May 15 Primary Election Brings Local Issues into Focus



While much of the 2012 election will be decided in November including a presidential campaign, a couple races locally bring into focus some central issues faces the region. The Senate seat for District 27 currently held by State Senator Chris Telfer is being hotly contested by Tim Knopp, the executive director of Central Oregon Builders Association. The winner of the primary race is most likely to be the district’s senator.

Because this race is not only extremely important to our region and it’s unusual that an incumbent would have a challenger from their own party, we selected these candidates to ask business related questions on issues facing Central Oregon.

When it comes to a business background both stated they have considerable experience in helping small businesses. Telfer, a CPA, says she knows what makes businesses grow and prosper and how to encourage the influx of capital. Knopp says he has over 25 years as a small business owner and executive in the private sector and has successfully created jobs in Central Oregon.

We asked them several questions (please see page 11) on the economy including how they can help create jobs, improve the image of Central Oregon, develop a four-year university, lower business and estate taxes and improve relationships with state agencies, as well as their views on government sponsored business loans and tourism. Some of the answers to these questions should help you in making your decision on which candidate to support.

In order to help create jobs Telfer is proposing a two-year moratorium on non-essential agency rule-making, requiring job impact statements for major new legislation and regulations, reforms to both income tax and real property taxes, regionalization of land use rules, reforming our public contracting processes as well as prevailing wage laws and adopting a “Right-to-Work” law.

Knopp would end Oregon’s Death Tax, support the Columbia River Water bill as well as low and middle income tax relief and reducing Oregon’s high capital gains rate he says would create over 60,000

Oregon jobs.

We have also asked the same questions to the other very important race in Deschutes County where Tom Greene, a local realtor, and Phil Henderson, an attorney and homebuider, are Republicans vying for an opportunity to face current County Commission Al Unger, a Democrat, in the November election. The important decision right now for Republican registered voters is between Greene and Henderson.

Henderson reports he has a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Yale University and a law degree from the University of Oregon with a business law certificate.  He practiced law in Bend for 14 years and eventually became the president of one of the area’s largest residential construction companies.

Greene says he has been a small business owner most of his life and served in the Air Force and he’s a Vietnam veteran. He has served on the Bend City Council for four years.

Henderson’s top priorities are jobs, fiscal responsibility and leadership.  He plans to work with business and civic leaders to restore economic vitality to all communities of Deschutes County.  He says he will look for cost savings in the budget and ways to do things more efficiently and look at why property taxes are allowed to keep going up when we have been going through the worst recession in 70 years.

Greene sees the biggest thing is the duplication of quite a few services on city and county levels including road departments, vehicle maintenance and sign shops. He would form agreements to consolidate services, giving fewer burdens on the tax dollars going to those entities. He would also look at ways to cut costs in the fire protection with consolidation of administrative services.

Cascade Business News has chosen for the past 19 years to not endorse candidates for office instead bringing issues to the business community that will help voters in their decisions. We hope this information in this issue is helpful. Please be sure to turn in your ballots by May 15. pha


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