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Letters to the Editor - Jan. 25, 2013

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Comments

Don Dix

To Mike Sullivan -- You are asking the wrong people for help. Courtney and Kotek need permission from Portland to pass any legislation that doesn't benefit Portland in some way. Sad, but very obvious!

sbagwell

Peter Courtney is a nearly lifelong resident of Salem. He got his political start serving on the Salem City Council and spent many years on the staff at Western Oregon University in Monmouth.
He has spent much of his career fending off and counter-balancing the forces of Portland Metro. I don't see how anyone can perceive him as a tool of those forces.
Maybe one could view him as being allied with the west side of Oregon versus the east or the urban part of the state versus the rural, but most certainly not the Portland axis versus downstate interests.
I was serving on the editorial board of the Salem Statesman Journal when he made his initial city council run, so am well familiar with his career.
Steve Bagwell, managing editor

Don Dix

In my opinion, the 'Portland axis' includes the I-5 corridor (to Eugene). Mr. Sullivan was asking for a little respect for the rural residents (not Salem). The majority of Courtney's senate demos are from the Portland area, so any rural considerations must be filtered through them. And after years in 'the club', Courtney didn't become senate president by 'fending off and counter-balancing the forces of Portland Metro'. He plays the game just like everyone -- to favor his best interests.

sbagwell

You may see it that way, but the powers that be in Salem certainly don't, and that includes members of the local legislative delegation.
Having spent 10 years supervising state political coverage for the Statesman Journal, I can tell you unequivocally that resentment of the Portland metro bloc runs very high in Salem. Locals there do not see their interests coinciding with those of Portland at all, and they resent the power the Portland block wields, based on its population.
Besides, Courtney is as much a maverick as the Oregon Legislature has ever produced. He's his own man, through and through.
He got to be Senate president because he commands huge respect on both sides of the aisle. Take a vote of all 90 legislators on who they like and respect most in Salem and I have no doubt Peter Courtney would rank No. 1.
I think you are viewing him through much too narrow of a prism. He's about as far from being a party puppet as you can get.
Kotek, yes. Courtney, no way.
Steve

Don Dix

It only takes a look at the voting record of Courtney to see who and what he represents.

In 2009, Courtney was awarded a 100% voting record by none other than AFSCME (state, county, and municipal employees). He, along with 36 others, were given this award for voting just as the union wished them to vote -- 100% of the time. Would it be a surprise that all were demos?

Courtney has voted for income and corporate tax increases, which have fallen well short of the projections. He voted for transit and gas tax increases and for an increase in vehicle registration, as did most other demos.

So, if one considers his staunch support of public unions, his nearly predictable party-line votes, and his penchant for raising taxes and fees (as most demos), through my 'narrow prism' it appears 'party puppet' fits his description much better than any brand of 'maverick'. No?

sbagwell

Actually, no. He has a long record of compromise and cross-party collaboration that you completely ignore.
Virtually everyone associated with the process is well aware of that. Ask Brian Boquist what he thinks.
Steve

Don Dix

Compromise and cross-party collaboration -- and a voting record that exhibits neither.

We will just have to agree to disagree.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts,
Don

troy prouty

The biggest problem Americans face is manufacturing jobs overseas and the lack of import tarrifs to bring jobs back.


The biggest factor is that Americans continue to support this transaction through purchases creating their own destiny of unemployment.

This is why I continue to preach consequence of actions.

troy*

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