Letters to the Editor: May 10, 2024

Much at stake

The May election is coming up. Ballots have been mailed and candidates are clamoring for your vote. But will you vote?

Why vote in May? The big election is in November, right?

Wrong! It’s the May election that decides who we get to vote for (or against) in November. And May voters can decide who will serve the next four years as one of our county commissioners.

Unfortunately, these decisions will be made by a small minority of voters.

More than a third of Yamhill County voters are not registered as Republicans or Democrats, therefore cannot vote in those parties’ closed primaries. That’s true even though those primaries are paid for by all of us, via our tax dollars. So already, only two-thirds of voters are eligible to decide who will be on the November ballot for statewide offices like secretary of state, attorney general and state treasurer, and for our congressional representative.

But more than half of this small number of eligible voters are likely to skip the May election, leaving the decision to the passionate few who are often extremists in their chosen party. The rest of us have to live with their decisions.

In Yamhill County, three people are running for one seat on the county commission. This is a nonpartisan race, so all voters are eligible.

If one of those three candidates earns more than half the vote — 50% plus 1 — that person wins the seat outright. In that case, there will be no election in November.

So vote! If you already tossed your ballot believing your vote doesn’t matter in May, the county clerk will help you get a replacement ballot.
All of our votes count, whether we use them or not.

“Not voting” is also a vote. Is that the choice you want to make?

Susan Watkins


Lacking in leadership

At its May 2 meeting, the county commission took on the difficult task of reducing its budget.

When cuts need to be made, most leaders will explain, often mentioning the services provided and acting without any behavior that might be confused with retribution for past disagreements. But that was not the case at this meeting, where a significant budget reduction to our county’s health department was made without any discussion with the director.

It is amazing that when we need more services, the staff providing them is reduced, making the surviving employees wonder how they will be able to meet the needs of the residents of this county.

In protest of this decision, the county treasurer resigned.

The commissioner running for re-election decided it was time to re-initiate her abandoned weekly outreach to the community and made up her own reason for the treasurer’s resignation. Her followers swallowed it without any question.

Why does Lindsay Berschauer choose to lie? When I’ve heard someone explain a situation in contradiction to what reality has provided, it’s often been because there is something uncomfortable in the truth.

What is it about Lindsay that keeps her from recognizing we are all her constituents? In fact, her constituency is not limited to just the few saying what she prefers to hear.

This is just one small example of why we need to replace her with Bubba King.

Lindsay ignores most of the county residents. She talks about issues in terms of why she can’t address them.

This is not the leadership we need. I’m voting for Bubba.

Beth Rankin


Guided by Constitution

The voters’ pamphlet and ballots have arrived.

It was easy to vote for County Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer, County Assessor Derrick Wharff, 6th District congressional nominee Mike Erickson, state treasurer nominee Brian Boquist and attorney general nominee Will Lathrop. Then it got tough!

The Yamhill County district attorney and all judges at all levels are unopposed.

I find this very unfortunate. I look for those in law enforcement who follow the Constitution, and they are becoming harder to identify.

I only vote in unopposed races when I know the caliber of the person. In these judicial races, I don’t.

We are seeing the courts dishing out two levels of justice, one level for the politically correct and another for the rest of us.

In the future, I hope we will know the intent of those running for these offices. I look for candidates that view the justice system as equal for all under the Constitution of the United States.

I encourage you to read your voters’ pamphlet and material sent to you in the mail. Only legal and informed persons should be voting!

Dennis Goecks


The real deal

One holiday season, a grocery store offered me $10 to shop there. I had to buy $75 worth of groceries to qualify.

I decided to take the offer because I had the money and I would have spent it anyway on needed groceries. I would get the sweet deal of getting $10 back. I was motivated to take the $10 off the table.

The current Yamhill County commissioners are leaving that $10 on the table every time they decide not to accept state money for things the county needs. They reject the money because there are some qualifying rules to follow.

