Donnie Boyd recently announced that he was getting into the race for Klamath County Commissioner, Position #1. This office is currently held by Tom Mallams, who is running for reelection after his first four-year term. Donnie’s campaign is backed by one of the wealthiest (if not the wealthiest) family name in the Klamath Basin: Wendt, as in jeld-WEN.
Donnie is not holding back on spending money to win this race. Early this week he rented a vacant office on Main Street for his campaign office. It has nice desks, new computers and big signs out front making anyone walking by take notice.
Despite his deep pockets for the campaign, and his connection the farming community from his time as owner/operator of the local John Deer dealership, Floyd A. Boyd, Donnie has a serious flaw — he was an advocate for the KBRA/KHSA. Being an advocate of this failed agreement doesn’t make Donnie a bad guy. But what it does do is tell you a lot about how he views the role of government in our lives. Moreover it shows you that Donnie thinks it is okay for private groups to make deals and then raid the government and rate payer piggy banks to fund such a deal.
Donnie’s poster out front of his campaign office speaks to his long standing tie to the community, economic development and leadership. Let’s take those one at a time, in reverse order, as this is likely to be his campaign theme.
Leadership — leadership is an important trait for a County Commissioner. We don’t want to elect someone without that trait, but in and of itself it is not what we should be looking for. Leadership implies leading, and leading implies going to a particular destination. Where does Donnie expect to lead Klamath County? Well his second point gives us another clue...
Economic Development — I have written about this canard previously, but will touch on a few points here. Economic development is a noble aspiration, as far as it goes. What matters is not the WHAT, but the HOW. How will Donnie bring about economic development? The same way he advocated for the KBRA — by special interest groups running the show and everyone else footing the bill? From the Commissioner’s seat will he approve sending tax measure after tax measure to the voters because in his eyes that is what is best for him, or will he protect the tax payer from such burdens? Will Donnie spend more tax payer dollars on KCEDA, in the name of economic development. (By the way KCEDA is a private organization who is accountable to no one except itself, yet receives hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars each year from Klamath Falls City and Klamath County governments.) In short, I worry about what “economic development” means in Donnie’s view, and you should too.
Ties to the Community — this is great that Donnie has lived here his entire life. Who would not think that, especially when you are able to inherit a successful family business. That is a great story. But we must remember, longevity in Klamath County does not necessarily mean Donnie has our backs. It just means he has lived here a long time. It does not mean he has the proper perspective on the role of government. It just means he probably has a lot of friends and associations. The wonderful thing about conservative values, where government is limited in scope and power, is that those principles travel well wherever they go. It does not require someone to live for generations in the same community in order to implement. Instead those principle just work, and work well for everyone, not just certain groups of people (special interests). So Donnie’s long-standing tie to the community is nice, but not necessary in order to do what is right and best for the people as Commissioner.
My advice for you is not to be wooed by the glitz and glamor of colorful signs, fancy advertisements and awe-inspiring rhetoric. Instead do your homework. Learn for yourself if Donnie really understands the idea of personal liberty and limited government. Or is he going to smile his way into office with his special interests in mind? Will he follow in the footsteps of Minty-Morris who often finds a government-controlled economy preferable to a market-driven one? Again, do your homework.