First President Obama circumvents the legislative process by his edicts, and now our governor tries to change the laws in Oregon that were voted on by the electorate regarding criminal sentencing on Measure 11 crimes. The governor has also chosen to ignore historically reliable projections on the number of inmates the Oregon prison system will be dealing with in the coming 10 years and advocates planning for approximately one-eighth the projected number of inmates. Any extra burden on the state system will simply be dumped on the counties, in spite of the fact that the state has prison facilities that are built and paid for by voter mandate but never used.

Is it becoming the norm for our elected officials to ignore the people and dictate to them what will be done in their city, county, state or country? These officials need to be reminded that they are not the last word but rather the conduit by which the wishes of the people are implemented. We should never be intimidated by the politicians or the process. When that happens, we will realize too late that we are no longer operating as a democracy but taking the first step on a short journey to a dictatorial government. This has happened time and again throughout the world. History can’t lie, it can only be manipulated by those who need you to forget.

Gregory Pluchos