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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Cruz - Dingfelder Senate District 23 race offers contrasts, part 1: Quality of Constituent Communications and the Principle of Direct Democracy

Portland, Oregon--The race for Senate District 23 has yet to see a public discussion, debate or forum of any kind with both candidates in the room at the same time, with both having a chance to speak.

Not one time has this occurred, with only 20 days until ballots are due.

The special interest PACs have had no interest but self-interest, and public forums interfere with their self-interest, which is the status quo or rolling back Senator Gordly’s achievements wherever they can.

I told each of them that I did not need their money for my campaign.

The special interests all signed on to my opponent’s campaign, showering her with largesse and free wine five times or more the total of any other legislative candidate in the state.

Senator Gordly never needed their endorsements, never sought them out, and provided the lone independent voice in the state legislature for 16 years.

She took the Senate seat from The Establishment, and now The Establishment wants it back.

Even those back-room endorsement interviews rarely touched on the matters important to the constituents of Senate District 23, and completely missed a whole range of important issues that demand discussion in a public forum.

Issues such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, multiple generations of veterans issues, homelessness, mental health (as the Multnomah County system melts down before our eyes), access to health care for the uninsured, immigration and more, have been completely overlooked.

Even the normally thorough Oregon League of Women Voters has overlooked Portland’s three contested legislative primaries.

Again and again, Portland election forums and debates have lavished attention on some highly unqualified candidates in local races while omitting the three key legislative races.

Even the Oregon League of Minority Voters (OLMV) has expressly forbidden legislative candidates time to speak at their victory dinner event scheduled for May 12, while inviting the same old tired group of candidates to yet another forum.

They are selling tickets to the event for $ 100 a whack, which will assuredly leave a whole lot of minority voters out on the sidewalk.

It’s too bad they couldn’t host a People’s Table or Community Table or Affordable for All Table.

Try to figure that one out, someone should hand out a prize—oh, they are going to do that…with eight days left before ballots are due, they are throwing a pre-victory party and calling the season good.

Fortunately, new technologies are offering new ways to get information to voters—new, highly interactive ways—and new ways for the voters to obtain the information that enables their independence from the stranglehold the special interests have on the democratic process.

Technology can make democracy accessible, direct and unfiltered.

In these last days leading up to the May 20 primary, I will publish a series of posts to address the issues that matter to the constituents of Senate District 23, a race that is important to every resident of the state, regardless of where you cast your ballot.

This first post addresses the Quality of Constituent Communications.

The Gordly office is recognized as the cream of the crop in this department.

You, the voter, can follow these links and judge for yourself, grading the two offices to your own standards.

Be sure to subtract points for mediocre writing, self-promotion and claiming credit for someone else’s work.


The Gordly office: http://www.leg.state.or.us/gordly/

Gordly constituent communications: Click on “news”


The Dingfelder office:

http://www.leg.state.or.us/dingfelder/

Dingfelder constituent communications: Click on “news”

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