I've seen that movie too

A young lawyer with a beard and lots of progressive ideas wants to unseat the current county district attorney. The challenger has worked as a prosecutor before, and from that experience he thinks local law enforcement is badly in need of reform. 

I'm focusing on policies like having a holistic approach to public safety — one that doesn't very narrowly define safety in terms of numbers of convictions and length of sentences and the appearance of toughness. Instead, one that tries to attack the root causes and crime before it starts...

It's one of the reasons that I'm promoting restorative justice as an alternative in cases where it's appropriate over incarceration, because that is one option that can be available to victims, and promote victim satisfaction over what can sometimes be traumatic, traditional criminal prosecution....

I intend to fight for a holistic approach to public safety, that addresses the root causes of crime, and treat public health problems with public health solutions... And I intend to fight for transparency for the office, so that the decisions that the office makes are available to the public for scrutiny and the office can be held to account by the community.

Sound familiar? If you live in Multnomah County, it is. That's pretty much the spiel that swayed many of us to elect young Mike Schmidt into the d.a.'s office here a year and a half ago. A year and and a half that feels like a decade.

But this time, the hirsute dude with the big ideas is named Brian Decker, and the county is Washington County.

My advice to the voters out there: Take a ride into downtown Portland some night and see how things are going with Schmidt (lifetime batting average .038) in charge of the prosecutor's office here. Then go home and remember not to take the bait that Decker's throwing out. He may be right about some things, but what he's proposing is pure folly. It's never going to work.