As an Oregon nonprofit, Friends of French Prairie takes seriously our non-profit status with the State of Oregon and with the IRS, and that includes avoiding endorsing candidates and actively being involved in political campaigns. We are a “public benefit” advocacy organization, mainly focused on educating the public about land use issues.
Where that position approaches politics is when candidates are engaging in behavior that has significant land use implications, but are hiding it or lying about it, or worse yet taking money from parties who are pushing significant land use issues. That is the case in this election.
Marion County: the major land use issue is expansion of the Aurora Airport, and Commissioner Kevin Cameron has publicly denied his previously printed statement that lengthening the runway at the Aurora Airport is his “first priority.” Additionally, he has taken a $5,000 campaign donation from Ted Millar, owner of Southend Airpark and the largest developer at Aurora—who is also the major force behind airport expansion. Colm Willis has repeatedly denied knowing anything about the “Aurora Airport expansion issue” even though he was present at a Farm Bureau briefing in February, would not reply to inquires about his position, and accepted a $2,500 contribution from Ted Millar!.
House District 18: Rep. Rick Lewis consistently denies that the bill he put forward in the last Legislative session, which was co-sponsored by Rep. Rich Vial (HD 26) would have changed the State land use system. However, it would have allowed expansion of the Aurora Airport (and only the Aurora Airport) onto Exclusive Farm Use (EFU) land as an outright allowable use. That is circumventing the land use system at the State and County levels.
City of Aurora: The current Mayor not only supports expansion of the Aurora Airport, but earlier this year he was outed in a conflict of interest as founder and president of a non-profit corporation based at the Aurora Airport, an involvement he did not disclose to the City or public. It turns out that Ted Millar and Bruce Bennett (airport expansion proponents) serve on this company’s Board of Directors. Most of the current City Council have followed Graupp’s lead in supporting airport expansion in various ways—in spite of overwhelming citizen opposition!
City of Wilsonville: Ben West and John Budiao began their campaigns in synch with the Wilsonville Chamber’s support of Aurora Airport expansion (the Chamber Director testified in favor of the Lewis bill), but then went silent when they realized how controversial it is. Now they won’t say if they support airport expansion or not, and dodge the issue. But, that didn’t stop both of them from accepting a $1,500 campaign contribution from Ted Millar.
These are major developments which we believe the voting public needs to know of and understand, because the land use decisions around Aurora Airport expansion will effect all residents in Wilsonville, Charbonneau and north French Prairie. The consequences of a $37 million (YES, you read it correctly!) expansion to the Aurora Airport will transform the region and mainly (we believe) in negative ways.
Because of that, FOFP has felt compelled to run the following educational advertisements in the Wilsonville Spokesman and the Woodburn Independent with the intent of educating the voters at large about the issues and the candidates (stated and unstated) positions on them
The Aurora Airport expansion issue and the loss of farm land, consequent increase in traffic, gridlock, reduced quality of life and reduced residential property values has become a major land use issue in this election.
Remember: the knowledgeable voter is the better voter!
Wilsonville Spokesman ads
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Woodburn Independent ads
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