The money they reject is money I have already paid in taxes. If the money does not go to our county, it will go to other counties.

I want my tax dollars returned to my county. Vote for David “Bubba” King in this year’s commissioner race.

Elaine Harris



For the grandchildren

This is Janet Zuelke, writing in honor of a grandchild with depression and anxiety.

Kids went through tremendous trauma with COVID. Some watched family members die and all lost irreplaceable school time.

Public health became a lifeline for people who had the least resources to cope with mental and physical health problems arising from COVID.

This ongoing issue is everywhere. Trauma like this is not resolved in weeks.

Kids are ideating suicide in this county as you read this. If it weren’t for the HHS team where my granddaughter lives, she might not be here today.

My daughter, a single mom with limited resources, was advised by her medical provider that her suicidal child couldn’t get in for three months! Thoughts of what could have happened if the public health clinic hadn’t stepped in sicken me.

Now, driven by what appears to be vengeance and petty grievances, our county commissioners have eliminated a successful grantwriting position and gutted the health department budget to the tune of more than $600,000.

This is an affront to all families in Yamhill County. This cold-hearted decision is nearly demonic in its shortsightedness.

We can begin to repair the damage Lindsay Berschauer has done by voting this source of grievance-based decisionmaking out of office.

Ballots have arrived. They may already be lying on your kitchen table.

I will vote for Bubba King in honor of my grandchildren and those of all Yamhill County families.

Janet Zuelke


Values and vision

In today’s political climate, it’s easy to get lost in the noise of signs, social media posts and divisive rhetoric. But at the heart of it all lies our fundamental right to vote, our right to choose leaders who truly represent us, our values and our vision for the future.

I will be voting for the candidate who embodies the values of honesty, integrity and open-mindedness — qualities that Bubba King exemplifies.

Bubba King’s commitment to listening to all voices, his dedication to community engagement, and his emphasis on integrity, make him the ideal candidate for Yamhill County Commissioner. He understands the role transcends party lines and requires a deep understanding of the needs and ideals of all of Yamhill County.

I have witnessed firsthand Bubba’s positive impact on the Newberg community. His inclusive approach to problem-solving and his ability to bring diverse stakeholders together have been instrumental in addressing the needs of our most vulnerable citizens.

But beyond his track record, what truly sets Bubba apart is his unwavering commitment to honesty and transparency. In a time when trust in our elected officials is at an all-time low, we need leaders like Bubba who will prioritize truth over falsehood and unity over division.

In the upcoming election, I urge my fellow citizens to look beyond the noise and rhetoric, and instead do their own research. Look at the candidates’ track records, values and vision for the future of Yamhill County. When you do, I’m confident you’ll see why Bubba King is the right choice for county commissioner.

Let’s come together as a community. Let’s prioritize integrity and inclusivity. Let’s elect leaders who truly serve the best interests of all Yamhill County residents.

Kristina Sheppard


Being played

It was very disappointing to see the News-Register endorse Jeff Gudman in the treasurer race.

I had the opportunity to participate in a candidate forum with he and Elizabeth Steiner.

I was suspicious of Gudman’s claims about switching parties, after two treasurer runs as a Republican, over his “values.” However, his explanation was smooth and believable, and I found myself leaning his direction.

Afterward, I ran across video of Mr. Gudman at a Timber Unity rally attended by members of Proud Boys, Q-Anon and other militia and hate groups. In it, he snarls at statehouse Democrats in a shocking manner. (Oregon State Capitol, Feb. 6, 2020)

At the forum, he denied taking timber industry donations, but after being called on it, admitted receiving $500 from Timber Unity. A quick look at ORESTAR confirms it was actually about $6,500.

Finally, the forum hosts wrote him to ask about his Timber Unity rally appearance. They received a very smooth, but not very honest response.

In part, he said, “Unfortunately, over the last few years, the rhetoric, thinly veiled racism and encouragement of violence (explicitly stated or implied) of the MAGA Republican Party has ramped up, and Timber Unity now appears to be more about electing Republicans than advocating for working Oregonians.”

