We have big plans for the future. We welcome your suggestions!
Why recall Sen. Bates?
- Among Oregon's biggest cheerleaders for Obamacare
- Obamacare supporter as transition to single payer system
- Big insurance and big medicine stooge versus claims of being champion of true reform
- Support of job-killing State legislation
- Attacks on local property rights
- Beholden to special interests in general
- Breach of Oath of Office
- Proposed hyper-regulation of 4.5 million acres under SB-401
Did you know that Senator Bates is one of Oregon's biggest Obamacare cheerleaders? He speaks of the need to reform our medical system in order to cut costs. But in reality, he views Obamacare as a worthwhile means to transition towards a "single payer" national healthcare system.
In a Medford Mail Tribune article titled "Health system will top Bates agenda," Senator Bates declares his support for the Cover Oregon healthcare exchange: "My expectation is this plan will work reasonably well." When the health care exchange opens up, 100,000 Oregonians who currently don't have health insurance will be able to obtain it, he said according to the Tribune. To date, Oregon's health care exchange rollout has flopped, with zero online enrollment. Cover Oregon is attempting to save face with manual registration.
On the September 27th Bill Meyer Show, Mr. Meyer asked Senator Bates a question about the nature of Obamacare's design. Senator Bates responded with unusual honesty: "I think this is more of something put together to satisfy the various forces in health care such as the big insurance companies, the American Medical Association, Big Pharma and others trying to keep them happy so that they wouldn't block any legislation going through. I think it's more of a decision that is as much political as it is policy." Wow!
Rather than look out for average Oregonians, we have a State Senator that is going along to get along while the Feds are shoving down our throats Obamacare, which enables insurance companies to price gouge. How can a law be called the "Affordable Care Act" when everyone sees their premiums rocket higher? Think about it. Instead of simple and honest reforms like forcing medical insurance companies to compete across state lines we instead get a law that forces the purchase of a product from a limited number of sellers in each state. That's called corporatism -- or, as some would prefer, fascism.
Obamacare destroys health care privacy and severely damages general privacy, incorporates rationing of care, forces people to pay for a fixed menu of services, kicks many out of existing plans and the loss of their existing doctor relationships, and lies to the poor about the scope of generally perceived "free" coverage they will benefit from IF they can make use of tax credits (a big "if"). This is not healthcare reform. As Comedy Central's Jon Stewart quipped: Democrats Can't "Spin This Turd." But as far as Senator Bates is concerned, he supports Obamacare.
Bottom-line: many Oregon voters are fed-up with government decision making in the shadows and against the interests of average working families. The Feds pushed Obamacare in exactly this manner at the national level and Bates represents exactly the same sort of problem within Oregon politics. Proof? Let's examine another arena where Bates has proven to be totally out of control, and where his hand was directly responsible for outrageous Oregon legislation.
Citizens are concerned about the increasing frequency which Oregon’s powerful “green lobby” uses pseudoscience and hyperbole to advocate for excessive laws and regulations justified by citing what are, in truth, comparatively small gains to our outdoors tourist economy. Senator Bates’ sponsorship of SB-401 is a textbook case of serving “green lobby” interests to the exclusion of nearly all other considerations. SB-401 called for locking-up under the “wild and scenic” designation over 7,000 square miles of Oregon riverfront land by use of a ¼ mile buffer zone on both sides of sections of 30 waterways. To put that into perspective, that translates into about 4.5 million acres of land, which is over seven times larger than the proposed Siskiyou Crest National Monument.
SB-401 would have profound impacts to private property rights and the legislation would explicitly declare “scenic values” and fish habitat economic values to be above all other economic values. There are six waterway segment classifications with the Oregon Scenic Waterways Program. The most "virgin" and most "urban" developed classifications will not involve many cases of private property. However, there are extensive areas where tens of thousands of existing property owners will fall under new regulations.
In Southern Oregon, the Applegate and Little Applegate rivers offer a prime example and both were named as proposed rivers under SB-401. Development in existence prior to wild and scenic designation, contrary to popular perception, would indeed come under extensive regulations. For example, if a property owner wanted to re-paint their house in any color other than the color existing previous to the designation, formal approval must be sought. Trees that grew during the time of property ownership that ultimately blocked views can not be cut, which reduce the value of said properties. Examples can be seen on the Rouge River today, just west of Grants Pass. The next time you take a tour with the Hellgate Jetboat operators, ask your guide and they'll point out these properties. Any new structures and even extensions and improvements to existing structures visible from the water level of a scenic water way must be permitted. Density standards are applicable along many river ways. Some involve just 2 to 4 properties per mile, and these provisions ultimately block new developments. For example, establishing new wineries along the Applegate and Little Applegate rivers would be highly unlikely given the topography in question, where it's not easy to have natural shielding of line-of-sight from the river and across the "riparian zone." Private property with agriculture and/or livestock properties in existence before designation may be forced to install fencing and face a reduction of usable acreage. While water rights are generally grandfathered, approval for new ponds or other reservoirs would become almost impossible to gain approval. In fact, new water rights that might be requested for the development of new wineries or other agricultural applications would take second priority to existing flow requirements necessary to support fish, wildlife or recreational use.
