Ah, fall. I love fall. Football games, Halloween, good food, that special crisp in the air. And every couple of years, it means it’s also time for election season. As a political science minor, I find this element of the season particularly fun and interesting.
For anyone who managed to slug through my 9,000 character story last week on local elections, I thank you, and I hope you’ll stay tuned for this piece on why you should vote for Mary Stern for County Commissioner and Susan Sokol Blosser for State Representative.
First, I think the rallying cry of this election should be, “throw the bums out.” The incumbents in power have managed to pass a failed $1 trillion bailout bill, a health care plan that may or may not manage to cover all Americans and overall failed to bring us out of the worst recession since the Great Depression. I don’t know about anyone else, but I think it’s time to play a game of ditch the incumbent and start anew with business-oriented leaders.
The first candidate I shall advocate for, Stern, is the exception in my opinion. She is the incumbent, for eight years now, and in that time has managed to bring Yamhill County from a drug-infused suburb to a nice place to live in. She commissioned the Meth Task Force, brought in more than $9 million for Oregon’s rainy day funds and even managed to have Yamhill County selected as one of only seven counties in the country to try out a new evidence-based system toward law enforcement. She has decades of law enforcement experience, both locally and nationally, which should be the main requirement for a county commissioner.
Also, the McMinnville Police Force and the current sheriff, Jack Crabtree, support her.
Let’s spend a minute looking at her opponent, Mary Starrett. Starrett is, in a word, psychotic. No, seriously. She’s a conspiracy theorist from a right-wing party that makes the Republicans look like tree-loving hippies. She was once fired from a radio station for espousing beliefs that the U.S. government was involved in 9/11 and the Challenger explosion.
Let me quote Starrett, about Martin Luther King Jr.: “Get ready for the annual con job that’s been hoisted on the populace for 21 years. For if we judge Martin Luther King Jr. on ‘the content of his character’ and ‘not the color of his skin,’ surely no banks or schools or post offices would be shut down for a day.”
She also has no law enforcement experience in her background at all. Is this the Mary we want out fighting crime for us?
Sokol Blosser, or rather her opponent and incumbent Jim Weidner, is a little more along the lines of, “throw the bums out.”
Now, I don’t think it’s fair to call Weidner a bum, per se. He’s a Yamhill County local who is passionately dedicated to his job and does have several years of experience under his belt as the incumbent.
But Sokol Blosser knows what Oregonians need in a time of economic turmoil.
Sokol Blosser, as many know, was one of the founders of Oregon’s wine industry back in the 1970s. She used to be the head of the family business until she decided to retire in 2006. She was perfectly happy living at home and being retired until the recession struck, and she realized, as I have, that someone with her business experience is exactly what Oregon needs right now. She was a woman in a man’s world when she began her business and managed to make Sokol Blosser Wineries internationally recognized. Before her business grew to the size and strength it is now, she had to live like so many other small business owners: at the mercy of the tax laws in the state and the will of those in Salem.
Sokol Blosser is more aware of what Oregonian businesses and farmers need to survive this recession and even turn it around — something that her opponent simply lacks.
In short, Stern and Sokol Blosser are both deeply rooted in their fields and in the people of Oregon. Both are more than qualified for the jobs, and both are aware of what their constituents need from a law enforcement and an economic perspective.
I urge a vote for both of these women in the coming election — in what could be the most important election for years to come. Not just because of these two local candidates, but certainly dealing with them in Yamhill County.