The Blue Mountain eagle. (John Day, Or.) 1972-current, December 20, 2017, Page A4, Image 4

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    A4
Opinion
Blue Mountain Eagle
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Oregon, Alabama
and the pains of
one-party rule
O
regonians would not
usually look to Alabama
for an example. But
during his post-election
press conference, Alabama’s
Senator-elect Doug Jones said
something that applies to our
state’s condition.
Noting his historic win last
week — becoming the first
Democratic U.S. senator from
Alabama in 25 years — Jones
said that a state benefits when
its two political parties are
competitive. Conversely, Jones
said, it is not healthy for a state
to be dominated by one party.
That observation fits Oregon,
because we have become a
one-party state. Victor Atiyeh
was Oregon’s last Republican
governor. He was one of
Oregon’s best governors of the
postwar era, serving from 1979
to 1987.
More significantly, the state
Legislature is dominated by
the Democratic party. That
has led to a very unhealthy
outcome, with public employee
unions carrying outsized and
unchecked power in the capitol.
It is worth remembering that
until 1954, Republicans were
Oregon’s progressive party, in
the Theodore Roosevelt mode.
In the words of one historian,
Oregon Democrats were
“inarticulate” until the 1950s.
A state legislator from Portland
named Richard Neuberger
appeared and the Democrats
gained a voice, who happened
to be one of America’s most
prolific writers. Neuberger
became Oregon’s first
Democratic U.S. senator in 40
years. Subsequent Democrats
such as Vera Katz, John
Kitzhaber and Barbara Roberts
were Neuberger’s beneficiaries.
More importantly, Gov.
Tom McCall credited
Neuberger with being his
inspiration. Neuberger was
an environmentalist before
that word became part of the
lexicon.
Republicans today who
excoriate Oregon’s statewide
land use planning statute forget
that it was Republicans —
McCall, Hector MacPherson
and Hermiston’s own Stafford
Hansell — who moved Senate
Bill 100, Oregon’s landmark
legislation. In other words,
it was a time when Oregon
Republicans offered big ideas.
The Democrats who hold
sway in Salem are also not
so inspirational, but perhaps
for a different reason. Gov.
Kate Brown’s tenure has been
a disappointment mainly
because she fails to lead on
the matter that is killing local
governments across Oregon —
the growing financial obligation
of the Public Employees
Retirement System. The public
employees unions would
disown Brown if she went near
a courageous PERS solution.
It may be that Brown lacks
imagination or it may be that
she lacks the guts of a governor
such as McCall or Atiyeh.
As much as Democrats like
to preach the virtue of diversity,
you seldom see that coming
out of the statehouse on many
urban-rural issues.
Alabama’s new senator
wants to reach across the aisle
for bipartisan compromise.
He might discover that too
many Senate Republicans lack
the imagination or guts to let
that happen. In politics you
never know where inspiration
will come from. Doug Jones’
improbable election may be
one of those moments. Oregon
is waiting for its improbable
moment.
W HERE TO W RITE
GRANT COUNTY
• Grant County Courthouse — 201 S.
Humbolt St., Suite 280, Canyon City 97820.
Phone: 541-575-0059. Fax: 541-575-2248.
• Canyon City — P.O. Box 276, Canyon
City 97820. Phone: 541-575-0509. Fax:
541-575-0515. Email: tocc1862@centu-
rylink.net.
• Dayville — P.O. Box 321, Dayville
97825. Phone: 541-987-2188. Fax: 541-987-
2187. Email:dville@ortelco.net
• John Day — 450 E. Main St, John Day,
97845. Phone: 541-575-0028. Fax: 541-575-
1721. Email: cityjd@centurytel.net.
• Long Creek — P.O. Box 489, Long Creek
97856. Phone: 541-421-3601. Fax: 541-421-
3075. Email: info@cityoflongcreek.com.
• Monument — P.O. Box 426, Monument
97864. Phone and fax: 541-934-2025. Email:
cityofmonument@centurytel.net.
• Mt. Vernon — P.O. Box 647, Mt. Vernon
97865. Phone: 541-932-4688. Fax: 541-932-
4222. Email: cmtv@ortelco.net.
• Prairie City — P.O. Box 370, Prairie City
97869. Phone: 541-820-3605. Fax: 820-
Blue Mountain
EAGLE
P UBLISHED EVERY
W EDNESDAY BY
3566. Email: pchall@ortelco.net.
• Seneca — P.O. Box 208, Seneca 97873.
