That might seem like an odd question. First, how can I claim Oregon is “conservative” when we just elected a Democrat governor, several Democrat state officials and a Democrat majority to the State Senate and State House? Simple, I believe most Oregonians are conservative by nature — meaning they live their lives in a conservative fashion. I believe there are very few, if any, who pay additional money in taxes because they believe government is best institution and manner where to invest their money in order to create a better Oregon. I also believe most Oregonians are fooled by compassion pleas by the left:
- More money for public safety means a safer community;
- More money for public education means a better future for our children;
- More money for public transportation means better roads and bridges.
Much of Oregon’s geography is conservative, including Klamath County. However a disturbing trend is occurring in Oregon — these conservative strong holds are being invaded by liberal thought. Outside of Portland and Salem, think with me for a moment what the following cities below all have in common.
- Klamath Falls
These cities are all home to public universities. I believe that public universities are a strong political force that are changing these once conservative communities. These universities create strong liberal pockets inside of areas that would naturally lean conservative. There are several reasons why, but discussing that is not the point of my blog. Instead I wish to make the observation and correlation between strong public universities and the political influence they have on communities they reside within.
We are in the “silly season” of this election cycle. This is where the mud-slinging and wild accusations reach a fevered pitch... so much so it can often turn-off people to the political process — even good conservative voters. I would encourage you to look beyond the silliness and focus on your ballot. Now, more than ever, we need to put conservatives with common sense solutions into office. We also need to say “no” to all the crazy ideas on our ballot. Most of the ballot measures want to either raise your taxes or redirect how money is spent. Both of these ideas are bad.
First, Salem does not need any more of our money. They waste plenty of it each and everyday on programs that are failing our citizens. Before they get an additional nickel, we need to demand better accountability of what they have already been given. Second, dictating how money is spent by constitutional amendment is an amazingly poor idea. It makes it near impossible to change spending in the future when circumstances change. It is always best to leave spending decisions in legislators hands, because we can replace legislators far easier than we can change a constitutional amendment.
The founding fathers wanted Congress, specifically the U.S. House (and by extension the State House) to be the sole authority on spending, because they are directly elected by the people every two years. It is this direct and immediate accountability we lose when we dictate by constitutional amendment how money should be allocated at a particular time in history — which may not be appropriate in the future. Flexibility and accountability from a legislature is what we should want, not dictates by past elections which are rarely, if ever, overturned.
This election cycle is certainly a bizarre one. At the national level, who would have ever thought that Donald Trump would be the Republican Party nominee for 2016? At the State level, who thought it was ever possible to have two Republican Party nominees in the same race on a general election ballot?
Well that is what some would like you to believe, that your choice for both Oregon State Senate and Oregon State Representative is between two Republican Party nominees. If that sounds confusing, it does so because it is confusing. Unless voters unwind what is going on some will unintentionally choose the wrong candiate because they do not understand who the real Republican Party nominees are in these two elections.
For State Senate District #28 Dennis Linthicum is the Republican Party nominee. He won his primary against two challengers by securing 78% of the Republican primary vote. For State Representative District #56 Werner Reschke won his primary by over 70%. There should be little doubt who the majority of Republicans want to represent them on the ballot. Moreover both Linthicum and Reschke have received the endorsements from the Oregon Republican Party and also local Republican party chapters.
As children we are taught to respect authority, and to play well together. As adults we should respect legitimate authority and learn to work well with one another — given the end result is worth working towards.
For example, suppose Legislator D wants to increase taxes 10% but Legislator R does not. They work hard together and decide to compromise at a 5% tax increase. While the two legislators have compromised the rate, only Legislator D has obtained a victory. Even though the rate increase is less than first demanded, damage is still done to the tax payer. Suppose later the same two legislators have the same set of differences and compromise at another 5% increase. What has happened? Legislator D wins again, and Legislator R looks like a nice guy because he/she is getting along, but the tax payers are losing this war with every compromise.
On August 16th, the Klamath County Commissioners voted 2-1 in favor of placing an advisory measure on November’s ballot.
“Are you in favor of removing the four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River?”
Commissioner Kelly Minty Morris, the dissenting vote, claimed the issue was too complicated to be resolved with a simple question. “This is not a simple issue. This vote simplifies something that is not appropriate. I truly believe in asking for voter input where something could be acted on, such a funding the jail. This is just furthering a political agenda. The topic of dam removal hijacks the conversation when we need to be talking about health care and other issues.”
The Myths, Lies and Deceptions Behind the Klamath Basin Agreements
By Lawrence A. Kogan
The Desired Implementation of the Klamath Basin Agreements
Klamath Basin groups claiming to represent the majority of Klamath Basin residents, such as the Klamath Water Users Association (“KWUA”) and the Family Farm Alliance (“FFA”), have long perpetuated the myth that the Klamath Basin Agreements will benefit ALL Basin residents. The evidence clearly shows that these groups will stop at nothing to keep this fraudulent narrative alive.
