Lincoln County Board of Commissioners Going Non-Partisan?
Lincoln County Commissioners say it may be time to ensure that all Lincoln County voters have equal say in selecting not only the winners but also the candidates for Lincoln County Commission. The commission is asking Lincoln County voters to consider dropping the county’s long-running partisan nomination process which currently gives Democrats and Republicans a far louder voice in the candidate nominating process than those who are not members of either party.
Under today’s rules, candidates for county commission must be either a Democrat or a Republican to get their name on the Primary Election ballot. And, likewise, only voters who are registered as Democrat or Republican can vote for a county commission candidate in the Primary. After the Primary, anyone else wanting get their name on the General Election ballot in November must gather hundreds of voter signatures to qualify.
County commissioners are opening the door to change, if that’s what the voters want. The commissioners are holding two public hearings this month to discuss whether all three county commission positions should become completely non-partisan. Anyone can run in the Primary and everyone can vote in the Primary to cull the herd to two candidates for each position. And everyone can vote in the General Election to pick the winner(s). Commissioners say nearly a quarter of Lincoln County voters are kept out of the candidate selection process for county commission since they are neither Democrat or Republican. By making commission positions non-partisan, the reasoning is that it would make it more fair for all candidates and all voters to participate in the complete process of selecting commissioners.
The public hearings are set for February 13 and 20, 9:30am in the Board of Commissioners meeting room. Letters of support or opposition to the change can also be mailed to the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners at 225 West Olive Street, Room 100, Newport, OR, 97365.
We’re down to the post-Super Bowl kickoff for the Oregon Legislature. Unfortunately for lawmakers their job won’t be done in four 15 minute quarters. In fact they’ll probably be lucky if they’re out of Salem by the end of June.
Since a paralyzed U.S. Congress remains out of cash, individual states are learning more and more that they’re on their own. As a result many states are pondering whether they can make up for vanishing federal “pass through” funds by squeezing certain sectors of their own budgets while closing tax loop holes and tax credits which seem to disproportionately benefit high income earners.
In short, this legislative session is going to get rather noisy. And the fact that the Democrats hold majorities in both houses and claim title to the governor’s office may prove to be an elusive advantage.
In his own unique talent to make the complex more understandable, writer and video producer Bill Moyers recently took on the subject of America’s prolonged recession – one that shows little sign of producing a recovery strong enough to make any real difference in the near or long term.
It’s a fascinating discussion and exploration of recession recovery through the eyes of Nobel Prize in Economics winner Paul Krugman who teaches economics at Princeton University and is a regular columnist for the New York Times.
The 45 minute interview is so engaging it seems like it’s only ten minutes. Click here.
Perhaps reflecting electoral losses the Republican Party took last November, the GOP is moving quickly to try to reclaim lost legislative ground in the House and Senate. They have signaled that two Democratic Oregon Congressmen are on the GOP’s hit list. The story is in the Oregonian. Click here.
When then Governor John Kitzhaber left office in 2003, he admits he was viewed pretty much as “Mr. Radioactive” in his own words. But today, claiming to be a strong independent who happens to belong to the Democratic party, many Capitol observers are wondering just how hard he’ll push and at whose expense he’ll drive more funding for schools and try to make sense out changing perspectives on who should be in prison and who shouldn’t, along with how to make Oregon’s new health care approach work as promised.