I live in Oregon’s First Congressional District. It is a beautiful place with energy and a lot of very good people. For the past 40 years, it has been represented in Congress by a Democrat. The most recent one, David Wu, resigned last year after an alleged sex scandal and numerous other incidents of strange behavior. To replace him, a special election was mandated. That election was yesterday. Suzanne Bonamici, a Democrat, won the election and will be my new Congress Member. I hope that she becomes a responsive and wise representative. I did not vote for her and my reading of both her past and her experience does not give me much encouragement that we will have any better representation than we had with Mr. Wu.
The District has over 11% more registered Democrats than Republicans. And, Bonamici won by more than that 11% advantage. It was almost a 14% win. I’m sure a good part of that was due to the Congressional Democratic Campaign Committee in Washington, D.C., who spent more on this campaign than either of the candidates raised for his/her own campaign. With their $1,500,000 or more blanketing the airwaves, it seemed like non-stop negatives about Rob Cornilles, Bonamici’s Republican opponent. This saddens me because it is hard not to conclude that the election was bought and paid for in Washington, D. C., over 2,000 miles from here. If this is the case, you can expect that Bonamici will vote with the Democrats every time, unless she is wiling to lose their invaluable support. In spite of the left lean of our district, the Democrats in Washington do not always vote for things that suit our district. I guess that means that we will no longer have a voice in Washington. I hope that’s not the case. Unfortunately, Ms. Bonamici’s record as a state legislator gives little hope as she was amazingly partisan, to the tune of voting with her party upwards of 98% of the time.
It is interesting to note that the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee gave only about $85,000 to Mr. Cornilles’ campaign suggesting either they didn’t think the seat could be taken from the Democrats or that they thought Cornilles was a bit too independent for them. Wouldn’t that have been nice, to have a Congressperson who was not a slave to the party that got him elected. It was not to be.
Ms. Bonamici tried to distance herself from Mr. Wu while the Cornilles campaign, in the last week tried to tie her to him. The Oregonian Newspaper from Portland wrote, “Republicans have repeatedly pointed out that Bonamici’s husband, Michael Simon, represented Wu and his campaign as an attorney, and that in 2004 Simon sought to dissuade The Oregonian from running an investigatory article disclosing that Wu was punished while a student at Stanford University after he sexually assaulted a former girlfriend. Bonamici gave Wu a $250 donation during his 2010 reelection race and had once described him as a “family friend.”” – the Orgonian
Many have suggested that Bonamici’s appointment to the State legislature was a form of payback for helping Democrat Wu.
I’m not happy that she is our new representative because based on her past actions we could be just as well represented by a Democrat from New Jersey (who also votes exclusively with his party). But, and it is a big BUT, I will support her, and, I will correspond with her staff when I think she properly or improperly uses her newfound power. I write often to my representatives. You can, too. Just go to the link on the left of this page that says. “Write to Elected Officials” I may not like the result of the recent election, but I will remain engaged. I hope you do, too. I also hope Ms. Bonamici proves me wrong.