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Statesman Journal mini-questionnaire for 2014 Primary Election

Thank you for responding to this questionnaire.


Why this matters: The Statesman Journal Editorial Board will use this questionnaire in deciding
which candidates to endorse at the May 20 Primary Election. The board is doing fewer in-person
interviews this spring. Your answers also will be shared with reporters and may be published in
the newspaper and/or on our website, StatesmanJournal.com, so the public will see what you
submit.
We also ask that you respond to every question, instead of simply attaching campaign materials,
resumes, etc.
Please return the completed questionnaire to the Editorial Board as an email or an attached Word
document to Salemed@StatesmanJournal.com. (Handwritten or fax responses dont work.)
Deadline for submitting your questionnaire: 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 16.
Questions? Contact Editorial Page Editor Dick Hughes, 503-399-6727, dhughes@StatesmanJournal.com, or
Editorial Assistant Nancy Harrington, 503-589-6944, nharring@StatesmanJournal.com.
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Your name: Daniel Benjamin
Age: 45
(If your age will change before the May 20 primary, please indicate your birthday. We want to
make sure we use accurate ages in editorials and news coverage.)
Political party (if this is a partisan office): N/A
Position you are seeking (name of position, district number, political party if applicable):
City Counselor Ward 6
Number of years living in the area you seek to represent:
13
Are you a full-time resident of that area?
Yes
City/town of residence:

Salem
Family (name of spouse/partner, number and ages of children if at home, number of grown
children):
My wife Laura and 2 lovely children ages 5 and 2.
Your education (high school, trade, college, post-baccalaureate; indicate degrees earned):
High School
If employed, current occupation, employer and job duties:
Agent with New York Life Insurance Co. In my work I help families, businesses ,and individuals
with budgeting, financial protection and retirement.
Previous employers and when: Federal Express; Freight division 2002-2010
Military service and when: US Army 1986-1989
Volunteer/civic/religious service and when: North Lancaster Neighborhood Association 2012-
ongoing, Citizen Budget Committee 2012- ongoing, Volunteer for Liberty House child abuse
assessment center 2012- ongoing, Board member for Habitat for Humanity 2012- ongoing.
Please list all public offices to which youve been elected, and when:
None.
Please list any unsuccessful candidacies for public office, and when:
None.
Other prior political and government experience:
Citizen Budget Committee, Chair of the North Lancaster Neighborhood Association.
How the public can reach your campaign (remember that this information may be made public):
Mail address: 2060 Brown Rd. NE Salem Oregon 97305
E-mail address: dcbenjamin@ft.newyorklife.com
Web site URL: www.VoteDanielBenjamin.com
Phone: 503-302-1629
Please limit your response to each of the following questions to about 75 words.
1. To an outsider, how would you describe the region you wish to represent? What is it like
geographically, economically, politically and socially?

Ward 6 is a well-populated area with easy access to goods and services via Lancaster Dr.
Located in the North East quadrant of Salem. Economically speaking somewhat depressed areas
exist throughout the ward. Ward 6 is a very diverse in regards to its political and social strata.

2. When did you decide to run for this office, and why?
Being the NOLA Chair, I wanted to work closely with the city Counselor of Ward 6. Being on
the grass root level I saw the need for leadership. When it was discovered that said counselor
would not be seeking re-election, I felt that I could make a positive impact for our community.
3. How much will your primary campaign cost (please be specific)?
Its hard to say. Being it my first time running for an elected position, I would say about
10,000.00.
4. Who are your key endorsements from within the Mid-Valley?
Create Jobs PAC, City of Salem Chamber of Commerce, Builders Association, Realtors
Association, Sheryl Thomas (former city Counselor Ward 6), Greg Peterson business owner,
community service volunteer extraordinaire.

