Oregonian Voters Guide


  1. Jeff Lawrence Biographical Information
    Age: 50

    Nominating parties: Libertarian, Independent

    Residence city/town: Troutdale, Oregon Birthplace: Logan, Utah Occupation: As Intel’s Director of Global Content Policy, I lead an international team of business, legal, and engineering professionals. My job on the team is to pioneer new opportunities and lead with vision, passion, and results oriented hard work. As a team, we build business ecosystems for DVD, Blue-ray, and now UltraViolet entertainment content. We drive international standards and operate a multimillion dollar service business to those ends. We advocate “markets not mandates” in global public policy forums, and put our money where our mouth is by engaging the entertainment industry and solving complex legal, business, and technical problems with sustainable market solutions. We understand how the rules of the game impact the outcome, so we find win-win solutions among competing interests that create innovation and business opportunities for all. By enabling horizontal and vertical competition and innovation opportunities with low barriers to entry, we grow the business ecosystems and everyone wins, especially the consumer, who gets better and cheaper devices and services every year. I am amazed at what a few good people like those on my team can accomplish. We move large forces with small numbers. Work experience: I started my professional career in downtown Portland with the law firm Preston Gates & Ellis, where I practiced natural resources law (representing the timber industry in the spotted owl litigation) and business law. I then spent two years in Tokyo, Japan, in Anderson Mori’s colorful international practice, with emphasis on business, intellectual property, and local derivatives law. After returning to the U.S., I joined Intel Corporation, serving as division counsel, director of standards, chair of the copyright practice group, and technology licensing attorney (before my current job). I have closed a lot of deals in my life. I am effective because I look for win-win solutions and bring passion to defending what I believe is both right and fair. Political history: Like most of you, I have never sought public office, but I have enough history with career politicians to long for real change. I also have enough political history to know that this particular incumbent does not have the business experience, leadership skills, principles, or passion necessary to provide us the vision and leadership we need in these difficult times. I am standing up for what I believe because our country is at a critical inflection point, and we need more vision and passion than Mr. Blumenauer can deliver. In terms of actual political experience, I have advised government officials around the world on innovation policies regarding the internet and digital media. Community involvement: The greatest contributions we can make to our community begin in our own homes, so we have tried to teach our children to be responsible and tolerant citizens. Outside the home, I serve on the Board of Directors of the MLA Charter School in Fairview, and have served in our local church. I am also a huge fan and supporter of the Reynolds Raiders, and am tracking their cross-country march to a state championship this year. My wife Lora is running for City Council this year, and I look forward to being more involved in Troutdale community affairs. Education/degrees: University of Washington, BA international Studies, BA Japanese, Cum Laude; PHI BETA KAPPA; Graduate studies, University of Washington, Asian Language (Japanese/Chinese); Brigham Young University, J.D., Magna Cum Laude, Order of the Coif, Law Review Articles Editor. Marital status: I have been married to Lora for 26 years. We have been through a refiner’s fire together. We live in the same modest home we bought when we were fresh out of school. Family: Lora and I have lived in Troutdale since 1991. We have five children, with three in college. Mike, Rob, and Asia graduated from Reynolds High School, where Lexa is a junior. Rachel is in 8th Grade at Walt Morey Middle School. We had our first wedding this summer when Asia married Bryson, so our family contiues to grow. We look forward to being grandparents someday. This August we went to Washington, D.C., on a short family vacation. We felt like we were part of history with the activities and monuments we visited together. We still believe in the American dream. Religion: My ancestors crossed the plains with the handcart pioneers, and I attend a local LDS church. I consider myself a seeker of truth, and a sinner not a saint. My beliefs are influenced by many schools of thought both east and west. My pioneer ancestors taught me love of country and their walk showed me the need for tolerance and liberty. Lora and I try to follow their example by teaching our children that if there is anything virtuous, or lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy, they should seek after those things. Major endorsements: I have not sought any endorsements. I bring independence and fresh perspective. Personal fact: I started working in the onion fields to support my own needs when I was 12. I liked working in the fields with friends and visitors. I’ve done a little bit of everything since then and I really enjoy hard work. I’m always planning a project of some kind that gets me outside working and building with my own hands. I like to get dirty. Quote from candidate: We must stand together as a nation and a people now, or the divisions of group and party politics will destroy us. The choice is ours, and the day of our choosing is at hand. I am not the message, only a messenger. Last book read: Cato Policy Handbook. I know, boring. Campaign Web site: votejefflawrence.com Campaign phone: 503 334 7217 Campaign e-mail: jeff@votejefflawrence.com

