The Columbia County Spotlight publishes letters from a Libertarian Party supporter and a conservationist.

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Why didn't ONPA invite Libertarian?

Dear Editors of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association,

I am writing to thank you for hosting the first gubernatorial debate of this campaign season.

I was watching the debate you hosted and noticed something, or rather, someone, was missing. Of the multiple candidates running for governor of Oregon, only three of them were invited to attend. A duly elected Libertarian candidate, R Leon Noble, had been excluded and I would like to know why.

Mr. Noble earned the nomination of the Libertarian Party of Oregon during their primary election held last June. Unlike other "minor" parties, Libertarians do not need to spend millions of dollars on a primary campaign in order to ensure ballot access. With our closed primary rules, we are able to develop personal relationships between candidates and constituents, not just throw dollars around trying to buy votes.

Was R Leon Noble excluded because he is not a woman? Oh, I have your attention now, don't I? Or was he excluded because in this day of "pay to play" politics, he has yet to raise the millions of dollars already in the coffers of the three female politicians who appeared on the ONPA stage. Furthermore, Ms. Johnson is still in the process of collecting signatures in order to appear on the ballot in November. As mentioned above, Mr. Noble has no such hurdle to overcome, yet he was excluded from the debate.

Could it be in this age of political correctness, white privilege, and toxic masculinity, that the ONPA doesn't want to hear from a white man? Are you trying to silence candidates who haven't "paid their way" into the governor's race? Or is it Mr. Noble's ideas that you are afraid of? Are you concerned that the people of Oregon might hear a message that disturbs the status quo?

Most Oregonians can agree that neither Ms. Kotek, Ms. Drazan nor Ms. Johnson represent them. Why can't those disenfranchised voters hear from a candidate who will?

I don't know about you, but the platform of "Safety & Security, Liberty & Equality, and the Economy" sounds to me like just what Oregon needs to hear right now. If you would like to learn more about the Libertarian candidate for governor, R Leon Noble, please visit his website:

Or better yet, give him the opportunity to reach the voters of Oregon that was previously denied him and invite him to the debate that is planned for October of this year.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sharlyn Cox

Legacy Media Director, Set Oregon Free

Thank you, senators, for supporting rivers

Recently, Pamplin Media Group published a story covering the letter of support that over 75 community groups released for Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley's "River Democracy Act" legislation.

A group that I belong to, the Lower Columbia Canoe Club, was happy to add our name to this list. Our club started in the Portland area in the late 1960s and promotes river safety, skill development, a strong paddling community, and protection and preservation of rivers in the Northwest.

Though many of our members live in or near Portland, we enjoy paddling all over Oregon, and are happy to see that Sen. Wyden's bill is proposing to protect rivers and streams across the state. Close to home, protections for a stretch of the Sandy River, including the former Marmot Dam site, will be important for paddling (and non-paddling!) recreation, fish and wildlife habitat, and for providing clean drinking water for our communities. In a more remote corner of the state, we are excited to see additional protections for important headwaters of the Kalmiopsis where our state's most wild and pristine rivers can still be found.

Oregon is fortunate to have such diversity of beautiful rivers across our state, and we believe that an important part of our club's role is to take a step beyond just enjoying them. We donate annually to river conservation organizations and regularly participate in river cleanups. As some of those who know these rivers best, we have a responsibility to advocate for their protection. We want these sensitive and vulnerable resources to continue to provide all the benefits they traditionally have given us.

We hope to see Sens. Wyden and Merkley's bill pass this Congress, and invite river lovers across Oregon to join us in supporting it!

Will Gehr

Conservation Chair, Lower Columbia Canoe Club

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