5. Have you ever been convicted of a crime, been disciplined by a professional licensing
board/organization or had an ethics violation filed against you? If so, please give the details.
No
6. Have you ever filed for bankruptcy, been delinquent on your taxes or other major accounts, or
been sued personally or professionally? If so, please give the details.
I have, in the past filed for bankruptcy. 2008 hit the country very hard. In 2009 my full time
employment status was changed to supplemental. That constituted the loss of all medical and
retirement benefits as well as a substantial cut in hours. That also coincided with the birth of our
first child. In 2010 I was laid off and unemployed. Our 6 month emergency fund had already
been depleted. Soon after 2011 my wifes position was eliminated. We did what many people did
in our positionliquidated our retirement savings. We paid down as much debt as possible while
we both continued to look for work. But the economic tsunami was too much. 2012 I started my
business with New York Life Insurance Co. With the industries top notch training I am able to be
an asset for the people I serve. The take away I learned from this experience that I can share with
the community. 1.) Pay as you go. (credit cards make horrible emergency funds and so does a
401K) 2.) Have a constantly growing emergency fund. ( A good offense is a great defense.) 3.)
Keep expenses low. ( nobody ever went broke from saving too much.) 4.) Its not if 2008 will
ever happen againbut when.) 5.) If you keep buying things you want soon you will have to sell
the thing you need.
7. Why should people vote for you? What separates you from your opponent(s)? Be specific.
With my willingness to teach and serve being well documented I have demonstrated a
commitment to our community. Serving as Chair of the North Lancaster Neighborhood
Association, Board member for Habitat for Humanity, Serving on the Citizen Budget
Committee, and my national service with the US Army.
8. Describe your philosophy of governance: I believe in smaller government. It would be fair to
say that a people that govern themselves ie: strive for success in everything positive will
certainly attain it. We become what we think about. If we think we need more government then
we will be dependent on someone else for lifes basic necessities.

9. Give an example of a political mistake you made and what you learned from it:
I havent been in politics long enough to consider that I have made any. We all make
mistakes. If we learn from them and continue to strive be good stewards, then we can all be a
success.

10. What specific steps would you advocate to make government more open and transparent?
I have already started the process by joining my neighborhood association. In my travels I
talk to folks and ask them if they are familiar with which neighborhood association they belong
to? If not I share the benefits of getting involved. For the most part the city has a website and all
the information is readily available. It seems that some folks feel things are done behind closed
doors, when in fact few are willing to look through the open ones. I would make myself just as
accessible as ones favorite TV show. Either live and in person at the three Neighborhood
Associations that support Ward 6, email, and phone.
11. What specific steps would you advocate to make government more fiscally effective?

I would like to see some of the city services, where applicable, done by the private sector. I
would like to work with citizens to be more involved with the process, and understand that we
have more demand on city services than revenue. Obviously there needs to be a balance. We
cant spend ourselves to prosperity, nor cut services below demand. How about we lower
demand on services. It starts with the individual citizen.
12. What are the three most important issues you would address if elected, and how? (75 words
for each issue)
A. Promoting Salem as open for business be it manufacturing, agritourism, and small
business. Thus setting the stage for the lowest unemployment rate in Oregon.
B. Focus on Fiscal Responsibility. In my work, I help families, businesses and individuals with
budgeting, financial protection and retirement. I would like to share my knowledge and put
my skills to work.
C. Livability of the city ie: parks and recreation, street and sidewalk safety.
13. What do you see as other important issues?
All issues are important. High unemployment, child abuse, drug and alcohol dependency,
homelessness, oversized class rooms. High school dropout rate. The list is enormous. As a
freedom loving American and city counselor I would focus on what the city is tasked to do.
Everything else Ill help as best I can in a professional capacity.
14. What magazines, newspapers and Web publications do you regularly read to keep up on the
news, especially on issues related to the office you are seeking?
City of Salem website, talking with folks that live in the neighborhood, Statesman Journal, 1190
KEX, Oregonian, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Drudge Report.
15. Any skeletons in your closet or other potentially embarrassing information that you want to
disclose before it comes up in the campaign?
None that I can think of.
16. If you are running for a governing board in Oregon (such as city council, county board of
commissioners or the Legislature), how many meetings of that board have you attended in
person during 2013 and 2014? How many have you watched online or on TV, if applicable?
I havent kept count. Approximately 10-12. Would this also include Citizen Budget Committee
hearings? How about Neighborhood Association meetings?
Thank you. Please return this questionnaire to the Editorial Board as an attached Word document to
Salemed@StatesmanJournal.com by 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 16.