Phone and fax: 541-542-2161. Email: sene-
caoregon@gmail.com.
SALEM
• Gov. Kate Brown, D — 254 State Capitol,
Salem 97310. Phone: 503-378-3111. Fax:
503-378-6827. Website: www.governor.state.
or.us/governor.html.
• Oregon Legislature — State Capitol,
Salem, 97310. Phone: (503) 986-1180. Web-
site: www. leg.state.or.us (includes Oregon
Constitution and Oregon Revised Statutes).
• State Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario (District:
60), Room H-475, State Capitol, 900 Court
St. N.E., Salem OR 97301. Phone: 503-
986-1460. Email: rep.cliffbentz@state.or.us.
Website: www.leg.state.or.us/bentz/home.htm.
• State Sen. Ted Ferrioli, R — (District 30)
Room S-223, State Capitol, Salem 97310.
Phone: 503-986-1950. Email: sen.tedferri-
oli@state.or.us. Email: TFER2@aol.com.
Phone: 541-490-6528. Website: www.leg.
state.or.us/ferrioli.
L ETTERS TO THE E DITOR
Media constantly
on ‘Trump attack’
White has plan
for Second District
To the Editor:
I can’t help but be amused by
the obvious fact that the local Blue
Mountain Eagle, a subsidiary of the
very left-leaning Portland “news
media,” is so eager to add fuel to the
“hate Trump” movement that it fails
to read their own editorial bleatings.
This week’s lead editorial, “Trump’s
denigration of FBI is self-serving,”
states: “... It is a standard ploy to
attack government during political
campaigns, but quite another to sab-
otage it after being elected. Mean-
while, the rest of us need government
to function. And we sure as hell need
the FBI to continue doing its job
well.”
On the very same page, Brian-
na Walker’s column, “Conned with
the truth,” states: “... One of my fa-
vorite acronyms for FEAR is ‘False
Evidence Appearing Real.’ ... take
a moment to see behind the ‘facts.’
Who’s feeding the fear? What is their
agenda?”
Do we need a well functioning
FBI? Absolutely! Do we at present,
or in recent history, have one? Well,
maybe, maybe not. Also, maybe we
should look at the “agenda” of media
constantly on the “Trump attack,” es-
pecially those emanating from places
like Portland, home central of politi-
cal far-left terrorism.
How many here in John Day and
Grant County in general would really
want the likes of the self-proclaimed
“educated elite” much pictured across
the nation as they hid behind masks
and destroyed businesses, private
property and bullied and injured any
dissenters of their view on how this
country should be run and as they vi-
olently insisted upon.
Watch out for people in masks, or
operating out of left-leaning media
strongholds. What is their agenda?
Ski masks hiding political terrorists
might not be all that different than
media hiding political agendas behind
ink and newsprint. If you like what
you have seen politically demonstrat-
ed in places like Portland, you’ll get
your big chance for more “Hope and
Change” in three more years from be-
hind the masks we are now seeing
so viciously and constantly appear-
ing from the “educated elite.”
God help us all!
Gary Davidson
Canyon City
To the Editor:
Things need to change in the
Second Congressional District.
The district faces a myriad of
complex issues, and it will take
courage, imagination, skill, fi-
nancial/economic expertise and
integrity to come up with and ex-
ecute action plans to address our
needs.
I have found an individual, Tim
White, who has not only the requi-
site has qualities, but also a solid
plan to deal with our challenges.
We need more economic op-
portunity. Per capita income in
the rural areas is lagging the na-
tional averages. White has talked
about investment in solar and re-
lated technologies, apprenticeship
training programs and upgrading
our highway systems to encour-
age business to relocate here.
Economic planning is crucial to
bringing sustainable prosperity
to the district by adapting to the
forces of globalization and auto-
mation without damaging our pre-
cious environment.
Second, working families are
struggling. White intends to de-
fend and support middle class
families by advocating for: a) a
progressive tax system, b) mea-
sures to fund substance abuse ad-
diction recovery care, c) enhance-
ments to secondary education and
d) expanding access to affordable
higher education.
