Commissioners Week of January 17th 2022

The annual proclamation for the Right-to-Life folks topped the Josephine County Commissioner’s work week. Other than that, on Tuesday they held an executive session where they talked behind closed doors about the Josephine County/Jackson County PERS matter and an issue involving property at NW B Street. In the public part of the meeting Commissioners decided to continue letters involving federal planning although no one has apparently paid any attention to what they’ve had to say for years. County counsel Wally Hicks asked if they wanted to continue the boilerplate letter with updates. Commissioner Dan DeYoung said they might as well just to “be in the room” if something came up.

Wednesday, Steve Raycraft of the local Right to Life group accepted the proclamation ahead of Sunday’s “Sanctity of Human Life and Respect for Life Day.” He said the annual March for Life will begin at 1 pm in front of the Ann Basker Hall where marchers will gather for their trek down 6th Street with police escort to Riverside Park where they will hear various speakers, including some of the Commissioners, one of which will read the proclamation aloud. Raycraft said he expects about 500 people to participate. He didn’t say if they will be doing anything to mitigate the highly infectious Omicron COVID variant among participants.

Raycraft did say anti-abortion news is encouraging now, then cited some research where he said scientists are grafting aborted baby skin onto rats. (According to Politifact, social media posts are accusing Dr. Anthony Fauci of purchasing “severed heads of aborted babies” and grafting their scalps onto lab rats. s://www.politifact.com/article/2021/jun/17/nih-helped-fund-research-involving-donated-fetal-t/ This is not uncommon and provides a platform for studying various diseases, including the deadly MRSA, according to Politifact’s findings. Claims that Planned Parenthood supplied fetal tissues for the research is false and there is no evidence Dr. Fauci was involved. It is also false that anyone paid for the fetal tissue.)

After the proclamation Commissioners took comments from the public. Craig Hinkle called in, a bit edgy because it didn’t seem to him the Commissioners were acting on all the information about how dangerous COVID vaccinations are he and Judy Hinkle have provided over the past year. He made some reference to dangerous spike proteins shed by the vaccinated. Judy Hinkle, adding her three minutes of anti-vax rhetoric, claimed many Josephine County residents have already died from vaccines and said her group, We the People United, wants Commissioner action. “Silent approval makes you just as guilty,” she said.

Commissioners thanked the Hinkles for their participation. DeYoung said because there are two sides to the vaccine issue “we’re being pulled like a piece of taffy.” Commissioner Darin Fowler complained about Oregon’s mask mandate, his diatribe from home interrupted by coughing. Commissioner Herman Baertschiger said Commissioners can’t do anything about COVID vaccines because Oregon Public Health Authority controls what goes on in the county through its Public Health Department. “Our only authority is hiring and firing, not what they do,” he said. “That may blow your mind but that’s how it is.”

Moving on to the Consent Calendar, Commissioners approved it along with a routine reciprocal agreement that allows the county to use BLM roads and the BLM to use the county’s roads.

In Matters from the Commissioners, DeYoung, for once, had little to say. Baertschiger tried to make a joke about Grants Pass Daily Courier Editor Scott Stoddard, while Fowler taunted “it’s good to see the editor back at work for a day.” Their comments referenced the Jan. 18 editorial in which Stoddard took on Baertschiger’s “hollow claim of ‘all political’ recall drive.” Fowler added “I think our community is waking up to a newspaper that has moved on and our community has not moved on with it.” He then shifted to the local economy and how the Commission is helping businesses get back on their feet with the last of their COVID aid money.

Baertschiger, getting in the last word regarding Tuesday’s unflattering editorial said Stoddard got one thing right: Salem-style politics are slimy and the politics are solely controlled by the Democrat Party.

The Herman and Bill Show, KMED Radio, Wednesday January 19

After Yamhill County Commissioner Mary Starrett plugged a big meeting where anti-maskers were going to give the Oregon Public Health Commission hell over mask mandates, Josephine County Commissioner Herman Baertschiger came on for a lengthy gripe session about Grants Pass Daily Courier Editor Scott Stoddard, the recall effort against him, Democrats both local and statewide, and how politics is involved in Travis Boersma’s effort to get his horse racing betting machines approved.

Last Tuesday Baertschiger was the subject of an editorial criticizing his contention that a local recall against him and Commissioner Dan DeYoung, orchestrated by a group called “Josephine County Voters for Good Leadership” was really just a political maneuver by the Josephine County Democrats.

