Statesman Journal mini-questionnaire for 2014 Primary Election

Thank you for responding to this questionnaire.
Why this matters: The Statesman Journal Editorial Board will use this questionnaire in deciding
which candidates to endorse at the May 20 Primary Election. The board is doing fewer in-person
interviews this spring. Your answers also will be shared with reporters and may be published in
the newspaper and/or on our website,, so the public will see what you
We also ask that you respond to every question, instead of simply attaching campaign materials,
resumes, etc.
Please return the completed questionnaire to the Editorial Board as an email or an attached Word
document to (Handwritten or fax responses don’t work.)
Deadline for submitting your questionnaire: 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 16.
Questions? Contact Editorial Page Editor Dick Hughes, 503-399-6727,, or
Editorial Assistant Nancy Harrington, 503-589-6944,
Your name: Mike Nearman
Age: 50
(If your age will change before the May 20 primary, please indicate your birthday. We want to
make sure we use accurate ages in editorials and news coverage.)
Political party (if this is a partisan office): Republican
Position you are seeking (name of position, district number, political party if applicable):
Republican nominee for HD 23
Number of years living in the area you seek to represent: 8 years
Are you a full-time resident of that area? Yes
City/town of residence: Rural Polk County, my mailing address is Independence
Family (name of spouse/partner, number and ages of children if at home, number of grown
children): Wife: Debora Nearman, two grown step-daughters: Diane Huber and Rebecca
Your education (high school, trade, college, post-baccalaureate; indicate degrees earned):
Jesuit HS, Portland, OR
Marquette University, BA in Philosophy
Western Oregon University, BS in Computer Science
If employed, current occupation, employer and job duties:
Software Engineer, Supra Products (a United Technologies Company). I’m a software
component engineer.
Previous employers and when:
Hollywood Video Corporate Office
Military service and when:
Volunteer/civic/religious service and when:
Polk County Republican precinct committee person 2011-present
Chair, Polk County Republican Party 2012-present
Central School District Budget Committee 2013 –present
Oregon Citizens Lobby Volunteer 2011-present
Board Member, Oregonians For Immigration Reform 2013-present
Please list all public offices to which you’ve been elected, and when:
Please list any unsuccessful candidacies for public office, and when:
Salem-Keizer School Board 2003
Other prior political and government experience:
I produce and edit content for the Oregon Republican Party website, facebook and twitter.
How the public can reach your campaign (remember that this information may be made public):
Mail address: 2570 Greenwood Road S., Independence, OR 97351
E-mail address:
Web site URL:
Phone: 503 838-6001
Please limit your response to each of the following questions to about 75 words.
1. To an outsider, how would you describe the region you wish to represent? What is it like
geographically, economically, politically and socially? The district is rural. Even the largest
city in the district, Dallas, has a rural flavor. It’s economically depressed. Large industries
have closed and natural resource extraction has been crippled by government. Politically,
it’s mostly Republican and socially it’s conservative. Even the non-Republicans are
2. When did you decide to run for this office, and why?
Late April 2014. I was not going to run, but was encouraged to run by many of my fellow
citizens. The citizens of this district deserve better representation. We deserve to be
represented by someone with integrity that we can trust.
I’m not afraid to take a stand. I stood with my fellow citizens (your paper printed my Op-
Ed – thanks!) against the proposed property tax increase in Polk County against a State
Senator, two State Reps (including Jim Thompson), three Polk County Commissioners,
and the County Sheriff – all Republicans. We prevailed and I’d like to go to the Capitol
and continue the fight.
When elected officials do one thing and then say another, as when Jim Thompson tries to
play both sides of the same-sex marriage question or have it both ways by being against
raising taxes, then endorsing a tax increase, this undermines citizens’ faith in political
systems and gives credence to the cynic who says that “They’re all liars and crooks.”
3. How much will your primary campaign cost (please be specific)? About $30-50,000.
4. Who are your key endorsements from within the Mid-Valley? Oregon Family Council and
Oregon Right to Life have endorsed me. They both have many members in the Mid-
5. Have you ever been convicted of a crime, been disciplined by a professional licensing
board/organization or had an ethics violation filed against you? If so, please give the details.
6. Have you ever filed for bankruptcy, been delinquent on your taxes or other major accounts, or
been sued personally or professionally? If so, please give the details.
