It's not easy being a conservative in a liberal area, or a liberal in a conservative area, because your elected officials tend to do things you'd rather not have done.
Of course, a lot depends on what's meant by "area."
I'm a liberal. I live in Oregon, a blue state. So mostly I'm good with what statewide elected officials (all Democrats) do. Within Oregon, I live in Salem -- that's my address, though I'm not in the city limits -- which leans decidedly leftward. So mostly I'm good with what the Salem City Council does, as the council has a clear progressive majority.
However, when it comes to Marion County, Democrat me often is at odds with what the mostly Republican county elected officials do. (I believe Bill Burgess, the County Clerk, is the only Democrat holding a Marion County elected office.)
Two recent examples:
(1) In the November midterm election, Oregon voters approved Measure 114, which regulates the purchase of firearms. Among other things, a permit is required and ammunition magazines can't hold more than ten rounds.
Seems reasonable to me. I voted for Measure 114.
Statewide, it passed 51% to 49%. But Marion County rejected it 43% to 57%. Which helps to explain why Joe Kast, the Marion County Sheriff, has said he won't be enforcing the magazine capacity provision of Measure 114. Here's an excerpt from a letter Kast sent out.
Download FINAL_BM114_LETTER.doc2 PDF
We recognize it is likely there will be litigation regarding provisions within the measure which will not be resolved prior to the measure becoming law. To protect the interests of our law-abiding community members, we still need to be prepared to assist the residents of Marion County with a pathway to exercise their right to lawfully purchase firearms in the state of Oregon.
We anticipate significant strain on our limited staffing and resources as a result of Measure 114. Moving forward, we will prioritize our services towards the areas of greatest need to best serve the residents and visitors within Marion County, therefore will not be focusing investigations on magazine capacity issues.
Well, as an OPB story says:
Measure 114 was passed by voters, not state lawmakers in Salem. Sheriffs are not lawyers and do not interpret the constitution — that is the role of judges.
Hopefully Sheriff Kast will realize this, that he's not supposed to decide which laws are constitutional, the courts are.
(2) Even more disturbing, because Marion County stands alone among Oregon's 36 counties on this, my county has joined with thirteen Oregon cities in a lawsuit aimed at stopping Governor Brown's executive action on reducing greenhouse gas pollution in this state.
A group of thirteen Oregon cities and one county have sued Oregon's Department of Land Conservation and Development, challenging a new set of environmental regulations that the group argues would force them to change their land use rules in damaging ways and on an impractically fast timeline.
Forest Grove, Grants Pass, Happy Valley, Hillsboro, Keizer, Medford, Oregon City, Sherwood, Springfield, Troutdale, Tualatin, Wood Village, Cornelius and Marion County jointly filed the lawsuit Friday in the Oregon Court of Appeals.
The plaintiffs also filed a motion Monday asking the court to place an emergency halt on enforcement of the new regulations while the lawsuit plays out.
The lawsuit targets Oregon's "Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities" rules, which the Land Conservation and Development Commission adopted this summer in an effort to get Oregon back on track to meet its climate goals, according to the department's website.
The rules were developed after Gov. Kate Brown issued an order in March 2020 that tightened Oregon's carbon emission goals and directed state agencies to take action to speed up the pace of emission reduction.
Well, hopefully the lawsuit won't go anywhere. But I sure wish the three conservative Republicans who make up the Marion County Board of Commissioners would go somewhere: out of elected office and back into private life.
I can dream...