According to OregonLive.com, Congressman Greg Walden issued the following statement on Monday about the KBRA:
"A better strategy [for the KBRA/KHSA] would be finding smaller pieces of the agreement that have broad support, and working on those first. That would bring us one step closer to the day the federal government provides long-term certainty and stability for the stakeholders in the basin."
Finally, we now know where Mr. Walden stands. The KBRA/KHSA has been the defining issue in Klamath politics for at least the last four years. It is how three County Commissioners were replaced (who were pro KBRA) by unknown challengers (all opposing the KBRA). It is the issue that has elected two State Representatives and a State Senator in the Klamath Basin..
SEPTEMBER 17, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Dani Nichols
KLAMATH FALLS, ORE. - Today, Constitution Day, at the Klamath County Commissioner’s Weekly Public Meeting, Dennis Linthicum announced his intention to explore pursuing the U.S. Representative position in Oregon’s Second District.
“After talking to the people of Klamath County and surrounding areas, I’m convinced that those in the 2nd District of Oregon are looking for leadership and strong, Constitutionally conservative values,” Commissioner Dennis Linthicum said before the meeting. “Our economy is struggling and, at the county level, I see every day how individuals, families and businesses are impacted by bad policies and tone-deaf regulation. My goal with this exploratory effort is not to turn away from Klamath County’s issues, but to be able to represent them, and other counties in the 2nd District, in a more substantial way at the Federal level.”
It’s sad when the country is going south and everyone can see it going south. What's worse is when the people you elect to congress continue to play “politics as usual” with the voters. Last month, Congressman Greg Walden had a four weeks to spend in our district to meet with the people. Most people call these types of a meeting a “Town Hall” — where the Congressman gets to say a few words about his activity and then field un-scripted questions from voters. It’s about the only chance most voters get to interact with the elected representative.
While Mr. Walden did spend six days touring eight cities central and southern Oregon, he did not hold any Town Halls. Instead his schedule was filled with only meeting particular groups who were going to get something from the Congressman or predictably going to give him positive headlines from the local media. After looking through this list, ask yourself if YOU were invited to any of these meetings?
Guest Speaker at the Rotary Club
Speaking about the Affordable Care Act
Crook County Small Business Leaders Roundtable.
Topics: Central Oregon Jobs and Water Security Act
Grant County Small Business Roundtable
Topics: Regulation and REINS Act
Community Meeting with FEMA representatives
Flood Insurance and FEMA/Government officals
Meeting with Lakeview Chamber of Commerce
Topics: Jobs & Forests
|August 9||Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities Roundtable||Grants Pass|
|August 9||Health Care Roundtable with Southern Oregon Doctors||Medford|
|August 10||Meeting with South Central Oregon Economic Development District (SCOEDD)||Klamath Falls|
Lack of Leadership
My Dad used to say that you can often learn more about a man by observing what he doesn't say rather than what he does say. Our country is in peril and Mr. Walden spent his time in the district not only meeting with people who were welcoming to his visit but also only on topics where he looks good.
The most divisive issue in Klamath County is the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement. You will be hard pressed to find someone who either doesn't know anything about it or doesn't have an opinion about it — well except Congressman Greg Walden.
In both 2010 and 2012, three county commissioners were not re-elected because they stood for the KBRA — Elliott, Switzer and Hukill. They were replaced by three commissioners who stand strongly opposed to the KBRA — Linthicum, Mallams and Bellet. State Representative Bill Girard was elected in 2010. He was anti-KBRA. His 2012 replacement, Gail Whitsett is also publicly against the KBRA, while her opponent was a big supporter for it (he lost). Then there is the State Senate seat held by Doug Whitsett — and as you guessed it — he too is against the implementation of the KBRA.
Someone once said a picture is worth a thousand words. Therefore...
2001. We all remember it well. Klamath irrigators were cut off in the heart of the growing season. Potato farmers lost their crops, some grain farmers made it, others didn't and pastures for livestock went dry. Green quickly tuned to brown as the water was shut off.
The KBRA was written in reaction to this calamity. The KBRA is supposed to "bring people together" and solve the problem at the local community level. Well that is the propaganda drivel proponents often spew. I have no problem with the local community fixing its own problems. But that's not what is happening. According to the KBRA, in order for the local community to fix those problems, the Federal Government must fund the buy back of Tribal lands, must fund dam removal on the Klamath and set aside a fund to help farmers survive when Klamath enters a low water year. If you ask me, there is nothing local about that at all. It is mostly Federal. The only "local" part is who receives funding.
