Correction
The letter published under the headline “How embarrassing” in the May 6 edition of the Columbia Gorge News was incorrectly attributed to Dan Van Vactor. The letter was written by Tim Arends of The Dalles. We regret the error, which has been corrected online. Dan Van Vactor said he unequivocally endorses Eric Nisley as District Attorney for Wasco County.

Swift endorsement
The Wasco County Law Enforcement Association would like to formally endorse Marcus Swift for Wasco county Commissioner. Marcus understands the challenges that our deputies and dispatchers face in serving and protecting Wasco County. He shows passion in tackling rising complex issues such as mental health.
Marcus understands the need for transparency and accessibility in local government and values the concerns of the county residents. He understands the how important it is to balance the diverse needs of north and south Wasco County.
We feel Marcus and his passion and excitement is exactly the type of leader who will be able to help Wasco county navigate through these difficult times and recover fully.
Nolan Randall (president)
Wasco County Law Enforcement Association

Experience matters
If you had a nasty toothache, would you go to an experienced dentist or one who graduated from dental school just three years ago? Yeah, me too. Well, that’s the choice we’ve got when we vote for our next District Attorney. Carrie Rasmussen has been our Deputy District Attorney for the past 15 years, while Sean Kallery is only three years out of law school. In other words, Carrie Rasmussen has been prosecuting cases here in Hood River County five times longer — that’s five times longer — than Sean Kallery has been a lawyer. Mr. Kallery is probably a fine man, and one day he may be a fine DA. But not yet. Experience matters. Especially for a District Attorney. I’m going to keep taking my teeth to Curtis Haynie, and I’m going to vote for Carrie Rasmussen for DA.
Mike Hendricks
Hood River

Kallery for DA
In a few short weeks, we Oregonians will once again have the opportunity to make our voices heard on the issues we care most about. I am writing today to ask you to join me in voting Sean Kallery as our next District Attorney! I do not question the qualifications of his opponent, who has clearly served this county long and well. I know that because of her contributions to the office, our county is a better place. That said, I invite my fellow Hood River residents to consider how Sean Kallery is the right candidate for us right now.
Sean’s website (www.voteforseankallery.com) and weekly webinars, as well as my knowledge of the candidate, have clearly articulated for me why Sean Kallery should be our next Hood River County District Attorney: He is a strong advocate for victims, he has wonderful and varied case experience, and he has clear support from our law enforcement community! Sean is a Hood River resident, father and husband (thank you Linda and all your healthcare hero coworkers!), inspired to contribute his experience and talents to our work making Hood River County a safe place to live.
Sean is committed to the importance that the District Attorney is and should be nonpartisan. I appreciate that even though Sean has the support of those on all sides of the aisle, he has chosen to run on his commitment to this principle role of the DA: The fair and just application of the law. Knowing how political races can get regardless of the seat, Sean’s commitment to the seriousness of the role speaks volumes.
I believe that a vote for Sean Kallery for Hood River County District Attorney is a vote for new leadership that is respectful of our county’s past and present, and a visionary understanding of where we need to go. I am proud to support Sean, I salute him for his military service, and I look forward to seeing him represent us as the next Hood River County District Attorney.
Jarett Gilbert
Hood River

Vote Henke
An important part of being an elected official is collaboration. You are one seat at a table. At that table, the collective thought should be well rounded. It’s equally important to communicate your thoughts as it is to genuinely listen to others.
Perspective is another important component to each seat at the table. Having a strong perspective but being able to see another’s point of view is a crucial skill every Commissioner should have.
Paul is excellent at presenting his thoughts, but where he really shines is in his ability to listen to others and empathetically and enthusiastically understand different points of view.
As a commissioner, Paul will work diligently to listen not only to the constituents, but to those “at the table,” the other commissioners.
I have no doubt that Paul will help get the county where it needs to be.
District 2 voters, I urge you to support Paul Henke as your next representative on Hood River County Commission.
Kristi Chapman
Hood River

Vote for Rasmussen
Throughout her many years a prosecutor, Carrie Rasmussen has shown vision, skill and character that have greatly benefited our community. Carrie has the intellect, the heart, the judgment, the collegial relationships, the local knowledge needed for collaboration, and most importantly the legal experience we need in our District Attorney.
Carrie is focused and calm in the most chaotic of situations and she does not back down from a challenge. She takes her work very seriously, making sure the best outcome possible is achieved.
Carrie has built important relationships throughout her career with many organizations and community advocates, both here in Hood River County and in other counties around the state. That makes a difference. We need a District Attorney who knows how to work with others — we’re all in this together.
We will be very, very fortunate to have her serve us as District Attorney. Please join me in voting for Carrie Rasmussen.
Tina Castañares
Odell

Choose Rasmussen
Carrie Rasmussen is my pick for District Attorney. She has 20 years of experience with a majority occurring in our county as Deputy District Attorney. She is upheld around the state as an advocate for survivors of violent crime and was one of the founders of our local Children’s Advocacy Center. The CAC completes trauma-informed forensic assessments and interviews with children who are suspected, abuse victims. This program served 750 children who otherwise may have been further traumatized by interviewers lacking specific training in child abuse. Her tenacity and commitment to children are unmatched and she often speaks for individuals who would not otherwise have a voice. Carrie has been endorsed by 12 other District Attorneys, police officers, DHS workers, counselors, school personnel, and other citizens with a commitment to protect, serve, and assist vulnerable populations. She shows empathy and compassion for those who survived difficulties and fights to keep them safe from further harm. She is honest, fair, and tough. Please join me in casting a vote for Carrie.
Susan Witt
Hood River

Rasmussen ‘tenacious’
I retired from law enforcement after 26 years of experience. I had the pleasure of working with Carrie Rasmussen for several years during her 15-year tenure with the Hood River County District Attorney’s Office. Carrie is extremely hard working, intelligent, and tenacious. She is particularly adept in the prosecution of child abusers. As Chief Deputy, she has taken on cases involving dangerous offenders and has made the community safer with successful outcomes. She has years of experience working in the trenches and is ready for the responsibility to lead the office.
Please join me in supporting Carrie Rasmussen for Hood River County DA.
Julie Wilcox
Hood River

