Do the ends really justify the means?
Last weekend, Governor Kate Brown and the Democratic leadership of the Oregon State Senate made a bargain with Republicans who were boycotting the Senate.
The Democrats wanted a vote on the Student Success Bill and they needed two Republicans to establish a quorum for the vote to proceed. In order to get the quorum, the Democratic leadership agreed to kill two key safety bills — one an omnibus gun violence prevention bill and another dealing with vaccines.
Subsequently, the Student Success Bill passed with an 18-11 margin, without any votes from Republicans.
Was this bargain necessary? Our governor had the power to reign in the boycotting Republicans, but she chose not to. Why was that?
Did she and her legislative colleagues fear the backlash that might occur if she resorted to using the state police in a very public way?
If our governor acted swiftly in the beginning, the quorum would have been met, the key education bill would have been passed, and two very important safety bills would advance.
The Republican senators, most of whom feel safe in their districts, called her bluff and that of the Democratic Senate leaders, and they caved.
This sounds very much like what is happening at the Federal level. The Democratic leadership doesn’t want to pursue impeachment for fear that the President’s base will mess up the elections.
A majority of the public demands that our legislators pass bills to protect us from gun violence and rampant diseases. Our state and federal leaders must stand tough and not bargain away what’s necessary to keep us safe.
The ends do not always justify the means.
Recent legislation part of a ‘magic show’
On May 8 in Salem, citizens of Oregon witnessed a magic show provided by the Oregon Education Association (normally referred to as the OEA) and the Democrats who control the Oregon Legislature. They focused citizens’ attention on the education portion of the current budget while ignoring the other than education portion (OTE) of Oregon’s financial needs.
It was much like a magician would use one hand to distract an audience during a magic show.
Hopefully, when legislators tour their districts after this current session, they will be asked what happened to the OTE portion of the budget in this session? What happened to the budgets of OSP, ODOT, DHS, ODFW, ODF, etc.?
Were those budgets increased or reduced?
And of course, why was the kicker so large?
In reality, it amounted to a non-interest bearing loan taken from citizens in the form of excess taxes over the past year.
Appreciate Siuslaw Watershed efforts
I just wanted to share my appreciation and gratitude for the Siuslaw Watershed Council (SWC) and its efforts to help the ecosystem in Florence and other areas of Lane County. With its dedication and hard work, it has made it easier for such aquatic species as the Coho Salmon to travel through the creeks and rivers of the Lower Umpqua National Forest, as well as other Lane County areas.
I would also like to thank the people of City Lights Cinemas for allowing the council to play eight short documentary films free to the public. I personally have watched the films and was impressed with what the people involved in the films were doing to help the aquatic habitats and their surrounding forests to grow and thrive.
After all of the films were played, seven of the people who were in each documentary sat on the the stage in the theater and answered questions asked by the audience.
I enjoyed the films and think that it is very important to help protect and preserve the natural life on planet Earth. Without a safe environment in which to live, there is no hope for the future of our children.
I am a father and am very concerned about the world my daughter lives in. The Earth might survive, but if we keep polluting the environment, we as the human species may not.