Do you have a point you’d like to make or an issue you feel strongly about? Submit a letter to the editor.

Stand up to Trump

My response to letter from Rep. Walden,

I appreciate your concern and actions to reduce the threat of forest fires. And yes, I agree with you, “We can do better.” Your efforts are a step in doing better. But I am deeply concerned that you are completely ignoring another fire that is sweeping our country: The fire that is spewing from our president’s mouth, that is inflaming people with guns of war to take their, and their president’s, anger out on people of color, whether immigrants or U.S. citizens, with the violence of war. Where is your voice? Where is your disgust? Where is your action in the House to confront this both in law and in condemnation of our president? It is shameful that you are sitting on your hands, apparently gagged from raising your voice to join with most of your constituents against the actions and more seriously the language of our president. Please join me in condemning this threat to our nation’s values, culture and lives. I am sure that you will be in a much better position politically here in our district next year if you stood up to the president instead of cowering under the umbrella of a total GOP silence. Please, go with your gut. Stand up. Take a risk. Separate yourself from your silent GOP colleagues. Be counted as a true patriot who has sworn to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”

William Flexner


Teaching the wrong lesson

Your editors are a bright, dedicated group of journalists, so I suppose you are aware of the valuable lesson your editorial praising the “GOP senators … for doing their jobs,”Aug. 8, is providing for middle school students learning about the democratic process and for high school students yearning to become politically active. (The senators walked out rather than vote on House Bill 2020.)

The lesson is this: First, get elected to the Oregon Legislature. Second, ignore the oath to uphold the state’s constitution in favor of a dedication to the party that elected you.

Third, if a vote is not going to go your way on a particular bill, just ignore the ordinary process of voting and abandon the Legislature and its decision-making rules. Flaunt the tradition of majority rule in conducting Oregon’s business. The bottom line from your editorial seems to be, “those lessons you learned in public school don’t apply to party politics in this state.”

You may wish to rethink your position on this issue for its broader meanings.

Don Hartsough


Walkout was wrong

I write to take exception to your editorial of Aug. 8, “GOP senators are getting fined for doing their jobs.” In what world should people not be penalized for walking off the job without reason or notice? In the private sector that’s a good way to lose your job or at the very least have your pay docked.

Whether or not Democrats had enough votes to pass House Bill 2020 has no bearing on the situation. My senator, Dennis Linthicum, along with 10 other senators, chose to leave instead of representing what they construe as their constituents’ interests. Win or lose on a vote, elected officials are paid to show up and cast their votes (among other things). Shame on them.

Additionally, this was the SECOND walkout during the session. When they came back the first time, they made a pact with Gov. Brown that they wouldn’t do that again, in return for concessions on two other bills they didn’t like. They broke that agreement. Shame on them X2.

So, no, they were not “arguably working.” No, they were not “serving their constituents.” They SHOULD have their pay docked for their absence. And they SHOULD stand up for what they believe and VOTE without guarantee of the outcome. I often won’t agree with Sen. Linthicum’s stands, but I expect him to have the gumption to express them — not run away and hide.

Priscilla Smith


Lives more important than guns

Enough, enough, enough.

What definition of common sense allows one group’s interpretation of the Second Amendment to take precedence over the safety our people.?

Michael Hudson