East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, November 29, 2017, Page Page 4A, Image 4

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    Page 4A
East Oregonian
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Founded October 16, 1875
Managing Editor
Opinion Page Editor
Regional Advertising Director
Circulation Manager
Business Office Manager
Production Manager
A Round-Up
The Pendleton Round-Up had
arena. Many in that faction are not
interested in buying property, or in
a remarkably non-traditional
upgrades or expansion.
stockholders meeting last week that
These are not mutually exclusive
uncovered a fissure that has been
philosophies. Cowboys love to
bubbling beneath the surface for at
perform at rodeos that pay well, as
least a few years.
well as rodeos that have full stands
A notoriously insular
and cultural cachet. Currently the
organization, the Round-Up’s
Round-Up has both, and that shows
lack of openness throughout those
no sign of declining.
years is part of the reason why the
▪ Another issue is how the
geyser erupted in such a powerful
Round-Up appreciates and celebrates
and public way, nearly toppling the
long-term volunteers.
board’s pick for president of the
In the past, it seemed many who
2018 rodeo.
put in decades of volunteer work
Many readers are interested in
shoveling manure, pushing on calves
the machinations of the board and
or replacing fences
the root of the
were eventually
disagreement, and
saluted with a
this newspaper
The Round-Up
on the
has tried mightily
is moving in the position
board, allowing
to get differing
them to be fêted
viewpoints to talk
right direction.
and have their
on the record about
Transparency and name remembered
reasons for the
division. Many
communication in that an reveres
have decided not
are key to moving history.
to do so, and that
But these days,
leaves those not
forward and past director
in the room — or
are not figureheads.
not in the know
They are doing
— confused. That,
important, complex
we would argue,
work that often requires complex
helps cement the feeling that the
skills and specific experience. Many
Round-Up is a world apart, and not
directors are business owners or
interested in communicating with
people who manage large events or
those outside their club.
big organizations in their day jobs.
But as best as we can understand
As the Round-Up
it, here are few of the disagreements
professionalizes, it is critical that
that have divided stockholders:
its board find new ways to thank
▪ Most critical is the lack of
financial documents being presented volunteers who have put in years
and years of sweat equity, and not
at the last couple stockholder
overlook those who may bring a
different set of skills to the board.
It’s a legitimate grievance.
In general, we think the
Interested parties of any organization
Round-Up is on the right track. It
should demand financial reports
has been celebrated with national
in a timely manner, so they can be
awards, and its grip on the Oregon
well-informed on the health of the
imagination continues to be strong.
organization and adjust to changing
We also believe the board is
conditions if necessary.
prescient to purchase under-utilized
It did give us a few shivers of
and reasonably-priced property
remembrance to hear past president
surrounding their own. That’s
Tim Hawkins tell stockholders to
something any business would do
“trust the board,” and promise that
if given the opportunity, as much to
the Round-Up’s accounting issues
protect their current investment as
were behind them. We (and many
open new revenue streams.
area farmers) were told those exact
The fissures we mention above are
lines just before another prestigious
all fixable, but they will require clear
local institution — Pendleton
communication, as well as a listening
Grain Growers — descended into
ear and an open mind.
bankruptcy and oblivion.
We know the board always has
▪ There may also be a deeper
a tough task. It is required to marry
division in philosophy. Some on
an important traditional event to
the board believe their job is to fill
changing norms, while considering
the stands. They see the rodeo as a
critical future planning.
cultural event with the same goal
To stay on task and move
it has had from the very beginning
forward, instead of being beset
— put Pendleton on the map, and
by infighting, the board should
bring in visitors and dollars by the
move magnanimously into the next
wagon load.
year. They should put financial
Others think the Round-Up
transparency at the forefront, and
board’s job is to organize a rodeo
look for new ways to keep up the
that puts the cowboys first. All the
old traditions of putting on a great
other stuff — the vendors and the
show, celebrating the cowboys who
memorabilia and the parades and
give their all and the volunteers who
the party on Main Street — to some
extent distracts from the action in the make it all possible.
Will these senators live up
to their own principles?
A small number of Republicans
is health care. More specifically, it’s
— fewer than 10 — will probably
decent health care for the working-
determine the fate of the Trump tax
class families who dominate their
plan. The group includes five senators
home states of Maine and Alaska. The
who have been independent enough
two of them were the most consistent
in recent months to defy their party
Senate opponents of the bills this year
leaders, not just with words but
that would have taken insurance away
actions, as well as a couple who may
from millions.
be newly willing to do so.
Now the tax bill threatens to undo
John McCain helped defeat the
of their good work.
