"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." - Thomas Jefferson (appears in the Jefferson Memorial)

The Lane County tug

If you’re among those who think of Oregon’s Lane County, seat Eugene, as a liberal bastion, take a look at today’s Register Guard piece on the county commission race between incumbent Rob Handy and challenger Pat Farr.

The contest is technically non-partisan, but you wouldn’t be far off describing Handy as the functional Democrat in the race, and Farr, a Eugene City Council member, as the functional Republican. There’s also a third candidate in the race, but it will surely boil down to Handy and Farr; both have strong cadres of supporters, from the usual suspects. This is not one of the rural-based districts, either: This hot contest is in the north side of Eugene, which is more politically marginal than many people would expect.

And the five-member board is marginal too. It had an effective conservative majority after the 2006 election, then a liberal majority after 2008, then conservative again after 2010. So what will come of it this year? We’ll be watching.

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