There are five important voter referendums circulating throughout the State of Oregon. That means five chances to get bad, liberal policy — passed by the Oregon Legislature and signed into law by the Governor — put on the ballot for the people to vote up or down.
The first step in this process is for someone to file a petition with the Secretary of State’s office. That has already been done.
The next step is to collect enough signatures to demonstrate Oregonians want to vote on these important issues. We are currently in that phase now, and only have until October 5th.
If you have not heard, PenAir is stopping flights to and from Crater Lake - Klamath Regional Airport today — Monday, August 7, 2017. For businesses and residents of Klamath County this is a major bummer. PenAir started service only 10 months ago after Klamath had no commercial air service for over two years. Now PenAir is also saying goodbye.
There seems to be an ongoing pattern: an airline comes to service Klamath Falls and then the airline departs, leaving our community without commercial service. Why is that? What is going on? Why do they come and then leave?
Is that forest fire smoke or is it pot-smoke in the air? It is hard to tell given the promotion of legalized-weed all across the state of Oregon. Here in Klamath County, and more specifically in Klamath Falls, the cry for marijuana dispensaries and the embrace of growing of marijuana is led by a minority who are persistent, bold and sometimes annoying.
But before we as a community fall prey to the trappings of “economic development”, “agricultural diversity”, “personal liberty” and of course “increased tax revenue”, we should be certain to not inhale this rhetoric too deeply in order to think carefully about this topic.
When someone promotes the expansion of marijuana in our community, we need to ask “Do you also favor the legalization of cocaine, heroin and meth?” That may seem like an odd question, but it is the most important question. If the marijuana proponent says “No” then they are ignorant at best or deceptive at worst. Full acceptance of marijuana in Klamath County — growing it, selling it, using it — is just Step 1 of a two-step plan to legalize all hard drugs. Another way to think of it is, the legalization of marijuana is not alone.
Write the House Committee on Energy & Environment your thoughts on these bills. Address your email to “Chair Helm and Members of the House Committee on Energy & Environment”
State Senator Dennis Linthicum and State Representative E. Werner Reschke have issued newsletters and press releases against three water bills which impose punitive-like fees and penalties on irrigators in Oregon.
House Bills 2705, 2706 and 2707 are nothing more than a money and power grab for the Oregon Water Resources Department. OWRD’s claim is that they do not have enough money or man-power to properly study ground water use in Oregon. However, my guess is that the Department continues to receive more money year over year. Just because OWRD has structured their department in such a way that requires more and more money each year without providing additional services is not the tax payer’s fault.
So now the Oregon Water Resource Department (OWRD) lifts the Tribal call on water,... when we are at near flood stage. Is this now the level of water OWRD deems necessary in order for us to make use of our water rights? Unbelievable.
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.”