Vote No on Measure 1-74

Once again you have a vote to decide whether the position of County Commissioners in Baker County should be nonpartisan. Who is behind this effort and why? Why should party affiliation not be part of the equation? County Commissioners’ votes impact every area of those in the county. There are two very different value systems between the major parties, just look at the state of the State.

Have you looked at who is supporting this change? Common Cause of Oregon (described as “nonpartisan” but the entire staff and super majority of the governing board are Democrats and supports the progressive agenda), Rural Organizing Project — again described as “nonpartisan” but from their website: Human dignity groups — typically small and volunteer-led — have organized since the early 1990s to break down isolation and join together to confront intense homophobia, xenophobia, and racism perpetuated in rural towns by the extreme Right. ROP was formed to strengthen these groups, invest in the leadership and skills of these local organizers, and create a new vision of progressive organizing in rural Oregon.”

Nonpartisan? You decide. If a candidate believes in their party’s agenda why do they run from their party affiliation? Have you ever tried to research what the judges on the “nonpartisan” tickets believe or support? For those that state “keep politics out of the county’s business,” this is a political position with decisions that will impact you and your family.

Candidates affiliate with a major party (Independent, Democratic, or Republican) because they associate with the beliefs of that party. This says a lot about what influences them, how they will vote, and who they align with. Why do the Democrats in Baker County not have a candidate on the ballot? Why do they believe the only way to win an election is to make it “nonpartisan”? Non-partisan is just a veil to cloak positions and candidates.

With three major parties now represented in Oregon, and with the argument that there are 5,600 non-Republican voters, it’s hard to believe that there is not more behind this issue that just “meaningful say” in the elections. Please vote No on Measure I-74.

Chris Barreto


Media ignore viable candidates

The media, which includes, unfortunately, this paper, has not given us information on the third party candidates running for president and other offices around the country, including here in Oregon. The self-fulfilling prophecy put out by the major parties and the media, that either Trump or Clinton will be our next president, is being constantly spouted by and manipulated by these entities and their spokespersons. We hear it repeated so often that many of us have come to believe it — a prophecy which creates the result desired by those who started it.

The Commission on Presidential Debates, formed entirely of supporters of either the Republican or Democratic parties, has established rules to prevent third party candidates from participating in the debates. They are doing this in violation of their stated purpose to “provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners.”

Keeping those candidates who could, if the voters knew them and chose to vote for them, get enough votes to become POTUS, out of the debates creates an unfair advantage to the major parties and their candidates.

Likewise, the exclusion of coverage of the third party candidates by the news media, both broadcast and print, makes it hard for us to learn about these other candidates. Reflect, what have you read about them in this paper? If we do not know even who they are how can we vote for them?

So it becomes necessary for us to learn about these candidates, this year Jill Stein of the Green Party and Gary Johnson with the Libertarian Party, before we vote. It is easy to look them up online by name. If you do not have a computer, the library has them available for you to us.

To feel good about your vote, to feel that you voted for someone rather than casting a negative vote, take the time before completing your ballot to educate yourself.

George Wheaton

Baker City

Measure 1-74 benefits all

I was elected four times, and had the honor of serving as a Baker County Commissioner for 12 years (1987-1999). During that time I came to know dozens of county commissioners. With very few exceptions, they all were public servants working to improve the circumstances of everyone in their local communities. Rarely did anyone’s party affiliation come up in our effort to serve.

Political party central committees have been sources of support for candidates for partisan elected offices. They serve a role for selected candidates: providing money, organizational structures, contacts and manpower for the candidate’s campaign. Historically, this has been used most in state and federal elections. I fear this is changing and much to the detriment of Baker County.

For me, the important question about Measure 1-74 is this: Does the county commissioner candidate really need to get the local political party central committee’s support, or should the priority be for candidates to make his or her positions known directly to all the citizens they want to serve?

Measure 1-74 allows every voter, no matter their party registration, an opportunity to vote for the commission candidate of their choice in both the primary and general elections. Measure 1-74 makes every candidate accountable to every voter in both the primary and general elections.

Who wins? In my humble opinion, everyone in Baker County.

Steve Bogart

Baker City

Voters are frustrated, so Trump

We’ve all been watching this presidential match that’s going on right now, and if you’re like me, you’re pretty sick of it, and unbelievably amazed. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how we, the United States of America, got to this point. In my opinion, neither of the candidates should have been nominated by we the people in the first place. I understand how Hillary got nominated, but Trump getting nominated baffled me until I heard an explanation the other day that explained it. When you wonder about Trump, don’t ask who he is, the better question might be, what is Donald Trump? The answer: A giant middle finger from average Americans raised to the political and media establishment in this country! A lot of folks are really sick and tired of being scammed and lied to by both organizations. They’re sick of the Obamas, sick of the Clintons, and all of the other greedy, established politicians, both Democrat and Republican, who have taken this country to where it is today. What sheep we are! I will vote, and I am also one of those that has a finger raised in protest.

Peter Claflin

Baker City

Experience matters, vote Ash

A note to Mr. Hoopes.

Question 1: Why did you not advertise/publicize your failure to attend community forums?

Question 2: You can be ready on Jan. 1 to assume duties; so says your spouse. Why can you not respond?

Question 3: Why are you seeking this office?

You must have an answer or explanation. From your rhetoric, you belittle past supervisors for “poor direction and a passive approach.” If you desire to be the pillar of the community, what were your actions to best make the situation better for the community you desire to serve? What positive and meaningful solutions did you take to your supervisors? Did you complaint or foment dissent with your co-workers?

After a 37-year career in the U.S. Army, my experience with subordinates and supervisors is extensive and one learns to respect advice, accept both praise and criticism, and the common words of encouragement: Be consistent!

Sorry, Mr. Hoopes, your writings, responses, ego and narcissism truly disappoint. I would suggest that you do not possess the temperament and/or judgment to be the law enforcement representative of the people of Baker County. In all honesty, I would consider you to be a marplot of the highest caliber.

Education and leadership matter. Vote Ash for Sheriff.

Skip Stiglich

Baker City

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