For the first time in years the 4th Congressional District is up for grabs. Art Robinson (R), from Cave Junction, and incumbent Peter DeFazio (D) from Springfield have presented their views in numerous forums over the last few months.
Having attended several forums, and interviewing the major candidates myself I hope to bring out some of what I see this election has been about. Art Robinson, echoing the national frustration with the Obama government, with incursions into the private sector, such as the federal intervention in the financial and auto industries, is running on an anti-Washington platform. Although at times Robinson has seemed to play further to the extreme right-leaning Tea Party with his views on social security, healthcare and the education system.
Art Robinson, by education, is a learned man with significant life success. What one could argue is that Art Robinson lacks the political savvy to deal with the workings of Washington. It takes more than good intentions to achieve results. In terms of eloquence Art Robinson has not fared well in the forums I have attended. Now one could argue that eloquence alone does not make for quality in a candidate, but when the answers are analysed there is a severe lack of temperance in his approach to the issues. When it comes to a woman's reproductive rights, Robinson is out-of-touch; on the issue of healthcare he is anti-reform when he should be looking to solve a worsening problem.
What Art Robinson has made public as his agenda is either too extreme or too impractical in both the politcial and real world of most individuals. It is commendable to want to return more money to individuals by cutting taxes, although he has not articulated how he would reconcile cuts in spending with cuts in taxes. Mathematically the ledger will not balance.
Peter DeFazio has served two decades in Washington D.C. representing the citizens of Oregon. He is smart, resourceful and very much an independent Democrat. Sometimes this puts him in a position to distance himself from his party, and sometimes he may be more liberal than practical.
Healthcare is an issue that remains a bone of contention with voters in the 4th Congressional District, and DeFazio was instrumental in getting additional language in the healthcare bill that would help medicare patients in Oregon with payments to hospitals. Art Robinson wants to essentially throw out the current legislation and privatize healthcare. While this newspaper may not totally be in favor of the healthcare bill, remedies need to be found, and it is difficult to trust that Robinson would add to the discussion in a positive way.
Peter DeFazio will bring to Oregon a continued sense of political balance and independence. Consider the issues facing our Cities and Towns, our State and our Nation, then consider the temperment of each of the candidates prior to filling out your ballot.
We live in an imperfect world. No candidate can be all things to all people. At the end of the day this newspaper heartily endorses Peter DeFazio as the right person to lead the 4th Congressional District in Oregon.