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.
On first glance the results of last Tuesday night’s election might seem puzzling. How could a conservative like Tom Mallams lose by a 2-to-1 margin and yet conservatives like Linthicum and Reschke win by wide margins? Why did the Predator Control ballot measure pass and the marijuana one fail? Those were some questions we wrestled with until we looked closer at the races and the data. Below are some truths that will help make sense of what happened in May’s primary election.
Principle #1: Voters preferred non-incumbent candidates in non-partisan races. Whether it was the two Commissioners’ races or the Sheriff’s race, it was clear that voters preferred someone new over someone currently in the job. Current Commissioners Mallams and Bellet were both beat by political new-comers Boyd and DeGroot. While Mallams was significantly outspent, the only difference in the Position #1 race was that Boyd was able to secure over 50% of the vote and not have to run again in November. DeGroot is the favorite against incumbent Bellet. It will be interesting to see if the trend of “throw the incumbents out” in non-partisan races continues this fall and onto 2018.
For the Sheriff’s race Martin Rowley was seen as Sheriff Skrah’s substitute. Voters clearly preferred the two outsiders: Kaber and Lewis. Kaber and Lewis will have run-off election in November to see who our next Sheriff will be.
In a vote of 2-1, the Klamath County Commissioners yesterday approved placing a sign “In God We Trust” in the public meeting room at the Government Center. The sign will be developed from private donations and defended, should someone bring a lawsuit, by the Pacific Justice Institute of Sacramento. In other words the sign will not cost the tax payers a dime to develop or defend. Carol Warren led the effort with the help of Commissioner Tom Mallams to get the item on the commissioner’s agenda.
Of course, when a positive thing, a conservative thing, happens in this county the Herald and News is quick to find dissenting opinions. Klamath Falls City Councilwoman Trish Seiler is one who is opposed to the sign. Per the paper Seiler said that county government “needs to stay out of religion, and religion stay out of government.”
Yesterday Senator Whitsett ended the discussion in Salem as to whether he would run for a fourth term or not. Until yesterday’s announcement, Whitsett was the only Republican State Senator not to declare his intentions on seeking office again. Here is his press release:
For Immediate Release
Thursday, October 08, 2015
Salem, OR—Sen. Doug Whitsett (R-Klamath Falls) filed for re-election to the Oregon Senate on Wednesday, Oct. 7.
Have you experienced this? You read an article in the Herald and News that bothers you so much that you sit down and write a response — a letter to the editor or an online post — and nothing happens. It is as if your response was not worthy to be printed.
Well that happened to me, and I was quite infuriated (I am using the polite word for my feelings). So rather than taking it lying down, I decided to stand up and publish everything here. If this has ever happened to you or you feel the same way, then please help me by spreading the word to others in your social circles. The Herald and News will continue their arrogance and only print one-point-of-view as long as they can get away with it.
What made me post a response?
The other day I read this article about the KBRA by Dennis Linthicum in the online version of the paper. Linthicum’s article was in the “Opinion” section. I then saw that this article about Dennis Lynch (associate regional director of the U.S. Geological Survey), was posted twice in the “Agriculture” and “Enviornment” sections. It was an article reporting on Dennis Lynch’s seminar at Crater Lake and referenced several quotes by Mr. Lynch.
Much has been written about the mass killing in Roseburg last week. A great piece on the topic was penned by Dennis Linthicum at the Dirt Road Economist. Dennis does an excellent job describing exactly where we ought to place the blame for such a horrific event. Be sure to take a few moments to read it.
I’d like to take a different tact and have us see if the socialist’s view of gun-control is the answer to these kinds of tragedies. If you would, close your eyes and imagine a place where there are no guns. A place where there are no knives or weapons of any kind. In this place all suspicious activity is monitored and scrutinized by the authorities to ensure everyone’s safety. To enter this “paradise” it requires walking through metal detectors, showing photo ID and surrendering any weapon of any kind.
Sounds beautiful right? Sounds just like what President Obama is promoting. That is until you realize I am describing our maximum security prison, the Oregon State Penitentiary, located in Salem, Oregon. This all male facility does not allow weapons of any kind. If you are caught with one the punishment is severe. It is one of the most gun-free zones in Oregon and yet one of the most dangerous places to live. Now, was this the safe place you imagined as I was describing this prison in the paragraph above? What you were imaging does not exist in the real world, now or ever. It is an illusion, a dream — a violence-free society because there are no guns.