Vote for Kallery
It is with great confidence that I endorse Sean Kallery for the position of Hood River County District Attorney. With a strong and consistent dedication, Sean has excelled in every area he has undertaken. While in the military, he honed his leadership capabilities through his deployments and advancement opportunities. As a lawyer, he has already attained a stellar record and reputation as a Deputy District Attorney in Marion County. As a member of our community and the only candidate for Hood River District Attorney who actually lives in Hood River, I feel reassured that his commitment to our community is his priority. The current Hood River District Attorney, John Sewell, has chosen to support and endorse Sean over his opponent (who notably lives in Portland) for this position. After attending one of Sean’s virtual town hall meetings, it is clear that Sean is expertly qualified for this position and deeply committed to this community. He advocates for firmly enforcing the law in protecting its citizens, while being compassionate and understanding to individual circumstances where necessary.
As a long time member of this community and its healthcare system, I understand the importance of a long term commitment in maintaining and promoting the security and safety of this community. Sean has the moral and ethical characteristics that would serve Hood River County with distinction for years to come. Please join me with your vote for Sean Kallery for Hood River County District Attorney.
Lee Fortier
Hood River

Yes on Measure 14-69
We have lost so much recently. Our ability to gather in groups, to greet a friend with a hug, enjoy a meal out, visit the library, participate in team sports and much more. Many businesses are closed and unemployment numbers are high. The health and life of so many are in jeopardy due to a vicious and unseen virus. And now, we stand to lose even more ... increased health and safety protection provided by the Hood River County Sheriff’s Department.
The daily safety and emergency services that are provided to all citizens and visitors to Hood River County will suffer unless we vote yes on Measure 14-69, Hood River County Public Safety. A yes vote will also redirect money from the general fund to continue programs through OSU Hood River County Extension. These programs increase the quality of life for all community members. Our youth receive positive development and leadership skills through 4-H, Open Campus and Juntos college preparedness. Community and Family Health are supported through Nutrition Education, Food Hero, Strong Women Strength Training, Master Food Preserver, Food Safety and Preservation classes and Disaster Preparedness. Woodlands are enhanced through Forestry & Natural Resources and Master Naturalists. Master Gardeners teach home gardening and offer suggestions to gardening questions (extension.oregonstate.edu/mg/hoodriver) while also maintaining public gardens for community beautification and education. We’re already supporting these programs through our state and federal taxes, but OSU Hood River County Extension must also be funded locally in order to continue operations. For every $1 that is invested in OSU Extension by Hood River County, $6 is generated through other funding sources. If we don’t support the Public Safety Measure, services that OSU Hood River County Extension currently provides will be lost. However, we will continue to pay for these services through our state and federal taxes, but will not receive any of the benefits.
We’ve lost a lot already. Let’s not lose more. Vote yes on Measure 14-69, Hood River County Public Safety.
Margo Dameier
Hood River

Re-elect Nisley
My name is Laura Noppenberger and I’m the executive director of Eastern Oregon Support Services Brokerage (EOSSB). We are a case management entity serving approximately 460 adults in 13 counties, including Wasco. We provide in-home supports and advocacy for qualifying individuals who are first found to be eligible through a county or community developmental disability program and then referred to us for ongoing support, advocacy, and access to funded Medicaid dollars. The individuals we support sometimes encounter legal issues requiring the District Attorney’s office to step in and provide direction and advocacy.
During my time as ED, I’ve worked with Nisley on multiple occasions when customers have either been victims of a crime or have committed crimes and were working through the legal system. In every instance, he has proven to be thoughtful, supportive, and defers to others in seeking solutions if it’s outside of his area of expertise.
Eric Nisley has been a staunch advocate for individuals who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities in Wasco County. He is someone who is approachable, he follows up, and he works cooperatively to seek out what will work best for the individual while also addressing the situation. Through years of partnership, he has become a proponent of Employment First, a statewide initiative supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to find meaningful employment. Previously, we worked together on developing a job at the Wasco Courthouse for an individual who experiences a developmental disability as Eric saw a need for digitizing their files. Wasco County was also a previous award winner for “Working in The Gorge,” an Employment First event that is put on in partnership with multiple agencies who support individuals with disabilities. Eric recently joined the EOSSB board of directors and has dedicated significant amounts of time to ensuring all individuals have supports to be successful and thrive in their communities. He gives of his time selflessly and truly enjoys doing whatever he can to help people which makes him the kind of District Attorney Wasco County continues to need.
Laura Noppenberger
Hood River

Support Swift
I am writing to urge you to vote Marcus Swift for Wasco County Commissioner. Though I am not currently a resident of Wasco County, I still feel a part of that area. I grew up in Mosier and attended and graduated from The Dalles High School in 1960. That said, I’m guessing problems aren’t a lot different than any other small Oregon town, and I know Marcus Swift.
I was a retired Portland Public Schools secretary (32 years) and president of AFT-Oregon Retirees, a statewide organization for AFT-Oregon retirees: School employees (K-12, community college, higher education) and nurses when AFT-Oregon hired Marcus as Political Organizer about 14 years ago.
In that capacity, he didn’t lobby for us; he taught us how to lobby for ourselves and gave us moral support as we visited our legislators. He left to attend law school, but returned to Oregon to work for working people and small businesses as an attorney, much of it pro bono.
Though Marcus lived and worked in Portland after college and law school, he was not big city, he was a small-town Nebraska farm boy who understands the issues facing small towns and life without enough money. That’s why he picked small town Oregon as a place to live and establish himself as an attorney representing those who need help they often cannot afford. Though he has not been a resident of Wasco County for a lifetime, he has immersed himself in the culture of the area and has served as a member of the Wasco County Planning Commission.
Marcus Swift has compassion and empathy, understands the importance of collaboration and compromise, listens and is always respectful, and has the skills to put ideas to work to improve living conditions for the citizens of Wasco County. I respectfully encourage you to get to know Marcus and his love and respect for the citizens of Wasco County and vote for him when you cast your ballot.
Val Jack
Saint Helens

Support Nisley
I’m writing this letter in support of Eric Nisley and his upcoming re-election campaign for Wasco County District Attorney. Having grown up in The Dalles, I’ve known Eric for 25-plus years and his family through marriage for 45-plus years. They have been wonderful and steadfast lifelong friends in this community! I believe strongly that Eric’s work experience, his commitment to family and community, and his strong ties and relationships in Wasco County, serve as reasons why he should be re-elected as the District Attorney for Wasco County. Having known Eric and his family over the decades, I can truthfully state that he is a deserving candidate who will serve in the best interest of Wasco County and its citizens. Please vote to re-elect Eric Nisley as District Attorney for Wasco County.
Megan (Kimsey) Jarman
Seattle