Permitting can involve far more than just the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Division of State Lands (DSL), Oregon Fish and Wildlife and other regulators will often need to sign-off on any plan. OPRD states: "The focus of the Scenic Waterways Program is to manage by negotiation and compromise." But the fact is, if you fail to gain permitted approval, there is no appeals process, and no citizen-based oversight of these bureaucratic agency decisions. OPRD is in fact legally empowered to acquire private property by condemnation, with the payment of "market value" to the property owner. While these instances will likely be few in number, it nevertheless needs to be underscored that a private property owner is not sitting at the negotiating table with the same level of power as OPRD.
SB-401 is not just about fish and miners. SB-401 supporters don’t want you to know about the true scope of SB-401 – and frankly, many deny the massive and deleterious impacts SB-401 would cause. Irrational passion against suction dredging has translated into an unwillingness to drop Public Relations campaigns and strategies to use co-opted handmaidens (Senator Bates) in favor of open and public discussion about what future legislation would be best for all Oregonians. Politics should not be about coming to a fake and manufactured consensus serving special interests while denying negative impacts.
SB-401 was pushed through Salem with little to no attempt to involve negatively impacted communities. As if canned public debate wasn’t bad enough, a demonstrated lack of attention to science invalidating the need for SB-401 and certainly Dr. Bates’ declaration of a “state of emergency” is outrageous. Senator Alan Olsen (district 20), Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources noted, “…not once during the many hours of public testimony was the committee presented with scientific evidence that the practice of small-scale suction dredge mining is damaging to fish populations or the environment. (Source: Oregon Business) Fact is, no such scientific evidence exists because after decades of study, multiple research efforts have come to the same conclusion: small-scale dredge operations have no serious impact if operated under existing regulations which were designed by environmental scientists in the first place. But again, the real story behind SB-401 extends far beyond fish and miners.
Above and beyond a demonstrated lack of respect for private property rights, a solid argument can be made that Dr. Bates’ actions are unconstitutional. But there can be no debate that SB-401 is symbolic of a broken representative process. The scope of SB-401 was vast. Proposing to lock-up 4.5 million acres of Oregon land without a substantial effort to foster public discussion and opportunity for all impacted communities to have a seat at the table is just flat-out wrong.
Dr. Bates is arrogant and out of touch. We believe he’s unfit to remain in office. CFTG is working to recall Senator Bates. We will launch a formal recall campaign this year but in the meantime, please join us and declare that you will sign this recall petition when it goes live. To do that, click here and sign the petition pledge and provide your contact information so that we can get in touch with you when the actual recall starts. Your information will be held in strict confidence.
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Bates is only the beginning. Together, we will continue to shine a bright light upon the activities our so-called representatives would rather you not see. They 'd rather you just sit down, shut up and don't get involved.
This country wasn't built on sloth. The good news? If you take a modest effort with this pledge we at CfTG pledge to you that we will bring together all our voices and affect powerful political change. But it's not going to happen daydreaming. PLEDGE! Even as little as five friends you bring to our tent will make a big difference.
We'll be in front of the Medford Main Library every Sunday, between noon and 3pm (by the entrance along Central Ave.). Click here for map and driving directions.
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DMV -- at the entrance on Biddle Avenue, Monday through Friday, from 12pm to 3pm.
Only registered voters from the 3rd District may sign the petition (but you don't have to live in Bates' district to gather signatures).
1) Our "backgrounder" about our organization is available in a clean, printable file (Adobe Acrobat): Click here.
2) Our "Why Recall Sen. Bates" backgrounder (the text you see over on the left) is available in a clean, printable file (Adobe Acrobat): Click here.
This document is a public relations document published by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). It generally casts a favorable light on the entire program, and as a PR document, must be read with care. For example, on page three you will find the first paragraph under the section "What This Act Does" states: "This program applies to all new developments. The ability to fit in and be concealed determines whether or not new development is acceptable." But wait. Half a page later you'll find: "New development or changes of existing uses within a scenic waterway are reviewed before they may take place." And so the slippery slope begins...
Read the PR document carefully, and pay very close attention to the disclosed regulatory steps property owners must take, which are indeed presented in a favorable light. This is an Adobe Acrobat document, which can be accessed by clicking here; right click and "save as" if you wish to download to your computer.