Letters to the Editor - April 25, 2014

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Don Dix

Patriciafaye Marshall claims Sal Peralta is a progressive. In layman terms, that means Demo. His signs, in some instances, decorate the property of long-established, well known liberals. He is endorsed in the voters pamphlet by Commissioner Mary Stern, also a 'progressive'. And Peralta made a run to be a state rep, as a Demo. Case settled!

But according to Mr. Peralta and his campaign information, he is a member of the Independent Party of Oregon (which he is co-founder).

Now both claims cannot be correct. It's one or the other.

But the most interesting aspect of this dilemma is why would liberal party-line voters be supporting a candidate not of the same ilk? -- unless the illusion that candidate portrays hides the true substance.

An explanation could be rather entertaining, wouldn't you say?

Don Dix

Mr. Englebrecht wants a volunteer county commission? Seriously? Who gets to decide who serves and who doesn't, if say 150 'volunteer"? You can put 9 on the commission, but 5 will always trump 4, just like 2 trumps 1 now.

Based on history, it would be foolish to believe government could or would 'save money'. Nearly all public-funded services adhere to the 'spend it or lose it' theory. The spending occurs near the end of every fiscal year, so as to guarantee same or more funding in the future.

And get over M37! The problems with M37 were addressed by M49. Just because a few no-growth zealots appealed everything in sight doesn't mean the commission was wrong to implement the process. How much did all those appeals cost the taxpayers? It's a little ingenious to talk about saving county money, while knowing all those appeals cost much more than salary for 3 commission seats. And since these measures were passed by vote of the people, which side of 'ruled or governed' do such conflicting actions stand?

Apparently, 'bad government' is only the view when someone can't push and bully their way into changing the decisions made by elected officials or voters. Look around -- there are much more important things to consider about government problems than two commissioners who refused to go against the will of the people.


And on the other end of the spectrum, we have Republican fervor for long-time Constitution Party member, national officer and gubernatorial candidate Mary Starrett, who was still registered with that party last time she ran for commissioner and told us she felt the Republican Party had lost its way.
Fortunately, it's a free country and folks affiliated with a particular party are able to back anyone they wish, both in non-partisan races like these and even in partisan, party-label races. I don't see any problem with it. If Republicans like Mary and Democrats like Sal, so be it.


Patriciafaye, When you write about "progressives" it conjures up a few images of some of that ilk: Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barry Obama, Gov. Kitzhaber, speaker Kotek and on and on.

"Progressives" are liberals. That means that they support huge, unsustainable hand-outs and freebees. They support no standard of morality and have no respect for those that do. They, for the most part, believe anyone with a physical or mental defect are victims and not responsible for their actions. Liberals hate guns, love government intrusions into our lives (except for abortion) and are most likely to give up freedom for security.

So sad that so many people are willing to give up freedoms that we have fought so hard to sustain for a little "security".


Wow, nouserid. Where are you getting your (mis)information? “Progressives” bear absolutely no resemblance to your clearly ill-informed assertions. We are your neighbors, we are folks who keep the streets safe and staff the hospitals and grow your food. We pay our taxes and care deeply about our country. We value and defend our Constitutional right to bear arms. We may not always agree with our President, but we respect the office enough to refer to him by his real name. We also have respect for the divergent opinions of others - with the exception of those that denigrate our morals. If you are holding yourself out as a conservative, you aren’t making much of a case for true American values existing within your ideology.

What truly IS sad is that someone is motivated to publish such false, vitriolic, and insulting allegations anonymously. Would you be willing to write these same “opinions” in a Letter To The Editor and sign it?

Jeb Bladine

This points out the risks of throwing labels around.
There’s no common agreement on the meaning of “progressive.” Even so, we're debating Sal’s politics as a progressive just because someone called him one.
We can agree that a progressive is more liberal than a conservative, but the terms are not synonymous. One interesting discussion comes from journalist David Siroda, who said a liberal “focuses on using taxpayer money to help better society,” while a progressive “focuses on using government power to make large institutions play by a set of rules.” He wrote, “A liberal policy towards prescription drugs is one that would throw a lot of taxpayer cash at the pharmaceutical industry to get them to provide medicine to the poor; A progressive prescription drug policy would be one that centered around price regulations and bulk purchasing in order to force down the actual cost of medicine in America.”
The Independent Party of Oregon promotes a moderate alternative to ideologies of the left and right, citing frustration over the “inability (of Democrats and Republicans) to work collaboratively to solve our nation’s biggest problems.” That party’s core issues relate to reducing special interest influencing over legislation, increased transparency in government spending, protecting Oregon consumers and “taking a sensible approach to job creating and economic development.”
Is Sal an Independent … a Progressive … a Liberal … a Moderate? For him, as with any candidate, it’s better to consider the actual policies they advocate than to characterize them with labels that provide more heat than light.

Don Dix


'On the other end of the spectrum?' Weren't we discussing 'this end of the spectrum'?

Someone other than myself labeled Sal. That claim has an origin, a reason, and it has nothing to do with being independent. So, again, why do party-line Demo voters support him?

Given the circumstances, and the defending responses, it seems the correct question to ask.


