Mary Starrett, Constitutional Party candidate for governor, is primarily concerned with what she sees as the overspending and misuse of funds in the Oregon government. According to her campaign website, Starrett feels that “throwing money" at the educational system will not be an improvement.
Starrett supports Measure 48, which would put a limit on state funding. She does not feel it necessary to create a "rainy day fund" in government, but rather stresses that already-established funds be allocated more carefully. Measure 48 would take away millions of dollars in state funding from programs like higher education.
Generally speaking, Starrett’s platform is conservative. She supports a free-market economy without interference from the government, the Second Amendment right to bare arms, and opposes abortion. Measure 37, which says that the government should not infringe on the private property of citizens, is a measure she strongly supports. Starrett also opposes the legalization of civil unions between gay and lesbian couples.
However, Starrett’s views diverge from many conservatives on the U.S. war in Iraq. She advocates immediate withdrawal of the Oregon National Guard from its current position in Iraq.
Starrett is a former radio and talk-show host who has worked in cities across the country. She began working in Portland as a reporter for local news channel KATU, then went on to co-host AM Northwest for several years.
Joe Keating, Pacific Green Party candidate, values long-term goals and would like to incorporate them into improving governmental operations.
To generate increased educational funding, Keating wants to raise the state income tax to 9.5 percent for corporations grossing revenues over $10 million a year.
Keating supports an increase in funding to provide grants and loans to students enrolled in Oregon colleges and universities. He supports nutrition standards for K-12 schools and high quality programs for pre-Kindergarten students, as well as a minimum annual salary of $40,000 for public school teachers. Rather than focus on standardized testing, Keating would like to minimize such emphasis so that classroom time can be spent on learning, not test prep.
Keating served as a lieutenant and officer in the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War. He has since been involved in the public services, working for Oregon Greenpeace, the United Community Action Network and the Oregon Sierra Club.
Richard Morely, Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate, places priority on educational and safety issues. In his 2006 Voter’s Pamphlet statement, Morely said he will veto any budget bill that reaches his desk before the education and public safety budgets do. He wants to improve the public school system from K-12 up to higher education.
Morely’s plan for dealing with what he calls the “financial ills" of government includes funding education first. Secondly, he would like to replace individual and corporate taxes with a consumption tax, excluding taxes on such items as health care. Morely does not support a tax kicker in Oregon. The last part of his plan is to involve management consultants in the major departments of state government, so that financial situations and plans may be assessed more carefully.
Morely wants to keep the Oregon National Guard out of foreign conflicts. He views abortion as an individual choice and does not support making it illegal. Morely feels that the government need not be involved in marital issues, and thus supports the offering of civil unions to same-sex couples in Oregon.
Morely is a certified university accounting instructor and retired certified internal auditor. He had worked for law firms, corporations and government agencies as a vice president and chief financial officer for three corporations. He was Oregon’s first state audit manager for performance auditing.