2006 ENDORSEMENT: Return Greg Walden to Congress

October 19, 2006 11:00 pm

Rep. Greg Walden is an R even Ds can support.

Some congressmen latch on to a national hot button issue and try to make a name for themselves.

Walden latches on to the issues that are important to his district and tries to forge solutions.

Consider:

He and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., have been champions of making the federal government help rural schools and counties make up for lost timber dollars.

He's sought ways to improve forest health before there's a fire — and remove barriers to post-fire logging and restoration.

And on Mount Hood, where he's a sponsor of new wilderness, he's also worked so that the Forest Service will look at roads it wants to close and consider their usefulness to four-wheelers, mountain bikers and other recreational users.

His challenger, Carol Voisin, comes to this campaign with a lot of passion, much of it directed at the Bush Administration's failure to navigate the vagaries of a post-Saddam Iraq and pursue issues critical to middle and lower income people.

Trying to paint Walden with the broad brush of Bush bashing isn't fair.

For certain, he's supported the president on a number of issues. But he's also disagreed with Bush on key issues.

Walden and other Northwest lawmakers fought the administration on a proposal to raise Bonneville Power Administration power rates, which would have hit Oregon Trail Electric Co-operative customers in the pocketbook.

And he voted to override Bush's veto of funding for stem cell research.

But if Iraq's your single issue, those instances might not reassure you. This doesn't mean Walden isn't your candidate, however.

On the war in Iraq, he straddles a fine line, stopping short of criticizing the administration and instead delving into the complexities of the Sunni-Shia atagonism.

Walden works on the Second District's priorities by collaborating with colleagues — Democrat and Republican. He has successfully navigated the political channels in the halls of congress to move legislation as diverse as rural health care, healthy forests and prevention of meth trafficking because it's important to us, the people he represents. And that's exactly the kind of representation we want to continue to have in congress.

We urge you to vote for Greg Walden for Congress.