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Bentz said in a statement Dec. 15, “I have joined many of my colleagues in asking for a congressional investigation and review into what has happened in states where election irregularities have been observed.”

That is his first mistake, and he made the decision over 2 weeks before being sworn into his position as U.S. representative for the 2nd District of Oregon. Apparently, Rep. Bentz wasn’t planning on taking his oath to uphold the Constitution seriously. He has aligned himself with a number of right-wing politicians who are thinking about their careers’ and not their constituents. There are no proven election irregularities — yes, there have been many allegations, and none of them have been substantiated.

Vice President Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and former U.S. Rep . for Oregon’s 2nd district Greg Walden have all stated that the November election was a fair election. Our country is in the middle of a pandemic, and we need our elected officials to be working together. The far right is far wrong, Mr. Bentz, please work to help your district and not just establishing yourself with the far wrong.

—Joe Craig, Bend

Welcome Cliff Bentz. Your participation in the GOP attempt to subvert a fair and legitimate election is a choice to sanction attacks on our democracy. It is clear now and should have been clear before this, that joining in this act has fueled the domestic terrorist attack on our Capitol. To call it a “demonstration gone bad” as you have, is deeply irresponsible just as it is to ignore that the POTUS has encouraged violence for years.

Your record as a legislator has started with a significant choice to align with party leadership that has welcomed and propagated support from the lawless, the pathologically angry and the violent. In contrast, Mitt Romney provides rational and honest GOP leadership. Mr. Romney very clearly describes your choice of leadership and accountability in this situation when he asks “Has ambition so eclipsed principle?” There is a way forward through the deep divisions in our state and our country. As Romney says: “The best way we can show respect for the voters who are upset is by telling them the truth. That is the burden, and the duty, of leadership.” Please tell us the truth Mr. Bentz.

— Jean Sullivan Carlton, Bend

Rep. Cliff Bentz should, at the very least, be ashamed he and other Republicans fell under Trump’s spell and were more interested in their personal gain than in their constituents’ interests. It is time to denounce Trump’s treasonous speech and actions as well as call for his removal from office immediately through Article 25.

— Bonnie Kenner, Redmond

The insurrection Wednesday was the inevitable result of promoting Trump’s lies that the election was stolen. The news media somewhat misstate the case when they call the rioters at the Capitol “Trump supporters.” Rather, they are Trump believers — they believe themselves to be patriots; they sincerely believe the presidential election was stolen. Their love of country is being manipulated by people who know better, such as our congressional Rep . Cliff Bentz. Mr. Bentz, like myself, is an attorney. He is perfectly capable of reading the numerous court opinions rejecting Trump’s challenges to the Pennsylvania election; he certainly understands they had no merit. Instead of telling his constituents the truth, he has knowingly and deliberately affirmed Trump’s lies by voting to question the Pennsylvania vote.

This insurrection, this loss of life, was the inevitable result of such conduct. Mr. Bentz, and all the other Trump supporters who persist in perpetrating this fraud, have blood on their hands.

— Karon Johnson, Bend

Thank you, Richard Lance, for your “My Nickel’s Worth” on Jan. 7. You question how seriously Redmond’s Mayor George Endicott takes this COVID-19 health crisis. I think it best to let Mayor Endicott answer that in his own words. In a recent Bulletin, Mayor Endicott is quoted as saying, “In some respects, losing your livelihood is akin to losing your life.” Too bad we can’t get a response to that quote from some of the many Oregonians that have lost their lives to COVID-19.

— Carla Gullickson, Redmond

(6) comments

Leftysdad

Rep. Bentz, I'm confused. Based on your claims of irregularities in PA, are you claiming to be more objective than the PA Supreme Court? Are you claiming to be a more accomplished arbiter of facts than the PA Supreme Court judges? Further, since the US Supreme Court chose not to reexamine the PA Supreme Court ruling, are you claiming to be more objective than the US Supreme Court? In short, Rep. Bentz, you are not living up to your campaign promises to the Oregon Second District voters who elected you by VOTING BY MAIL! You would serve us better if you reminded your Republican colleagues just how successful the Oregon Vote By Mail system is.

kindergentlerbend

Open letter to Cliff Bentz.

Representative Bentz, you claim to have identified irregularities in Pennsylvania as the basis for your objection to counting electoral votes for Biden-Harris. But, in so doing, you disregarded numerous court decisions at the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Federal level that upheld the Biden victory.

The "irregularities" you describe consist of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Kathy Boockvar acting to ensure that all mail-in ballots postmarked by election day and received by Nov. 6 were counted. She felt it necessary to circumvent repeated efforts by the Republican controlled Pennsylvania State Legislature to suppress the vote. Who are you to oppose the decision of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that upheld her effort to assure Pennsylvanians every opportunity to participate fully in their democracy in a time of the pandemic?

In your objection from the House floor you repeated the same abstruse and fuzzy legal points that had already been rejected in court. This is not the time for lawyer's tricks to muddy the waters. By continuing to object to the results of the Nov. election, you were using your power and influence to undermine election integrity, muzzle the ability of Americans to vote, and betray the trust in what even a Trump DHS official called "the most secure election in American history." See 60 Minutes interview with Trump's former cybersecurity chief Christopher Krebs:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/election-resu…

Finally, Mr. Bentz, why did you continue to object to the Biden victory even after the horrendous Capitol takeover by Trump insurrectionists? We lost 5 Americans, including a Capitol police officer and Ashli Babbit, an Iraq war veteran. We know that even you and your staff were endangered and had to shelter in place due to this unprecedented event (if you don't count the War of 1812 attack on Washington).

I dearly hope that you and other GOP officials can finally get over your unquestioning loyalty to Donald Trump and once again work to place country over cult of personality.

This aside, I wish you well as you begin your term in Congress. We the people of your District need the kind of leadership that addresses the real concerns that we face.

BuckeyeDuck

Great post. I believe Bentz has shown us the kind of leadership he represents not only presently but when as a state senator he abandoned his post twice because his party couldn't get there way. His objecting now to Biden's legal win is same old, same old. Personally I believe he should be recalled for his actions in support of the likes of Cruz and Hawley.

kindergentlerbend

I checked. Recalls of members of the U.S. Congress are not permitted.

BuckeyeDuck

Thanks. Didn't realize that. Will have to work hard at tossing him in two years. Meanwhile, I'll be writing his office periodically as more people should do.

BuckeyeDuck

In addition, the WaPo editorial by George Will on 1/6 or 7 about Cruz and Hawley along the lines of adding an"S' for sedition fits Cliff and the others just about right.

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