Candidates’ voting records often twisted in political campaigns

I’m going to get a little political on you this time around!

I intentionally keep these articles about the legislative process, primarily because that is where my focus is the majority of the time.

I’ve said for years that politics is what I have to do to be able to work on the policies you and I think are important.

Campaigning is not my favorite thing. Don’t get me wrong; my family and I have made lifelong friends because of my campaigns. Frankly, compared to many in this state, my campaign is mild. I absorb a few pot shots, but nothing that seems to be rooted in fact. Besides, you, my constituents, are very good to me!

Now that the election is over and the dust has settled, allow me to share a few observations with you.

Being the second senior House Republican and a member of the leadership team, I have a responsibility to be involved in other House races. This was my sixth election cycle as your state representative and, without a doubt, it was the most brutal I have seen.

Campaigns in Oregon are beginning to mirror those at the national level and that saddens me.

Let me give you some examples.

The education budget is one of the most contentious and political votes we take. It is also a vote that is used in campaigns.

Obviously, a person’s voting record is the best way to evaluate them. I tell people all the time to check my voting record and then ask me about votes they don’t understand. I sometimes vote yes on the education budget and other times no. The reasons vary each year because the budget varies and the process to get to the budget varies.

There have been years where the process didn’t seem open and little information was shared with budget members outside the party in control.

How can a thorough discussion take place when only a handful of people have the bulk of the information? So I voted no.

Other years, I have voted no because there was a lack of prioritizing what state government programs were or were not effective.

Other years, I have voted yes and didn’t think the funding was enough, but based on the economy, knew it was the best we could do at the time.

Votes count, without a doubt. What frustrates me is how votes are twisted to mean something totally contrary to what the vote represents. I’ve seen individuals do this, and, to a greater degree campaigns.

– Sherrie Sprenger represents most of Linn County, including Lebanon, as part of her 17th District of the Oregon House of Representatives, where she has served since 2008. Prior to her service in the legislature, she chaired the Lebanon School Board.