Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Want to be President? Welcome to the West

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has still not formally declared he’s running for president in 2008, but he has been traveling the country to gain support, financial and otherwise.

In November he announced he has formed a Presidential Exploratory Committee that raises money to examine whether to run for president.

Giuliani has met with powerful New York executives as well as Texas billionaires, and during the fall election campaign he traveled to many states including Oregon to back local contenders for Republican positions.

While it is much too early to endorse anyone for president yet, Giuliani deserves recognition for one of the things he did while here in the West. He devoted an hour in early October to meeting with agricultural and forestry representatives from the Oregon Farm Bureau and American Forest Resources Institute to find out what are the issues that are important that resource side of the economy.

Giuliani’s background is usually doing business being amidst New York City skyscrapers and he ended up being one of the major voices in the country against terrorism after 9/11.

However, in Portland he took time to learn about the impact of the Endangered Species Act, how agriculture needs a guest-worker program, what is the impact of land-use planning and other issues. As the OFB reported in its latest newsletter, he also discussed “the importance of agriculture and natural resource communities to national security and prosperity.”

Farm and forestry representatives had short notice of Giuliani’s visit, but seized the opportunity to make sure some of the top OFB staff was present, and more importantly, that farmers were there to talk face-to-face with the potential presidential candidate.

Whether or not Giuliani is successful in his ambition to be America’s top leader, he will still play a very influential role in what happens with politics and policy platforms in the election campaign.

Having access to him this early and providing him with an education of what matters to the West is invaluable.

As others with political ambitions announce their intentions in the next few months, there should be similar attempts made to invite them here to the West and meet with them to do similar discussions.

Hopefully they will follow Giuliani’s lead and seriously recognize the importance of agriculture and forestry and take time to meet with representatives of those sectors.

Only then can there be better, more relevant policies and laws developed that are hopefully beneficial to farmers, ranchers and woodlot owners in the West.

1 comment:

blogger said...

Interesting agricultural views and perspectives on this candidate. I enjoyed reading it and glad you posted it.

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