing issues that voters reject at the ballot box
Regarding judicial activism, Jim Huffman is a big believer in property rights. But only for certain people: those who want to pave over Oregon's irreplaceable farm and forest land.
Huffman strenuously opposed Measure 49, which was supported by 62% of Oregonians, because it restored a balance between protecting the environment and allowing people to do whatever they want with their land.
People in Oregon like political moderation, in land use as elsewhere.
But Huffman says that the clear majority of Oregon voters who favored Measure 49 in 2007 are "party to tyranny." He wants activist judges to overrule land use protections approved via the ballot box (or in this state, the mail box).
Huffman is disturbed that people are starting to talk about his far-right political positions. Well, he should be. Seniors aren't going to be happy to learn that Huffman approves of a plan to dump Medicare and change it to a voucher system that would work like this:
The proposal would shift risk from the federal government to seniors themselves. The money seniors would get to buy their own policies would grow more slowly than their health-care costs, and more slowly than their expected Medicare benefits, which means that they'd need to either cut back on how comprehensive their insurance is or how much health-care they purchase.
Huffman likes a not-so-great idea: give Medicare recipients less and less voucher money every year, so they'll have to buy cheaper and cheaper private insurance with fewer and fewer benefits, likely becoming sicker and sicker.
Good luck with your election bid, Mr. Huffman. With positions like that, you'll need it.