Morley for Secretary of State

October 13, 2004 11:00 pm

Democrat Bill Bradbury has proudly carried on his predecessor Phil Keisling's efforts to get out the vote as Oregon's secretary of state.

But elections aren't the only responsibility of this office. The post is also charged with performing audits of state agencies. This is a critical job in an era when voters don't think their tax dollars are being spent wisely, and crises like the Union-Baker ESD/Department of Education scandal have gone undetected for years.

Libertarian Richard Morley offers Oregonians who are skeptical of state spending an opportunity to elect an experienced auditor for the position of Secretary of State.

First as a contractor and later as an employee of the City of Portland, and then as an employee of the secretary of state's office, Morley has conducted the kinds of performance audits that will tell us more than whether the books are merely balanced. The former Republican aims to find out if our tax dollars are being spent effectively. And he thinks a Libertarian would be uniquely situated in Salem to achieve that goal, since he'll be arguably subject to less sway from either party out to protect their pet projects and issues.

Morley isn't a single-issue candidate, however. He wants to advocate for electoral reforms that would reduce the number of valid petition signatures thrown out on technicalities, and is interested in making vote-by-mail optional since he says many Oregonians miss the civic experience of going to the polls.

Morley is also interested in seeing initiative petitions placed on primary ballots so all of the state's citizens — including rural residents — have an opportunity to shape the general election ballot.

These are interesting topics worth discussing. But seeing the secretary of state office's increase its Constitutionally-allowed scrutiny of state spending has been a priority for this newspaper since before the state budget crisis and the two failed tax measures.

We don't think the need for this sort of performance auditing has gone away, and Morley has the most experience in the race actually conducting this kind of work.

That's why we endorse Libertarian Richard Morley to be Oregon's next secretary of state.