MEDFORD — Members of the Chamber of Medford/Jackson County’s Political Action Committee are tackling their first major issue since the group was established in November 2005. The committee, which was created as a separate arm of the chamber to support pro-business issues and political candidates, is urging local citizens to oppose the recall effort against five Medford City Council members.
The city council members in question are being recalled because of public dissatisfaction, “mostly concerning land use decisions,” says chamber PAC president, Curt Burrill. He explains, “The committee wants to preserve the integrity of the election process and sees this as a misguided recall action since there is no illegal or dishonest activity involved.” If the recall effort succeeds (Nov. 1 is the deadline for gathering the required signatures) a special election would cost area taxpayers $38,000. Two of the five members are up for re-election this month.
The chamber PAC consists of nine trustees, mostly past chairmen of the chamber, who meet on an as-needed basis. In addition to running radio ads opposing the recall effort, the committee has officially endorsed four Medford city council candidates and two Jackson County commissioner candidates. The nascent PAC has raised $36,000 so far.
The PAC’s plan calls for more political candidate endorsements in future election cycles. Currently they are limiting themselves to local city and county elections but hope to expand their endorsements to statewide politics within the next few years.
— Julie Taylor