Why no contact?
For some time now, I’ve made a practice of contacting (usually by phone) each candidate in my voting district. One can learn quite a bit even with a short visit. But have you noticed that most candidates nowadays are not giving out contact information? It’s like they want you to get to know them through their filters — like their ads — and not one-on-one. It’s reminds me of a celebrity or elitist attitude.
For example, I called candidate for Wasco County commissioner Marcus Swift twice and left messages. Never heard back from him. I called his opponent, Steve Kramer, and not only would he speak with me at length on the phone, he even arranged a meeting and was polite and respectful the entire time.
I also got a chance to speak to Cliff Bentz and asked him to address a matter of judicial malfeasance. The problem here is not disputed but former Sen. Bentz refused to even condemn the actions that led to my complaint, much less do anything about it. Just what is Mr. Bentz afraid of? That’s kind of like calling up the sheriff’s department because someone is threatening to kill you and being told the deputies didn’t want to come to your rescue because it is too dangerous. Our representatives our supposed to defend and protect our rights and liberties, not defend and protect those who would take them away from us.
Britt Storkson
The Dalles

Sensible support
Why it makes sense to support Arlene Burns for Representative of House District 59 in Oregon’s State Legislature:
Arlene’s extensive international background and leadership capacities combined with a vision for a better future transcend demographics and geographies. She is truly a world class visionary who currently serves as the mayor of Mosier.
Arlene has worked tirelessly for the past five years in service to the community in which she lives. Her professional capabilities have facilitated significant developments towards a new community hall and fire station building. Assembling strong partnerships between large public companies and private businesses along with cohering local, state and federal officials has culminated in funding that directly enhances our small community and the greater Columbia Gorge region.
Recognizing the importance of tradition, Arlene has been a long time supporter of local Regenerative Agriculture. Supporting the neighboring cherry farmers to the friends that cultivate wheat further east, her diet and shopping habits reflect her vision of producing more food locally for the community in ways that respect the soil, river and environment. She knows the importance of shortening distribution chains and advancing local purchasing power to support the diverse farming community throughout Wasco County.
Actively engaging in the three pillars of the economic engine that drives the community — recreation, tourism and agriculture — her lifestyle and community outreach efforts have been integral to the health and future well being of many of the regional small businesses. As a local resident for the past 20 years, she is aware of and ready to listen to the diverse interests of the community at large.
Arlene is a person who lives her values for achieving the greatest good possible for the greatest number of people. In this time of increased polarization, she has what it takes to integrate ideas, transcend partisanship and bring folks together in support of a better future for everyone. As a small business owner, agriculturalist and community member of Mosier, I readily support Arlene for the legislature seat of house district 59 and encourage you to vote for her in the upcoming elections.
Steven Thompson, owner of Saddle View Orchards & Analemma Winery
Mosier

Support Burns
I am writing in enthusiastic support of Arlene Burns for the position of Representative of the Oregon House District 59. I’ve known Arlene for over 20 years and am impressed by her ability to size up a situation, work with others to develop an effective strategy and then work very hard to get the job done. She has been Mayor of Mosier during difficult times, but has been able to bring together diverse groups of people with multiple interests and encourage them toward a common goal. She is fearless and tireless in support of our community, and has always been a global master networker in all areas of her life. Her ethics and honesty are outstanding. She’s a remarkable person who will serve our district with determination and a deep commitment. I encourage you to vote for her.
Lynda Sacamano
Mosier

Experience matters
It is critical for Wasco County to have prosecutors that know how to prosecute. Eric Nisley has served Wasco County as lead District Attorney for over 20 years. He was originally hired as a deputy DA by Bernie Smith in 1996. Mr. Smith was lead DA in Wasco Co. for 24 years (1974-1998).
The longevity of this county’s DA office is impressive. Mr. Nisley’s current staff have long tenures as well. Their office is a well-oiled machine. Mr. Nisley and his team are efficient and effective in doing the job. They cooperate with local law enforcement to keep us all safe. This prosecutorial experience should not be taken lightly. Mr. Nisley’s opponent may have aspirations of leading a DA’s office like Wasco County, but challenger Matthew Ellis does not have any experience as a prosecutor. None. I would suggest Mr. Ellis find work as a deputy DA somewhere first, as Nisley did. The lead prosecutor should not be learning as they go. Deputy DA positions are where new hires learn on the job. It is an unnecessary risk to raise up someone to lead, who has never before worked in a DA office. When an unexpected crisis occurs in our area, we need someone who has the experience to deal with it. At this time the choice is clear. We need Nisley and his team to remain in place. Please join me in voting to re-elect Eric Nisley.
Sean R. Kimsey
The Dalles

Bentz for Congress
Cliff Bentz is the best choice to represent Eastern Oregon in congress. In my experience advocating at the Oregon State Legislature for over 25 years for county government, I have found Cliff Bentz to be an excellent legislator. One of the best. He was always thoughtful, diligent in his preparation, open, honest and extremely sensitive to the views of those he represented.
Serving in the minority, in both the House of Representatives and the State Senate, Bentz demonstrated an ability to work with the leadership of the majority party to achieve results for his district. His work led to the creation of the Eastern Oregon Border Region to successfully address the unique issues faced by those living near Idaho. Bentz was able to convince legislators to loosen the rules on self-service gas to increase availability in rural Oregon. He was the lead negotiator for his party on big issues like the enacted transportation package and the failed “Cap and Invest” carbon reduction proposal.
In representing the largest geographic districts in the house and senate, Bentz is accustomed to traveling great distances to meet with constituents. His lifetime of experience with ranching, water law and natural resource issues make Bentz the most qualified candidate for CD-2.
Mike McArthur, former Sherman County Judge and executive director for the Association of Oregon Counties
Wasco

