Tim Kerns has earned another four years as a Baker County commissioner.
Kerns and his colleagues, chairman Fred Warner Jr. and commissioner
Carl Stiff, have in general done a good job overseeing county
operations the past few years and we don’t believe there’s a compelling
reason to tinker with that formula.
Kerns’ greatest asset is his advocacy for issues vital to Baker County’s economy.
In particular, Kerns’ expertise in his own profession — farming — is
valuable in a county where agriculture is the biggest sector of the
Kerns, a Republican who has served as a county commissioner since 2001,
also will strive to ensure that the Forest Service’s pending decision
on closing roads to motorized vehicles will take into account that
retaining a certain level of access benefits retail businesses that
rely on recreationists.
We share Kerns’ concern about the threat of catastrophic wildfires in
the county — especially on the east face of the Elkhorns, which shelter
the headwaters of streams that supply much of the irrigation water that
Baker Valley farmers and ranchers depend on.
Kerns contends, and we agree, that the Forest Service should strive to
protect those streams just as the agency did with its forest thinning
and other work in Baker City’s watershed during the past several years.
We don’t subscribe to the notion, which we hear from certain quarters,
that America’s very survival might well rest on the result of this
But the condition of our economy for the next couple years sure does.
And that matters a lot to all of us.
After comparing the two candidates’ prescriptions for our ailing
financial system, we’re convinced that Americans would fare better
under a John McCain administration than under one led by Barack Obama.
That’s why we urge voters to cast their ballots for McCain.
The most significant difference between McCain’s and Obama’s economic platforms involves their tax plans.
McCain thinks all Americans should turn over a smaller percentage of their income to the federal government.
Obama thinks people who make less than $250,000 per year should pay a
smaller percentage, but people who earn more than that should pay a
larger percentage — about 3 percent more of their income, from 36
percent to 39 percent.
Politics are notorious for provoking people to embarrass themselves,
but for sheer stupidity there are few acts, it seems to me, that
surpass the stealing of campaign signs.
Except for the burning of campaign signs, which besides being illegal could lead to skin grafts or even death.
And yet, every time we as a nation go about picking those who will
represent us — and in particular when the presidency is at stake — the
papers and the TV become infested with stories about people whose
campaign signs have gone missing.
Or gone up in flames.
I’m sure some of these instances can be explained as pranks — the work of vandals who are wholly ignorant of politics.
Oregonians have a good deal going with their two U.S. senators, and we’d like to see it continue.
Which is why we urge voters to give Republican Gordon Smith six more years in Washington, D.C.
Smith, along with his Democratic colleague, Ron Wyden, exemplifies the
sort of thoughtful politician whom Oregonians have long preferred.
Most politicians proclaim, of course, that their allegiance rests with
their constituents rather than with their political party. But Smith’s
record proves beyond any question that he’s no blind partisan.
The senator has spearheaded legislation that toughens penalties for
hate crimes. He supported bills that require higher gas mileage for new
vehicles and that offer incentives for companies to build renewable
Those aren’t central planks in the Republican Party’s platform.
But then neither are Smith’s concerns about the Iraq war.
Voters can change the roster of the Baker City Council a little or a lot in the Nov. 4 election.
We recommend the latter.
Nine candidates are vying for four vacancies on the seven-member City Council.
Three of the four members of the Baker City Herald’s editorial board
had half-hour interviews with eight of those candidates during the past
few weeks (Bill Todd declined our invitation).
Editorial board members who attended those interviews are: Kari Borgen,
the newspaper’s publisher; Jayson Jacoby, the editor; and Chris
Collins, the police and schools reporter. The board’s other member,
reporter Mike Ferguson, did not attend candidate interviews because he
writes news stories about the City Council and so, in the interest of
preserving his objectivity, he was not involved in the board’s decision
about endorsing candidates.
We urge residents to give their votes to this quartet: Aletha Bonebrake, Clair Button, Jeremy Gilpin and Milo Pope.
Voters will quickly notice, we suspect, that we are not endorsing any
of the three incumbents: Sam Bass, Gail Duman and Terry Schumacher.
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