In 2008, Candy Neville—who’s running in Oregon’s Democratic primary for U.S. Senate—is doing her part to make sure voters have candidates who think ending the Iraq war is everyone’s job.
Unfortunately, Neville’s efforts have been rejected by City Club of Portland, this week’s Rogue for barring Neville from the club’s upcoming debate focusing on the Senate primary. The rejection is both undemocratic and unnecessary.
City Club’s April 4 debate spotlights the Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate hoping to unseat Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.). There are six, including Neville. But the City Club has invited only Oregon House Speaker Jeff Merkley and activist Steve Novick.
“We want our debate to be as in-depth, substantive and useful to voters as possible,” says Wade Fickler, the club’s interim executive director. “In this case, we think there are two very clear front-runners.”
Neville says City Club debates are supposed to provide voters a public service. “In this election, it’s important that I be heard,” says Neville, the only woman among the six candidates. “If [voters] want to reject me, then reject me. If they want to elect me, then elect me. But don’t eliminate me.”
The Rogue Desk agrees with Neville. Merkley and Novick managed to contend with a third antiwar voice in an issues-centered debate earlier this month at the Eugene City Club, and Neville’s stress on arguably the campaign’s most substantive issue—the war—should earn her a City Club of Portland invite.