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The Other Guys

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* President *

Vote for John Kerry

In spite of all the yammering about anyone-but-Bush, Kerry could prove to be the right man at the right time. While he may have understated charm and charisma, he's clearly smart. What's more, Kerry has a remarkable ability to understand the multiple dimensions of an issue. In a time when America has alienated most of the world and, its own citizens, Kerry has a knack for pulling together diverse attitudes on complicated issues.

Currently, the rest of the world forgives America for one term of Bush--but if he's elected again, the global attitude will be that our country endorses Bush's mean pettiness. If that happens, may Allah help us!

* U.S. Senator *

Vote for Ron Wyden

Wyden is an old school Democrat. He was one of the first to stand against the war in Iraq, and he's pushed for more environmental protections around Mt. Hood.

* State Reps *

District 1

Vote for David Wu

Over the past week, troubling allegations about the three-term congressman have emerged. Last Tuesday, the Oregonian broke a story that Wu had sexually assaulted an ex-girlfriend 30 years ago while both were students at Stanford. Wu had no comment, but did release a somewhat cloudy public apology. Without elaborating on exactly what he did, he said his behavior was inexcusable and that he hurt someone very close to him. (He allegedly beat up and tried to rape his ex-girlfriend.)

While the information is certainly damning, there are several other considerations that should also be put in the mix: This was public information for the past 30 years. Also noteworthy is that police were informed about the incident at the time and no charges were pressed.

In three terms, Wu has produced little of note. About his only virtue is that he tows the Democratic Party line, which in a closely balanced House is vital.

Then how in the world can we endorse him? Because, the alternative is worse. Goli Ameri, the Republican nominee, is charming and well heeled. She even comes off as a moderate. She says she supports abortion rights. But check the fine print: She pushes for strict parental notification rules and will allow no public funding for abortion clinics. She also steadfastly supports Bush--on his tax cuts, on the Iraq War, and on the application of the USA Patriot Act, the greatest threat to civil liberties in decades.

District 3

Vote for Earl Blumenauer

We don't agree with his fashion sense (bowties?), but Blumenauer is doing a smash-up job bringing home much-needed federal dollars to finance projects here in Oregon.

District 5

Vote for Darlene Hooley

Hooley will never play the leading lady; she's part of the supporting cast. She picks up low-level but important issues--like providing correct labeling for food products. But with so much attention focused abroad on the war in Iraq, we need someone looking after the little issues.

* State Legislature *

Senate

District 18

Vote for Ginny Burdick

A senator since 1997, incumbent Burdick has proven her effectiveness by, among other things, spearheading an initiative requiring background checks for gun purchases.

District 21

Vote for Kate Brown

If you have questions about female ejaculation, by all means, contact Brown's challenger, Theresa "Darklady" Reed, a prolific exotica writer. But if you're looking for legislative experience and firm footing on progressive ideals, vote for Brown.

District 23

Vote for Avel Gordly

Gordly is known for her dedication to helping the poor, as well as safeguarding school funding and promoting multiculturalism.

* House of Reps *

District 33

Vote for Mitch Greenlick

Smartypants Greenlick is a healthcare analyst committed to providing universal access to healthcare. Can't argue with that.

District 36

Vote for Mary Nolan

Incumbent Nolan has a track record of pushing school reforms, as well as protecting abortion rights and expanding access to contraceptives.

District 38

Vote for Greg MacPherson

MacPherson gets props--and, hopefully, votes--for his work on reforming the state's pension system.

District 41

Vote for Carolyn Tomei

Tomei is the business-suit equivalent of an aggressive panhandler (in this case, that's a good thing). She fights for the few remaining pennies for affordable health care and adequate funding for public schools.

District 42

Vote for Diane Rosenbaum

Not only does incumbent Rosenbaum have a perfect environmental voting record, but one of her top legislative priorities is requiring that insurance plans cover contraception.

District 43

Vote for Chip Shields

Shields has an admirable record of social justice work that includes founding Better People, a nonprofit that helps ex-cons find jobs.

District 45

Vote for Jackie Dingfelder

In her first term in the house, Dingfelder fought for improved school funding, extending unemployment benefits and reducing water pollution.

District 46

Vote for Steve March

This respected Democrat prioritizes education and healthcare, and has the clout to get the job done.

Metro

Vote for Robert Liberty

Unlike that other weekly in town, we endorsed Liberty in the primary over the pro-development, lazy-ass incumbent. Liberty continues to be the clear choice: He will push for "green solutions" with his comprehensive solution for mass transit in the region.

County Commissioner

Vote for Lisa Naito

It's doubtful that Naito will ever shed the legacy of same-sex marriage licenses, but she's hoping to get back to her day-to-day work in this next term. Her next focus? More efficient and effective mental health care.

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