Nisley for DA
As chief deputy district attorney for Wasco County, it has been my great fortune to work with District Attorney Eric Nisley since 1998. Because of this, I know what a great DA he is.
Eric believes in holding people accountable while making sure they get needed treatment, help and services. He knows people make mistakes and understands the impact a criminal conviction has on offenders; therefore, our office offers alternate programs allowing first-time offenders to get help while avoiding convictions. We work well with defense attorneys and court staff to ensure that people are treated fairly.
While most District Attorneys deal solely with administrative duties, Eric does much more. He handles mostly felony crimes. He meets personally with victims to help address their needs. Eric is the chair of the child abuse multidisciplinary task force, a member of the seniors and people with disabilities task force, and has served on the board of HAVEN. Eric meets regularly with the mental health team to better serve people charged with crimes that have mental health concerns. He was one of the founding members of the Wasco County drug court program and family dependency treatment courts, and he has long been a champion for survivors of domestic violence. Eric has the support of law enforcement and victims’ organizations that our office works with daily.
Eric has been dedicated to Wasco County for over 20 years. He believes in giving back to our community, and Eric and I do that by training police officers, churches, schools, and other community partners about the criminal justice system and the services we offer. He has earned the trust and respect of law enforcement over many years of being fair and just. He is also a member of Rotary in The Dalles.
Eric was born and raised in Madras. He and his wife, Bridget Bailey, raised their daughter, Elizabeth, here in The Dalles. Our office has 10 employees that he has treated like a family as well. We are extremely devoted to Eric and the system he has built.
Please join me in re-electing my friend and co-worker, Eric Nisley, for Wasco County District Attorney.
Lesley Wolf
The Dalles

Support Swift
I’m writing in support of Marcus Swift for County Commissioner because we need new energy and thinking on the county commission. I have to wonder: Why does the county commission meet on weekdays at 9 a.m. when working people can’t attend? The city council doesn’t do this, nor does the Hood River County Commission. Maybe Steve Kramer doesn’t think they ever need to hear from their constituents.
I also wonder why we have no input on how Google taxes are spent. Last time there was a controversy about this in the Chronicle, and yet no changes were made. If these funds were normal property taxes, they would be distributed to various agencies and districts by law. But because it is a special case, a few government officials decide all on their own.
Marcus Swift has pledged to fight for public hearings on how the funds from Google are distributed — so he can listen to you. The first section of Marcus’ platform is about transparency and accountability and there are many other things he is calling for. We need to open our county government and let the sunlight in. Steve Kramer is seeking his third term in office and has not done any of this.
Thanks for your efforts Steve, but it is time for somebody new.
Many prominent local people in business, government, and education have endorsed Marcus — they know it’s time for a change too. Please vote for Marcus Swift.
Dean Myerson
 The Dalles

Kramer is real
Portland liberals run Wasco County? They’re certainly trying to!
They got Kathy Schwartz elected last time around with their razzle-dazzle big money campaign brought up from Portland. Now they’re trying to do the same thing with Marcus Swift.
Don’t be bamboozled a second time! Swift is no more interested in Wasco County than the man on the moon. The liberal Portland Democrats just want to run things here like they do in Portland.
Steve Kramer is a lifelong local man from Dufur who truly cares bout our county — not an outsider like Swift who just wants to control us. Don’t be taken in — vote for Karmer who is genuine and really cares about us.
George Clark
The Dalles

Support Swift
When I first volunteered to help elect Marcus Swift for Wasco County Commissioner, I did so because I believed in his priorities: Support and fund public health to keep families safe; increase affordable housing options; invest in mental health services; increase transparency and accountability in our county government; and better serve our veterans.
These priorities alone are more than enough for Marcus to earn my vote. After helping on his campaign team, I have discovered even more reasons to choose Marcus as our next Wasco County Commissioner:
Wow! This guy is organized. He gets things done, and he gets them done on time and with the highest level of professionalism. He frequently and sincerely shows appreciation to others who are also getting things done. He’s a team player.
He listens with an open mind. I’ve been part of several video meetings with Marcus and others during this campaign, and I’ve seen him truly listen to everyone’s ideas and base his decisions on the team’s discussion. Sometimes that discussion leads him in a different direction than he may have originally been headed.
Marcus has integrity. Things can sometimes get heated in political campaigns, especially with today’s social media platforms. Marcus has insisted that his campaign stay positive, be respectful, and avoid any nastiness. And he has led by example in this regard.
Finally, Marcus is a creative problem solver. The coronavirus pandemic has certainly upended the lives of many of us. As you can imagine, it has also made it difficult to run a campaign. But I saw, again and again, if one avenue for campaigning closed, Marcus looked for and found another.
Join me in voting for a leader we can all count on. Fill in that little oval for Marcus Swift for Wasco County Commissioner.
And remember, ballots must be received by May 19, so if you mail them (they are postage paid this year), please mail them early. Make sure your vote counts.
Deborah Ferrer
The Dalles

Local issues matter
In these crazy times, it is easy to get overwhelmed by global issues. Unfortunately, we do not have real control over global issues. We do, however, have great control over issues our community faces. We have just received our ballots for the May 19 election. We are asked to make two choices that will have a significant impact on Hood River County.
The first issue is Hood River County’s request for a Five-Year Local Option Tax of $0.78 per $1,000 assessed value of property. I encourage you to vote yes on the levy. A letter to the editor is not the place to describe how we got here. The best one document summary I can find is from last year and is at tinyurl.com/y49uxmgw. The lockdown from COVID-19 makes it crystal clear that the last thing we want is a local government that is paralyzed by financial issues. Let’s fix this now.
The second Hood River County important issue on the ballot is voting for County Commissioner in District 2. If you live in District 2, I highly encourage you to vote for Artur Babitz. His experience is second to none. By this, I mean the whole county, not just his opponent. His three terms as the mayor of the city of Hood River proved his ability to handle local fiscal issues. Arthur help pull the city out of real financial trouble. He is the right person to help Hood River County out of this jam as well.
Act locally and turn in your ballot before May 19.
Tim Mixon
Hood River

Rasmussen is solid
Carrie Rasmussen has a sophisticated understanding of people from all walks of life. By balancing her considerable legal skills with her capacity for fairness, compassion and empathy, she makes the ideal candidate to be the next District Attorney for Hood River County. Her perception of character is spot on and her experience as a prosecutor compliments that nicely. Carrie has a proven track record of seeking justice and helping victims. She will make sure the needs of the public are met firmly but also fairly. I have been a counselor for 40 years, practically my whole life. As someone who often deals with crime victims in a therapy setting, I can’t recommend her common sense and compassionate approach more highly. Carrie’s character is solid, her integrity is without question and her experience is unmatched. I hope you will consider voting for Carrie for District Attorney as she would serve the community to the best of her ability and to the benefit of all Hood River County citizens.
Amy Swift
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Portland

