I do not necessarily aspire to exaggerate the implications of class warfare nor to inflate Supreme Court decisions about money as free speech, but the candidates’ forum for Clatsop County Commission at the Astoria Golf & Country Club (sponsored by the Clatsop Association of Realtors) gives me a bit of the shudders. It seemed to me too close to all those Republican presidential aspirants prostrating themselves to the Daddy Warbucks casino boss in Las Vegas a few weeks ago.

The local county commission candidates all seemed to read from the same script. “Fishing, forestry and tourism,” as one expressed. Every one of them extolled economic growth, family-wage jobs and protection of “traditional” commercial gillnet fisheries (possibly a radical stance to country club sports fishers). But they lacked an essential clarity of principle or intent.

So in the name of clarity, I ask each and all two crucial questions. Who of the six candidates supports liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the mouth of the Columbia River, and who does not?

Who supports the incredible and enormous imposition of crude oil and coal trains, and resultant construction of coal and oil export terminals and consequent increased shipping of oil, coal as well as liquefied natural gas, on the Columbia River? And who does not?

I don’t believe most voters wish for or appreciate feckless abstractions on these crucial issues.

Michael Paul McCusker



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