Check out the Bend Bulletin's September 21, 2010 Editorial-
Through most of his legislative career, Gene Whisnant, R-Sunriver, has been in the minority party. But that hasn’t stopped him from performing one of a legislator’s most important tasks: helping his constituents as they interact with their government.
In 2009 and early this year, Whisnant supported or sponsored bills that improve the lives of veterans and members of the military. One expands the right of veterans to go to the front of the state job preference line. The other allows Oregonians living overseas, including members of the military, to vote by fax machine.
He also worked successfully to have noxious weeds such as knapweed made part of the Adopt-A-Highway program. He worked, too, for a bill that requires judges to explain their reasoning in writing when they deny a relative custody of a child removed from a parent’s home. And, he was among the chief sponsors of a transparency bill that has given Oregonians a far better look at their state’s budget than has been available in the past.
Previous legislative sessions have been marked by similar accomplishments, the seemingly small measures that improve life for people who live in Whisnant’s district. They’re also an extension of a non-legislative involvement in a variety of children’s and family programs in the region.
Whisnant was appointed to replace Ben Westlund when the latter moved to the Oregon Senate in 2003. He has run successfully for the District 53 seat three times since. This year, his opponent is John Huddle of La Pine, a school psychologist who now teaches online classes for Concordia University.
County residents outside Bend could do far worse than return Whisnant to Salem for another term. He’s genuinely interested in serving them well, and he’s done a good job of accomplishing that goal. He should be allowed to continue.