In fact, in 2019, Timber Unity was under the control of timber baron Andrew Miller and former GOP legislator Julie Parrish. They engineered the 2019 GOP walkout that killed cap and trade, along with numerous other bills.

Unless Mr. Gudman was living under a rock, there is no way that he didn’t know who this group was when he chose to be a speaker at its event.

At best, Jeff Gudman is disingenuous. After watching him in several forums, I have come to believe he is just playing Oregonians.

Teresa Safay


Mob of morons

For the last 50 years, the “greatest generation” has gradually morphed into the sorry “selfish me generation.”

The evidence of this mutation is everywhere. You look from the political arena to complete anarchy on college campuses, to abortion, to transgenderism, to city/state lawlessness, to corruption of the judicial system.

Examining these one at a time, you see the complete decay of our moral institutions. Our nation has gone from leaders like Reagan, Eisenhower, JFK and Truman to leaders like Obama, Biden, Schumer and The Squad.

Police used to be honored and respected. Now they’re attacked, spat on, shot and killed.

Pregnancies used to be announced with joy, thankfulness and God’s blessing. Now we kill them because a career is more important or the baby is an inconvenience or wrong gender.

Our judicial system has gone completely bonkers. We have a Supreme Court justice who can’t answer the question, “What is a woman?” We have judicial candidates who can’t explain Article Two or Article Five of the Constitution. (YouTube, Kennedy vs. Bjelkengren).

If you want to get violently sick, just watch Biden’s judicial hacks field questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee. We have vindictive Democratic judges and DAs who ether ignore or make up the law to punish political opponents.

TV talking heads, masquerading as journalists, spew misinformation and outright lies to promote their nefarious agenda. Without a doubt, we have morphed from the “greatest generation” to a mob of sniveling and spoiled morons.

Robert Long


End the corruption

I voted for David “Bubba” King for county commissioner, as a non-partisan not beholden to special interests. The same cannot be said of the B/S team — far-right ideologues Lindsay Berschauer and Mary Starrett, primarily funded by big donors.

Unsurprisingly, these donors expect favors. For example, killing the Westsider Trail, even though we have the fewest public parks of any county in Oregon, and Newberg’s Crabtree Park may be sold or closed over their failure to provide oversight.

They’ve used county resources to push the agenda of the Oregon Firearms Federation, run by Starrett’s brother. They’ve abused their positions to inflict their anti-vaccine beliefs on us and harass our health director. To further express their displeasure, they just cut health funding again.

These punitive actions directly affect the health of lower-income residents. Dogs, however, are reaping a $100,000 reward.

To be fair, this may be Lindsay’s idea of public health. Maybe the money will be used for free rabies shots — or are those considered vaccines?

They’ve ignored the advice of their citizen advisory committee and dithered about childcare funding. Children and families are bearing the brunt.

How about the $1.4 million we had to give back to the state? The abrupt decision to cancel the contract with SEDCOR, which was bringing in money for housing and public health? The threat we will lose state and federal health funding over their objection to vaccines? Their closed-session decision to give a tax break of $12 million to $14 million to Hampton Lumber — a private company already committed to expansion without this tasty subsidy.

Now they are whining about running out of money, apparently refusing to accept any responsibility for their bad management.

Berschauer has been a willing and active participant in corrupting a non-partisan office. She has failed in managing resources responsibly.

She needs replacing. Vote for King.

Margaret Cross


Courage lacking

I am sickened by our government’s illegal and tone-deaf support of the ongoing genocide in Gaza. This brutality is mostly being funded with our tax dollars.

Thank you, News-Register, for printing the guest commentary by Yara Asi, “Gaza Caught in the Grip of Devastating Famine.” (May 3, Page A15)

Where is the moral courage of our leadership to declare an immediate and permanent ceasefire?

Valerie Anton


Enough is enough

From bombarding us with signs to practicing medicine without a license to wasting our taxpayer money, Lindsay Berschauer has done enough damage to our county.