That said, the KBRA is really built on a false premise — and that premise is that in 2001 Upper Klamath Lake did not have enough water to meet the needs of biological opinions for fish in the lake, fish in the river and irrigators in the basin. So a judge cut the irrigators off — based on faulty science. That's right, later it was found the data used by the judge was incorrect. Had the judge been given accurate data the water to irrigators would have flowed as it has every year since the projects began.
Like so many battles ongoing in our society the Klamath water struggle is simply (beneath the spiritual level anyway) an issue of Left vs. Right, Competing Marxisms vs. Capitalism, oppression vs. freedom.
The mind set of those who cut our irrigation water off and continue to fiendishly dominate it hasn’t changed. The mind set of some of those affected by the 2001 water cut off has changed however. To them the bad guys are now the ones who were the victims then and continue to resist those same scandalous forces now. Some say that a change of that nature may indicate that they have actually taken on the perspective of the aggressor. That new worldview may have been adopted for any number of reasons, many of which could well have been good and noble in the beginning.
The veiled essence of that regressive Progressive perspective is captured in a You Tube video titled; “Occupy Cascadia Documentary”. After viewing such you may start to understand why it was that a May 30, 2013 rally was held some six + hours away from Klamath Falls in Portland, Oregon. The event was organized to thank Senator Ron Wyden for his support of the KBRA/KHSA. As some may know, Portland is the political heart and soul of Cascadia. And no, K Falls isn’t a yarnhead controlled commune locale yet, so an assembly as such would not come off quite so well appreciated here - local newspaper coverage aside.
If you have read this blog for any time, you have quickly come to realize that none of us here are fans of the KBRA. We have philosophical differences that quickly lead to practical differences in how to solve the problem. And what is the problem? There (apparently) is not enough water in the Basin to support fish, farmers and native American traditions.
Since there is not enough water, a political solution was dreamed up by the KBRA geniuses. Here are some highlights:
- 92,000 acres are given to the Klamath Tribes (also known as the Mazama Tree Farm) funded by taxpayer money.
- Hydroelectric Dams are removed along the Klamath River (paid for in great part by the tax payer).
- Subsidies are issued to Klamath farmers in low water years when they won't be given water (think Welfare for Farmers)
Again this is a political solution. It doesn't recognize that when dams are removed along the Klamath river it will take more water to maintain river levels minimums required by biological opinions — in other words, less water in the lake and less water available for Klamath farmers. That seems backwards, doesn't it? But that is what political solutions do: they remove reality from the equation and use taxpayer money to pacify people who might otherwise object.
What is it that most of us do not like about politicians? Is it that we can't pin them down? Is it that they are often squishy on things we think are easy to define? What is it that makes us hopping mad at them? There's one word why politicians are so disliked in modern America. That one word is dishonesty.
We Americans are a forgiving lot. We will put up with almost anything. But one thing we won't stand for is being made a fool. We won't let someone get away with deceiving us. However, that is exactly what Congressman Walden did during his past two trips to Klamath County. During his Town Hall Meeting at OIT in February and again during a fund raiser in April, Mr. Walden trumpeted the fact that he helped put in place the No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. What he told everyone the bill did was to stop paying congress if they didn't pass a budget this year. The Senate hasn't passed a budget in nearly four years. This would ensure Congress did, so the two Chambers could go to conference and produce the first budget in four years.
Sounds like a good bill right? Who would be against something as simple as that? Look, if we don't do our job, we shouldn't get paid either. It was a common sense, no-brainer, easy bill to be for — and you know what? The Senate did pass a budget. But here's the problem... there has not been any conference. There still is no budget. Moreover that's not all the bill contained. According to Representative Justin Amash’s Facebook page:
A group called, Voters for Fiscal Responsibility filed a petition last Friday at the Klamath County Clerk's office to recall Dennis Linthicum as county commissioner. Sherri Biggs of Malin Oregon filed the petition on behalf of the group. Voters for Fiscal Responsibility claim that they have become frustrated with all three commissioners and as soon as Tom Mallams and Jim Bellet are eligible for recall, a similar effort will be made on their behalf.
This effort seems like déjà vu all over again. In 2011 Chuck Collins filed a similar petition to recall Commissioners Switzer and Hukill. We wrote about that in the following two articles:
What makes this so familiar is that the action and the reason for the recall is the same, but we just have different actors involved. It is as if Ms. Biggs is channeling Mr. Collins.