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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Voter-Owned Elections and Candidate-Suppression Endorsements

Portland, Oregon--In a previous post, I stated that the early endorsements of Portland City and County leaders, many months before the deadline for filing for office, were responsible for discouraging community members from stepping up as candidates.

Proving my point exactly, reported in today’s Portland Tribune, the following:

Council’s kingmaker gets his due

”Jefferson Smith, the first-time candidate who apparently will win District 47 of the Oregon House of Representatives, already is learning how to get along with other officeholders.

”Last week Smith appeared before the City Council to support funding for a new elementary school in the David Douglas district. Before he could speak, Commissioner Randy Leonard pointed out that no other candidates had filed in the race, meaning that Smith is a shoo-in.

I want to take credit for that, because I endorsed you early on,” Leonard said, modestly.

”Although Smith could have pointed out his years of political organizing, activism and networking, he instead replied, “I agree.” (The Tribune)

Here’s the link:

So much for democracy and inclusion, and that commitment to diversity that one often hears from City Hall and the County Commission.

One side of the mouth bespeaks grass roots, the other bald cronyism.

Voters actually have a choice in the Senate District 23 primary, no thanks to the City and County Commissioners.

They have one-candidate races in other nations too, but we don’t call that democracy.

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