The Basin Agreements include: 1) the now-defunct Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (“KBRA”), originally executed by these and other parties in 2010, but which expired on January 1, 2016 because Congress refused to ratify it; 2) the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (“KHSA”), originally executed by these and other parties in 2010, but which they renegotiated and subsequently amended pursuant to secret meetings on April 6, 2016 after Congress refused to ratify it by January 1, 2016; 3) the Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement (“UKBCA”), originally executed by the tribes in 2014, which the parties are currently renegotiating; 4) the new Klamath Power and Facilities Agreement, executed by the parties pursuant to secret meetings on April 6, 2016 in an effort to resurrect portions of the now- defunct KBRA; and 5) the Wyden-Merkley Amendment (S.A. 3288) to the U.S. Senate Energy bill (S.2012) currently being evaluated by a U.S. House-Senate conference committee, which, if passed and enacted into law, would appropriate congressional monies to support certain activities in which local farmers would engage to fulfill the objectives of these agreements, as well as, specially designated irrigation-related monies (federal subsidies) to financially reward those supporting farmers.
This week the National GOP Convention takes place. Delegates from across the country will descended on Cleveland in order to nominate a Republican candidate to run for President and conduct other national party businesses.
Locally we do not have a convention but we do have an “event” of our own — liberals attempting a take over of the Republican party. At last Thursday’s local GOP meeting, the rabble rousers were in full force, holding bylaws in their hands and speaking with arrogance, as if they owned the place.
What this group of faux-conservatives hope to accomplish is a takeover of our local Republican party. If successful, expect your local GOP party to endorse candidates that are not conservative — matter of fact, the plan is to endorse candidates who are running as Democrats.
If you like mind-bending puzzles that can’t be solved, then I have a great one for you. Todd Kepple is seeking the State Senate #28 seat and Al Switzer the State Representative #56 seat as... Democrats. You read that right. What’s so odd about that? Well let’s start with the fact that both men are registered Republicans. You read that right as well.
Todd Kepple has made it abundantly clear that he is a Republican and wants people to know that. He also wants people to understand that he was forced to run as a Democrat. Huh? No one forced Mr. Kepple to do anything he does not want to do. The fact is Todd Kepple is seeking a powerful political position and it looks like he will do almost anything to get that power — even if it means confusing voters. “I’m a Republican running as a Democrat.” Like I said, this would be a mind-bender.
Al Switzer is no better off. He will be running as a Democrat, and as an an Independent — as a registered Republican! Yeah. I’m not exactly certain why Mr. Switzer didn’t just add the Pacific Green Party or the Progressive Party to his list of parties he doesn’t belong to while he was at it.
The British Exit, or Brexit, from the European Union shocked the world on Thursday evening. Even a few years ago the idea of the EU’s largest economic member leaving the European Union was only left to pub-talks in rural English neighborhoods — and that was only after a few good pints.
51.8% of England decided enough was enough and voted to leave the “comfort and security” of the European Union. But why? Upon examination the ideas our jolly ol' friends from across the pond took to heart are the very same ideas that founded America.
1. Sovereignty and Self-Governance: The British were tired of being told by far away officials that they could not influence one way or another what their immigration policy was going to be, what regulations they had to adhere to, what trade restrictions must be followed towards those outside the union, and so forth. In other words the Brits were tired of aristocrats on the continent telling them what they could and could not do. Sound familiar? Is that not what we want for ourselves here in Klamath and Lake Counties? To have more power locally rather than bureaucrats and politicians in DC and Salem deciding what we can and can not do with our land, our water, our timber, our agriculture? The American project is about local governance which enables real accountability, not centralized control without accountability.
Proponents of Dam Removal along the Klamath river continue to promise peace and prosperity if they get their way. But if you think about it, just the opposite will occur. Here are a few key points to consider:
Dam Removal will limit our ability to control water flow
Without the four dams along the Klamath river, water, once released from the Upper Klamath Lake head-gates, will flow uninterrupted into the Pacific. This means it will require more water from the Upper Klamath Lake in order to maintain stream flow levels. The end result is less water for local farmers and ranchers. Moreover, by removing the Keno dam, the ability to send water back into the Klamath Reclamation Project, is impossible.
Dam Removal will increase electric rates
During a time when many are struggling to make ends meet, unnecessarily increasing our cost of living is the last thing we need. The Klamath river dams provide the most affordable, most efficient and most consistent power to Basin residents. Removing this resource will only send electric rates for all rate payers higher, much higher.