“The Pacific Green Party’s Chris Henry, a drifter of sorts, is a walking explanation for the failure of third parties.” (Wow! The Green seems like a threat… Let’s get rid of him quickly, and shoe-in Wu!)
“We liked Wu’s vote against the original financial bailout package” (As did I…) “and hope it’s a sign he’ll make his sixth term more memorable than his fifth.” (At least I’m not a Wall Street turncoat!)
After filing to run for office, using September’s rent, food and bill money… (it’s costs nothing to file, but $1000 bucks for a Voter’s Pamphlet Statement!), I put in my two week notice at my job. I’m a Teamster who drives for Yellow Roadway Corporation, hauling Doubles and Triples up and down the I-5 corridor most every night, dawn to dusk.
My intent was to quit my job, return to school and chair the Portland Metro Chapter (once again) as the Executive Director… An actual full-time desk job, while completing my long awaited degree. After filing to run and submitting my two week notice… the banks, one-by-one, started failing, forcing others to go belly-up. On the very last day of my two week notice, the stock market took a 777 point dive to the bottom. Some old-timers in the union advised me to hold-on to my job and ride-out the down-turn in the market, stating, “A bird in the hand…”.
Things have been utterly slow… loads have been few… work has trickled in… drivers are hurting.
I instantly retracted my two week notice at Yellow Freight, which is where I remain, today. And, as for school? Once again, it will have to wait or be done online, somehow. I have worked the same job for the last 5 years… I finished my Clackamas transfer requirements in only one year… and have been struggling at Portland State for the last 7 years. I have moved around the Portland area a bit, yes, but students often change residence quite frequently… nothing too strange there.
I am no more drifter than most any other returning students. The job I hold today sets a record for me, compared to my past jobs, that is certainly true. I am, however, quite proud of the experiences my past has afforded me, I am better for it… it is a tribute to my resilience and fortitude. It got me to where I am today. I drove concrete mixers on and off for 15 years… it tends to be seasonal… especially for drivers at the bottom of the board. Prior to that, in the ’80’s, I was an aircraft electrical mechanic on the B-1 Bomber for Rockwell International, then, a structural mechanic on MD-11’s and MD-80’s for McDonnell Douglas.
I’ve flipped pizza’s, routed wire, laid brick, block, tile and stone, bucked rivets, carried steel, drywall and lumber, poured concrete and set forms, driven heavy equipment, forklifts, front bucket loaders, bobcats and backhoes, operated overhead cranes, dug ditches and tied rebar, read electrical schematics and followed engineering drawings, moved furniture, freight and industrial equipment, driven over-the-road in most of the 48 states, drove fuel tankers, flatbeds and dump trucks, helped my dad overhaul and repair his rig, help deconstruct, transport and reassemble a concrete batch plant… and, all the while, I’ve paid for my own education along the way at trade schools, colleges and Portland State University.
I can blue collar with the best of them and can still hold my own in a classroom full of star students.
My grandfather was a truck driver… my father was a truck driver… my brothers are truck drivers… and I am a truck driver. But, more so than that, I am a Teamster Truck Driver that challenged a Congressman to a debate and watched him squirm and back down… twice! The only drifter I know who would do such a thing with the same confidence is featured in a Clint Eastwood film…
How so very cool! But, so very unlike who I am.
Furthermore, to the point, this same truck driver took his very own money (Not money from special interests!) and plunked it down on a not so cheep Voter Pamphlet Statement (That he honestly could not afford…), so that his Party would have a candidate to fill a 5 member congressional Peace Slate (Making history for his Party) and, so that District 1 Voters would have a choice in the November 4th election (True democracy in action!).
Is that by definition …”a walking explanation for the failure of third parties” or is it altogether something else, entirely?
Like most folks, I’m out there trying to cut a buck, I pinch my pennies at the end of the month, do my best to make ends meet and simply try to make my way in the world, as best I can. We all are! Times are tough and they have been that way for quite a while now. I’m not so sure that bailing out Wall Street Bankers — that go to health spas with there pooches, golf resorts with there buddies, hunting ranges with their pals and grandiose company parties with their chums, while granting themselves exuberant multi-million dollar bonuses — was the right course of action to take.
Who will be bailing out the little people, when the trickle down approach looses traction and fails? I’m out there busting my hump, driving through the night, so these fat cats can dance on my and your graves? Wow! I think that Wu et al bailed out the wrong folks! After five terms in office, WW is willing to give Wu a sixth term and “hope it’s a sign he’ll make his sixth term more memorable than his fifth.”
I don’t know about you folks, but it has, thus far, been pretty memorable for me!
Look… I don’t possess degrees from, either, Harvard or Yale… I wouldn’t have a clue what that is like, really. My degree will come from PSU this spring and I will be utterly cognizant of the effort it took to, finally, obtain it. It will be mine… I’ll finally be a graduate… and no one can take that away. Congress will be a VERY steep learning curve for me, no doubt. I learn fast, though, and I keep trying, because, eventually, I will get it right! I guess voters can only hope — along with WW — that Wu will, eventually, get it right, too!
While there is still hope, I am still a candidate in this race for 1st Congressional District and the choice of who you wish to be your Representative is, ultimately, up to you.
In addition to Henry, the Willamette Week article profiles Independent Party candidate, Joel Haugen, and Scott Semrau of the Constitution Party.
Also attached to the article is a video of the Weekly editorial board’s meeting. Along with the candidates in the article, there is also a Libertarian candidate, Joe Tabor. However, for some reason they made no mention of him in the article, and he is also not listed on the national or state Libertarian party pages. The video of the editorial board meeting may be of some interest to any possible future candidates who have not been through one.