I could describe what happened in the main part of Friday's Salem City Club debate between Richard Walsh and Kim Thatcher before telling you who I think should win in the race for an open state senate race in District 11.
However, the way Thatcher answered a question from an audience member near the end of the debate to my mind disqualifies her from serving not only as the SD 11 senator, but in any political office.
That's because I have no tolerance for those who spread the Big Lie that Joe Biden somehow stole the 2020 presidential election from Donald Trump even though there is zero evidence of this. And it was pretty damn obvious that Thatcher embraces the Big Lie, though she didn't say so absolutely directly.
The person who asked the question mentioned the Big Lie, asking Thatcher who she thought won the presidential election. Thatcher started off with the usual Republican trying to look halfway moderate in a swing district approach by saying Biden currently is the president, so he won.
But Thatcher didn't stop there, though she would have been politically wise to do so.
Thatcher went on to say that there were questions about the 2020 election, and questions should be allowed from both sides. OK, so far, so good. But Thatcher then said that in Pennsylvania there were more votes than registered voters.
Thatcher could have learned this, just as I did, from a few minutes of Googling. That she didn't do so, or knew the truth and spewed the lie at the City Club debate anyway, shows that Kim Thatcher doesn't respect facts -- a very bad attribute for a state legislator.
Otherwise, the debate was fairly predictable. Walsh is a Democrat. Thatcher is a Republican. Their views on various policies mostly matched their party.
Asked about which of the four ballot measures on the November ballot are most important, Thatcher said that she doesn't support Measure 111, which puts a right to health care in the state constitution, while Walsh likes that measure.
Both candidates support the police. What a non-shock.
On fighting inflation, Walsh mentioned lowering prescription drug costs and supporting higher wages, which gives workers more money to spend on stuff. Thatcher favored doing away with government red tape and lowering taxes, which also gives workers more money to spend on stuff.
Regarding Measure 110 that decriminalized drugs, Walsh supports the voter's decision, noting that resources were supposed to be committed to treatment programs, which has been slow in happening. Thatcher agreed with Walsh, adding that she'd like to send the measure back to voters with modifications aimed at strengthening incentives to seek treatment.
Lastly, Thatcher talked several times about bringing "balance" to the Oregon legislature. Meaning, more Republicans to counter the current Democratic majority. She believes rural Oregonians are underrepresented in the legislature.
Well, my attitude is that this is how democracy works. Does Thatcher feel that the legislatures in Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi, and other red states are out of balance because they're controlled by Republicans? I deeply doubt it.
This "out of balance" argument by Oregon Republicans seems to be rooted in the false GOP attitude that any election where Republicans don't win is unfair. Which is just one step away from the Big Lie spewed by Trump that Thatcher echoes.