Same stuff, different season

Autumn, a very beautiful time of year in the Willamette Valley. This year though the changing colors of fall were in competition with the littering of campaign signs. This election year, as in every other election year, promises were made by those seeking election and those seeking re-election. Through bombardment of flyers, radio spots, and TV commercials, every candidate promised delivery from every social ill, evil and inconvenience from homelessness to acne.

Education was a perennial favorite topic amongst candidates, heck everyone loves kids! Every election cycle, promises of fixing our educational system are dusted off and brought back to life. More funding seemed to be the most popular (would-be) fix even though history bears-out that more funding has not equaled better education. I remember being told (“1984” I think) that if Oregon voters approved a state-run lottery that our schools would never again run short on funds — another failed promise.

Fall is also hunting season. PERS was a big slow moving target and a favorite mark of some candidates. We’re told PERS is a financial burden on the state. This year’s voter’s pamphlet declared that since 2002 Oregon spent $24 million of taxpayer’s money on state funded abortions. Maybe the state’s not as cash poor as they would let on?

Well, thank goodness it’s all over. The yard signs will go back in candidates garages until next time. We will get our beautiful landscape back and our elected representatives can go back to doing exactly what they were doing before the elections; catering to special interest groups and legislating in the manor that those that bank-rolled their election campaigns expect them to.

Leif Anderson


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