Bill…Essentially he was trying to upbraid you for talking about the recall being politically oriented and of course it is politically oriented because a recall is a political act. I don’t know. Maybe Scott doesn’t realize that. The body politic gets to weigh in. But what has been pushing it through has been certainly partisan politics. I don’t see any other way around it.

Herman…No and I’ll give you a couple of examples. I got an email from Dorothy Yetter the Chair of the Democrat Party and she says I’ve accused them of orchestrating the recall of Commissioners Dan DeYoung and himself.  While there may be Democrats personally involved with the recall of the Josephine County Commissioners the Josephine County Democrat Central Committee is not an organization involved. Well, let me tell you something. Go to their website. This is really interesting Bill, they have somebody go and transcribe every meeting the Commissioners have and they transcribe every radio show that you and I have. They are obsessed with me. Absolutely obsessed with the Commissioner’s office, and she says the Democratic Party isn’t involved? Well, I got a flyer from somebody at Asante. This was in everybody’s mailbox at Asante. It was a recall petition with instructions on how to fill it out. And at the end of it, it says…” please sign both petitions, one for each Commissioner, complete each line and deliver em to 514 NE 7th street, second floor grants pass. The Democrat Party is providing this site.”  Well, that’s the Democrat headquarters, the Democrat Party is providing this site for collection of forms. BUT this is a non-partisan petition drive!

Bill…Ha ha ha, it’s pretty funny actually, in a way, the thing is though of course there’s partisan politics involved here. I don’t know how anybody with any lick of sense could say otherwise. But, yeah, I guess, and here is the challenge. Because technically the Josephine County Commission is a non-partisan position but yet people who have been in party politics and of course you are too, you are the head of the Oregon Repub…sorry vice-chair of the Oregon Republican Party. People who are political and partisan politicians have always been involved in the office or am I wrong about that? I sometimes wonder if being non-partisan is just trying to put a fig leaf over something we should just be more honest about.

Herman…In my opinion there is no election that is non-partisan. You can call it that but the candidates running have their views whether they lean to the liberal side or they lean to the conservative side. So you know people are just fooling themselves when they say its non-partisan. You know you’re always trying to do the right thing for all citizens but I’m gonna look at solving problems through a conservative lens and Sarah Bristol the Mayor of Grants Pass is gonna look at solving problems through a liberal lens. You can’t change that Bill.

Bill…These are the viewpoints of the people occupying the offices. It’s like that makes total sense. It’s being reasonable and if they really want Sarah Bristol style politics they can get that if you get more votes on it. And of course, the recall is most likely to affect that sort of change over time.

Herman…Absolutely. We’re not the only commissioners and the only Republicans being recalled in the state of Oregon. There’s been a big effort put forth and, uhhh, they’re recalling conservative school board members up in Yamhill County and there’s some other things going on across the state so its politics politics, politics. Do I like it? No. I’ve never liked it. In fact, over the Christmas I had a conversation with Sen. Courtney (Retiring state Sen. Peter Courtney D-Salem) and we both kind of reminisced on how nice the senate was up until about 2017 because every bill that went to the floor had a Republican vote. They were non-partisan. The president would not let it come to the floor. That’s all gone and that actually started in the House under the rule of Tina Kotek and now it’s so partisan it saddens me because I didn’t know what we had back in 2013, 14, 15 when I was in there and how Democrats and Republicans would go to dinner, go to different functions, have cocktails and everything. It’s pretty much all gone Bill.

Bill…I think you have to look at the change in viewpoint. There are some real irreconcilable viewpoints going on out there. I was taking a look at some of that Pugh Research Center polling about a how politicized COVID response has been for example. And what you see, what was it?  Salt Lake City, the newspaper out there, of course Democratically controlled again, is for all intents and purposes is saying non-vaccinated shouldn’t be allowed out in the public. In public period. Shouldn’t be allowed to go anywhere. And that’s not all that unusual coming out of the Democratically leaning world from, from what I’m understanding here, according to recent polling.

Herman…Well there was a Rasmussen poll done, let’s see Jan 13, and it says while many voters have become skeptical toward the fed government’s response to the Covid 19 panic, a majority of Democrats embrace restrictive policies including punitive measures against those who haven’t gotten the Covid 19 vaccine.

Bill…Gee, for a party that has prided itself with civil rights and making sure my rights, my rights, my rights, it’s not that they’ve come under and interesting spell over the last couple of years Commissioner.

