UP staffer runs for legislature

By The Beacon | September 23, 2010 9:00pm

Kitty Harmon takes on Democratic incumbent, Tina Kotek

Kitty Harmon

By Gaona Yang, Staff Writer -- yang11@up.edu

University of Portland's School of Engineering's program counselor Kitty Harmon is running for State Representative of House District 44 against Tina Kotek, the Democratic incumbent.

Harmon, a Tea Party activist, is running on both the Republican and Independent tickets.

Harmon's platform includes reprioritizing the state budget by dedicating more funds to programs that affect public health and safety, such as law enforcement and firefighting services while potentially eliminating alternative fueling stations, she told The Beacon.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Oregon has 110 such stations, which are for vehicles that run on alternative fuels, such as electricity and biodiesel.

"You have to take some hard looks at some things that may be really good, but you can't do everything that's good," Harmon said.

Harmon has a profile page on ResistNet.com (http://www.resistNet.com), a website that says it is "for principled patriotic resistance to Barack Obama's ideology and agenda." Harmon's profile information suggests that the issues that concern her most include "Illegal Alien Amnesty & Open Borders," socialism, tax increases, "climate alarmism" and universal healthcare.

At the state level, Harmon is concerned about Oregon's budget deficit and blames government spending.

"We don't have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem," Harmon said. "We need to prioritize what we need to do."

Kotek's campaign is also focused on economic issues.

"These are difficult times for many Oregonians," she says on her campaign website. "I will continue to focus my efforts on helping the middle class and creating economic opportunity for all."

Kotek has represented District 44 since 2007.

District 44 is geographically the largest house district in Portland.

It includes North and Northeast Portland, including St. Johns Bridge, the Port of Portland, University of Portland, Kenton and the Portland International Airport.

Harmon wants to see the government return to its basic purpose, which she believes is to provide infrastructure.

"We need to sit down and look at every expenditure just like a family would do when they're on a limited budget," she said. "Sometimes you just can't afford to have some things."

If Harmon is elected she will have to reduce her responsibilities as engineering program counselor to a part-time commitment.

Legislative sessions, which take place in Salem, last up to six months.

Harmon wants to keep her job because she wants to be a citizen legislator and not a career politician.

"You can't have a republic if ordinary citizens aren't willing to step up," she said.

If she is elected as house representative, Harmon wants to have an open-door policy and be accessible to her constituents.

"My door is always open to students or anyone who wants to come in, and I would continue that policy," Harmon said.

Harmon's campaign material includes YouTube videos, such as "The Hope and Change Fairy," a MAC versus PC parody that lampoons the Obama administration and the last presidential election.

"The basic message is, ‘Where is the money going to come from?'" Harmon said. "You can't get something from nothing."

Harmon states on her campaign website that "governments must immediately do what any sensible business of family does in tough times," which would be to evaluate and modify expenses.

"I am willing to take an unbiased look at every single state program in order to best serve fellow Oregonians," she said on the website.

The election is Nov. 2.

Kitty Harmon's election campaign sign. (Photo courtesy of Kitty Harmon)