Letters and comments for April 2, 2012

By Observer Upload April 02, 2012 04:12 pm
Letters and comments for April 2, 2012

Voters disenfranchised 


To the Editor:

Have you noticed Union County Commissioner signs sprouting up county wide?  It’s true. Two Republicans running against one another for county commissioner. No contesting Democrats or independents.  

Many Oregon counties have nonpartisan commissioner elections. In nonpartisan races, candidates do not declare party affiliation and every registered voter is eligible to vote for the candidate of choice in this very critical local decision making process.  

However, Union County commissioner elections are partisan.

Therefore, candidates must register by party. Only those of the same party can vote in the primaries. Since Union County is heavily Republican, only Republicans get elected except in rare instances.   

This has lead to an entrenched good old boy system.

Those in power encourage one of their own to run in the Republican slot whenever a commissioner seat is vacated. Incumbents are rarely challenged.

It’s a form of nepotism.

The last open commissioner seat was hotly contested by Bill Rosholt, the chosen good old boy Republican; Jim Mollerstrom, a well qualified independent; and an unknown Democrat who may have run only to take votes from the strong independent.

It worked. Rosholt, our replacement Republican, now holds office as county commissioner rather than as a golf pro.

This year is extremely unusual. Mark Davidson, our incumbent commissioner, is being challenged by another Republican, Irene Gilbert.

This match-up ensures the outcome will be determined in the primary election, where only registered Republicans will make the choice for all of us.

This disenfranchises all registered Democrats and independents, since in primaries everyone must vote along party lines.

Either Davidson or Gilbert will be disqualified in the primaries. The other will be county commissioner.

So, contrary to what my bumper stickers lead a person to believe, I am a long time registered Republican.

Any Union County citizen who wants a voice in county politics must be a registered Republican. A quick visit to the county clerk’s office before April 24 is all it takes.    

As an added incentive, registered Republicans can vote in the Republican presidential election this year. What’s not to love about that? 

Mary McCracken

La Grande



Spending questioned


To the Editor:

Doesn’t it bother ODFW a little to think about how many homeless Oregon residents that could have been fed and housed on the money they’ve spent on those wolves?

Nick Smith

La Grande



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