Herman…Oh, well and I think, and I get so confused watching tv when I was listening to the President here a few days ago and he was talking about voting rights, voting rights, and he said (alters his voice here) “are you going to be with President Lincoln or are you going to be with Jefferson Davis.” And I thought to myself what the heck? What did he just say? Are you going to be with a Republican and support voting rights or are you going to be with a Democrat and support slavery? That’s what he just said. I mean chuckle, chuckle, cough-laugh.

Bill…I think what President Biden was counting on was for the OEA (Oregon Education Association) controlled public school system to and the graduates of those systems wouldn’t know what Biden was talking about. Herman laughs. Bill..i think that’s part of it. Yeah.

Herman…And you know, lookit, there’s been no, the Democrats have said nothin’ about Kennedy so, you know, Kennedy has come out adamantly against these vaccines wrote a very…..I haven’t read the book I’ve been given it I haven’t had time to read it. (Robert F. Kennedy Jr’s book The Real Fauci has been debunked and his family has distanced themselves from him https://www.nzz.ch/english/robert-kennedys-new-book-is-full-of-covid-19-conspiracy-theories-ld.1658762 )

Bill…Ok…well I’ve been reading it to I’ve got about a fourth way through it I can only do a few pages a day because a few pages get me so angry at the lies that have been fed to us for the last couple of years that I’ve always kind of assumed were the case but he brings the evidence and it’s just um….but you see the reason why the Democrats won’t mention RFK Junior because they look at him as a turncoat because he was not part of the covidiocy. He wasn’t buying it.

Herman….Well, they say nothing and they, they……I’ll give ya an example, when I was in the senate we were talking about a gun bill and stuff, I read a snippet from a speech from John F Kennedy back in the 60s where he talks about and its right in his speech. I read the speech. If I would’ve, if these would’ve been my own words they would have gaveled me down but its where Kennedy, and I’m gonna have to paraphrase when he talks about patriots protecting the country, and he goes in and he says it was the farmers and tradesmen who took up arms against the king, you know, and the Democrats, they looked at me if it wasn’t that those were Kennedy’s words they would have gaveled me down when I said it was the farmers and tradesmen patriots who took up arms against the government. And you know, I just quoted a Kennedy speech but they get furious (in gravely voice) ABSOLUTELY FURIOUS.

(Kennedy’s 1961 Roosevelt Day speech is used today by pro-gun people to imply Kennedy was in favor of armed militias but the quote: “In my own native state of Massachusetts, the battle for American freedom was begun by the thousands of farmers and tradesmen who made up the Minute Men — citizens who were ready to defend their liberty at a moment’s notice. Today we need a nation of minute men; citizens who are not only prepared to take up arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as a basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom. The cause of liberty, the cause of American, cannot succeed with any lesser effort.” …..leaves this part out which means the energy people put into forming the country needs to continue in order to maintain the country. “It is this effort and concern which makes up the New Frontier. And it is this effort and concern which will determine the success or failure not only with Administration, but of our nation itself.”  https://timpanogos.blog/2014/05/04/gun-nuts-twisting-the-words-of-president-kennedy/ )

Bill…Interesting times here. (Goes to break, then takes a call which he doesn’t usually do when Baertschiger is on)

Some guy who said his name is Dave: I wanted to comment on authoritarian change. I watched Tucker and a guest from Europe told about what is going on in Austria. What I heard is chilling. I heard a comment this morning.  I don’t think the Democratic Party is ever going to have as much power as they do right now. Even though Kate Brown is the most unpopular governor in the country, apparently, and so I don’t….I hear people down here say all the time, ‘Oh that happens in Portland and Salem.’ Well I don’t think that’s true anymore. I’d be interested to know what the Commissioner thinks because the bottom line is they’re not going to stop, Kate Brown, the Democrats, Tina Kotek, all of these people are not gonna stop, you know, at Portland and Salem and Eugene Ok. They want the other, the more conservative strongholds in the state which is the south and the central and eastern part of Oregon and I don’t think they’re gonna stop until they get it. And the bottom line is right now they control everything including the courts. So, you know, I’m facing…I’m up for retirement in a few years and I love western Oregon but I can’t see myself staying here.”

Bill…That’s really sad. I appreciate the call there Dave. Commissioner any comment on what Dave had to say?

