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Pamplin Media Group's choices in state, regional and local campaigns, including candidates and ballot measrues

Let's be clear: This election is not, and should not be, a referendum on the dysfunctional dramas playing out on the Potomac. It is a chance to shape the policies and choose the policymakers who will help lead Wilsonville and Oregon for years to come.

Fortunately, there is plenty of good information available about all of these contests. Below is a recap of our endorsements, but we encourage you to grab your voters pamphlet, pick up past issues of The Spokesman, log on to wilsonvillespokesman.com — and then vote.

The future truly is in your hands.

GOVERNOR

Knute Buehler

Our nod goes to Buehler, a social moderate who has the potential to find the elusive middle ground in the sharply-partisan statehouse.

STATE HOUSE DISTRICT 26

Rich Vial

Vial turned in perhaps the most impressive first term by a state legislator we have seen in a while. Despite being a freshman in the minority caucus, Vial vaulted to a leadership role on a number of

issues and his ability to rise

above party rhetoric has earned him another term in the Legislature.

METRO COUNCIL DISTRICT 2

J

oe Buck

In a race featuring two candidates with similar stands on policy, Buck gets our vote for his commitment to giving a voice to underrepresented communities, especially to younger generations and the working poor; to the importance of creating economic opportunities close to places where people can afford to live; to building an efficient transportation network that emphasizes not only mass transit and bike and pedestrian pathways, but also the need to build and maintain roads; and to bringing disparate voices to the table at a Portland-centric organization that has often forced its will on suburban cities such as Lake Oswego and West Linn — or left them out of the conversation entirely.

METRO BALLOT MEASURE

¦ Measure 26-199 (Authorizes Metro to levy bonds for housing):

NO

This measure, for us, was one of the toughest calls on the ballot. There is a desperate need for affordable housing throughout the state. This well-crafted measure would help address that in the Portland metro area by authorizing $653 million in bonds to purchase, manage and build housing in the tri-county area. Our concern is that Metro has no track record in housing and failed to get the support of some key local leaders for this proposal.

STATE BALLOT MEASURES

¦ Measure 102 (Allows local governments to leverage bond money for affordable housing):

YES

This measure may seem like a simple housekeeping measure, but it's actually very important. Oregon's Constitution requires general obligation bonds to be used directly to pay for capital projects. This makes sense when you need a new road or school, but not housing. This measure would allow local governments to more easily and efficiently partner with nonprofits and developers to stretch tax dollars used for much-needed affordable housing throughout the state.

¦ Measure 103 (Bans future taxes on food and food-related industries):

NO

If you want proof of the downside of Oregon's easy access to the ballot, this measure is Exhibit A. Masquerading as a means to protect consumers from a phantom sales tax on groceries, this is actually a special-interest ploy to pre-empt another gross-receipts tax from reaching the food industry. We opposed the last gross-receipts tax and would certainly resist any effort to tax food, but we don't believe in changing the constitution to protect a specific industry.

¦ Measure 104 (Requires a three-fifths vote to raise fees):

NO

Here's another example of a solution in search of a problem. Oregon's constitution already requires a three-fifths vote in the state Legislature to raise taxes. This measure purports to protect Oregonians from sneaky end-runs around that law by classifying taxes as fees. But there are no examples of this actually happening, and this law would give lobbyists extra leverage while needlessly bogging down legislative sessions every time an agency needs to adjust fees for everything from fishing licenses to health care accreditations.

¦ Measure 105 (Repeals Oregon's so-called sanctuary law):

NO

Oregon was one of the first states in the nation to pass a law ensuring that state and local police agencies stay out of the immigration enforcement business. The 1987 legislation was in response to disturbing cases of local police forces engaging in racial profiling of non-white individuals. No one, including the police chiefs and sheriffs in Oregon's largest cities and counties, wants to go back to those days.

WILSONVILLE CITY COUNCIL

John Budiao and Charlotte Lehan

In a race featuring four qualified candidates, all asking voters to select a pair of candidates, rather than individuals, we believe

the City of Wilsonville would

be better served selecting the

candidates who would be the best fit with the current city council.

¦ Budiao is an avid public servant passionate about veterans issues, smart growth and local schools. We feel his connections in the community and long history of working with others in his volunteerism efforts will be value addded to the council.

¦ Incumbent Charlotte Lehan's naysayers don't have much negative to say about her, except to point out her longevity in local polictics. We still haven't seen any evidence Lehan's long tenure has been a negative thing for the city ity but instead find Lehan's grasp of Wilsonville's needs and wants to be impressive and her solutions to problems to be well thought-out.

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