By Jim Welsh
[Editor’s note: Jim writes in his own blog known as moocountynews.com. He has decided to run for office, and herein he tells us why. If you aren’t inspired by this, check your pulse.]
By now a number of you readers are aware that I am running for Oregon House District Seat 32 currently held by Deborah Boone. Rep. Boone has held this seat for nearly 8 years. I am sure you are interested in why I am running. Well, let me first tell you some reasons that did not enter into my decision.
I am not running to draw a paycheck for serving my constituents. I would do the job for free except that the Legislature, in its wisdom, won’t permit that. Whether I want a paycheck or not, you tax-payers will have to pay me. So I’ll just donate the take-home pay to charities. And I will opt out of PERS as I don’t intend to have tax-payers pay me after I leave the Legislature. And when I leave the legislature I’ll donate whatever accumulated in a private plan to charity also. I’m not going there for a pension. As a matter of fact, I don’t believe any elected officials should have tax-payer funded pensions. I don’t consider elective service a career. (As a matter of fact, I’ll probably introduce a bill in every session to do away with pension benefits for legislators). I will accept the per diem costs while in session and I’ll let you know what I spend it on. It is your money. You are paying the bill. You have a right to see what you are paying for. I can assure you that you’ll see more purchases for my food during session at places like McDonalds and grocery stores than at fancy restaurants like DaVincis in Salem.
I am not running to put a close relative on the state payroll like Rep Boone did for six years. And since I won’t be leaving a PERS-paid position before being elected I will not hire that close relative to inherit my old job like Rep. Boone did for six years. And I will also not hire that same relative to manage my election campaign at a $1000 a month like Rep. Boone did for four years. Oh, she’ll tell you it is perfectly legal for legislators to hire their relatives. That’s right, they passed a special law to make it legal for only state legislators to do that (Its illegal for every other public employee to do that). Ah, the perks of office.
I am not running to take trips to China or Montreal or Alaska paid out of my campaign expense fund like Rep. Boone has done for years. Has she ever written to you about those trips? Probably not. Has she ever written to you about where the money for these trips came from? Probably not. To the best of my knowledge, very few of my constituents will be found living in those places.
I am not running to take per diem payments paid by the tax payers and then use my campaign contributions to pay for my travel expenses to Salem. A convenient way to pocket the per diem. And its all legal. Isn’t that all that matters?
I am not running to vote for more taxes and fees. I will be running to lower your taxes and the fees that you pay such as hunting and fishing licenses. By the way did any of you fishermen and hunters get to catch more fish or take more game for those license fee increases? Well, the people at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife got more pay. Rep. Boone voted for those increases. Since Rep Boone entered the legislature in 2004, Oregon’s all funds budget has doubled. Any of you readers make twice as much as you did in 2004? The State of Oregon does. Let’s all give a great big hand for Rep. Boone’s achievement. The next time you see her, ask her why she doesn’t talk about that part of her record.
I am not running to put more people on Food Stamps, oops, I mean the Oregon Trail card. I am running to put more people on private business payrolls. And to provide a business climate that will encourage more entrepreneurs to come to Oregon to provide those jobs. You see, the real way to bring prosperity back to Oregon is to create tax-payers not tax consumers.
I am not running to give more power over education to Salem like our legislature just did this session when they gave “Threepeat” Dr. John more bureaucratic control of our schools. I am running to bring back control (and money) to our local educational districts. Our educators are perfectly capable of teaching our students without Salem’s finger in our educational pie. How insulting that Salem thinks our educators are not capable of establishing standards and methods of educating our children.
I am not running to make the government of the State of Oregon bigger. I am running to make it smaller. Our counties, cities, and special districts are full of people who are just as smart and intelligent as the employees of the State of Oregon in Salem (and I‘ll just leave it at that). Just think if much of that money sent to Salem each year could be left in the pockets of local tax payers to decide how it was spent.
Taxpayers of Oregon House District 32, if you want more of the same government that you have, if you want more laws passed restricting your freedoms, if you want more of your hard-earned income to flow down to Salem, vote for Rep. Boone. You will get those things. And more. With Rep. Boone, its always more.
If you want to truly be free citizens emancipated from the maternal control of Mother Salem, then join with me to change the landscape of Oregon government.
I call on you to join the Oregon Devolution. Become the masters of your own destiny. Do not accept any longer that bureaucrats in far away places should have control of your counties, your cities, and your local districts. They are yours, not Salem’s. I promise, if elected, I will never vote to fund any state agency whose duty could be performed by a county, city or special district. And I will vote to send back to our local entities the funding that the State of Oregon collects now.
I know that some will say it is just too big a job. That it can never happen. There will always be people like that. The timid, the satisfied, those living off the current system. They were there in 1776 and said King George‘s armies could never be defeated. They were there in 1860 when they said slavery could not be eliminated. There will always be those who say something can’t be done. The two thousand mile trek to Oregon in the 1840’s started with a single footstep.
Are you ready to take that first step on a new Oregon Trail leading again to the Oregon that our forefathers sought?
Join the Oregon Devolution! Work with me to find that Oregon again.