Electile Dysfunction: West Eugene’s Varied Politics

As the troubles of slow economic recovery and disintegrating war efforts continue hamper the country, this year’s elections have featured a strong element of partisanship between the promises of the Obama Democrats and the criticisms of the re-emerging GOP.  The resident of Eugene are no different, and although their opinions about what should be done and who should do it may vary, they all agree that something needs to change.

Two of the most prominent races for Eugene voters are for the U.S. House of Representatives seat for Oregon’s 4th Congressional District between Democrat Peter DeFazio and Republican Art Robinson and the gubernatorial race between Republican Chris Dudley and Democrat John Kitzhaber.

“I hope the Democrats keep in power,” Jessica Schmidt said,  “If they don’t, yes (it will affect me in a large way)…I always vote Democrat, but I’m concerned about healthcare and welfare and other social programs and I think that they would be likely to keep those funded, and education.”

Eugene resident Mark Denner expressed his support for more conservative policies to help battle the state’s economic woes.

“Well, I guess like a lot of other people, I think that we need to have some greater fiscal responsibility both in Salem and in Washington,” he said, “We’ve gotta begin to get some responsibility, just like you and I have to have, and as a nation and a state we’ve gotta live within our means. I think just in general the more conservative candidates would probably be better at getting that done, and I think that when you look at a number of the incumbents, even though it’s very popular right now to talk about how much money you’re saving the people if you’re Ron Wyden and John Kitzhaber, their track record doesn’t support what they say.”

Others made more mixed opinions that straddled the political divide in favor of case-by-case evaluations of the candidates.

“I voted for Defazio,” Corey Standefer said, “but I also voted for Dudley. My opinions… are more fiscally conservative and socially liberal, so it just seems like Dudley is more likely to go with the fiscally conservative thing and he hasn’t really come out as being a real staunch religious conservative, neo-con kind of thing. And, Kitzhaber has been governor before, and I personally didn’t think he did a very good job.”

Standefer, "my opinions ... are more fiscally conservative and socially liberal,"

However, Standefer continued on to profess that his reasons for choosing DeFazio had less to do with political philosophy.

“Because Art Robinson’s kind of crazy,” he said.

About Ryan Buckley

I am a senior journalism student at the UO and am dreading graduation at the end of this year. I was born in New Jersey but spent most of my life in California. I am the oldest of three kids and I enjoy reading, doing anything exercise-related and watching corny horror movies. Ideally I would like to be involved in sports media in some capacity when I get into the professional world.
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