It is time for a change. It’s time we replaced Lindsay with someone who doesn’t allow personal views, relationships and ambition to get in the way of doing what is right for Yamhill County.

David “Bubba” King has my vote for the following reasons:

He will work with and support Yamhill County Health and Human Services rather than impose his personal beliefs.

He will use his skill from his work on the Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce Board to repair relations with YCAP and other agencies alienated by Berschauer.

He will seek out all available resources and bring hard earned tax dollars back into Yamhill County.

He will use his knowledge and expertise as a farmer and small business owner to work toward livable wage jobs and economic growth in all sectors, including agriculture, wine and travel.

I urge you to join me in voting for David “Bubba” King.

Lu Ann Anderson


Drama and partisanship

As a longtime county resident, I dread the idea of four more years of Lindsay Berschauer as county commissioner. She has brought drama, mean-spiritedness, hypocrisy and personal bias to her role, and made far too many bad decisions.

In the recent League of Woman Voters candidate Q&A, she claimed, “I am a hands-on commissioner who scrutinizes every dollar to make sure our taxpayers are getting the best value and are not treated like piggybanks.” Based on her actions, her ideas of “best value” include:

Reducing Waste Management fees, thus county income.

Giving tax breaks to Hampton Lumber, also negatively impacting county income.

Firing SEDCOR to replace a state-funded professional with a friend paid out of county funds.

Jeopardizing relationships with partners, including YCCO, YCAP, ODOT and the county employee union.

Appointing friends, family and donors to county posts, ignoring more qualified applicants.

Wasting time and resources of local non-profits by changing ARPA grant criteria and ignoring scoring recommendations.

Micromanaging Public Health and proposing to cut its budget by $600,000.

Firing the county grants manager to create the new position of deputy administrator, which the current administrator says isn’t needed.

Refusing state and federal money for an array of issues, including public health and homelessness.

Canceling the Yamhelas Westsider Trail as a favor to donors, putting taxpayers on the hook for repaying the state.

Obstructing Newberg’s urban renewal plans, causing delays in bringing employers and jobs to our county.

Please join me in saying no to wasting our tax payer money and no to cronyism, nepotism, drama, partisanship, and bad decisions. Please vote against Berschauer.

Instead, please support local farmer and businessman Bubba King for needed change. He will be a bipartisan advocate dedicated to helping businesses, managing our county funds wisely, working collaboratively with our partners and returning to a respect-based management.

Val Blaha




3 reasons you should NOT vote for Lindsay:
1. Lindsay's campaign is funded by the George Family, owners of one of the largest hazelnut processing companies in the country. Nothing wrong with that. Where it becomes very, very wrong is when she represents only the big money that helped get her get elected and blatantly ignores the wishes of the citizen majority.
2. Here's one example of how Lindsay serves her wealthy farmer campaign supporters and ignores pure and simple betterment for citizens: In 2020 Lindsay killed the Yamhelas Westsider Trail, even though construction had already begun and it meant returning hefty private donations and a $1.5 million grant to the state. She killed it because her farmer supporters are against having regular people (ugh!) sully "their" lovely county. She killed it even though an online petition in June of 2021 gathered more than 3,200 signatures in favor of the trail.
3. Lindsay appointed six candidates with jaw-dropping conflicts of and lack of qualifications to the county parks advisory board. One of them is her husband. One of them is Celine McCarthy. McCarthy and her husband, Greg, who was convicted in federal court last year of financial fraud, were among the largest campaign finance donors to Lindsay.
4. There are many more examples of this politician's wily undertakings. You'll find them in Mac's News-Register newspaper. Keep informed. Everybody rise up and vote for Bubba King.


More excellent well-researched heart-felt letters in support of Bubba King! I dare to hope that his vote total will exceed 50% this month and we can all breathe a HUGE sigh of relief. Taxpayers need and deserve ethical representation. The sooner the better!

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