Commissioners’ salaries, one of the issues that sparked a recall, were discussed during budget hearings this week and Commissioners Fowler and Baertschiger declared war on the Grants Pass Daily Courier after it ran a critical editorial about them. DeYoung was absent from the Wednesday meetings which shorted both the Weekly Business Session and Administrative Workshop considerably.
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IMPORTANT PRIMARY … here is why:
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Conversation with John West at the Growers Market May 14
John was standing by himself with his own campaign sign and one for Marc Thielman, the worst Republican of the 19 running in the gubernatorial primary. The first thing I noticed is he wasn’t wearing glasses but probably needs them since he couldn’t see I was wearing a Democrats button on my hat.
So he started his spiel. He considers himself a hero who’s going to save the county. Says he spent $73,000 of his own money on this race because he’s committed to keeping the county from going bankrupt and if it goes bankrupt the evil state of Oregon will take it over and we certainly don’t want that. He told me the county has a $40 million deficit and will be laying off 125 people soon if he isn’t elected to help keep this from happening. When I asked him how he would do this, he said the county is full of bloated departments with people who take a whole month off for vacation and he’s going to start kicking butt and streamline this, transferring all available funds over to the sheriff who needs it to maintain his patrol. When I said a month off sounded good and maybe I should apply for a job with the county he said if I worked there and he thought I wasn’t productive enough he would personally tell me to “fuck off.” I was rather shocked that he would say that to a little old lady like me.
John asked me if I knew of Commissioner Baertschiger, then launched into how he and Baertschiger are going to save the county because Baertschiger will vote with him. However he threatened to recall the other two commissioners if they don’t go along with his plan to save the county which is basically to “cut the waste.” I asked him if one commissioner could recall the other two and he said, “no, but the people can.”
And now the reality:
I have been paying attention to the county for more than a year now and they do not have a $40 million deficit and they are not going to lay off 125 people. All you have to do is listen to the budget hearings to find that out. They can’t find enough workers. Every department is down employees because they are leaving for more lucrative jobs elsewhere. Josephine County doesn’t pay as well as other counties, which are also looking for workers.
Another falsehood is that all the county departments are bloated and full of money that can just be transferred to the sheriff. I suspect John knows this but it sounds good if he creates a situation only he can solve (sound familiar?) so he’s telling uninformed voters this to make it appear the county is going down the drain. Truth is, most of the county departments are run really lean, off the revenue they generate from fees and grants and their money can’t be used anywhere else in the county. I didn’t say this to John because I wanted to just let him talk to see what he is telling people. The only departments totally funded by the county’s General Fund, which is where property tax goes, is the sheriff and the commissioners.
I concluded this guy is a bully and county workers need to know they are in jeopardy if he gets elected.
This past week Josephine County Commission Chair Herman Baertschiger was so worried about what the Grants Pass Daily Courier might say about him he was willing to cut transit services for the elderly and disabled. He also decided commission seats are non-partisan after arguing last month that they are inherently partisan. Baertschiger said because the commission election is “non-partisan” he could say who he was voting for, then went on to shamelessly plug John West on The Bill Meyer Show on KMED. Meyer has referred to West as Baertschiger’s “buddy” in the past. During the third Sportsman Park hearing last Wednesday Josephine County Sportsman Association members once again showed up to record their hearty approval of the transfer of county park properties they use for a gun range to their ownership. Only one person brave enough to be in a roomful of gun enthusiasts spoke up against the move. Commissioners say their next step in unloading what they say is a liability will be a public hearing concerning the draft agreement between the county and the Association.
“… That you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone” … Joni Mitchell
That is the song that came to my mind after hearing the Supreme Court voted to reverse Roe V Wade. Not a surprise really. Did anyone outside of Susan Collins actually believe what these 5 liars said at their confirmation hearings?
What’s next to go? Access to birth control? Interracial marriage (oh wait, that would impact Clarence Thomas)? Same sex marriage? These and others are now in question if the leaked document becomes the decision.
Let’s call attention to the draft’s statement that the Fourteenth Amendment under which the Supreme Court has protected civil rights since the 1950s can cover only rights that are “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.”
A few points here about that “history and tradition”.
Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked opinion draft relies heavily on a 17th century English jurist who had two women executed for “witchcraft,” wrote in defense of marital rape, and believed capital punishment should extend to kids as young as 14. “Two treatises by Sir Matthew Hale,” Alito wrote in his argument to end legal abortion across America, “described abortion of a quick child who died in the womb as a ‘great crime’ and a ‘great misprision.’”
The right-wing justices, who are demonstrating their radicalism by overturning a 50-year precedent, are prepared to undermine a wide range of constitutional rights on the grounds—however inaccurate—that those rights are not deeply rooted in the justices’ own version of this nation’s history and tradition.
I read an article from the New Yorker today that is chilling.
“Given what we heard from the Justices at oral arguments in December, it is not surprising that five of them seemingly voted to overrule Roe and Casey. But, in the course of Alito’s argument that our legal tradition prior to Roe did not respect a right to abortion, what is striking is how far he goes to try to establish something more: that there is a strong legal tradition in our nation that has condemned abortion as the destruction of unborn life. By devoting so much of this draft to the view that the criminalization of abortion is deeply rooted in the nation’s history and traditions, Alito is setting up anti-abortion litigants to argue relatively soon that a fetus has a fundamental right to life that is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee that no state shall “deprive any person of life” without due process of law.”
