Oregon Primary Election 2008 Guide: Candidates

The Oregon Primaries are coming up in a few weeks, and there is actually more to vote on than just Hillary or Barrack.  The Oregonian has a pretty comprehensive Voter’s Guide online, but following is my take on several of the candidates for this election:

Portland Mayor: Sam Adams

Adams has worked in the Mayor’s office and as a city commissioner.  He has the knowledge of the city government that comes with experience, along with the understanding that the Mayor cannot do everything and that they need their commissioners (i.e. no “strong” mayor).

Portland Commissioner #1, 2, & 4: no opinion yet.

Multnomah County Commissioner #1, 3, 4: no opinion yet.

US President: Dennis Kucinich Barrack Obama

For most, myself included, choosing between Clinton and Obama is like choosing between cornflakes or rice-crispies. Both are good, but the decision comes down to a gut feeling. To find substantive difference between Obama and Clinton, one must start going through their voting records and introduced bills while in Senate. I opted for the voting record for this section, but you can find their introduced bills here (Clinton) and here (Obama).

In my findings, there have only been seven times when both Clinton and Obama voted on a bill and disagreed (the mouse-over synopses are from Project Vote Smart):

Clinton For: HR 4297S 2020, and S 3711

Obama For: HR 6HR 5441HR 5441, and HR 5631

Riveting, huh? If only these bills were as easy to read as the synopses, but they’re not, and the synopses don’t do them justice.  Other ways to help you decide are political selectors such as SelectSmart and USA Today.

US Senator: Jeff Merkley

Merkley is a better statesman and has better political experience than his competitors, which are both very important in trying to unseat the incumbent, Gordon Smith.

Oregon Secretary of State: Kate Brown

Both Vicki Walker and Kate Brown have the education and experience to serve in this role, along with similar ideas as to what they will do once in office.  For me it came down to endorsements (see, they do matter), and while Walker’s list is longer it is mostly individuals, whereas Brown’s list contains more organizations that I agree with, such as Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Basic Rights Oregon, and NARAL.

Oregon Attorney General: Greg Macpherson

Greg Macpherson has better experience and community involvement here in Oregon.  In addition, I caught part of a debate on OPB between the two, and agreed with Macpherson’s views on Mandatory Minimum Sentences, being that they are too stringent for lesser crimes, and that judges should have more discretion for first time offenders.

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