Vote for Swift
Two days before Christmas, I got terrible news: I was being evicted for an issue that wasn’t my fault. I was terrified. With no family in the area and no affordable rental units available, my two young children and I faced certain homelessness during the holidays.
So I called Marcus Swift, a local attorney. Marcus took on my case pro bono and fought back against the big Portland property manager and their corporate attorney. Thanks to his efforts, the eviction notice was rescinded and we remained safe and happy in our home.
But many families aren’t as lucky as we are and the entire experience revealed to me that Wasco County housing costs are too high and are out of reach for too many working families like mine. Seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities struggle even more — especially now during an economic and public health crisis. The citizens of Wasco County desperately need our county government to step up, collaborate, and work for the people it represents.
That’s why I’m supporting Marcus Swift for Wasco County Commissioner. Marcus knows firsthand what it’s like to struggle with housing costs. He has a career in public service that includes experience in the law, the legislature, regional governments, and public policy. It’s not too late to change course and make an impact on this issue. But we need a commissioner who will listen to our needs and has the policy experience, people skills and fresh ideas to make Wasco County a place everyone can afford to call home. I believe Marcus Swift is that person.
Hunter Johnstead
The Dalles

Rasmussen for DA
As an attorney, I have known Carrie Rasmussen professionally for 20 years. She is a dogged advocate for victims and citizens of the Hood River community. She is not afraid to take on challenging and difficult cases. However, she has never been interested in just getting a “win” to pad her record. Carrie Rasmussen considers the circumstances of all the parties and has used good judgment and compassion in fashioning outcomes that benefit the community.
As a strong advocate for victims of child abuse, Carrie Rasmussen saw a crucial need for a child advocacy center in Hood River. Through her leadership and ability to work with others, the Columbia Children’s Advocacy Center was founded during her tenure as a Deputy District Attorney. She continues to volunteer extensively for the center so that it can continue to thrive and provide support for those in need.
I encourage you to vote for Carrie Rasmussen for District Attorney.
Heidi Sternhagen
Albany

Rasmussen is tough
I am retired from a 30-plus-year law enforcement career. I spent the last 25 years of my career employed at the Albany Police Department, where I spent the bulk of those years assigned as a major crimes detective specializing in child abuse and sex crime investigations. Albany Police Department services portions of both Linn County and Benton County. In the course of my duties I got to know many attorneys; both prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys, including some who held both roles over the years. During 2001 and 2002 I had the opportunity to work with and get to know Carrie Rasmussen, who was employed as a Deputy District Attorney in Linn County.
During the period of time Carrie spent working in Linn County, I had the opportunity to work with her and observe her work and personality. Carrie left a lasting positive impression with me.
I had the opportunity to work with Carrie and observe her as she prosecuted a groundbreaking child sexual abuse case in which the child was sexually trafficked by her biological mother. This was a difficult case to prosecute because the defendant had not actually physically participated in the abuse of the child. Carrie thought “outside the box” and her interpretation of Oregon’s Rape in the First Degree Law was successfully applied and resulted in a conviction that included an appropriately long prison sentence for the perpetrator.
The Carrie Rasmussen I know is intelligent, tenacious, and tough, while still possessing great empathy and a sense of humor. I don’t think the residents of Hood River County could find a better person to serve as their District Attorney than Carrie Rasmussen.
Glenn Fairall
Albany

Why vote for Henke?
There are several great reasons to vote for Paul Henke for County Commissioner.  He is smart, he understands the importance of public safety, he is a great listener and collaborator, he has the right temperament for the job, and he can be relied upon to do the right thing.
His opponent Arthur Babitz, in the voter’s pamphlet, credits himself with steering The City of Hood River out of a budget crisis.  Fair enough - was there any fallout from that? 
According to city documents, three less law enforcement officers and two fewer Fire / EMS staff, for example.  Public Works went from 22 full time employees to 15 in one year. Police and EMS staffing levels never fully recovered.  City property was sold.
Affordable housing has been a top goal of The City for many years, including Mayor Babitz’s tenure when the building services department was outsourced to a Corvallis company (to help with the budget). Only last year did we finally reestablish a dedicated building department - despite repeated calls for help from home builders.  One particularly valuable piece of City property was sold while Babitz was planning commission chair.  If you didn’t know these things, you might question any “transparency” claim. 
Additionally, Arthur Babitz was famously on the wrong side of protecting parks (according to 72 percent of voters), and his group Livable Hood River advocated for laws that (according to city documents) have benefited out-of-town real estate investors. He has diminished the importance of tourism to the local economy.  All of this is documented.
He is credited with causing the resignation of a respected City Manager.  Local business leaders and former Mayors asked him to resign from his position as Mayor.  Why? - because, in part, he had created an “impossible” working environment – google it.
I trust Paul Henke will represent OUR interests.  Join me in voting for Paul Henke.
Brian Towey
Hood River

No on 14-69
Here they go again. The county wants more tax money from property and home owners.
The personal bank accounts of individuals who own property and home owners are being used by the county bureaucracy as a bank account for wants of the county.
As a result, the residents of Hood River have property tax creep every year, which will cause goods and services and rent to increase in clot which causes more homeless.
There is an estimated population of Hood River County for 23,476 and estimate for 2020 there are approximately 142 employed by Hood River County. The county collects plenty of money to pay the salary of all civil servant employees.
The county bureaucracy continues to play politics and spin the facts about financial wants paid for by property and home owners and renters. This county bureaucracy does not have the public’s trust regarding constant increases in home and property taxes each year. Which letter is not understood is it the “N” or the “O” in “No New Taxes.”
In 2018-19, the amount of taxes collected was $35.567,975. In 2019-20, the amount of money collected by Hood River County is $37,665,876, an increase of $2,097,901. “Hum.” It appears that the residents of Hood River are not generally aware of the money increase collected each year. Now is not the time to raise taxes.
How will the county commissioners breeze by the amount of money collected in 2020, which is enough to adequately cover expenses of the county of Hood River?
It appears that residents property owners and renters are talking to a choir when the residents of Hood River deal with county commissioners.
It looks like opinions from General Spock and Paul Harvey about the money problems and property tax increases should be considered.
An out-of-state audit should also be considered. Stay tuned for the rest of the property tax story. it is time to smoke out the spin and join us to make sure to vote no on Measure 14-69 the local option tax which will be paid for by property and home owners and renters.
Gerald Gard
Hood River

