Voters in Oregon’s Fifth District Congressional Democrat primary this year will be greeted by a ballot containing what could only be called – charitably – candidate fraud. As a registered Independent, I won’t be see the tainted ballot but my Democrat friends will. Most are smart enough to figure it out.
They’ll find Rep. Peter DeFazio’s name. He’s held the seat for 25 years or so. And they’ll find the name Matthew Robinson, a 24-year-old first-timer with no – repeat NO – previous Democrat affiliation or elected political experience in his entire short life- nothing to earn respect or support from his “chosen party.” Most Democrats will remember DeFazio beat Republican Art Robinson in the 2010 general. Yeah, little Matt’s Pop.
To say there is bad blood between DeFazio and the Robinson’s is entirely correct if understated. Childish and certainly unprofessional. But it’s there. I’m not going to defend DeFazio for what he allegedly said or did during that last campaign. He’s more than capable. But it should be noted, as fact, that he and the elder Robinson possess significant egos and are poles apart politically. Fertile ground for an angry campaign.
Democrat DeFazio we know. He’s got a long voting record. GOPer Robinson Senior does not. But he’s made his crackpot views known. Here are some from his 2010 candidacy:
## The public school system is child abuse.
## Public schools should be abolished.
## Privatize social security. If Wall Street loses your money, tough luck.
## AIDS is a myth and a government conspiracy
## Medicare is a welfare subsidy and should end.
## Close federal Departments of Education, EPA, etc.
## Sprinkle nuclear waste over America.
## Dissolve radioactive waste and sprinkle it over the ocean.
## Put nuclear waste in the foundation of your next home.
Robinson Senior is a PhD chemist with a good deal of controversy in his background – professionally, personally, politically. He makes part of his living selling home-schooling materials – some with distinctly racist content. He got into a loud, personal battle with a small southern Oregon university over what he saw as “official discrimination” against his kids. Later, without proof, he charged Oregon State University was trying to louse up his kids grad programs as “political payback” to DeFazio. The State Board of Education quickly put the lie to that. Fact is, little Matt’s still there but won’t talk about either experience.
So you have a youngster with no political experience who registers as a Democrat, sets his sights very high on the U.S. House as his first electoral target and to – oh, yes – make a run on the balding,diminutive guy who beat his old man last time around.
Young Matt says it was all his idea, as was having brother Noah manage his Democrat campaign and Pop’s GOP general. Dad says he’s fine with that. Both brothers are, of course, steeped in Dad’s rather odd views of reality, relying on him for “professional” advice.
The kid makes no bones about his scheme being “payback” for how he thinks DeFazio defamed his Dad in 2010. Pop’s out stumping for contributions for both campaigns already. Probably won’t have much more success than he did two years ago. Had it not been for a right wing, multi-millionaire New York sugar daddy, the elder Robinson’s campaign would have been limited to hand bills, phone calls and emails.
The six counties in our congressional district are hurting – badly. We’ve been hit with the double whammy of a deep recession crippling the timber industry – our economic mainstay. And we’ve lost – or will lose – nearly all federal timberlands O&C subsidy funding that’s paid for much of county government services for years. We’re at the edge of a cliff down here.
I won’t defend DeFazio with whom I have my own differences. But – with a couple decades of seniority and working with members of the GOP majority in the House – he appears very close to getting a short extension of that federal lifeline because of institutional knowledge, respect from people in both parties and may wind up in majority party status again in November.
Those are not things I want to trade for a beginner, barely out of his teens, steeped in political lunacy and on a quest for revenge because he thinks his Daddy was ill-treated in an old political battle. Who in hell would this kid talk to in Congress? Even more important, who in hell would listen to him – a back-bench freshman with a political outlook skewed against reality?
This latest Robinson affair is a political travesty. There’s nothing here that’s properly motivated. None of our terribly important and terribly real local, state and national issues will be rationally discussed. No new, workable ideas will be presented. Ironically, if either Robinson got to Congress, the very voters who sent them there would be the same ones most hurt by doing so.
We can’t afford this kid. Or his old man. In 2010, five of our six counties went for Robinson. That must not happen again. Our neighborhood – these six counties of SW Oregon – are suffering the same economic hurt as the rest of the nation with the added load of loss of federal support that has been vital to our recent survival.
This “candidate fraud” is nothing more than a Robinson family feud. Go to it, Robinsons. But leave the rest of us out of your political dysfunction.