Third, quality and afford-
able healthcare is crucial for the
well being of families. Not only
does White believe this, but he
also plans to work assiduously
to lower costs, improve positive
health outcomes, fight to protect
or augment ACA and strengthen
the social safety net by protect-
ing Medicare, Social Security,
Medicaid, so seniors can live with
dignity.
Fourth, the treatment of vet-
erans is extremely deficient. Not
only do we have wait times for
treatment that are still unaccept-
able, the number of homeless vets
is a moral disgrace. Volunteerism
is wonderful, but it is the obli-
gation of the government, which
asked them to fight in the first
place, to restore them to spiritual
health. White won’t stop fighting
to properly fund the VA.
We need a fresh look at our
issues. White has the wisdom,
integrity, values, expertise, skill,
knowledge, experience and cour-
age to represent the interests of
the people of the Second District.
He has a plan grounded in the re-
alities of today and focused on the
needs of our fellow Second District
citizens.
Leo McGregor
Bend
Editor’s note: The Blue Mountain
Eagle, established through mergers
of local Grant County newspapers
in the late 1800s, became a subsidi-
ary of EO Media Group in 1979. EO
Media Group, founded in Pendleton,
also owns the Capital Press as well
as the Wallowa County Chieftain,
East Oregonian and Hermiston Her-
ald newspapers in Eastern Oregon.
None of the company’s subsidiaries
are based in, or cover, the Portland
area.
A widening
opportunity gap
requires action now
To the Editor:
As 2017 draws to a close, we
consider the challenges, hopes and
opportunities for the year ahead, and
we are confronted with the stark reali-
ty that Oregon can and must do better
for children and families. It is hum-
bling to know that more than 100,000
children in Oregon are living in
households with $800 a month or less
in income. If nothing changes, these
children — and many more in Ore-
gon — are unlikely to escape poverty
and its effects during their lifetime.
New research from The Oregon
Community Foundation — Toward
A Thriving Future: Closing the Op-
portunity Gap for Oregon’s Kids —
confirms that disparities in Oregon
are growing along socioeconomic,
racial and geographic lines. The cir-
cumstances of one’s birth, where one
is born, and longstanding patterns
of discrimination determine the life-
long opportunities that are avail-
able to Oregon’s children. Families
face economic stagnation, children
face barriers to quality education
and neighborhoods are increasingly
segregated and isolated. Left unad-
dressed, this gap in opportunity will
cut to the very core of Oregon’s fu-
ture.
But we can change this trajecto-
ry and close the opportunity gap for
many of Oregon’s children by sup-
porting economically and racially
integrated affordable housing solu-
tions, encouraging community en-
gagement and promoting leadership
development. Parenting education
and expanded career and technical
education opportunities are also
part of the solution.
We need to invest in education,
from quality and affordable child-
care and preschool to out-of-school
enrichment, mentoring, and access
to higher education. These strate-
gies will be most successful when
they are led by community mem-
bers who can best define commu-
nity assets, problems and potential
solutions. When seeking to improve
outcomes for low-income commu-
nities and communities of color,
members of those communities
need to play a leadership role in
designing feasible and sustainable
solutions.
As we enter the new year, we
challenge Oregon communities
to focus on the children whose
promise of the American dream is
becoming an illusion. Timely solu-
tions will come from committed
Oregonians who are willing to or-
ganize, collaborate, advocate and
invest in families and strategies that
renew the promise of the American
dream for every Oregon children.
Tim Mabry
Hermiston
L
etters policy: Letters to the Editor is a forum for Blue Mountain Eagle readers to express themselves on local, state, national or world issues. Brevity
is good, but longer letters will be asked to be contained to 350 words. No personal attacks; challenge the opinion, not the person. No thank-you
letters. Submissions to this page become property of the Eagle. The Eagle reserves the right to edit letters for length and for content. Letters must
be original and signed by the writer. Anonymous letters will not be printed. Writers should include a telephone number so they can be reached for
questions. We must limit all contributors to one letter per person per month. Deadline is 5 p.m. Friday. Send letters to editor@bmeagle.com, or Blue
Mountain Eagle, 195 N. Canyon Blvd., John Day, OR 97845; or fax to 541-575-1244.
Grant County’s Weekly Newspaper
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