September 8, 2021

Finding the Right Balance

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Having completely failed to address the homeless crisis in any meaningful way, Portland politicians have concocted another way of dealing with it. This mostly involves passing legislation telling every other city throughout Oregon to take care of the problem while simultaneously limiting what they actually can do. Before the Oregon Legislature adjourned on June 26, it passed House Bill 3115.…

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August 4, 2021

Another Attack on Rural Oregon

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One of the biggest problems we face in Oregon is the growing divide between those in the urban and rural areas. And despite all that they might have in common, public policy issues often come up that remind them that they live in completely different worlds. The most recent example of this is IP-13. It’s an initiative petition that’s being…

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April 30, 2021

The Perils of Government Overreach

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Last fall, I made some public statements that caused quite a stir. Fed up with the government-forced lockdown of COVID restrictions, I simply said that I was going to have family and friends over for Thanksgiving and that our governor lacked the authority to tell me otherwise. Although I made national news for this stance and garnered a lot of…

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April 28, 2021

Tootie Smith demands Gov Brown return public health authority back to the counties where it is mandated by Oregon constitution.

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The Governor’s new lockdowns are unacceptable. Her plans for over the last year have been an abject failure, driving businesses to bankruptcy, people to unemployment lines and harming the mental health of adults and children alike. Its time for new innovative proven technologies to fight Covid 19, like what the airlines have been using for months now. Science, technology and…

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May 19, 2020

Enough is Enough

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Every election is about choices, and the upcoming May 19 primary voters will never see a bigger contrast in two candidates. Citizens decide every two or four years if they’re happy with their political leadership. If are, they stay the course and incumbents are re-elected. But if they aren’t, they decide it’s time for a change and new leaders take…

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May 14, 2020

My Closing Arguments

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The May 19 primary election is just around the corner. Voter pamphlet statements have gone out, and people have received their ballots. Many have even turned them in by now. Yard signs are up, and so are field signs. Campaign websites are filled with content, candidate social media pages are active and voters’ mailboxes are flooded with election-related materials. The…

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April 23, 2020

Farmers, Loggers, Ranchers and Truckers Are Essential

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I’ve long admired the pioneer spirit that founded Oregon, as well as the industries that brought people to this region in the first place. And as much as society and the world have changed since then, our natural resource industries are still a critical part of the state’s economy. Even though we’ve seen the advent of technology, tourism and other…

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April 16, 2020

The Fundamentals of Good Management

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There were a lot of things I learned when I served in the Oregon House of Representatives from 2001 to 2005. One of them was how to best prioritize and utilize taxpayer resources to fund critical government services. I was assigned to the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee. Many of my colleagues were on policy committees and would be able…

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April 9, 2020

Getting Back to Basics

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All too often, we see what happens when the government tries to do too much—cost overruns, lax oversight, mission creep between different agencies and core functions not being done well. That is one of the many reasons that I’ve always thought government should stick to doing a few things and should seek to do them well. In my two terms…

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April 7, 2020

The Importance of Law and Order

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Throughout my campaign for chair of the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, I’ve emphasized the need to focus on the most essential of services. And out of all of them, law and order is arguably the most critical. When I served on the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners from 2013 to 2017, I strived to ensure that county residents had…

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