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Slant 10-27-2016

• In case you have been misled by mainstream media or TV ads to think Dennis Richardson is a reasonable candidate to be Oregon’s secretary of state, heed this message from Rep. Phil Barnhart: “I have known both major party candidates for many years. I served with both of them in the Oregon House at different times … Brad Avakian, the Democrat, can be depended upon to continue the efforts of Kate Brown to promote voting in Oregon by helping register and encourage voters to vote. His Republican opponent sponsored several voter suppression bills similar to those that are being litigated in the Southern states of the United States today. In my view, this effort disqualifies the Republican from running the Oregon Elections Division, one of the major duties of the secretary of state.” Phil says Richardson has proposed that Oregon ship prison inmates to China to save money. He does not support the rights of women. He is a right-wing Republican with bizarre ideas. EW repeats our endorsement of Brad Avakian.

 

• Yup, that is the real Jim Weaver on your ballot for EPUD director. As our congressman pre-DeFazio, Weaver usually was well ahead of the curve, wanting to fund organic farming before anybody knew anything about it, opposing the corrupt WPPS nuclear power plan all by himself. It’s good to have him back in the fray.

 

• A voter still wavering on Measure 97 should peruse the list of endorsers, from Bernie Sanders and the League of Women Voters of Oregon to the Portland City Club to the AFT Oregon and SEIU, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, Sierra Club, NARAL, Causa, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, and the list goes on. Go to the OregonVoterGuide.org. Interesting to us that Willamette Week, one of the Portland alternative newspapers, opposes 97, along, of course, with The Oregonian. We remember that WW favored Measure 5, the property tax lid that has done so much damage to public education in this state.

 

• If you’re still feeling the Bern, then Stefan Ostrach of the Working Families Party suggests you buck EW’s endorsement of incumbent U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, and check out Shanti Lewallen, the Working Families Party candidate at shantiforsenate.org. He says Lewallen, like Bernie Sanders, opposes unfair, pro-corporate trade deals and supports single-payer health care for all and free college education. “Lewallen is a young longshoreman who went to law school to learn to defend workers. He still works on the docks. Wyden has become the senator from Nike and Intel, who doesn’t even live in Oregon anymore,” Ostrach says, adding that, “Shanti stands for working families. No doubt Wyden will win, but a solid vote total for Shanti will send Wyden, and other ‘business Democrats’ a strong message.”

 

• Once again, we welcomed the civility of the City Club of Eugene forum Oct. 21 between Emily Semple and Josh Skov — a civility too often absent from the national stage. We hope both these candidates, win or lose, continue their valuable work in public life in Eugene. The forum did not change our endorsement of Semple, whose work in the trenches of homelessness makes her uniquely qualified to join the City Council from Ward 1 at this time. She shares Skov’s passion for fighting climate change, and we confess to favoring another woman’s perspective on the council. Semple’s endorsements from George Brown, Betty Taylor, Bonnie Bettman McCornack, David Kelly, Paul Nicholson and even Pete Sorenson also speak to the confidence we have in this newcomer.

 

• An incident Friday afternoon at the downtown Parks Blocks yet again calls attention to our need to get our act together in downtown Eugene, and no, that doesn’t mean cracking down on the homeless and criminalizing them. It means making public spaces an inviting haven for everyone — something we hope the city takes into account as it works on its downtown place-making project. Eugene police have been commended for de-escalating when the situation got out of hand (and we commend them for negotiating with an armed man who fired shots from his house on West 18th last weekend, instead of killing him as in the case of Brian Babb). But on the other hand activists tell EW that the man who police say resisted arrest at the Park Blocks was detained for questioning and told the police that he did not want to answer any questions. He then asked if he was being detained. The officer said no, and the man started to leave but the officer grabbed him and pinned his arm. In this scenario it seems the young man in question knew his rights and acted on them. So what happened? 

 

•  Makes us proud to see McKenzie Funk’s cover story in the magazine section of the Oct. 18 New York Times. A Eugenean who grew up here and studied in our public schools, Funk is best known for his fine writing on environmental issues, but this piece is different. “Should We See Everything a Cop Sees?” is a Seattle story about the complexities of cops and body cameras.