Why am I running?
By: Caitlin Mitchel-Markley, Libertarian Candidate for Oregon State Senate, District 15
I am running for Oregon Senate District 15 because I learned from my husband Kyle Markley’s 2012 campaign for Oregon House District 30 that a minor party candidate can make a difference. Minor party candidates can be very effective in bringing forth their issues to the voters and eventually framing the discussion for the major parties in the campaign. Major parties get away with monopolizing votes by arguing that a vote for a minor party candidate is a “wasted” vote, and encouraging people to vote for the lesser of two evils. But this simply perpetuates the major parties’ monopoly on elected officials. Instead, voters should be given the opportunity to vote their conscience based on the issues they are interested in and the candidates they actually want to serve. Similarly, voting for minor party candidates isn’t just “a vote against” the two major parties, or voting for “spoilers.” Minor party candidates serve the function of raising issues that are important to the voters, but that are ignored by the major party candidates because they don’t serve the purposes of the major parties or their special interest donors.
Admittedly, I am not a typical politician. I am not a smooth-talking, handshaking, networking, politically savvy mover and shaker. I have no desire to pass more laws infringing on individuals’ freedoms, schmooze and fund raise with the wealthy and powerful, or do anything and everything to bring government money to my senate district. It is vital to have legislators who focus on Oregon’s existing laws to address the areas that infringe on peoples’ civil rights, that extend the government’s influence and authority beyond its basic functions, or which are of questionable constitutionality. I am an attorney who can fulfill that role. If elected, I would work to address the areas of Oregon law that need to be updated, repealed, or improved, and support the law improvement efforts of the Oregon Law Commission.
As well, I think it is of the utmost importance that the government and legislators get back to the basics. Instead of pet projects for each legislator’s district or bowing to the influence of special interests, there needs to be an elimination of wasteful government spending, like the failed Cover Oregon website. We should then redirect taxpayer funds back to basic government functions like the court system, public safety, and transportation infrastructure. The government shouldn’t be wasting time and taxpayer money drowning individuals and businesses in regulations, for example by requiring a license for being a jockey’s agent [ORS 462.020(2)]. What the government and legislators should focus on are fundamental government functions, like funding and running an efficient and effective court system. Citizens don’t have access to justice if the doors to the courthouse are closed for furlough days, or if they have to wait a year for their case to be heard because the courts lack sufficient resources to promptly try the civil cases.
As mentioned in my voters’ pamphlet candidate statement, if given the opportunity to serve in the Oregon State Senate, I will be a thoughtful, active legislator who focuses on the issues of fiscal responsibility, law improvement, protecting civil rights, and reducing unnecessary regulations. Whatever the outcome of the election, hopefully the issues I have raised will be addressed and I will have made a difference.
Ms. Mitchel-Markley’s voters pamphlet statement
SD-15 includes most of Hillsboro, Cornelius and Forest Grove. and North Plains. Other candidates in SD-15 are; Chuck Rile (Dem) and Bruce Starr (Rep)