Rating our Lawmakers

Even noting that the assessments are preceded by the comment, "What follows is mostly gossip and opinion," as a constituent of [state Rep.] Tobias Read, I am surprised at WW's assessment ["The Good, the Bad and the Awful," June 5, 2013]. As one of his constituents, I want to share my perspective.

I moved to Beaverton three years ago, and since then have observed and attended many community meetings that Read has hosted. In my many years of activity in multiple communities, I haven't had any elected official—be it on a city council, a school board, a special district, or a state or federal legislator—be as accessible and open to conversation as Read is. I commend him for his constant small-group coffee meetings on Saturday mornings in Beaverton.

My assessment is that he has reasoned, not rhetorical, explanations for his positions, as well as having consistency between his positions. He's clear that his interest is economic development for this community and for Oregon, and can and will explain the whys of that to you.

You may not agree with some decisions, but I respect him for his ability to conceptualize and articulate his reasons for taking the positions he does.

Carmela M. Bowns

I read the legislative ratings but take them with a large grain of salt. If nothing else, they're a chance to guess at who's dishing who in the Salem soap opera these days.

But I cannot let the slam on Sen. Ginny Burdick pass ("If Salem's top arms-control expert can't pass anti-gun measures after the Newtown, Conn., and Clackamas Town Center shootings, maybe it's time to turn to something more achievable, like cold fusion."). Is that your advice to President Obama too?

The final word on gun reform this session hasn't been written yet, but whatever it is, Burdick is a champion. I suspect a fair number of her detractors are simply ashamed of their own inability to endure the abuse dished out by the gun nuts when sensible gun laws are proposed. On gun reform, the ineffective legislators are the ones who give up.

Katie Pool
Northeast Portland

I give WW a 7.62 for integrity but a 4.85 for brains and a 5.03 for effectiveness, for an overall rating of an anemic 5.83.

You'll need to try harder.

—"JD Mulvey"

Correction: Last week's cover story, "The Good, the Bad and the Awful," incorrectly stated that Rep. Jules Bailey (D-Portland) helped create Oregon's runaway tax credits in the two previous sessions. In fact, he helped scale them back. WW regrets the error.

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