Vote for Democrats in the November 2018 election. I was convinced of this before our doorbell rang a couple of hours ago, but I'm even more convinced after chatting with Danny Jaffer, who is running to represent Oregon House District 23.
My wife, Laurel, has been hand writing postcards urging our neighbors out here in rural south Salem to vote for Jaffer. So I'd heard his name, and knew he was running against Republican Mike Nearman. That was it, though.
Talking with Jaffer about his background and why he thinks he can win left me with a really good feeling.
Here's one side of the flyer he left with me. Note that Jaffer is a 20 year Navy veteran. He served in Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, and the Global War on Terrorism.
What's not to like, House District 23 voters? Put more positively, I really liked Jaffer's statement about Oregon Forward on his campaign web site.
Oregon Forward is a movement built on the idea that Oregonians can and should work together to create a healthier, cleaner, and more prosperous community for everyone. Oregon Forward is also a rejection of the dirty politics of fear and intolerance which serve only the interests of deep-pocketed special interests, not you and me.
Whether you’re conservative, liberal, or just fed up with politics altogether, the Oregon Forward campaign seeks to make your voice and your interest the focal point of everything we do. A vote for Danny Jaffer is a vote to strip the power of extreme special interests and return power to everyday Oregonians, where it belongs.
I think just about everybody agrees that the tone of today's national politics is disgusting. I'm a political junkie, but it's getter harder and harder for me to listen to the news when I'm driving around. I get fed up with the constant bickering, backbiting, and blather -- to name a few "B's" that come to mind.
Jaffer struck me as a nice straightforward guy. He must have made lots of house calls in the past weeks and months, but while talking to him I didn't feel that anything he said was canned or scripted.
By contrast, consider this excerpt from a Statesman Journal story about the Jaffer-Nearman race (there's also a Libertarian candidate). It followed numerous quotes from Jaffer, including his observation that Nearman doesn't champion issues important to his community.
Nearman did not respond to multiple requests for an interview. After being contacted by the Statesman Journal, Nearman hung up his phone and did not answer subsequent calls and emails.
Wow. No wonder Mike Nearman hasn't done much for the people in House District 23. Nearman doesn't want to talk about the issues that voters care about, not even to a Statesman Journal reporter who wants to give him a newspaper soapbox.
Maybe Nearman, like Donald Trump, considers journalists "enemies of the people." A letter to the editor in the Corvallis Gazette-Times raised this possibility.
As the midterm elections approach, I asked myself: "Who is Rep. Mike Nearman and who does he really represent?"
After searching the Democrat-Herald's website for "Mike Nearman," I found just three brief listings, one announcing his plan to run for re-election this year, and two others about the same meeting he planned to attend.
I also read in the Salem paper that Mike Nearman refused to conduct an interview and hung up the phone on the reporter.
This is the opposite behavior we need from our Oregon state House representative from the 23rd District. We need absolute transparency and effective communication practices such as using and respecting the media. The media are not the enemy of the people. This, combined with his voting to eliminate school lunches and against net neutrality, smacks of someone in the pocket of special interests.
Look, I'm not saying that Democrats are politically perfect. But I do strongly believe that Democrats are more likely to stand up for the interests of the general public than Republicans, since the GOP typically tilts toward special interests such as giant corporations.
I'm familiar with the saying, "All politics is local." However, that used to be way more true than it is today. Donald Trump views the upcoming mid-term elections as a referendum about himself. He wants one-party rule, the Republican party, which he is the leader of.
Democrats like Danny Jaffer see things differently. They want the people to rule, not a party, nor one Supreme Leader. That's why I'm voting for Democrats on November 6. I encourage everybody to do the same.