“The Court has repeatedly said, in prior substantive due-process cases, that a fundamental right is one that is “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition” and “fundamental to our scheme of ordered liberty.” It is particularly telling that, rather than rejecting substantive due process, which conservatives have long reviled as a liberal invention untethered from the Constitution, Alito’s draft purports to scrap the abortion right as “not deeply rooted” while embracing a version of substantive due process that leaves room for anti-abortion advocates to claim a fetal right to life as “deeply rooted.” Alito also states that the overruling of Roe and Casey does not threaten “precedents that do not concern abortion,” including precedents establishing the right to gay sex and to same-sex marriage. But it is impossible to see how the regressive method he uses, framing “history and tradition” at such a low level of generality, would not have the effect of casting doubt on them.”
“If four other Justices end up joining this opinion, it will indicate change on the horizon that is far more radical than the overruling of Roe and Casey. Simply getting rid of those precedents would mean that roughly half the states would ban abortion, while the rest of the states would remain free to permit it. But an eventual finding of a constitutional right to fetal life would disallow abortion in every state. Alito’s leaked draft leaves no doubt that an expedited attempt to render abortion illegal throughout the entire nation as the vindication of fundamental—if fundamentalist—constitutional rights can be expected to arrive much sooner than we thought.”
Get ready. Elections are important. Let’s remember that three of the current justices were nominated by Donald Trump, who lost the popular vote and then tried to destroy our democracy; two were nominated by George W. Bush, who also lost the popular vote in his first term; and one other is married to someone who supported the January 6 insurrection and yet refused to recuse himself from at least one case in which she might be implicated.
Unless a miracle occurs relieving us of two or three of these LIARS on the Supreme Court, our legislatures, both National and State, need to protect the freedoms that are being dismantled. That’s done by electing the right people!
Again, ELECTIONS ARE IMPORTANT! Local, State and National.
It’s time to act. If your ballot for this month’s Primary is still sitting in your house – pull it out NOW. Fill it out. Mail or drop off at the clerk’s office. NOW.
More information about May 17th Primary (VERY IMPORTANT!) can be found at 2022 May Election Candidates and Issues – Josephine County Democrats (josephinedemocrats.org). Join us on Tuesday May 10th at 6:30 for our Monthly Meeting at Unitarian Universalist (129 NW E St, Grants Pass) – Meet like-minded people and make new friends.
… Dorothy Yetter
Two weeks this time because I was off with family during Spring Break so it took me a bit to get caught up.
The Whitehorse Park hearing was interesting. Commissioners paid little more than lip service to people with concerns about that matter while they totally embraced the pro-transfer bunch that showed up for the third Sportsman Park hearing, so I think we know what direction they’re going on that. I think it would be fun to show up and say I protest the name “Sportsman” as it’s poor grammar and basically says the park is for men only. Maybe we should have a contest to rename it. The very orchestrated pro-transfer hearing had Baertschiger’s fingerprints all over it. Pure Tucker Carlson – take one small, insignificant incident involving some guy in an old battered truck and blow it up into a full-scale homeless invasion of the Sportsman Park, knowing it will scare the hell out of all those right-wing media listeners among their membership. Bet he cooked that one up with Bill Meyer at KMED. I mean, who in their right mind would think homeless people would try to camp on a gun range. I got lost trying to find a garden club lady’s house in Colonial Valley once and ended up down at the gun club where some guy stared at me until I was able to turn around and get out of there.
Download and read the “PDF” — Commissioners 3rd and 4th week of April 22
The week of April 11-13 started with a land use hearing and ended with Josephine County Commissioners’ usual politicking from their seats at the dais.
Regarding the Bill and Herman Show on Tuesday, it seemed that Josephine County Commissioner Herman Baertschiger wanted to put off talking about the Sportsman Park public hearing because so many people showed up to oppose his idea to give the park away so he kept the conversation going about some Biden mispronunciation he heard on Tucker Carlson and then talked about his opposition to serial numbers on guns and Biden’s proposed ghost gun ban.
Read the detail: Commissioners 2022 April 11 through 13
Did you miss the meetings? Here is the video. We started with Governor Candidate Tobias Read, then at 7:00 PM went into the forum.
After only a few weeks of discussing behind closed doors, our Commissioners are planning on GIVING AWAY Sportsmans Park.
They are planning to give the $1.26 Million dollar property to a private nonprofit, without any bids, public evaluation or even disclosed reasons for doing so.
Is this right?
PLEASE — SHOW UP AT 9AM AT BASKER AUDITORIUM WEDNESDAY MORNING 4/6/22 (604 NW 6TH ST IN GRANTS PASS), AND ASK QUESTIONS! ASK THEM TO STOP! THIS NEEDS PUBLIC INPUT AND UNDERSTANDING. MAYBE EVEN A VOTE.
There are laws preventing these types of financial transactions without due process.
Really, what are they up to???? Who is benefiting?