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Tribune readers sound off on local, regional and Oregon statewide races ahead of the May 17 election.

Vote for Canning in 4th District race

The League of Conservation Voters should have endorsed Doyle Canning, the clear climate candidate in the 4th Congressional District.

As a recent graduate with an environmental policy degree, it is beyond disheartening to hear one of my former favorite climate-focused organizations endorse a candidate who does nothing concrete to stand for environmental values. By endorsing a Val Hoyle — who, when running as secretary of state, supported the controversial Jordon Cove natural gas pipeline and whose most recent campaign was backed by fossil fuel funding — the League of Conservation Voters is showing its true colors.

Instead of picking the clear climate candidate, Doyle Canning, backed by numerous environmental justice organizations and who has a proven track record of climate advocacy, the League of Conservation Voters endorsed a candidate who stood for highly unpopular fossil fuel infrastructure.

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report states that it is "now or never" to stave off climate catastrophe. We are past the point in time where the status quo can cut it. A so-called "environmental" organization should know better than any that playing it safe is antithetical to its mission.

Rising costs of inflation, supply chain disruptions and increased cost of housing are making living on this planet more and more expensive. The cost of the climate crisis, whose impact we will feel soon, will burden us far more. We are out of time, and leading environmental organizations need to act like it: Doyle Canning is the clear climate candidate in this race.

Anna Kemper, Northeast Portland

Kotek has supported public school students

As a current high school junior at Franklin High School, I see every day how Tina Kotek's leadership has impacted me in school. It wasn't until recently that I recognized that the resources and opportunities I've been afforded don't just magically appear, but are a result of courageous, groundbreaking legislation.

As House speaker, Tina fought to make schools like mine better. She advocated for the construction of new high schools so that I can go to school in a safe, updated building. Franklin's free meals and expanded mental health supports are a result of Tina's leadership to get the Student Success Act passed. And I have Tina's work on Oregon Promise to thank for the guarantee of a free community college education if I choose.

As Tina Kotek embarks on her mission to the governor's office, I offer my support because I know that Tina will keep fighting for students and communities like mine. There's no one I trust more than Tina Kotek to continue the fight to make our schools a more rewarding, equitable and safe place for all Oregon students.

Oscar Ponteri, Southeast Portland

Big money out to get Commissioner Hardesty

Portland power brokers plan to spend up to $700K to try to defeat Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, and shape the (Portland City) Council, sources say. This recent headline in The Oregonian says it all. Who is pouring money into the Portland City Council campaign to oppose Jo Ann Hardesty, and why?

Voters who support BIPOC business, a green economy, a public safety system that is less reliant on emergency police response, a trained 24/7 Street Response team to help people who are houseless, and citizen oversight of police accountability want to return JoAnn Hardesty to City Hall. They won't be influenced by big money in politics. However, other voters need to realize that wealthy "power brokers" and their $700K campaign to defeat a candidate is a slap in the face to everyone in the city except for a wealthy handful of folks.

The unlevel playing field of this campaign is against the spirit if not the letter of the small donor program. Voters should choose their candidate based on the accomplishments and the values of the individual, not on vague promises and attack ads paid for by "wealthy power brokers."

Mark Fischer, Northwest Portland

Time to topple Schrader from his elected office

In the famous words of Judge Tanya Chutkan last year, referring to the Trump administration, "Presidents are not kings."

Nor are Congressmen princes.

Congressman Kurt Schrader, in my opinion, believes he's a prince. He seems to have forgotten that he is elected, not born into the job, and that his sole responsibility in Congress is to represent Oregonians. He is out of touch and seems to be hiding from his constituents. He recently cancelled a debate with his opponent, Jamie McLeod-Skinner, at the last minute saying he had a "scheduling conflict." He also refused to show up for a candidate interview with a Bend weekly newspaper. Oregonians deserve better representation.

County Democratic Party leaders agree. Last month, leaders from Clackamas, Marion, Linn and Deschutes counties made the unprecedented move of endorsing Jamie McLeod-Skinner.

Jamie McLeod-Skinner comes from a working-class background, not royalty. She has decades of hands-on experience in natural resources management. She has delivered measurable results for communities across Oregon, serving on the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board and, more recently, overseeing a multi-million dollar wildfire recovery effort in Talent, working closely with local leaders and federal officials.

Let's topple Schrader's imaginary monarchy. Vote for Jamie McLeod-Skinner.

Adrian Jones, Bend

Vote Thomasson for Oregon House

I feel fortunate to know Dr. Catherine Thomasson, candidate for state representative of District 45, and to see first-hand her unwavering efforts to defend our environment and the nature within it, including ourselves. As an executive director of Physicians for Responsibility, chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon's Environmental Caucus, and tireless activist, Catherine understands policy and has the expertise to create positive, equitable outcomes. She will work for all of us and can lead us to a better future. Please vote for Catherine on May 17.

Lori Hood, Corbett

Schrader is misleading on his drug policy votes

Oregon's primary elections are approaching and there is much at stake. As constituents in District 5 are calculating their decision for who should represent us in the U.S. Congress, our incumbent Kurt Schrader is inundating us with ads spreading false and misleading information about his voting record.

His advertisements state that he has been an effective leader in taking on the drug companies to lower prices. Quite the opposite is true. He was the deciding vote in sinking the effort to allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug costs. As a senior I was shocked to learn this.

Schrader also touts his commitment to getting big money out of politics. Really? He has literally received thousands of dollars from Big Pharma.

Voting is a matter of record. Yet he is attempting to deceive his current constituents and the 53% of new eligible voters in reconfigured District 5. Backing out of debates at the last minute shows how little he respects his constituents.

Four out of five county democratic parties endorsed McLeod Skinner, a testament to his failure since Schrader no longer speaks for us.

Pamela Berg, Lake Oswego

Schrader takes big money from major drug companies

Confused but not stupid!

"If Big Pharma expects to buy my vote, then they'll be disappointed." This was quoted recently by Congressman Kurt Schrader, Democrat in the 5th District who's running in the May 17 primary.

Big Pharma has contributed more than $144,000 to him during this election cycle and $284,000 in the past. Either Schrader thinks Big Pharma is stupid or his constituents are!

For years, bills to negotiate drug prices for Medicare have failed. Why? Money = Influence.

The Veterans Administration has been able to negotiate drug prices. As a veteran, all the prescription drugs from the VA hospital are the same price. WOW! Why can't Medicare be the same? Money = Influence.

So, I'm confused. It appears Schrader's votes against passing a bill to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for Medicare have been influenced by money from Big Pharma. They got what they wanted so they're not stupid, which only leaves his constituents. As one of his constituents, I'm not stupid. Money speaks, and actions speak louder!

Jamie McLeod-Skinner, Democrat, is running against him in the primary. She's not taking Corporate PAC money. No Money = No Influence. She can vote her conscience and for her constituents.

Angelica Pilato, Lake Oswego


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