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District 4: Maxwell

Mail Tribune editorials

Effectiveness is the key in this race, and Shayne Maxwell has proved hers

The candidates in Oregon House District 4 are from different parties, but they aren't far apart on most issues. So the question is which one would be the most effective representative for the district.

Our money is on Shayne Maxwell.

A Democrat who takes pains to point out that she is anything but a flaming liberal, Maxwell made a name for herself by virtually singlehandedly engineering a campaign to establish a long-distance calling area that would encompass the entire Rogue Valley.

When Republican Dennis Richardson defeated incumbent Rep. Cherryl Walker in the May primary after a distressingly nasty campaign, Democrats approached Maxwell about running in the general election. There was no Democrat on the primary ballot.

Richardson, a Central Point attorney, is treasurer of the state Republican Party and an ally of Perry Atkinson, the religious broadcaster and state GOP chairman. Richardson and Atkinson represent the conservative wing of the GOP ' the faction that was, in our opinion, more a part of the problem in Salem this summer than of the solution.

Maxwell, as a conservative Democrat, says she can work effectively with moderates in both parties toward a solution to the budget and taxation issues facing the state. We have no reason to doubt her.

Maxwell says she supported Walker's re-election, and would not be running if a moderate Republican were on the ballot. Even Richardson calls Maxwell as conservative a Democrat as I have met.

Richardson is one of the more conservative Republicans we have met, which gives us pause.

We also were not thrilled with his tactics in the primary, when he accused Walker in a campaign mailing of disguising herself in order to videotape his campaign appearances.

So far, those tactics haven't surfaced in this campaign, but Richardson ran an advertisement in the Rogue River and Central Point weekly newspapers calling himself your representative for lower long distance rates.

He did take the position of Central Point's representative on the Extended Area Service committee ' after Maxwell had done all the legwork. The line in his ad wasn't false ' it just didn't give the whole story.

This newspaper endorsed Cherryl Walker in the primary as an effective representative for the district. We think Maxwell is a worthy successor.

We urge a vote for Shayne Maxwell for state representative from District 4.

INS visit welcome

The Immigration and Naturalization Service visited Jackson County this week, but not with the intent of hassling immigrants who do the agricultural work that no one else will do.

INS officers set up a booth at Rogue Family Center in White City to answer questions and dispense information about benefits, assist with applications and offer advice about citizenship, family- and employment-related immigration and foreign student authorization. Residents also may order replacement documents, which heretofore required a trip to Portland.

The officers who staff the information booth aren't interested in reporting or deporting illegal aliens. They're here to help.

That's is a far cry from several decades ago when most INS activity in Southern Oregon was forays into local orchards by the Border Patrol, the enforcement arm of the INS. The main goal was to take illegal aliens into custody and deport them.

It's good to see this new spirit of cooperation. The INS says that if there is enough local interest, a permanent office will be opened in the Rogue Valley.

Jackson County's Hispanic population now exceeds 12,000, about 6.5 percent of the total population. Hispanic children make up 11 percent of the county school population. So opening a satellite office makes a lot of sense.