Farmer Tom Mallams responded to the charges of being above the law and flaunting water regulations with an article published in the Herald and News. What often becomes a casualty in an emotional, unfolding story are the facts. In this case the timeline is important to understand what happened and when. We have constructed the following timeline from Mallams account and the Herald and News reports.
|June 16||Klamath Project made a call on its water right|
|July 3||OWRD issued shut-off notices to junior water users, which included Mallams|
|July 21||OWRD issued a second shut-off notice|
|July 30||OWRD issued a third shut-off notice|
|Aug 7||OWRD issued a violation notice against Mallams|
|Aug 25||Mallams ceased his water usage|
|Aug 28||OWRD issued a second violation notice to Mallams|
Now at sometime (we do not know exactly when yet) Tom Mallams asked for a judicial review of his water rights. This judicial review temporarily suspended all notices made by OWRD until Mallams case can be adjudicated. Tom Mallams admits he misunderstood the administrative rule, that the OWRD rule goes into effect when issued, not received. Mallams also has said he would pay any fines if found guilty of violating the rules.
Since Tom Mallams did not receive a notice until, most likely after, he filed for judicial review, it is easy to understand why he continued to use water until late August — he thought while his case was being reviewed, any power behind the OWRD notices were suspended. The question arises is whether it reasonable to believe that Mallams knew his water rights had been terminated before he asked for a judicial review. That is a difficult point to argue one way or the other because it requires getting inside the head of Mallams. Nevertheless, there is a much larger issue at work here, and that is of Administrative Rule.
For those asleep during the summer, it is time to wake up and take notice that another business is closing its doors in Klamath Falls. If JELD-WEN officially moving its headquarters to Charlotte, NC for a more business friendly environment wasn’t enough, now Haggen is closing its two stores in town. What? Haggen, when did they come to Klamath Falls?
Earlier this year Safeway and Albertsons merged into one company. The merger was approved by the FTC only if they would sell off 146 of their combined stores. Haggen won that bid to purchase those stores and went from an 18 chain grocery store to 164 overnight. Talk about a growth spurt. In Klamath Falls both Safeway locations were converted into Haggen stores. However, within months of Haggen’s acquisition, Haggen was losing money — and a lot of it. Haggen needed to borrow $25 million to weather their cash flow problems, which increased their total debt to $270 million. Did Haggen bite off more than it could chew?
What Went Wrong
After Haggen took control of their new stores, Haggen immediately incurred losses in several of those stores. Local customers either did not know the brand Haggen or thought it was too pricey compared to the previous occupant. There was an error assuming business would continue as usual. Clearly this was not the case everywhere. An outside consulting firm was brought in to do some analysis. They found stores fell into two groups: core and non-core. Core stores were profitable. Non-core stores were losing money. The non-core store loses occurred because of either a lack of traffic (revenue) or they were too costly to support. Some non-core stores were also in remote locations where Haggen did not have efficient distribution. The Klamath Falls stores most likely fell into both categories and easily made it to the Haggen chopping block.
Harsh words maybe, but unfortunately true. Sometimes the truth can hurt. Greg Walden’s editorial published in the Herald and News is yet another example that demonstrates what is wrong with Washington, as well as with Mr. Walden’s thinking.
Walden’s plan is nothing but another “shuffling the deck chairs” to make you think he is working hard and that he is getting something done to better Oregon’s forests. While all the activity and smoke created by Walden & Co. might produce something slightly better, in essence all will be the same. One has to ask, is that what we want from our Representative — a lot of activity but little real change?
The problem is not how well the US Forest Service or BLM manage forests in Oregon. The problem is that the US Forest Service and BLM manage forests in Oregon.
The Founding Fathers empowered the Federal government with a very narrow scope in how to govern the union. Believe it or not, managing forests was not one of the powers granted the Federal government. Read the Constitution. Read all of the amendments. Read the Declaration of Independence. The word “forest” is absent in all of them. Why? Because the Federal government was never meant to, nor designed to, manage forests all across the nation. This responsibility was to be “reserved to the States, or to the people.”
We can cry and bellyache all we want about Democrats. But we at least should know what to expect: socialism. However, when Republicans, especially Republican Leadership in the House and Senate, also act like Democrats, we have a serious problem. Watch the following video to see how Senator Ted Cruz is unafraid of those who try to bully him into submission. He stands up for us. He stands for truth. He does not let “leadership” — even Republican leadership — get away with telling a lie.
Want to do something? Donate to the Klamath Patriots Conservative PAC today! Share this web page with others. Let’s wake up and take back this great nation called America before it is too late.