Salem Statesman-Journal Writes about Walt Brown

Minor-party candidates for treasurer see opportunity to change course

by Peter Wong
October 13, 2010

Walt Brown was a Democratic state senator from Lake Oswego from 1975 to 1987, but he's running as the Progressive Party nominee for state treasurer.

Since he left the Senate, Brown has been the Socialist Party nominee for Congress in four elections, the Socialist Party USA candidate for president in 2004, and the Pacific Green Party nominee for attorney general in 2008. He said the treasurer is an independent official who should not be the financial adviser to governors and legislators. But he also said the treasurer has a role to play in Oregon's economy, particularly in trying to reduce the current unemployment rate. "We've got to turn that around," he said. He is an advocate of a state-owned bank, based on the only other such bank in North Dakota. Voters would have to remove a constitutional ban on a state bank that dates to statehood 151 years ago.

Michael Marsh of Salem, a maintenance worker at McDonald's, was the Constitution Party nominee for state treasurer in 2008. (There is another Mike Marsh in Salem, who is unrelated, a former state official who is a contributing assistant professor at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University.) He said he would block issuance of any new state debt, and that he is running to make a point not only about Oregon's finances but also the nation's. "The United States government is self-destructive, and I'd like the chance to turn things around," he said.

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