Why do Republicans support a Constitutionalist who thinks the Republican Party has lost its moral compass? My points are:
1) Candidates have a right to align themselves any way they wish, be it with a major party or not.
2) Voters have the right to align themselves any way they wish, be it with a major party candidate or not.
My take is that many Republicans, but not all, embrace Mary because they believe her to be a kindred spirit, and many Democrats, but not all, embrace Sal because they believe him to be a kindred spirit.
In truth, both have an array of positions that cut across a lot of political fault lines, including those of party platforms. I think there are some interesting parallels there between a pair of candidates who have developed enough dissatisfaction with the two major parties as to invest a lot of effort in exploring alternatives.
For some reason, it seems to bother you, at least with Sal, and I see no basis for that.
Sal is a registered Independent running in a non-partisan race in which he is actively seeking support from voters of all stripes. He's seeking a local government seat in which the national issue fault lines are virtually irrelevant.
You either like what he brings to the race or not. If not, you support someone else. I don't see that labels are either terribly useful or terribly relevant.


I agree with Jeb: this discussion highlights the inherent problems with lables. One reason Yamhill County went to non-partisan commissioner positions, after 1996, was precisely to try to diminish this kind of rhetoric. Many folks found the idea of the board of commissioners being controlled by any particular party as distasteful, and supported an election process that sought to eliminate major party control. There was a recognition that the majority of the board's work required the faculties of sound judgement, independent of any ideological bent.

We live in a time when many people don't appreciate the prejudicial baggage that comes with party affiliations. Even many long-term party members, faithful to a platform, are disillusioned by the operational extremism that has usurped the thoughtful exchange of ideas in the public square.

Every candidate for public office brings an ideological perspective to the table. It is a natural human tendency for voters to try indentify which "box" to put the candidate in. What this does, unfortunately, is bias the voter away from a candidate that may be able to think outside of their box, because the label becomes the arbiter of performance.

It is unlikely that we will ever get away from this kind of labeling. What I do hope for is an election atmosphere that is a little more interested in the light of ideas, rather than the heat of party passions.


Thank you for the well thought opinions. You have identified some of the hazards of discussing politics, but it is good to have the discussion.

Don Dix

bagwell wrote -- "For some reason, it seems to bother you, at least with Sal, and I see no basis for that. Sal is a registered Independent running in a non-partisan race in which he is actively seeking support from voters of all stripes."

Patriciafaye posed the 'vital' proposition of electing 'progressives' to both commission seats, and named Sal as one, not me. I am interested in the 'why', not the 'who'.

Members of all political parties are subject to the visions, ideas, agendas and platforms of each respectively, and many vote accordingly (for the party candidates). Please advise if that is not the normal case.

In my estimation, belonging to any political party pretty much eliminates one from being a true independent. But my opinion here is biased -- the political party system is broken (has been for some time) -- and I choose not to belong or support that failed system in any fashion. Those who do only perpetuate and accentuate the misery, no matter the affiliation.

Sal Peralta

Don - Not really sure what point you are trying to make. If the Democrats and Republicans focused on issues that I feel are important, I would not have co-founded the Independent Party of Oregon more than 7 years ago.
If you look at the policy work I have engaged in for the past six years, you would see that it is clearly not partisan. Democrats are generally better at consumer protection than Republicans. Republicans are generally better than Democrats at economic development. Both parties generally oppose campaign finance reform (even though voters overwhelmingly support it) and it is a mixed bag in both parties as to which side cares about transparency. I did a fair amount of work to defeat the Democratic House Majority leader's bill to gut the state's open meetings law in the last legislative session.
Regarding your comments about the Independent Party -- our goal is to build political power to promote the issues identified by our members -- consumer protection, economic development, reducing special interest influence, and increasing government transparency. You may see that as "accentuating the misery", but I can point to several bills where we have made a positive impact and/or stopped something bad from happening.
The party now has 100,000 members statewide and is starting to attract its own candidates who will give voters a choice in the 1 in 3 state legislative districts where there is only one candidate filed for the general election or in some of the 45-50 seats that are so badly gerrymandered that the weaker major party candidate is really just a placeholder.
And, we are seeing other Independent Parties forming along similar lines around the country -- Hawaii, Florida, Maryland, Massachussetts, New Mexico, Delaware, Connecticut, and other states now have Independent Parties that are largely modeled on what we are trying to do here.

Don Dix

Thanx for your response Sal.

I wrote -- Patriciafaye posed the 'vital' proposition of electing 'progressives' to both commission seats, and named Sal as one, not me. I am interested in the 'why', not the 'who'.

Exactly how does this become confusing? Seriously!


No, you are not interested in the why. If that were your true interest, you would simply have asked the person who came up with that characterization in the first place. Obviously, she's the only one who would actually know.
You gave away your true intent in your very first post — to try to slap a particular partisan label on a candidate who has been registered as an Independent for seven years, has held leadership posts in the Independent Party and is running a non-partisan race for a non-partisan post.
Obviously, you are supporting someone else. All that's fine, but why the subterfuge and deception? You have no interest in the why. You had already made up your mind when you penned the initial post.
Anyone who doubts that need only scroll up and take a look. I think your exact words were, "Case settled!"
Steve Bagwell

Don Dix

Wow, Steve! That's quite a tirade! First of all, Patriciafaye didn't respond. You, however, weren't mentioned in the original post, but chose to reply, with quite a defensive vigor. Pleas tell us what special sense you possess that enables you to determine, judge, and rule on the intent and thoughts of others?

The first question I asked in the first post is thus -- "But the most interesting aspect of this dilemma is why would liberal party-line voters be supporting a candidate not of the same ilk?" All 'why', no 'who'. Same thing in the second post. In fact, if you follow your instructions and read each post, you will see it's always the same question, 'WHY'. Odd that you didn't notice before claiming otherwise!

It appears the question won't get a viable answer, leaving the door open for all kinds of speculation, from all corners. In fact, some of these replies could lead one to believe maybe a political venture is in store for some, considering the 'respond, but avoid the question' approach.

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