So here we are, at the end of another election cycle. For those of us participating in the efforts to try and support our environment, there is only one thing worth doing by tomorrow, and that’s voting. The outcome of some elected positions may not directly impact our environment, but here’s some things to think about:

Judges of all stripes here environmental cases. Just this year one in Jefferson County decided against a simple postponement of a massive clear cut that might have protected endangered species.

The Public Utility is deeply involved in decisions about how we generate power, and where we buy it from.

The County Commissioners decide what laws to put in place to support critical environmental areas, and shoreline management.

State Representatives and US Representatives decide what laws are arrived at and how the budget for those laws is derived.

So, with that said, do your part. Investigate a bit about the candidates. I have met and worked with many of these candidates in the last 10 years. I’ve found that US Representative Derek Kilmer is sincerely determined to help pass laws that protect our environment. I’m voting to re-elect him. He is a known quantity now.

Both State Representatives, Kevin Van De Wege and Steve Tharinger have done outstanding jobs working to support environmental law and forge working alliances with all parties to environmental issues.  I am voting for both of them. They too are known quantities.

Kathleen Kler and Dan Toepper are both candidates that are new, and I’ve talked to both. I give an edge to Kathleen, but I’m not convinced that Dan would not also work for environmental protection. He does not have a background in doing that, and Kathleen does. Kathleen has been more clear as to what she supports and how she might do it. So a slight edge to her.

I think that Kenneth Collins has a better vision for our PUD here in Jefferson County. Nod goes to him.

For Supreme Court, re-elect Debra Stephens, who penned the McCleary Decision. She is a superb jurist. I am also voting for Charles W. Johnson, who also supported the McCleary Decision. Our students need better education, and these two are supportive of it.



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