Thursday, May 18, 2006


Knuckle-heads Strike Again!

While the Republicans may not have cornered the market on corruption, they sure have cornered it in the realm of stupidity.

The Lane County, Oregon, Republican Party chairman is a-twitter because a pro-diversity group wants to have a farmer’s market on city-owned property. Lane County, by the way, is also the home of the University of Oregon, a noted godless metrosexual and thoughtful school; it must be frustrating to be a Republican and have that school around. Imagine, a farmer’s market that is sponsored by some sort of liberal group!

Republican chair opposes farmer's market
5/17/2006, 12:33 a.m. PT
The Associated Press
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Would you care for some progressive politics with that tomato?

Bob Avery sure doesn't. The chairman of the Lane County Republican Party challenged a proposed farmer's market in Junction City, arguing that its organizers might be trying to promote a political agenda on city-owned property.

The Junction City Planning Commission late Tuesday approved a permit request from Seeking Out Democracy to operate the market on a downtown parking lot each Sunday through September.

Avery said the name caught his attention when he read a notice of a public hearing for the permit request.

"I couldn't fathom how it was possible that what looked like a political organization would have a use permit for city property," he said. "It raised even more questions when I asked officials at the city about it and no one knew much about the political agenda."

Avery learned that Seeking Out Democracy was an affiliate of the Rural Organizing Project. According to its Web site, that group works "to create communities accountable to a standard of human dignity: the belief in the equal worth of all people, the need for equal access to justice, and the right to self-determination."

The site says the group was created in 1992 to challenge "the anti-democratic right," after the Oregon Citizens Alliance placed an anti-gay rights initiative on the ballot.

Avery said he was troubled by one of Seeking Out Democracy's stated goals for the market: "To bring the community together to celebrate diversity."

"That raises a big question for me. Their timing is from 10 to 2 on Sundays," Avery said. "I realize that times have changed, but most of the farmers that I know are in church on Sunday. That leads me to wonder what it is they're trying to do."

In a written statement to the Register-Guard newspaper, Seeking Out Democracy said it conceived the market to "stimulate local business, create more energy downtown and provide a gathering place for meeting people, making friends and having fun."

Besides his concern over a political agenda, Avery said the market would be unfair to local businesses. Allowing the market on city-owned property would tell "all of the other taxpayers in Junction City that we are going to tax you so we can subsidize your competition."

City Planning Director Sandra Belson recommended approval of the permit, noting that the police raised no objections and the City Council already had sanctioned the idea.

Belson said she also thinks Seeking Out Democracy is an odd name for a farmer's market. "But, frankly, the politics of who's doing what is not a land-use matter."

Among those signing a petition in favor of the market was Barbara Nixon, pastor of the Junction City United Methodist Church.

"We believe that the market is an excellent opportunity indeed to create community and participate in a little diversity in Junction City, and we support that as people of God," Nixon said.

She said the congregation, which worships at 9:30 a.m., hopes to have a booth at the market, selling "fairly traded" coffee, tea and cocoa.


Information from: The Register-Guard,

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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