Yes on 14-69
I support the Public Safety Local Option measure that is before voters in Hood River County. Public safety is fundamental to the economic and human health of our community. I own and manage an orchard business that has operated sustainably in Hood River County for a century. Physical safety and security are key to our stability and success, and to retaining our work force. A functioning court system is one of the foundations of our healthy business community. Businesses are confident establishing and expanding in a community with adequate police presence. The lives of all our citizens are more stable when personal domestic protections are in place and are part of a functioning court system.
Passing the Local Option levy will stabilize funding for public safety, and in doing so will free up funding for other county departments that are facing drastic cuts.
The public employees who manage, repair and replace our physical infrastructure, plow our roads in the winter, and enforce our laws are part of the fabric of our success as businesses and as a community.
As Hood River has drawn wealthier residents in recent years, the cost of housing and other living expenses have gone up considerably. Ideally we hope that our public employees can both work and live in our community.
We want to attract and retain the best county employees that we can.
Jennifer Euwer
Parkdale
 
Support Kramer
Marcus Swift is running for our County Commission after a year of living in The Dalles. A quick look at his campaign page shows that he identifies as small town. Fast forward 15-20 years shows a stark difference of small town rural living. Looks like he didn’t like that life and nowadays he is more of a big city liberal activist lawyer. One of his commercials he is running on social media shows footage of grain bins and locals baling hay. There was no permission asked for. Seems like he is pandering to the rural folk for a vote like a typical carpetbagger. I know that we can see through this campaign, which is full of Portland agendas and donations from outside of the state. Our county, they think, has become easy pickings for political upstarts that have no ties. We cannot be apathetic and let our county be taken over with big city ideas. We have a voice and that is our vote.
Steve Kramer is a lifelong resident who knows Wasco County and its needs. He may be a man of few words, but he truly listens to his constituents. He backed up our county against the Cap and Trade Tax and is working full time for our county with the pandemic. Can Mr. Swift work full time while running a law firm? We need to continue with a fiscally responsible leader that has lifetime ties to the county. When Steve entered service as a county commissioner our budget was all over the place, now we have a surplus and we will need it for economic recovery. That is why we opted out from the Health District years ago due to scope changes and the budget being out of control. We do not need a well-funded newcomer with a clear agenda to run our county like his Portland friend Kate Brown, we will go broke with his social programs and plans to take away property rights. Please join me to vote Steve Kramer somebody that see’s Wasco County as his home and us as his people.
Nicole Chaisson
The Dalles

Let tourism pay
To start, I want to be very clear that I think that public safety in Hood River County needs more funding so they can protect our community. However, I am not in favor of the proposed levy. It lacks creativity, vision, and sustainability. It is especially inappropriate given the economic hardship people are feeling due to the still evolving COVID-19 pandemic. It also fails to take into consideration the full potential of Hood River County.
Hood River County is a destination location, which means people come here on purpose. They come to enjoy the variety of recreational opportunities, the fruits of the orchards and vineyards, the cuisine, the shops, and to wakeup in the beauty of where we call home. They spend money to enjoy these things. Individuals within our community profit from this, but the community as a whole gives it away for free. One could argue that the community at large foots the bill for tourist industries benefit.
The community needs to tap into this revenue stream by doing what other destination locations do — a tourist tax! We can issue permits for water sports and mountain biking areas. Add a luxury tax for restaurants and bars. Collect a lodging tax. These are just a few of the ways Hood River County can benefit from the people who come to enjoy our slice of paradise. Yes, it is an inconvenience for the individuals that profit from these tourist activities, but less of a burden and more sustainable than the current proposed levy. It is time for the whole community to benefit from tourism.
Glen Patrizio
Hood River

Babitz for Board
As a pandemic rocks our world, it also impacts an important local election this month. Without candidates able to knock on doors and speak before groups, it’s challenging to learn about their qualifications. Fortunately, it’s easy to get to know Arthur Babitz, who is running for Hood River County Commissioner (District 2).
Many of you might know Arthur as Hood River’s former mayor, where he led the city out of looming financial troubles, establishing practices that now have Hood River on solid, sustainable financial footing. As Hood River County continues to struggle with funding basic services, Arthur’s experience, tenacity and deep understanding of fiscal issues is EXACTLY what the County needs right now.
You also can get to know Arthur by visiting the Historic Hood River website he created, a treasure trove of digitized photos and crowd-sourced stories that is adding valuable new insights to Hood River’s history. Or you can get to know him through his work on the City Planning Commission, the Landmarks Review Board, or the Historic Columbia River Highway Advisory Board (the latter an appointment by Gov. Brown). You might know Arthur through the Gorge Tech Alliance “Geek Lunch” series he initiated. If you’re a mountain biker, you can meet Arthur doing trail work and serving on the boards of local trail organizations.
In good times and in bad, strong communities are built by those residents who step up and serve. I’ve worked with Arthur on many occasions, currently on the City of Hood River Planning Commission and the board of Livable Hood River. We often agree, we sometimes differ — but I always respect how thoroughly he educates himself on the issue at hand, and how generously he gives his personal time to serve his community.
Arthur Babitz has made significant, lasting contributions to Hood River County. He’s extremely well-qualified for County Commissioner, and frankly, we’re incredibly fortunate to have his expertise at a time when the County really needs it. I encourage you to cast a vote for Arthur Babitz by May 19.
Tina Lassen
Hood River

Kallery, now
I have known Sean Kallery, running for Hood River District Attorney, for eight years. Sean has always been determined, hardworking and level headed. His military training has molded him into a judicious leader. He is well versed on current laws and technologies to be able to propel the office towards a fully computerized system. Sean is not afraid of change and will bring a fresh sets of ideas and skills to the Hood River office! Sean is also the ONLY local candidate. Hood River deserves a district attorney that is readily accessible, knowledgeable, fair, and has had extensive leadership experience under stressful conditions (multiple deployments). Sean Kallery is the right choice, right now.
Kathy Piscitello
Hood River

