Support climate legislation
To the editor,
As a supporter of climate legislation, I have been reading the comments of Republican legislators and the timber unity group. It’s clear that they just aren’t interested in compromise - they say so openly. They have found that they don’t need to compromise, they don’t even need to win many elections. They can just run off to Idaho and shut the government down. This is not how the government is supposed to work. A political party that can’t even win enough seats to keep the other side from getting a super-majority is not supposed to have a veto on laws they don’t like. Democrats have made many changes to the law, but as long as Republicans think they don’t have to com-promise, no changes will matter. The state constitution actually has provisions to prevent abuse of the quorum requirement, but these are not working when our legislators run off to Idaho. Please stay and do your work and vote on these bills. And if you want to block a law, try winning a few more seats in Salem so you can win a vote there.
Government transparency lacking
To the Editor,
Regarding the $88,000 that Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue (MCFR) spent on legal expenses; MCFR is a piker when it comes to spending on legal fees. Wasco Electric Co-operative spent $160,000 to defend a single public records request asserting Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 62.440. This on top of a number of other lawsuits Wasco Electric has had to deal with over the years.
As things turned out, Wasco Electric didn’t even need a lawyer. While Judge John Wolf could have simply dismissed the case; instead he fined us $1,800 just for asking. This despite the fact that the statute provides for legal fees to enforce (not defend) this provision.
Judge Wolf also allowed Wasco Electric to submit documents under seal. While at times there is good reason to seal court records conducting a secret trial for the purpose of shielding Wasco Electric and people like Jeffrey Epstein from embarrassment is not a good reason.
So much for government transparency. Welcome to Wasco County.
Senators: Stay and work.
To the editor,
Oregon’s short legislative session of 35 days started Monday, Feb. 3, and there are many important bills for legislators to work through. They can’t do that if they walk out, as they have again suggested they might, putting partisan games above the jobs for which they were elected and above the needs of their constituents.
When HB 2020, the climate bill, was introduced last year, Republican senators walked out to prevent a vote, and far-right militia groups made threats that closed down the Capitol. Democratic leaders and Gov. Kate Brown abandoned the bill to finish the session. This year, GOP Senators are indicating that if another climate bill is introduced, they may walk out again.
This is no way to act as an elected official. If Sen. Chuck Thomsen and his Republican Senate colleagues do not want to do the work of governing, staying in place, discussing, negotiating, doing the best they can for their constituents, they should get out of those positions and make way for real, functioning representatives. We can and will help with their retirements, if needed.
Stay on the job
To the editor,
State senate Republican leader Herman Baertschiger said another walkout by Republicans, as they did last year, during this short legislative session is possible in order to deny Democrats a quorum on climate change legislation.
In light of that news I’d like all senators and their constituents to be aware of this:
According to the Bend Bulletin (Jan. 29, 2020), “21 companies, including Nike and Microsoft and two health care climate alliances in Washington and California, sent a letter to ‘leadership and legislators of the Pacific Coast,’ urging them to adopt cap and trade programs, which they argue can promote economic growth.” I would think those last three words should strike a chord with our Republican senators.
When the vote comes up on climate change, I expect all senators to stay and do their job.
Editor’s note: In the letter above, the Craft Brew Alliance was referenced as a signatories to the letter encouraging adoption of cap and trade programs. That reference has been removed. The original letter included a signature from the Craft Brew Alliance. The alliance, however, has since contacted the reporter and said they were not signatories to the letter, and that their inclusion was a mistake on the part of Ceres, a Boston-based nonprofit that organized the letter.
Ending political corruption
To the editor,
Here’s some good political news! There is a national organization, www.represent.us, who’s only mission is to end corruption in American politics. Independent polls have shown that over eighty percent of Republicans, Democrats and Independents support the American Anti-Corruption Act. Ending corruption is an issue we can all get on board with.
Represent.us brings together conservatives, progressives, and everyone in between to pass powerful anti-corruption laws that stop political bribery, end secret money and fix our broken elections.
Anti-corruption laws are being passed all over America right now. Both Oregon and Washington states have already passed some anti-corruption laws supported by the Represent.us movement.
Amazingly the state of Maine now uses “Ranked Choice Voting (RCV)” on their state level elections! RCV is only one part of the Anti-Corruption Act. If you don’t know what ranked choice voting is, there are many articles and videos about it on the internet. Ranked choice voting, sometimes called “order of preference voting,” allows voters to pick several candidates in the order they prefer. RCV eliminates the element of a “spoiler effect” so voters can vote for third party candidates without the fear that they’ll be helping to throw an election to a candidate they absolutely don’t want. It’s a beautiful thing that corrupt politicians don’t want enacted, but Maine and cities and counties across America are moving to ranked-choice voting as its wisdom becomes clear.