  2. Earl Blumbenauer Biographical Information Age: 62

    Nominating parties: Democratic Residence city/town: Portland, OR Birthplace: Portland, OR Occupation: Member of Congress Work experience: Public Administrator, Elected Official Political history: As a college student, organizing a campaign to lower the voting age; active as a volunteer in state and local races; served in the legislature, county, city Community involvement: Active in work to protect SE neighborhoods, board member of the Portland YMCA and Portland Community College, helped found American Leadership Forum – Oregon, Portland School Foundation Education/degrees: Bachelor of Science, JD Marital status: married Family: two children and two step children Major endorsements: Oregon Educators Association, Planned Parenthood, AFL-CIO, SEIU, Sierra Club, American Nurses Association, Joint Council of Teamsters No. 37 Personal fact: have run 36 marathons Quote from candidate: There are enough people who practice trench politics, but we are going to have to govern. Last book read: The Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition by Daniel Okren Campaign Web site: www.earlblumenauer.com Campaign phone: 503-235-3399 Campaign e-mail: team@earlblumenauer.com

  3. Has the $862 billion stimulus law worked? Why or why not?
    Jeff Lawrence: When government spends to make work, people do go to work. These are not, however, sustainable jobs but unsustainable wealth transfers, especially when financed by the Chinese through deficit spending. We may have put a few people back to work temporarily, but only by burdening our children and grandchildren with debt. We simply put off the day of accountability and took no real steps to help the people help themselves. We should at least make sure the government spending represents long-term investments aimed at creating real, sustainable jobs. For example, we could lower the cost of doing business by lowering business taxes, encourage research and development through investment tax credits, and provide incentives for enterprise to innovate and grow. Career politicians who believe that wealth transfers are real business investments should be replaced with business oriented citizens committed to bringing this country back, not setting it back with unsustainable deficit spending.
    Earl Blumenauer: Yes, it has made a huge difference in saving or creating 3.3 million jobs according to the independent Congressional Budget Office, our official “score keeper.” It has made an even bigger difference in Oregon, saving jobs of teachers, police officers, and fire fighters. Construction workers can be seen throughout the state working with a third of a billion dollars for infrastructure projects through next year. It also helped extend unemployment insurance and health insurance. While I would have put a greater emphasis on health and infrastructure investment, the fact is that we would be devastated without it.
  4. The Bush-era tax cuts expire Dec. 31. President Obama wants to allow tax breaks to expire for people making more than $250,000 while retaining those for people with lower incomes. Republicans want to extend all of them even though doing so would enlarge the federal deficit. Which approach do you support? Why?
    Jeff Lawrence: If we are serious about prosperity, we must reward achievement and make this nation the boldest enterprise zone in the world. Low taxes lead to capital formation, investment, and incentives to innovate and create jobs. And let’s be honest Mr. Blumenauer, you will never be able to raise taxes high enough on one group of American achievers to overtake the runaway train that is your deficit spending. How ironic that Mr. Blumenauer borrowed more than a trillion dollars from the Chinese to bail out his special friends and stimulate unsustainable jobs, but he opposes Americans keeping and investing their own hard earned money to create sustainable ones. How condescending. He doesn’t care where the money comes from or how big the deficit as long as he is doing the spending. Unlike the Founders, he believes we live to serve his special interests, and he uses class warfare to demonize the enterprise and achievement America needs.
    Earl Blumenauer: I do not support the Republican proposal to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans which would require borrowing an extra $700 billion, probably from the Chinese. Instead of taking a piecemeal approach, we should be making fundamental changes to deal with serious problems like the Alternative Minimum Tax that is taxing middle income families and a workable inheritance tax. The current debate ignores the big picture while we borrow more money to kick the tax reform can down the road.
  5. Some members of Congress advocate rewriting the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees citizenship to anyone born in the United States, so that children born to parents from other nations do not automatically become citizens. Do you support such a change? Why or why not?