Support Steve Kramer
Over the past 30-plus years, I have had the opportunity to work with Steve Kramer in his public service role as a Dufur City Council Member and Wasco County Commissioner.
Several years ago, Commissioner Kramer identified the need for an effective voice concerning the operation and management of federal lands located within Wasco County to address timber resources, wildfire risk and recreation resources. To achieve that goal he was instrumental in forming the Wasco County Forest Collaborative to work with the United States Forest Service.
The collaborative has been instrumental in securing federal funding to reduce wildfire risk in Southern Wasco County by improving forest health through thinning projects in the Rocky Burn inside the Wild land Urban interface (WUI) west of Wamic and Pine Hollow Reservoir. This has created jobs and will help protect residents from uncontrolled wildfire.
The Rocky project has set the stage for more work in the woods. The Barlow Ranger District is one of the first in the country to utilize the new Insect and Disease Categorical Exclusion in two planning areas —Pollywog and South Pen. Pollywog will result in treatments on more than 2900 acres in the Eightmile Watershed, immediately adjacent to The Dalles Municipal Watershed. South Pen will treat nearly the same number of acres north of Pine Hollow along the Forest Service Boundary.
Kramer regularly attends the collaborative's meetings and has worked with Oregon’s Senators and Congressman Walden to achieve the collaborative’s goals securing the necessary funding for the Barlow Ranger District.
I support Kramer for his re-election as a Wasco County Commissioner and ask that you vote for him in the May election.
Dan Van Vactor
Wamic

Support HR measure
I hope you will join me in voting yes to support public safety in Hood River County on the May ballot. This five year levy will fund many important services,  including 24/7 patrols and emergency management. This levy is entirely focused on funding for the Hood River County Sheriff’s Department. If this measure passes, it will allow the county to continue funding other beneficial services, such as Hood River County Extension.
If this measure fails, not only public safety staffing will be affected. The funds needed to support a reduced level of public safety will have to come from the county general fund which currently supports services that increase our quality of life in Hood River County.
These programs include the OSU Extension, which offers many programs to the community including: 4-H, Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, Food Safety and Preservation, Strong Women Exercise classes, Seed to Supper and Small Farms and agriculture support. These Extension programs strengthen our community and economy and promote healthy families in Hood River County while reaching over 54 percent of youth and adults. Through OSU extension, almost 200 volunteers receive training and support every year to provide our county with nutrition education, gardening advice, exercise programs, food safety and preservation information, disaster preparedness, natural resources management and many others. Please keep Hood River strong and vote yes!
Beth Flake
Hood River

Easy targets
To criticize and scrutinize our wonderful political system is almost impossible to resist for most folks.  It seems that no matter who you are or what you do, you are entitled to judge and condemn politicians.  They are an easy target to vent that frustration.
 Each election, a sad politician is voted into office only to be verbally shredded into pieces no matter what they say or do or what they don’t say or don’t do.  Amazing, year after year and with all these mighty powerful letters to the paper, the atmosphere is worse.  
It’s impossible to fix our American political system, which is, according to your letters, rampant with corruption and lies. Why?  Our American society thrives  on two basic concepts that are lies.  Everyone writing political letters professes and abides by one of these two lies that permeate our entire society. 
How can those who live by a lie fix those who they claim are cheats and liars? How? These two lies are given life through the most powerful influencing emotion contained within the human mind … hate. 
The courage needed for just one single person to understand this idea is extremely challenging. It would be a very rare, courageous person who would toss aside their right of political voice. 
This unique person unfortunately also abides by one of these two lies.  The belief that all human beings have an immortal soul is the father of all lies. Hate for truth gives this lie its life in our church system.
The other lie oozes with even more of that blood of hate and that is the belief in the theory of evolution. Each political party member abides by one of these two society foundation lies. 
These two lies, along with their birth from hate, continue to enhance the political suspicion and mistrust. Our corrupt political system can not be fixed by letters from people who breathe the hate and drink the lies. Try this. I did some 35 years ago. It was not easy. Do what?  Scrutinize yourself. Examine what you think. Apply a little humility to your life. Prove your theory or test your doctrine.
To search for truth should be more important than your voice or vote. Put the lie you live by under the microscope instead of the politicians every word and deed.
Can you live a life half as truthful as you expect the politician to live?
Gary Fischer
The Dalles

Rasmussen clear choice
My name is Damon Struble and it is an honor to share my endorsement of Carrie Rasmussen for District Attorney. I want the citizens of Hood River County to know how lucky you are to have her fighting for your rights. I am a retired 27-year veteran of the Albany Police Department. When I met Carrie, I was a detective assigned to investigating child abuse and other major crimes. Carrie was a relatively new Deputy District Attorney in Linn County then. I soon became impressed with her passion for the law and her dogged persistence in obtaining justice for victims, especially those who are too small or too young to stand up for themselves.
Carrie was assigned and successfully prosecuted some of the most egregious cases I investigated during my entire carrier. Though I could tell the facts of the cases emotionally bothered her, Linn County was a safer place for her actions and diligence to do what is right, not just take the easy way out.
So many times in child abuse cases, victim’s voices are silenced by fear. Carrie, by the kindness of her nature and tenacity of her will to do what’s right, is able to give victims their voices back and in doing so makes the county she works in a safer place.
I am not a politically correct person so will leave you with this. You would be foolish not to elect Carrie Rasmussen as your District Attorney.
Damon Struble
Albany

Suspicions confirmed
Often you hear it said the Republican Party is dominated by right wing white males. Examining the Oregon voters’ pamphlet confirms that thought. Republican candidates number 18, two of whom are women, or 11 percent. In already elected positions, the trend follows that pattern. The Oregon Senate has 12 Republicans, two of whom are women. In the Oregon House Republicans number 22, seven of them women. In the U.S. Congress, there are 105 women in the House; 90 are Democrats and 15 are Republican. In the Senate, there are 26 women; 17 are Democrats and nine are Republican. So it is true white males dominate the Republican Party.
Gary Fields
Hood River