It has been a long time since I’ve found a political movement that I could feel good about and get behind. I had thrown my hands up in surrender, but now I have enthusiastic optimism again. You want to save the world? Then end corruption in politics. Visit www.represent.us and join people across the nation who are working together to take back our government.
Editor’s note: The following letter is a response to a letter published Jan. 24 under the headline, What does 2020 offer?
What is source of justice?
I’m Zac Patterson and I’m pastor at Faith Lutheran Church. I‘ve seen many of your letters, but this last letter you made a very interesting claim, stating that, “The Scriptures reveal that peace and justice will come to individuals who align themselves politically with Israel now…” From your previous letters, I assume that when you speak of the Scriptures, you’re referring to the Old Testament rather than both Old and New Testaments.
As someone who has taken four years of seminary training, studying deeply both the Old Testament and Hebrew language, I absolutely love studying the Old Testament. However, due to my studies, I would have to disagree with your statement quoted above. Nowhere is this found within the Old Testament. If you’re referring to Genesis 12:3 where God says to Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse…” this verse is not speaking about the nation of Israel, but rather Abraham himself.
So what is the source of peace and justice? I look at Genesis 3:15 where God says to the serpent (Satan), “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring (“seed” in the Hebrew) and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Peace and justice will come when the offspring of Eve comes and crushes Satan’s head.
This offspring is a single person, namely the Messiah. When God tells Abraham in Genesis 12:3, “…and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed”, the source of that blessing is the offspring of Abraham, the Messiah. This is why the people of Israel are God’s chosen people, for through them, the Messiah would come.
Now, who is the Messiah? After looking at the many prophecies of this Messiah (Deuteronomy 18:15; Ezekiel 37:24-27; Isaiah 7:14; 9:1-7; 53:5; Micah 5:2; etc.), all of those prophecies are fulfilled in the person of Jesus. He is the promised Messiah, the one who brings true peace to the world (Matthew 1-2; 4:12-16; Luke 3:23-38; John 8:48-59; Acts 2:14-41; Galatians 3:7-9; etc.).
The peace of Scripture doesn’t come from anything political, but from the coming of the Messiah, Jesus. I would love to talk with you more about this. If you wish to do so, feel free to look me up and contact me. God bless!
Time for new era
To the editor,
“You can fool all of the people some of the time, and fool some of the people all of the time,” wrote Lincoln. Russia is no longer a communist country. Putin and his band of loyal oligarchs have established a sham democracy. In Russia, Oligarchs take wealth from the makers. Oligarchs perpetuate corrupt elections to strangle the country. The United States has moved away from democratic capitalism toward the Russian model. Trump and Putin collaborate to establish a U. S.—Russian dynasty of oligarchs, sham elections, with a core gullible citizenry of new feudalism.
The Mueller Report did not exonerate Trump! Federal Court has found Roger Stone guilty and establishes with evidence the Putin—Russian hackers—stolen emails—Julian Assange/Wikileaks—Roger Stone—Donald Trump conspiracy. Facts proven in Federal Court.
The Putin—Trump fraud suppressed minority voters in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida. Michael Cohen is in federal prison for election fraud. Checks to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal bear Trump’s signature. When Trump’s term expires, the indictment’s citing “Individual 1” shall become “Donald J. Trump.” He will stand trial just as Michael Cohen.
He cheated! He is not the legitimate President! He does not have the consent of the governed! The actions of his administration are corrupt reflecting the dishonesty of his election. Increasingly clear is Congressman Nunes and Senate Majority Leader McConnell had at least complicit involvement in the 2016 fraud and have direct participation in the 2020 cheating.
Firm evidence of his 2016 cheating is his attempt to cheat again in 2020. The evidence presented at the Senate trial was robust, sufficient and undeniable. Trump and many members of his administration committed bribery, extortion, witness tampering, and conspiracy. Putin accomplished territorial expansion, diminished NATO, and removed the United States as a credible world leader. All the Soviet military could not accomplish by force of arms, Trump has delivered for a Trump-tower and a few barrels of oil.
The Republican Party, once the character of Eisenhower, is now a herd of Russian circus elephants —Trump, Moscow Mitch, Nunes, Jordan et al—tied trunk to tail. 38 percent of the electorate will play the role of Charlie Brown as Lucy once again pulls the ball away. Once fooled, 145 million voters shall send Republicans (23 senators and a hundred representatives) to the garbage heap of history in disgrace.
A new era shall begin!