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Statesman Journal mini-questionnaire for 2014 General Election

Thank you for responding to this questionnaire.
Why this matters: The Statesman Journal Editorial Board will use this questionnaire in deciding
whom to endorse for the Nov. 4 General Election. Your answers also will be shared with
reporters and probably will be published in the newspaper and/or on our website,
StatesmanJournal.com.
We also ask that you respond to every question, instead of simply attaching campaign materials,
resumes, etc. You are welcome to send us lists of supporters, a resume, etc., in addition to this
questionnaire.
If you completed our questionnaire for the 2014 Primary Election, you will notice that some
questions are similar. (This questionnaire is shorter and several questions have been changed.)
Please complete this questionnaire instead of simply referring to past answers.
Please return the finished questionnaire to the Editorial Board as an email or an attached Word
document to Salemed@StatesmanJournal.com. (Handwritten or fax responses don’t work.)
Important; Please submit the questionnaire by the deadline listed in our email to you.
Questions? Contact Editorial Page Editor Dick Hughes, 503-399-6727, dhughes@StatesmanJournal.com, or
Editorial Assistant Nancy Harrington, 503-589-6944, nharring@StatesmanJournal.com.
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Your name as listed on the ballot:
Age: 11/08/1977
(If your age will change before Nov. 30, please indicate your birthday. We want to ensure we use
accurate ages in pre- and post-election editorials and news coverage.)
City/town of residence: Woodburn, OR
Political party(ies), if this is a partisan office: Republican, Independent
Position you are seeking (name of position, district number, etc.): State Representative, House
District 22
Are you currently a full-time resident of the district you seek you represent? YES
Number of current, consecutive years living in the district you seek to represent:
Over nine years. I moved here in April of 2005.
Family (name of spouse/partner, number and ages of children if at home or number of grown
children):
Wife, Kimberly. No children
Your education (high school, trade, college, post-baccalaureate; indicate degrees you earned):
Jesuit High School, Portland, OR 1995
St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY 1999 B.S. Psychology
If employed, current occupation, employer and job duties:
Small business owner, American Family Insurance Agent
Previous employers and when: Former teacher
Military service and when: N/A
Volunteer/civic/religious service and when:
Woodburn Rotary President 2010-2011
Woodburn Chamber of Commerce-Member of the Year 2006
Woodburn Chamber of Commerce Board Member 2007-2008
Networking Club of Woodburn-President 2007-2008
City of Woodburn- DSA- Junior First Citizen 2007
City of Woodburn- DSA – Rotarian of the Year 2011
Oregon Club of Portland, (athletic fundraising organization), Board 2007-2011
Assistant Varsity Basketball/Football Coach-Woodburn High School 2005-Cur.
Woodburn Fire District Budget Committee- 2011-Cur.
City of Woodburn Budget Committee – 2013,2014
WCAT – “Lets Communicate” TV show host
Woodburn High School Senior Project mentor 2012-Current
Ironman Golf Fundraiser-Boys and Girls Club
Woodburn Area Youth Golf Association Board (Fundraising Chair)
Woodburn Mayor’s Cup Golf Tournament Chair 2008/Co-Chair 2009-2011
Woodburn Chamber-Marketing to Latinos Committee
Woodburn School District-Dia Del Ninos-Volunteer/Sponsor
Striking out Meth in Marion County- Participant/Sponsor 2007-current
Marion County 4H Oregon AgFest Breakfast Sponsor 2013,2014
Please list all public offices to which you’ve been elected, and when:
No Prior Elected Offices
Please list any unsuccessful candidacies for public office, and when:
N/A
Other prior political and government experience:
City of Woodburn Budget Committee 2013,2014
Woodburn Fire District Budget Board 2012-Current
How the public can reach your campaign (remember that this information will be made public):
Mail address: 595 Cozy Way, Woodburn, OR 97071
E-mail address:matt@mattgeigerfororegon.com
Web site URL: www.mattgeigerfororegon.com
Phone: 503-380-6771
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 --
geographically, economically, politically and socially? District 22 is very diverse in all of the
above categories. We have a breadth of population base from many ethnic backgrounds,
including Russian & Latin American. In fact our district is the only minority-majority district of
Oregon. With only 22,000 voters we are the smallest district of the state. We are comprised of
hard working families, farmers, nurserymen and agriculture related employment. We have a mix
of urban and rural areas that need to be supported equally when looking to the future for
balanced responsible growth.
2. What are the positives and negatives of this region (district, county or state) that you
wish to represent?
Positives: We are close to the State Capitol so we should be getting the attention of the
Legislature. Our community has a lot of land available in our district that if properly developed
will drive economic growth. Our constituent base is smaller than any other district; this will
allow me to be able to dedicate more time to each constituent request for help. Negatives: Our
current representation has been more focused on the Portland area, giving deals to Washington
County and Metro but ignoring her own community.
3. What specific skills and experiences do you bring to the position that would help turn
those negatives into positives? I have a Bi-Partisan spirit. I am proud to have garnered both the
Republican and the Independent nomination, which I believe shows my willingness to work with
people regardless of party lines. I have chaired numerous committees over the years in the
Woodburn area. When people have needed my help, not once have I been concerned about
which political party they follow. I have always focused on what is best for the community, and I
will continue this practice in the legislature.
