Political newcomer Art Robinson won 79 percent of the vote to win the GOP primary in Oregon’s 4th congressional district. He will face the 12-term incumbent, liberal Democrat Peter DeFazio.
DeFazio is a high tax, big-spending progressive. Robinson is a small-government conservative with no previous involvement in politics. So the contest epitomizes the outsider vs. insider struggle of this political year. DeFazio’s claim to fame is that he aspires to be the longest-serving Oregon representative.
Art Robinson runs the self-funded Oregon Institute for Science and Medicine at his farm in southern Oregon. He believes that taxes and government spending should both be cut, and then cut again.
“In return for last-minute political favors,” Robinson said, DeFazio “cast one of the four deciding votes for Obamacare.” DeFazio also opposes nuclear power, and favors sharp rises in fuel and electricity prices, using “human-caused global warming” as his justification.
Robinson does original research in biochemistry with volunteer support and without government funding. He says that human-caused global warming is imagined by liberals who seek to control our lives. He has written for The American Spectator on the topic.
In his “Petition Project,” he collected 31,000 signatures from scientists who oppose the “scientific consensus” behind man-made global warming. He also publishes a newsletter, Access to Energy.
While still a young man, Robinson became a full Professor of Chemistry at U.C. San Diego. Later he was president of the Linus Pauling Institute in Palo Alto. But his experiments showed that Vitamin C could not cure cancer, causing a break with Pauling. Robinson also has expert knowledge on civil defense and home schooling.
Robinson has already shown that he knows how to organize volunteer support for his science endeavors. In winning his primary, he had the support of more than 500 volunteers in his Oregon district. He was supported by the Oregonian in that race.
Robinson can win in November. His main concern is the financial advantage that incumbents bestow on themselves — “free” mailings paid for by taxpayers, for example. DeFazio already has a war-chest of $700,000, much of it “obtained as payoffs from unions and from industries that are regulated by the congressional committee upon which he sits,” says Robinson.
But 2010 is a good year for challengers, and during Art Robinson’s primary he received contributions from 1,300 individuals. He is reminding donors that each can contribute up to $2,400 for the general election.
An independent conservative Republican is challenging an incumbent liberal Democrat. Let no one say that U.S. politics doesn’t offer us clear choices. Sometimes it does, as in Oregon’s 4th today.
Tom Bethell is a senior editor of The American Spectator and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science, The Noblest Triumph: Property and Prosperity Through the Ages, and most recently Questioning Einstein: Is Relativity Necessary? (2009).
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