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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Friday, April 4

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Friday, April 4

Grigsby: Barreto campaign pledges vague, unworkable

To the Editor:

Would-be state representative Greg Barreto’s campaign received $30,000 from the enigmatic — to his supporters — and notorious — to his detractors — Loren Parks, according to uncurious reporting in the Observer. Pending autumn formalities, registered Republicans will soon choose our new representative.

Choose carefully, if you want representation that recognizes distinctions between business, economics and government. Mr. Barreto promises growth via relief from the oppressive burdens of taxes and regulation on businesses. Create jobs. The last verse of this tired song chronicled heroic efforts that made the rich richer, the poor poorer, the stock market riskier and unemployment higher. Mr. Barreto doesn’t mention raising minimum wages. But he’s taken a bold stand on the Pledge of Allegiance in schools. He calls for “free market” choice to make overworked public school staffs work even harder for their — and thus your — shrinking dime. Does he grasp the complex roles and untapped potential of EOU as an economic engine for the region? Ask him. See if you can get him “off message” and into the real world, in which Barreto Manufacturing represents a rare, long-term commitment where business is a struggle and every break a hedge against failure. Mr. Barreto should be commended for his business successes, but I suspect he realizes farm subsidies pay some bills.

However, his campaign pledges appear vague, unworkable and hence insincere or naive. It won’t be just registered Republicans who endure the consequences of sending political inexperience and ideology to Salem, where extreme views wrapped in “common sense” rhetoric make more headlines than legislation. Personal success doesn’t easily translate into political effectiveness.

As fiscal conservatives say, the devil’s in the details. Flush with a war chest, hopefully Mr. Barreto can move beyond self-righteous symbolism. Who’s not for families, small businesses and America? 

Unfortunately, simplistic partisan talking points don’t solve complex problems. Rookie politicians can’t alter a reality where rural residents and their economies depend on government support. But there is evidence that Mr. Barreto is a quick study. From his website: “Any federally mandated program will contain bias from the ideology of the administration in charge.”

Pot, meet kettle.

Bill Grigsby

La Grande

 

Boe: Have we forgotten about Jeremiah Denton?

To the Editor:

Jeremiah Denton, a retired Navy rear admiral and former senator from Alabama, died on March 28. In 1965, his plane was shot down over North Vietnam. Denton was captured and spent the next 7-1/2 years as a prisoner of war, including four years in solitary confinement.

He was frequently tortured, sometimes to the point of unconsciousness. He displayed breathtaking courage and devotion to country and to his fellow prisoners that never wavered. He is truly an American hero who should never be forgotten. But have we already forgotten? Will his story be told in school classrooms or to our children? Have they ever heard of Jeremiah Denton? 

If not, shame on us. Shame on us.


Steve Boe

La Grande

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