February 24, 2021

Have We Learned Our Lesson?

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Forest management has been one of the most contentious issues in Oregon since the 1990s. The timber industry that helped build this state was maligned under the guise of protecting the endangered spotted owl. That industry became more and more restricted over time, with environmental groups claiming a series of victories along the way. However, the reality of what has…

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February 10, 2021

Freefall from the Free-For-All

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A simple drive on the freeway through Portland and the sight of all its homeless camps confirms what many have suspected for a long time—the tendency in this state towards the legalization of drugs has come with tremendous consequences for individuals, families and all of society. My fear is that the passage of Measure 110 in last November’s general election…

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November 13, 2020

A Thanksgiving Reboot

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By Tootie Smith Growing up on a generational farm in south Clackamas County, our Thanksgivings were filled with food, family and football. My mother was a cook extraordinaire. Our small flock of relatives traveled to our farmhouse not so much for the delight of being with each other as it was for my mother’s cooking. That was always the hook.…

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May 21, 2020

My Vision for Clackamas County and Its Future

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The last few weeks that I’ve spent campaigning in person and online have given me the chance to think about what kind of future I would like to see for Clackamas County and its residents. It’s important for leaders to have a road map in mind so they can set the right priorities and determine if progress is being made.…

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May 20, 2020

Tootie Smith takes Clackamas County Chair

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MOLLALA, Ore. – Tootie Smith, former Clackamas County Commissioner, state legislator, and government accountability advocate, won Tuesday night’s Clackamas County Chair race against Jim Bernard. She released the following statement: “Thank you to the people of Clackamas County for their support and placing their trust in me. They sent a strong message tonight that they want a county government that…

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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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May 12, 2020

Public Service Should Be a Sacrifice

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I still fondly remember the two terms that I served in the Oregon Legislature. Because I was on the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee, each legislative session meant getting to the capitol early each morning and staying well into the evening for meetings. I would leave my family farm as the sun was rising and make the commute to Salem,…

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May 7, 2020

The Relationship Between Business and Government

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The coronavirus and the resulting shutdown continue to have devastating consequences for businesses and workers alike. An economy that had been growing at a healthy pace has literally come to a halt as storefronts remain shuttered worldwide. Job creators are becoming increasingly anxious amid uncertainty as to when they can open their doors again. Some may never be able to.…

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May 5, 2020

A Higher Standard

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Public officials are held to high standards, and for good reason—their roles involve being stewards of taxpayer dollars. That’s why it’s important that people holding elected office strive to be honest and ethical. One of the main reasons I’m running for chair of the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners is I don’t feel those values are being represented in that…

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