I heartily enjoyed David Engen's letter to the editor in today's Statesman Journal. Well, aside from his use of the term "marginal."
I don't consider the 2014 Salem City Council candidates who weren't endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber's compliant extension, our daily newspaper, to be marginal in any way.
Probably Engen meant "outside the power structure," or something like that. Vote for Andersen, Swank, Bassett, Lor, and Proudfoot -- they will represent ordinary citizens, not special interests.
Anyway, since it doesn't take long for the Statesman Journal to put letters to the editor into its must-pay-to-view archives, here's Engen's "Those not endorsed by chamber deserve chance." Along with the cogent comments submitted by readers.
When the Chamber of Commerce becomes a political party and puts forward and funds its own group of candidates, it cannot pretend to be for the welfare of the general public.
The fact that the Statesman Journal endorsed all the chamber's candidates for the Salem City Council is hard to ignore.
An examination of all the candidates shows that the marginal candidates are a well-educated and well-experienced group. They are indeed at least as qualified to be members of the City Council as the people the Statesman Journal have endorsed and without the baggage the others bring.
Too bad they have been dismissed so lightly by the Statesman Journal.
Haven't people had enough of the Chuck Sides type developer being in bed with the powers that be? Haven't people had enough boondoggles at taxpayer expense like The Meridian? How many more Boise Cascade sweetheart deals is Mountain West going to be given?
Anyone who is actually elected, the Mayor and City Council candidates, are backed and funded by the Chamber. That is how they secure their platform. Former City Councilor TJ Sullivan now works for the Chamber. Councilors Tesler and Clem are not running for re-election, but I haven't discovered where they are moving on to. Anyone out there know anything?
Whether they are Dems or Repubs doesn't make a difference, they are of the same mindset and need to go.
The statesman has not been as good a steward for our community as it could be, but since i am not a subscriber and the Chamber members at least financially support the paper it is hard to complain about.