Page 4A OPINION East Oregonian Wednesday, November 29, 2017 Founded October 16, 1875 KATHRYN B. BROWN Publisher DANIEL WATTENBURGER Managing Editor TIM TRAINOR Opinion Page Editor MARISSA WILLIAMS Regional Advertising Director MARCY ROSENBERG Circulation Manager JANNA HEIMGARTNER Business Office Manager MIKE JENSEN Production Manager OUR VIEW A Round-Up uprising 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 organization division. Many communication in that an reveres its have decided not are key to moving history. to do so, and that But these days, leaves those not forward and past director positions in the room — or are not figureheads. not in the know infighting. 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 meetings. 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. OTHER VIEWS 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 David John McCain helped defeat the some of their good work. Leonhardt Republican health care bill, in protest The repeal of the mandate would Comment 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 damage. 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 contains 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. YOUR VIEWS 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 said? 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 favor? 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 Hermiston LETTERS POLICY 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.