ANOTHER VOICE: Small donations hope to bring big changes

As the Democrat candidate for State Representative for House District 52, I am accepting donations up to $50 per resident per year. I am not accepting donations from corporations or political action committees or any special interest groups. Why am I doing this?

The answer is simple: I am concerned about the effect of big money on our elections.

We are seeing millions, even billions of dollars being spent to elect our representatives and pass initiatives at the national, state and local levels. Massive amounts of special-interest money is being spent to sway voters to vote one way or another.

With the Supreme Court’s “Citizen’s United” ruling, election and campaign spending is spinning out of control. Much of the money is spent on negative, misleading and divisive campaign slogans. Where is it going to stop? I want to offer voters an option.

In my campaign, I am not pointing fingers at other campaigns past, present or future. I am just saying it has gotten out of hand. Our elected officials need to be making decisions based upon what is best for the constituents of a given district or the state. Decisions should not be based upon who has the most money and can wield the most power.

Decisions should be made upon the merits of the issue and the needs of the people we serve. I do not accept that corporations, billionaires and special interests are investing millions of dollars in elections without the expectation of something in return. It would be naïve to think otherwise.

What I offer voters of District 52 is a clean slate. As one person who donated to my campaign told me, her $50 donation meant she had the same influence as anyone else in the district; and, it is true. No one person is more important than the next. That is what democracy is supposed to be. That is the American ideal. That is what I offer voters on Nov. 6.

The effect of big money not only influences elections, but also influences each and every decision made. We need to create jobs, fund our public schools, support small business and ensure all of our citizens are represented.

The first step is to take big money out of the elections. The next step is to get the big money out of legislative decision-making. We need campaign finance reform and we need our elected officials to serve the people.

It is up to the voters to decide. It does not cost money for an individual to vote. But, it is going be costly if we fail to send the message that, “enough is enough.”


Peter Nordbye lives in Rhododendron. For more information on his campaign visit

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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