I have my taxes professionally done each year by a CPA. I have a very good credit score
and a very clean financial and legal record.
7. Why should people vote for you? What separates you from your opponent(s)? Be specific.
I mean what I say and say what I mean. I’m a person of integrity. I won’t put up a
website that says “I’m a strong supporter of traditional marriage” and then support same-
sex marriage. I won’t put up a website that says that “I’m fighting to lower the tax
burden” and then endorse a tax increase. You may disagree with Mike Nearman, but you
can trust Mike Nearman to be a man of his word.
I’m a fighter and a hard worker. I won’t sit on my hands and bemoan the fact that my
party is in the minority and that I can’t do anything. It’s harder to have an impact from
the minority, but if we’re willing to work hard, we can get things done. The best way to
stay in the minority is to have the attitude that because we are in the minority we can’t do
anything. Who would vote for that?
Oversight is an important function of the minority party, and in many ways, Jim
Thompson comes up short here.
8. Describe your philosophy of governance: I believe in the rule of law and in minimal
government. One truly great insight of the founding fathers was that government nearly
always tends toward inefficiency and tyranny and that it needs to be held in check. In state
government, this is mostly manifest in the levels of taxes and spending.
9. Give an example of a political mistake you made and what you learned from it:
Several times, I’ve reflexively jumped to quickly support Republicans, just because they
are Republicans and not completely evaluated them as candidates. Sadly, not everyone in
my party is fit to be a leader.
10. What specific steps would you advocate to make government more open and transparent?
I think an overlooked function of the legislature is oversight. I would like to use my office
to dig into state agencies and bureaucracies and share my findings with the media. I’m a
software engineer and I’d like to use my expertise in oversight of state IT projects, which
always seem to have problems.
11. What specific steps would you advocate to make government more fiscally effective?
I would like to serve on the Consumer Protection and Government Efficiency committee.
State government runs with an absence of constraints commonly found in the free market.
I believe that it is possible to study business, find metrics and create expectations of
government that they achieve similar metrics. Some examples would be management to
worker ratios, vehicle fleet usage and replacement, customer satisfaction levels, response
times, availability times, fraud detection, and more.
I am not a fan of the adage “Make government run more like a business” because often
that ends up where the agency “gets the benefits of running like a business with none of the
responsibilities of a business”. I think this is evident in the Oregon Lottery.
I believe that it is the responsibility of the legislature to oversee spending and to terminate
wasteful spending.
12. What are the three most important issues you would address if elected, and how? (75 words
for each issue)
A. Support responsible use of the state’s natural resources. Columbia river water could
turn Northeast Oregon into the next California Central Valley. State timber and
mineral resources need to provide jobs, raw materials and finance general fund
B. Devolve land use decisions back to counties and cities where possible and appropriate.
There are some possible win/win situations if these decisions are handled on a more
local level.
C. Keep taxes low and stop the creep of user fees where they are being imposed
improperly. Ensure that education funds get used to make students smarter, not prop
up administrations or bureaucracies.
13. What do you see as other important issues?
Abuse of the Emergency Clause in legislation. Each piece of legislation passed by the
legislature that has an Emergency Clause and is not an emergency deprives the citizens of
their right to collect signatures and overturn an act of the legislature. We all know what an
emergency is and replacing a statue of Jason Lee, whatever the pros and cons of that are, is
not an emergency. I’ll insist that this be removed before I vote for any legislation that has
an emergency clause and is not an emergency.
14. What magazines, newspapers and Web publications do you regularly read to keep up on the
news, especially on issues related to the office you are seeking? Statesman Journal, Polk
County Itemizer-Observer, Weekly Standard, The Oregonian,,, and I subscribe to notifications from which leads me
to many smaller papers throughout the state and
15. Any skeletons in your closet or other potentially embarrassing information that you want to
disclose before it comes up in the campaign? None.
16. If you are running for a governing board in Oregon (such as city council, county board of
commissioners or the Legislature), how many meetings of that board have you attended in
person during 2013 and 2014? How many have you watched online or on TV, if applicable?
When the legislature is in session, I spend a minimum of one full day a week at the Capitol
working as a volunteer with Oregon Citizens’ Lobby. I use this time to observe committee
meetings, meet with lawmakers and testify in front of legislative committees. I occasionally
watch video or listen to audio online.
Thank you. Please return this questionnaire to the Editorial Board as an attached Word document to by 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 16