The sun rises in the west. The Salem Chamber of Commerce endorses Republican candidates. Some things can be counted on in this otherwise uncertain world. A Statesman Journal article reports:
The Salem Area Chamber of Commerce is endorsing four local Republicans for election to the state House of Representatives.
The endorsements went to:
- Rep. Bill Post, seeking re-election in Keizer; opponent: Sharon Freeman (D)
- Rep. Jodi Hack, seeking re-election in Salem; opponent: Larry Trott (D)
- Patti Milne, seeking election in Woodburn; opponent: Teresa Alonso Leon (D)
- Laura Morett, seeking election in Monmouth; opponent: Rep. Paul Evans (D)
Not that the Chamber of Commerce is going to take my advice, but I'll give it anyway: habitually endorsing the most conservative candidates isn't a smart move.
For one thing, on the national level Democratic presidents have created tens of millions more jobs than Republican presidents since 1961. So says PolitiFact:
Are Democratic presidents better than Republican presidents at job creation? Former President Bill Clinton said so -- forcefully -- in his speech to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
"Since 1961, for 52 years now, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24," Clinton said. "In those 52 years, our private economy has produced 66 million private-sector jobs. So what's the jobs score? Republicans 24 million, Democrats 42 (million)." In the packed convention hall, it was one of the night’s biggest applause lines.
...Clinton’s figures check out, and they also mirror the broader results we came up with two years ago. Partisans are free to interpret these findings as they wish, but on the numbers, Clinton’s right. We rate his claim True.
So liberal/progressive leadership is better for job creation than conservative leadership.
Plus, lots of businesses in the Salem area are managed by centrists or left-leaning people. Since the Chamber of Commerce professes to represent a broad cross-section of local businesses, it doesn't seem wise for the Chamber to always tilt rightward politically.
Especially when registration data show that an increasing number of people in Salem are identifying as Democrats. So says a recent Salem Weekly article, "Salem Becomes Even More Progressive."
In January, 2015, Salem Weekly reported on how Salem was a more progressive city than most people think.
That story presented analysis of recent election results in Salem’s eight City Council wards showing that Salem voters are actually nearly as progressive as voters in cities like Eugene and Portland.
Most of the analysis for the January, 2015, article was done by Tina Calos who chairs a local organization called Progressive Salem which was formed in 2015 to elect more progressives to local office in Salem. Calos has recently done some new analysis of voter registration data in Salem that shows that the trends she found 18 months ago have continued.
In her new analysis Calos looked at the change in party affiliation (Democrat and Republican) in the past two years in the eight Salem City Council wards. What she found is that Democrats have increased their registration in all eight wards.
Here's another reason why the Chamber of Commerce shouldn't automatically endorse the most conservative candidate: sometimes that candidate is a wacko.
Patti Milne, for example.
My wife and I, along with many others in our rural south Salem neighborhood, got to see a lot of Milne-in-action when she served on the Marion County Board of Commissioners. Universally, both our liberals and conservative friends viewed her as an unmitigated disaster when it came to making important decisions fairly, factually, and lawfully.
Here's an excerpt from a post I wrote in 2014, when Milne last ran for a political office: "Patti Milne was a terrible county commissioner. Vote for Courtney."
Democrat Peter Courtney has been an excellent state senator in the Oregon legislature.
His opponent is Republican Patti Milne, someone my wife and I, along with others in our rural south Salem neighborhood, know quite well as an elected official.
Here's my well-founded advice to voters of all political persuasions in Courtney's district: Vote for him! Milne was a disaster as a county commissioner. There's no way she deserves to be a state senator. [Or, now, a state representative.]
This dismal opinion of Milne was shared by virtually everybody in my neighborhood, conservatives and liberals alike, during our five-year fight against a subdivision proposed to be built on high-value farmland that threatened our wells and surface water.
Along with Sam Brentano, Milne displayed a horrendous disregard for facts and the law. She kept voting to approve construction of the subdivision because of her personal feelings.
We and our neighbors, along with water experts we'd hired, spent many hours testifying about why it was both illegal and wrong to allow the subdivision to be built in a groundwater limited area. Our attorneys correctly argued that the law didn't allow Marion County to approve the subdivision.
After we finally won our case in Marion County Circuit Court, I wrote "Judge slaps down Marion County Commissioner Patti Milne." The truth had to be told.
Also, this just in.
The Chamber endorses the bond measure for the inappropriate police facility.
I am shocked.
Posted by: Kurt | August 07, 2016 at 10:08 PM