As a veteran tea party activist, I remain committed to what I perceive as the core
principles of the “tea party” movement. Those are: sound money; limited government;
and free enterprise.
With those values in mind, I would offer the following considerations regarding the
present primary election. Take them simply as suggestions.
We have two commissioner openings. One for the seat presently held by Reedy and one
for the seat being vacated by Haugen. We have two tax levy propositions. We have a
bunch of openings for judges.
The Reedy Seat
The key consideration here is that Cheryl Walker is the front runner and favorite of
the Courier. She is an established and veteran progressive in terms of political
philosophy with an agenda. What I call a Dave Toler in pantyhose. She can be counted
on to support rather than oppose the growth of government. I would view her as the one
to beat at all costs.
Beating her will be difficult. She has an accomplished political machine and the full
support of the enviro community.
Don Moore talks the conservative talk but does not usually vote that way. He has name
recognition and experience as the mayor of Cave Junction. He also has a campaign
manager straight from the New York ward boss school of politics which is whole
different can of worms. I cannot recommend them.
I have found Reedy competent and reliable to deal with but I doubt he has the
horsepower to defeat Walker. Much as I like him, winability has to be a consideration.
Bob Just has name recognition and appears to be mounting a serious campaign. He is a
genuine anomaly: a tea party Democrat. I think that political persuasion needs to be
The Haugen Seat
Here again, the front runner Keith Heck is a darling of the Courier. He has lots of
favor because he has “gospel” engraved as his middle name. But he has no appreciation
of tea party values. At the latest budget hearing, while everyone is concerned about
county funding, he favored COLA increases for our elected county officers. Will he be
the one to confront our public service unions?
There is a huge field of challengers including a number of conservatives of various
stripes. Unfortunately that simply makes the race that much easier for Heck. There
are three excellent tea partiers: Bill Ertel, Chris Ferguson, and Dan De Young. In
terms of winability, there is not much to distinguish them except that DeYoung has
proven experience on the GP City Council. I had to go for him and hope that he can
make a runoff with Heck.
The Tax Levy
This is a “wobbler.” There are excellent arguments for and against this proposal. On
the pro side, I believe that if one values independence and local sovereignty, one
must be willing to pay one’s own freight. If the county is going to ride on a ticket
supplied by Salem or Washington, one must be willing to sit where they tell you. On
the other hand, the imposition of this additional burden will force some local
enterprises out of business - specifically those located within the City. Our economy
can’t really afford that. At the same time, local government is not listening to the
need to curtail local government expansion apart from law enforcement. Law enforcement
is not a separate funding issue. It is part of the general fund as are several other
departments. The gambit to establish law enforcement as a separate obligation is simply
a maneuver to insulate the rest of the structure from what cuts must fall with a failure
in funding. I don’t think that is honest.
Again, this is a contrived crisis. I was present when Toler and Ellis chose to expend
our then budget surplus to “raise our sheriff services to the level at which they ought to
be” rather than continue the status quo and reserve the excess for the funding crisis we
all knew was coming. I know this is contrary to what the sheriff claims in his Sneak
Preview editorial, but I was there and that was the decision.
A failure of the levy will induce some awful consequences, but sometimes the only way you
can get a mule’s attention is to hit him between the eyes with a two by four.
The Soil and Water Levy
If one has ever attended one of the District meetings, one knows what a joke this
organization is. I think the only person involved with half a brain is Larry Ford and he
can’t do much by himself. Can anyone explain what we lose if this levy doesn’t pass? It
is a no-brainer.
I have had to deal with Judge Sercombe - one of the candidates for the Court of Appeals
- in the course of the Measure 37- Measure 49 litigations. I found him quite an activist
on the issue. He managed to get in on almost every appeal dealing with the subject. He
is decidedly against private property rights - especially in the context of conflict with
state regulation. Those U.S. Supreme Court cases to the contrary, he has described as
“obsolete.” Vote for anybody but Sercombe.
Locally, I have yet to get a good decision out of Wolke but he is infinitely better than
his challenger Victory Walker.
I DO NOT MEAN TO OFFEND ANYBODY. MAKE UP YOUR OWN MINDS. THESE ARE SIMPLY MY SUGGESTIONS
BASED ON MY EXPERIENCE.
Jack H. Swift Attorney