Choose Rasmussen
Carrie Rasmussen is my pick for District Attorney. She has 20 years of experience with a majority occurring in our county as Deputy District Attorney.
She is upheld around the state as an advocate for survivors of violent crime and was one of the founders of our local Children’s Advocacy Center. The CAC completes trauma-informed forensic assessments and interviews with children who are suspected, abuse victims. This program served 750 children who otherwise may have been further traumatized by interviewers lacking specific training in child abuse.
Her tenacity and commitment to children are unmatched and she often speaks for individuals who would not otherwise have a voice. Carrie has been endorsed by 12 other District Attorneys, police officers, DHS workers, counselors, school personnel, and other citizens with a commitment to protect, serve, and assist vulnerable populations. She shows empathy and compassion for those who survived difficulties and fights to keep them safe from further harm. She is honest, fair, and tough. Please join me in casting a vote for Carrie.
Susan Witt
Hood River

 Choose Rasmussen
Carrie Rasmussen is an excellent choice for the District Attorney position in Hood River County. I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work alongside Carrie in multiple organizations. Between our time at the Hood River County Victim’s Assistance Program, and our time on Hood River County and Oregon’s crisis response teams, Carrie has demonstrated tremendous care and dedication in the while we worked together. She commits herself to each case and never, ever backs down from a challenge. If I had to describe Carrie Rasmussen in a few words, I would go with all in. Carrie is all in, in every aspect. She pours herself into her work, whether its advocating on behalf of the victims, fighting for justice to the end, or even just making sure that Hood River County is a safer community for all of us.
As District Attorney, I am confident that Carrie would continue to be the advocate on behalf of all of us. She is an amazing advocate — nurturing, kind to victims, and eager to serve. Carrie and I share many memories from the clinic, ranging from good to sad, but something that has always tied us together was our work with the children. Working with children in the legal system is a delicate job, and Carrie always goes above and beyond to make sure they are not lost and confused.
Hood River County is deserving of a woman with a character like Carrie Rasmussen. Her experience combined with her dedication and passion are unmatched and I hope that you will join me in this upcoming May election and vote for Carrie Rasmussen for Hood River County District Attorney.
Julie Moe
Hood River

DA race ‘smear’
A few years ago, I was called to jury duty. It involved a domestic abuse situation. The prosecuting attorney was Carrie Rasmussen. She did an excellent job, and convinced me and enough of the other jurors to bring back a guilty verdict.
Since then, I have read about her extensive work to create the Children’s Advocacy Center. On all available evidence, she clearly has the best interests of our most vulnerable citizens at heart. From my own volunteer work, and from a prior marriage to someone damaged for life by childhood sexual abuse at the hands of her father, I know too well how power can be perverted.
So it was interesting to read the recent story about the “rift” between outgoing DA John Sewell and the deputy who seeks to replace him. Sewell says many complimentary things about Rasmussen, but never says specifically why he won’t support her, simply alludes to unspecified liabilities. That’s a smear by innuendo.
Sewell also never says why he would offer his support to the other deputy in his office, Mr. Wong.
Then there is the unexplained support of local law enforcement for someone with only a smidgen of legal experience, all in another county. What’s up with that?
All I can figure is a certain cohort of our community has joined hands to support a candidate who is more likely to look the other way when “upstanding” members of their group do things the way they’ve always been done, legal or not. They are likely threatened that a woman might step forward and do a better job, or expose a long standing cozy relationship between law enforcement and entrenched interests.
Or, maybe their lack of support for a stellar deputy district attorney is payback for doing too good a job of pulling back that veil already? Seems to me that Carrie is precisely who we need.
Stu Watson
Hood River

Hass for Secretary
One of the honors of my life was to serve as State Senator for Hood River County. People here are thoughtful, kind and engaged in the welfare of their community. I returned home to Oregon last year after serving six years in the Obama Administration. The discord and political vitriol in Washington made me appreciate even more my home state and leaders who focus on solutions and making life better for all Oregonians, not just a select few.
While I have not engaged in state politics since I left the Oregon Senate, this year I feel compelled to raise my voice for one candidate who truly exemplifies what service to others really means. I am talking about Mark Hass, who is running to be our next Secretary of State. I know Mark well, serving with him in the Senate and admiring his talent, his humility, and his perseverance.
Mark has achieved more in the Senate of true relevance than any other person I can remember. It was Mark Hass that achieved free all day kindergarten in Oregon after so many others failed. It was Mark Hass who shared the dream of tuition free community college for Oregon students while political observers scoffed at the idea as impossible to achieve. But Mark Hass found a way and delivered.
His crowning achievement was his Student Success Act last year that raises over $1 billion dollars a year from a corporate activity tax and dedicates all the funds to K-12 education. Mark flat out gets things done and with bipartisan support.
But most importantly, Mark listens. He values everyone’s opinion and when the tough vote comes, I have always known him to do what he thinks is right, regardless of political outcomes.
As Secretary of State, Mark will do more than just ensure the integrity of our elections, he will ensure the integrity of government. Hood River would be proud to call him your Secretary of State.
To all my friends in Hood River, stay safe and well.
Rick Metsger, State Sen. 1999-2011
Salem

Rasmussen for DA
Carrie Rasmussen is an excellent choice for Hood River County District Attorney. Carrie has dedicated herself to the cause of making Hood River County better for 15 years. Her past 20 years as a successful prosecutor in Oregon demonstrate that she truly cares about finding justice and protecting our communities, in addition to the work she does out of the office to support the survivors she fights for every day. The dedication is prevalent in the attention she gives each child victim of abuse. Kids that are in the legal system looking for an advocate, Carrie is that advocate.
In 2009, Carrie recognized a need in our community for our victimized children to have a safer harbor. She founded the Columbia Gorge Children’s Advocacy Center which has truly changed the lives of hundreds of children in our communities. Her leadership has not only provided children with a safer place to go, but it’s led to convictions of child abusers, making our streets and community safer. She does this on her own time, outside of her work as a deputy district attorney because she truly cares about children and about putting the bad guys behind bars. Carrie is involved in all aspects of the child abuse investigations to make sure that the child’s voice is heard, and justice is done.
Hood River has been a community that Carrie has spent a lot of time and energy making sure that the citizens are safe and heard. Carrie’s voice has helped many others in our community be heard in the legal system, from the youngest to the oldest.
There’s no comparison. Carrie is the uniquely qualified candidate for district attorney in our county. She is a voice for the vulnerable and has a proven record of real-world experience and real results.
Our children are safer because of Carrie Rasmussen. Our streets and schools are safer because of Carrie Rasmussen. Our elderly are safer because of Carrie Rasmussen. Hood River County is a better, safer community because of Carrie’s care, compassion and courage to do what’s right.
Beatriz Lynch
Hood River

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