NFIB/Oregon SAFE Trust PAC Readies for Busy Election Year
By Harlan Levy, Oregon NFIB, MY VOICE
Oregon SAFE Trust (Save America’s Free Enterprise Trust), the political arm of NFIB/Oregon, is ready for a busy year, having launched a multi-faceted fundraising campaign to support candidates who will support Oregon’s small businesses. The PAC has set an ambitious goal of raising $80,000 this election cycle. SAFE Trust is currently conducting candidate interviews around the state to learn their positions on small business issues. These interviews are used to determine which candidates will be endorsed by the PAC.
Additionally, SAFE Trust officials are meeting regularly to consider campaign requests from candidates. These include requests for financial support, event sponsorship and endorsements. Decisions made by SAFE Trust require the best available information from various sources.
SAFE Trust’s main focus of political activity in the November general election will be the Oregon House of Representatives, where all 60 seats are up for election. More than 20 percent of the current representatives are not seeking re-election. Many more are perceived to be vulnerable. This combination of open seats and incumbent vulnerability has made races in many of these House districts highly targeted and very expensive.
House districts targeted by both parties include several seats located in the Portland suburbs, two seats in the Columbia River Gorge, the district that includes the city of Bend, the central Oregon coast region and several districts around Salem. SAFE Trust plans to be involved in many of these targeted races.
Senate races will be less exciting than those in the House, because only half of the Senate seats are up for election and most of the incumbents running for re-election come from safe seats. However, the PAC plans to be involved in many of these campaigns, as well.
SAFE Trust has already successfully supported candidates in the May 20 primary election. It supported five candidates in contested primaries, and four of them won. The four winners were Sen. Fred Girod (Senate District 9), Rep. Dennis Richardson (House District 4), Rep. Sherrie Sprenger (House District 17) and Jim Thompson (House District 23).
With the 2009 Legislature poised to consider issues such as healthcare reform, new payroll taxes, paid family leave and an increase in the corporate minimum tax, it is essential that SAFE Trust continue to support business-friendly candidates of both parties. But the nine volunteer NFIB members who sit on the SAFE Trust board cannot do it alone. Here’s how NFIB members can help SAFE Trust support business-friendly candidates in Oregon:
Volunteer to serve on a candidate interview panel. Interviews occur throughout the election season, and all NFIB members are welcome to participate. Members who are interested should contact State Director Harlan Levy at the address below.
Share information. NFIB members are located in every corner of the state and sometimes receive timely election information that is not immediately available in Portland or Salem. Pertinent information about the election should be forwarded to NFIB.
For more information about how you can get involved, contact NFIB/Oregon State Director Harlan Levy at 503-364-4450 or by e-mail at [email protected]
– Voter Registration Deadline : Oct. 14
– General Election Date: Nov. 4
NFIB Salutes This Year’s Scholarship Winners
WE proudly salute the winners of this year’s NFIB Young Entrepreneur Awards, a scholarship program designed to reward and encourage entrepreneurial talents among high school students. The 2008 YEF Award winners from Oregon are:
NFIB Young Entrepreneur Awards
• Reynolds High School senior Matthew Minch of Portland
• Clackamas High School senior Evan Parcher of Clackamas
NFIB/Oregon Leadership Council Young Entrepreneur Award
• Aloha High School senior Ashley Maederer of Aloha
The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Award recipients will attend the university, college, community college or vocational/technical institute of their choice with $1,000 to $10,000 in tuition assistance from the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation.
The NFIB Young Entrepreneur Awards program encourages students to consider a career in small business. This year more than 400 $1,000 to $2,000 scholarships were awarded, thanks to financial support from numerous small business leaders, and corporate and foundation supporters. This year’s major corporate sponsors are Visa, The McKelvey Foundation and Sam’s Club.