Republican health care bill, in protest
The repeal of the mandate would
of its secretive, rushed process. Susan
create turmoil in insurance markets,
Collins and Lisa Murkowski voted
because fewer healthy people would
against the same bill because they believed
sign up for coverage, raising prices for
that middle-class and poor
everyone else. Collins
opposes the measure for that
families had a right to health
reason, while Murkowski
care access. Jeff Flake
supports it if it’s paired with
and Bob Corker ended
other measures to stabilize
their Senate careers rather
health markets. But those
than fully submitting to
measures would need to be
Trumpism. Then there are
sweeping to make up for the
the two showing new signs
of independence: James
Then there are Corker,
Lankford of Oklahoma and
Flake, Lankford and Moran.
Jerry Moran of Kansas.
Their principle is the deficit.
The tax bill is a test of all
“We don’t want to increase
of them. For progressives,
the debt and deficit as a
the bill is an easy call. It’s a
result of tax cuts,” Moran
huge tax cut for the wealthy,
said. If the bill adds “one
partly paid for with middle-
penny to the deficit,” Corker said he wouldn’t
class tax increases. For the same reason, the
support it.
bill is deeply unpopular with voters.
The current Senate plan adds more than
But the Republican senators are in a tough
100 trillion pennies to the deficit in the first
spot. They are philosophically conservative.
decade, according to the official estimate. And
They believe in low taxes and small
that estimate is probably low, because the plan
government. They share this belief with their
depends on a budgetary gimmick. The bill’s
Republican colleagues, their political base
authors set the most popular tax cuts to expire,
back home and, yes, their donors.
knowing that a future Congress may extend
Yet all of the potential swing senators
them. Corker and Flake have correctly called
have a problem: This tax bill also contains
out this ruse. They and their colleagues would
provisions that betray their stated principles.
undermine any claim to fiscal conservatism
For McCain, the principle is the Senate
if they voted for any bill that resembles the
itself. His current term is probably his last,
current one.
given his cancer diagnosis, and he has been
So what are the senators going to do?
making a righteous stand on the behalf of the
I hope that they do not fold because doing
Senate — that it should aspire to greatness
so — doing what President Donald Trump and
rather than operating as a banana-republic
Sen. Mitch McConnell want — is the easier
legislature that rams through bills.
political path. I dearly hope they do not follow
The tax bill violates that stand. Almost as
the cynical tactics of a few of their colleagues
an afterthought, it includes a major change
who have made a show of opposing a
to the health care system — the repeal of the
Trump-backed bill only to change positions
individual mandate. The Senate has not held
after being offered a fig leaf of change. Sen.
hearings where experts weighed the pros and
Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Rep. Tom
cons, talked about unintended consequences
and looked for (to quote a recent McCain
MacArthur of New Jersey have each done so
speech) “compromises that each side criticize
more than once this year, and now it’s hard to
but also accept.”
take either seriously.
For that matter, neither the House nor
None of us should expect senators to vote
Senate has held serious hearings on any part of only for bills that we personally support. They
the tax plan. No other modern piece of major
have their own beliefs and principles.
But I do think it’s fair to expect them to
legislation has ever been so rushed — except
vote only for bills that are consistent with
for the health care bill that McCain doomed.
those principles. This tax bill is not — not
Congressional leaders are rushing this bill
even close.
because they know it’s unpopular, and their
haste is making a mockery of the institution
David Leonhardt is an op-ed columnist for
that McCain holds dear.
The New York Times.
For Collins and Murkowski, the principle
This tax bill
provisions that
betray each of
the independent
GOP senators’
stated principles.
Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the East Oregonian editorial board of publisher
Kathryn Brown, managing editor Daniel Wattenburger, and opinion page editor Tim Trainor.
Other columns, letters and cartoons on this page express the opinions of the authors and not
necessarily that of the East Oregonian.
Embarrassments galore
from President Trump
In the age of Trump and the
unbelievable after unbelievable acts,
statements and daily proof of total
incompetence by the “leader” of the free
world, we now hear of his questioning
of the authenticity of the Hollywood
Access tapes.
So he actually apologized last year for
something he claims he might not have
His inability to honor the Navajo
code talkers without insulting them and
all Indians in general just so he could try
and get one over on Elizabeth Warren
by calling her a childish name? His total
embrace of a pedophile in Alabama?
His calling for a thanks from the UCLA
basketball players before he did them the
Who raised this fool? Trump would
have to improve greatly just to reach the
level of despicable.
We who know him for what he is can
certainly forgive those who supported
him for ignoring the same. Once.
You have a chance to make it right.
Write your representatives. Admit you
made a mistake and call for his removal.
Own up to your mistake. Yeah, right.
David Gracia
The East Oregonian welcomes original letters of 400 words or less on public issues and public policies for publication in the newspaper and on our website. The newspaper
reserves the right to withhold letters that address concerns about individual services and products or letters that infringe on the rights of private citizens. Submitted letters must
be signed by the author and include the city of residence and a daytime phone number. The phone number will not be published. Unsigned letters will not be published. Send
letters to managing editor Daniel Wattenburger, 211 S.E. Byers Ave. Pendleton, OR 97801 or email editor@eastoregonian.com.