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, StatesmanJournal.com, so the public will see what you
We also ask that you respond to every question, instead of simply attaching campaign materials,
Please return the completed questionnaire to the Editorial Board as an email or an attached Word
document to Salemed@StatesmanJournal.com. (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, dhughes@StatesmanJournal.com, or
Editorial Assistant Nancy Harrington, 503-589-6944, nharring@StatesmanJournal.com.
Your name: Tootie Smith
(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):
Congressional District 5
Number of years living in the area you seek to represent: 57
Are you a full-time resident of that area? Yes
City/town of residence: Molalla, I live in the country not a town.
Family (name of spouse/partner, number and ages of children if at home, number of grown
children): Husband, Nathan 37 years, one grown daughter
Your education (high school, trade, college, post-baccalaureate; indicate degrees earned):
BS in Management and Communications, Concordia University Portland, cum laude
College of Legal Arts, Portland
If employed, current occupation, employer and job duties:
generation farmer and business owner of hazelnut farm, Prairie House Inn, a bed and
breakfast, Clackamas County Commissioner
Previous employers and when:
Self-employed business owner for past 25 years; State of Oregon, 2001-2005; Oregon Family
Council, St. Vincent DePaul; Co-owner Rural Resources, a logging company;
Military service and when: none
Volunteer/civic/religious service and when: Brain Injury Assn. of Oregon 2004-2011; St James
Catholic Church, 1995-2010; Clackamas County Republican Party delegate, 2002-2012. Molalla
Chamber of Commerce 2005-2009;
Please list all public offices to which you’ve been elected, and when: Precinct Committee
Person, PCP, 2002 to present; Molalla Local Schools Committee, 1996-1999?; State Representative
House District 18, 2001-2005; Clacamas Count! Commissioner, 201" to present#
Please list any unsuccessful candidacies for public office, and when: Ran for Clackamas County
Other prior political and government experience: Elected Chair of Clackamas County
Republican Central Committee, 2004.
How the public can reach your campaign (remember that this information may be made public):
Mail address: PO Box 226, Molalla Or. 97038
E-mail address: www.tootiesmith.com
Web site URL: email@example.com
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?
Oregon’s Congressional District 5 can be described as a mix of urban, suburban, and
rural agriculture and timber lands sprinkled with smaller cities. The largest city is Salem.
The district stretches from Clackamas, County with the largest population, to Marion
County, to small sections of Benton and Polk Counties, all the way to the Oregon Coast
covering Lincoln and Tillamook Counties. Politically, this district is a swing district with
the largest voting block being non-affiliated voters. CD-5 has been economically
depressed due to decline in timber industry, building and agriculture related sectors.
Socially, it represents many interests and lifestyles.
2. When did you decide to run for this office, and why?
I have considered running for this office since I was in the Oregon legislature, because I
believe my skills are well-suited to the position and I have a strong connection with the
people of the district, but I only decided last summer to file for this election.
3. How much will your primary campaign cost (please be specific)? As little as possible. My
goal is to defeat my General Election opponent, so I will spend only what is absolutely necessary
in the Primary Election.
4. Who are your key endorsements from within the Mid-Valley? State Senators and House
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. No.
7. Why should people vote for you? What separates you from your opponent(s)? Be specific.
Life experience; job experience, and a great compassion, understanding and fit with the district’s
voters. I understand their struggles and their issues with Washington DC. Running successful
campaigns, governing through hard economic times, taking hard votes, solving problems,
starting a business from scratch and succeeding in it – all of these qualify me far better than my
opponent. I’ve spent a lifetime living and working in this area through good times and bad. I
know the people, and their desire for their families to be secure and prosperous and for their
children to be well-educated and find decent jobs in the area.
8. Describe your philosophy of governance:
Government has grown too large and intrusive on everyday life. The federal government’s
powers should be limited, i.e.: Obamacare, federal lands ownership, Environmental Protection
Agency, and Department of Education. Return control back to the states. Federal government
should support transportation system, military, and matters empowered to them by the Bill of
Rights. Eliminate deficit spending, don’t raise taxes, and create a business-friendly environment
where companies want to expand.