    Jeff Lawrence: I travel the world on business and have worked and lived abroad. As far as I am aware, we are the only nation on earth that rewards those who violate our national borders by granting anchor citizenship to their children. The 14th Amendment, as currently interpreted, may have made sense in a time of open immigration policy, but this country long ago abandoned open immigration in favor of an orderly system governed by the rule of law. Our policies regarding citizenship should reflect that national system. If someone breaks into my house and gives birth on my property, I do not reward them by making their children heirs with a life interest in my home. This is not sound immigration policy. How ironic that Mr. Blumenauer looks abroad for guidance on issues like health care, but when it comes to basic issues like border integrity Mr. Blumenauer finds the rest of the world out of touch.
    Earl Blumenauer: No, I do not support denying citizenship to people who are born in America. We have operated for over 140 years with the current amendment with no significant problem. Before we start meddling with the Constitution, I think there should be some compelling reasons put forward for any amendments being considered.
  6. President Obama has set July 2011 as the date for when U.S. troops might begin withdrawing from Afghanistan. In your opinion, what conditions must be present for that withdrawal to take place? If those conditions are not met, should U.S. troops remain indefinitely?
    Jeff Lawrence: The President’s “war of necessity” in Afghanistan is not sustainable, and reminds me of the Founders’ warnings about foreign entanglements. Now that we are fully engaged, however, we have a duty to the people we have impacted to make our exit strategy as seamless, considered, and careful as possible.
    Earl Blumenauer: Our national security interests are undercut by our current involvement in Afghanistan, as well as damaging our economy, to say nothing of further endangering the lives of our soldiers. We should begin withdrawing from Afghanistan so we can get our national security priorities straight, spend our money more wisely, and protect our soldiers.
  7. At more than 10 percent, Oregon has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Name three things Congress and the federal government can do to revive the economy and lower Oregon’s jobless rate.
    Jeff Lawrence: Enterprise drives wealth and job creation. We need a national competition strategy that makes America the boldest enterprise zone in the world, lowers the cost of doing business today, and seeks to attract and keep businesses (and manufacturing) large and small. Let’s compete on the world stage and win real business and real jobs. Let’s lower business taxes, encourage research and development with tax credits, drive down health care costs through interstate competition and consumer choice, pass immigration reform that attracts more talent, and stop the fiscal insanity in Washington. Rather than look to enterprise, Mr. Blumenauer promises more wealth transfers and unsustainable government make-work. Earth to Mr. Blumenauer. These are the same failed and unsustainable policies that are crippling us today. At best you promise to build a little more train track for your friends but you offer us nothing to stop the national train wreck you are engineering.
    Earl Blumenauer: The three most important things the federal government can do to revive the economy and lower Oregon’s jobless rate is to: 1) Reauthorize the Surface Transportation Act, the important highway infrastructure funding bill, to help build long term projects to put people to work while we improve the environment and help small businesses. 2) Reform the Farm Bill, which wastes too much money, harms the environment, short changes nutrition, and cheats Oregon farmers and ranchers, 87% of whom get nothing under this program. We can do better for Oregon agriculture, reduce funding to huge corporate interests and put more money in the hands of our farmers and ranchers by connecting them with local schools, hospitals, and farmers markets, as well as producing better food and environmental quality to Oregonians, all for less cost to the tax payer. 3) Accelerate investments in the green energy economy, creating jobs in Oregon and shipping less money overseas for foreign oil and products.
  8. Bonus question: Should the NCAA Division One football champion be decided by a playoff? Why or why not.
    Jeff Lawrence: Playoff. Football is war, not a popularity contest.
    Earl Blumenauer: We should have a playoff, not only to fairly settle the question of who is the national champion, but equally important, to avoid “bowl inflation” with several dozen bowl games, some featuring teams without even winning records.

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