5. What separates you from your opponent(s)? Be specific. As a former school teacher, I have
continued to take an active role in our schools and a direct interest in supporting the children in
our community. While my opponent touts her experience as an educator, since becoming a
legislator, she has seemingly forgotten that our schools need direct support. I have been an active
volunteer at numerous school functions. In addition to being a former teacher, I have direct
business experience to which my opponent cannot relate. In 2011, the only bill that Governor
Kitzhaber vetoed was her bill that would have put several hundred people out of work in
Southern Oregon. I know how hard it is to create jobs for people in my community, and her anti-
business positions demonstrate that she cannot relate to what small business owners need. My
experience volunteering for community organizations like Rotary Club, 4-H, Boys & Girls Club,
Woodburn Booster Club and Chamber of Commerce sets me apart from Betty. Not only is she
disconnected from our community, she is tethered to special interest groups and party leadership
that limits her ability truly legislate for our district.
6. Please list five specific accomplishments that you have achieved in politics or civic affairs:
A. As Chairman of the Woodburn Fire District Budget Board, we saved money with the
apparatus fund so we won’t have to ask the voters for additional bonding capacity when it’s time
to get a new fire engine or ladder truck. This saved the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of
dollars.
B. Marion/Polk County Striking Out Meth. With the help of local law enforcement and Salem
Volcanoes Baseball, we have worked to eradicate Meth in our neighborhoods.
C. Co-Founded Royal Order of the Bulldog Booster Club to help raise funds for Woodburn
High School Activities.
D. As former President of Woodburn Rotary, we worked to end illiteracy by working with
students to promote all levels of reading. I have worked with graduating seniors on resume
workshops and job interview preparation seminars as well.
E. As a member of Woodburn Chamber of Commerce we helped restart the Woodburn Fiesta
Mexicana, to help promote our local Latino community.
7. How much will your General Election campaign cost (be specific)? ORSTAR has detailed
documents regarding our campaign finance. Even though my opponent spent over $400,000 last
election, I only plan on spending $80 thousand to win. It is a shame that my opponent has spent
hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last ten years just to stay in office. That money could
be better spent on helping constituents in the community rather than paying for out of town
political consultants.
8. 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.
NO
9. 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
10. What are the three most important issues you would address if elected, and how? (75 words
for each issue)
A. I have been talking with Woodburn Mayor Kathy Figley about working together to bring
employers to the Woodburn area. There are a multitude of job creators that want to move to
Woodburn if our doors were open. They could in turn, hire hundreds of local residents at high
level family wage salaries. This should be an easy solution to our high unemployment. However,
our current Representative has worked with the radical group 1,000 Friends of Oregon to block
these jobs from locating to our community. I will be bringing forth legislation that focuses on
land use laws to solve a 20+ year problem of urban growth boundaries. This legislative concept
is what our community needs to bring hundreds of good paying jobs right here to our district.
District 22 deserves to have the best paying jobs come to us, and we deserve to have our elected
officials advocate for those jobs.
B. As a former substitute math teacher, I have had the opportunity to work in the classroom and
talk with teachers and students about the problems they face in the 21
st
century education system.
I want to see new thinking about how we fund schools and support teachers. First and foremost
we need to take the politics out of legislative budgets and fund classrooms before bureaucracy.
We need to focus on giving kids real-world skills that will get them college and career-ready.
C. The PERS issue can no longer be ignored, we must address this issue in its entirety. Whether
or not the Supreme Court hears challenges to the PERS reforms, there is still a considerable
amount of work to be done and I believe that a Joint PERS Committee would be the most
effective way of bringing all parties to the discussion table. The PERS reforms in 2013 narrowly
targeted retirees when the entire PERS system should have been discussed for fair reforms that
didn’t just harm the retired population in our community. Further, my opponent voted for risky
borrowing while we should have been reducing the unfunded liability, not adding to it.
11. What do you see as other important issues?
Local control of our education is being stripped away from teachers and school boards with the
implementation of the federalized curriculum known as Common Core. When talking with
parents at their doorstep about education, the number one issue I hear is their fear of Common
Core educational mandates. When I talk with teachers about what they dislike about teaching, the
answer is unanimous. They are strongly opposed to the new cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all
teaching methods they are forced to teach. Teachers are angry that they no longer have a say in
how to teach their students because of these new Common Core mandates. Local school boards
no longer have the same local control because of these sweeping federal standards. In fact, after
talking with teachers, students, parents and school board members I have yet to hear a single
comment in support of Common Core. This should be an alarm to all legislators, Democrat and
Republican. I will continue to meet with those affected by Common Core to discuss how we
achieve high quality standards while providing educators flexibility to teach their craft. Any
testing of our children should be formative, rather than summative and truly help propel a child’s
learning forward.
We must start putting an end to nonsensical financial waste by implementing a full audit of all
departments. In fact, there has yet to be a state audit done on Cover Oregon. The legislature had
an opportunity to allow the Secretary of State immediate audit authority of Cover Oregon, but
that bill died in committee. My opponent, as the Pro-tem of the House, did nothing to advance
that forward. As it stands, the SOS can’t begin an audit until next month, a full year after the
failure of Cover Oregon. This has cost taxpayers millions of dollars because of legislative
inaction.
12. Any skeletons in your closet or other potentially embarrassing information that you should
disclose before it comes up in the campaign? Anything (including health issues) that would
affect your ability to serve your full term? Any changes in your life situation that are
contemplated or expected before the election or before you would take office?
NO
Thank you. Please return this questionnaire to the Editorial Board as an attached Word document to
Salemed@StatesmanJournal.com by the requested deadline.