9. Give an example of a political mistake you made and what you learned from it:
When I was I the legislature, I voted for exploration of a plan to bring professional
football to Portland thinking it would create jobs, based on the information I was given at the
time. It turned out to be wrong. What I learned from that was to question everything and every
10. What specific steps would you advocate to make government more open and transparent?
As Clackamas County Commissioner, I struggle with that daily. I try to post information on the
county website, talk to the news reporters present at hearings and when asked to, don’t vote in
secret until the public has had a chance to weigh in. I answer phone calls and emails and solicit
advice from my constituents. I believe it’s a challenge for all government to tell the public how
their tax money is being spent and what policy decisions are being considered. Vying for the
public’s attention is challenging in this information environment. Also, as a commissioner I ran
on a platform of direct responsiveness to voters. My position remains that big ticket off budget
items that require further public debt should go to a vote of the people. I supported initiatives to
that effect and continue to push for public involvement on budget issues. In Congress, I would
support a balanced budget and greater responsiveness to the taxpayers before deepening our
unsustainable federal debt.
11. What specific steps would you advocate to make government more fiscally effective?
Quit borrowing money, quit raiding Social Security, don’t start a new department or
program until another one is eliminated. Quit fighting other country’s wars, defund the United
Nations, and help elect fiscal conservatives to Congress.
12. What are the three most important issues you would address if elected, and how? (75 words
for each issue)
A. Transfer Federal Forest Lands back to Oregon’s counties. This can be done by Congress
through its own enabling acts that established Oregon’s statehood. The original debt has been
paid to Congress, now it’s time Congress said what they were going to do and return our
lands back to the people. (See my white paper attached.)
B. Reset health care by reversing Obamacare (ACA) so people $ill have at least the same
insurance covera%e as &e'ore (&amacare# ) $oul* *o his &! 1# +ort Re'orm# ,ut limits on la$suits
so *octors can 'reel! practice me*icine $ithout insurance companies *ictatin% treatment# 2# Mae health
care patient-centere* an* patient-controlle*, an* o''er menu-st!le selection in their health insurance# "#
Health insurance shoul* &e porta&le, sta!in% $ith the in*ivi*ual re%ar*less o' emplo!ment# -# Develop a
hi%h ris pool to cover e.pensive pre-e.istin% con*itions, un*erstan*in% that these premiums $ill &e
calculate* *i''erentl! in the maretplace an* that all insurance companies must contri&ute# /est $a! to
lo$er cost is to in0ect more maret-&ase* competition into the s!stem, such as poolin%#
B. Focus on economic policy. In Washington I will support a budget that is balanced and
doesn’t raise taxes, utilizes hard-earned taxpayer dollars wisely, and preserves and protects
Medicare and Social Security for the people who rely on those programs. The budget should
reduce wasteful spending, fraud and borrowing. By passing legislation that actually balances
the budget will give businesses a sign that government is serious about making our country
13. What do you see as other important issues? Let’s make Oregon important in the global
marketplace with traded sector exports such as nursery stock, agriculture commodities, and
manufacturing. Start producing from our timber and agriculture lands while enhancing a skilled
workforce. North Dakota did it; so we can too.
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?
I read most newspapers on the web. The Oregonian, Statesman Journal, Wall Street Journal,
USA Today, Time magazine. Turn TV on in the morning to Fox News, and local news in the
evening. I also receive email alerts from a variety of sources regarding key topics of importance
for my work: economics, foreign affairs and politics. I search online for specifics. I love history
and try to read hard copy, but don’t have as much time to do that as I would wish.
15. Any skeletons in your closet or other potentially embarrassing information that you want to
disclose before it comes up in the campaign?
I have the most angst about closing down my bed and breakfast during the last economic
downturn, i.e. the depression. The thought of missing mortgage payments haunted me. Over
time, I renegotiated my commercial loan with the lender and became current. In the process, my
credit rating took a hit. A short sale was an option that many took, but instead I stubbornly kept
my property. It has now been open for many years and is prosperous. What I learned is that
owning a successful business is very hard and to not take anything for granted, including
prosperity, a good credit rating, (or the taxpayer’s money).
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?
Thank you. Please return this questionnaire to the Editorial Board as an attached Word document to
Salemed@StatesmanJournal.com by 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 16.