Voter’s pamphlets, often considered the dreariest reading created by man, are actually chock-full of intriguing information.

For those with a taste for investigation, signs abound on every page that divulge the ways a simple mark on a ballot can make a profound difference in Oregon daily life. In this spirit, the voter pamphlet is a mystery which contains a look into our future.

By reading beyond every candidate’s support for “education,” “families,” “a stronger economy” and “America’s future,” concrete values can be found.

Every person running uses rhetoric to sound positive and relatable and to obscure any conflict they may have with prospective voters. Choices are made more perplexing by the fact that some offices, like judicial positions, are usually officially non-partisan.

The key to the mystery is endorsements. Are the endorsers known conservatives or liberals? Republican or Democrat? Are they law enforcement officials and religious leaders and business boosters (often conservatives) or are they civil rights advocates, unionists and environmentalists (usually progressive)?

A judge candidate who is “tough on crime” and endorsed by multiple DAs will be more conservative than one who is endorsed by the ACLU and public defenders.

Of course the best candidates have endorsers from both camps. This is unfortunately rare.

Endorsements tell a lot. The qualities of the endorsers and thus their candidates will define our society.


Salem Weekly endorses the following:
Secretary of State:  Kate Brown  
Representative 5th District:  Kurt Schrader
State Treasurer:  Ted Wheeler
Attorney General: Ellen Rosenblum
State Rep 19th District: Claudia Kyle
State Rep 21st District: Brian Clem
State Rep, 22nd District: Betty Komp
Oregon Supreme Court, Position 3: Richard Baldwin
Judge of the Court of Appeals, Position 6: Tim Volpert
Judge of the Circuit Court, 3rd District, Position 11: Channing Bennett
Salem City Council, Ward 7: Evan White
Representative 5th District:  Kurt Schrader