Herman…Well, the Democratic in Oregon, and I’ve witnessed it for a long time now, when they look at an issue, when they look at a solution to an issue, they start with answering the one question ‘how do we gain more power and more control out of answering a question to this issue.’ We watched what they did in Bend and they have succeeded in taking Bend, the city proper, not the county of Deschutes, and now they’re focusing their resources on Southern Oregon and the Rogue Valley. There’s no question. And they will continue to do that. So, they will continue to do things to make people like me look bad and prop up you know, Democrat leaders. Have you ever seen an adverse article or editorial of the Mayor Sarah Bristol? Have you ever seen them comment anything negative about anything? And you won’t.

Bill…I can’t recall one but that doesn’t mean there may not have been some criticism but as long as I’ve been reading the Daily Courier I can’t recall of any one but that doesn’t mean that they haven’t though. I haven’t read and I’ve gone back years.

Herman…And I can’t recall it either. Not like they’ve been doing to the Commissioners. They are absolutely obsessed with the Josephine County Commissioners.

Bill…So they’re obsessed and we can’t help the fact that people are going to be obsessed about this alright, but I wanted to shift this back to an issue which I think is actually affecting everybody, Democrat and Republican. This has to do with the Flying Lark. You know the Flying Lark development? And I was musing a little earlier this morning and are we overthinking this a bit Commissioner Baertschiger?  I’m spit-balling with you here but well, let me say you have told me for years how the one thing you have to understand about Gov. Brown and the system we have here, in supermajority controlled Democratic controlled politics, is that you reward your friends and you punish your enemies. Could the Travis Boersma Flying Lark situation just be an example of we’re going to punish our enemies? Josephine County, proper as it were, for not going along? Is that something that could be a possibility? That is not being considered rather than them not standing behind the racing commission the gambling commission or whatever it is and you’ve got the tribes complaining etcetera, etcetera, what Boersma wants to do is no different from what we’re doing in Portland not that long ago. It passed muster then. Whataya think?

Herman…..Well, what I think is um, there’s always the possibility in that but that will never rise to the surface, um. There’s two parts to the Boersma problem. There’s the political part, that he’s in direct competition with the tribes and the Oregon lottery (Bill interrupts…and the tribes also spend a lot of money politically, do they not to candidates?)

Herman…. The Democrats just about give the tribes anything they ask for to a certain degree. The other part that Travis has is the question, the statute question, and that’s over the historical horseracing machines and are they historical horse racing machines or they actual gaming machines? So, there’s the political question and the legal question.

Bill…. But isn’t the legal question pretty clear given the fact that Portland was using these same type machines? Before?

Herman…um…you know, we’re lookin’ for an opinion and it’s gonna be, you know, let’s just say it’s now under question. When they’re in Portland it was not under question.

Bill…. Exactly my point. And that is what makes me wonder about the politics. People will say it’s a non-partisan issue but there’s politics in everything and if you have the horse racing machines in Portland all of a sudden it’s a good thing and we’re happy about it but all of a sudden horse racing, gaming machines, whatever you want to call them in Josephine County….well…. this is a horrible thing, it’s against the law, and I can’t help but wonder if this is once again, rewarding friends and punishing enemies. Even if the enemy is just a county, which is not a true believer in the narrative as it were. I can’t help but wonder. I’m speculating OK. I get it. I get it.

Herman…Yeah, yeah and I agree with you Bill but we’ll never know for a fact, ok. We’ll never know for a fact. Um, you know, it’s sad, you know, uh…. I’ve known Travis for a long time. I understand what’s going on. The relationship with the county. The county has a lot at stake. Like about 375 thousand dollars in rent every year. Um, you know you have the soccer fields and the lights for the soccer fields. He built a tunnel, a very expensive access to the soccer fields and he’s just given’ the keys to the county for all this stuff. He’s paying for all the maintenance. He’s payin’ for everything. Um, the fairgrounds is benefiting. The 4H.  Everything that goes on at the fairgrounds, um you know there was you know the YMCA had some issues but I think we resolved all of those but I think when we get done with all the parking lots and everything, remember this man is paying for everything. Uh…the YMCA is gonna benefit from it, it’s all upside. Look at all the jobs that it’s going to create and it’s going to you know, it’s so sad, I mean this is really a Southern Oregon jobs event. It really is. This is creating some really good jobs. And a lot of em. And permanently. And you know I hope Travis doesn’t get mad at me, but I’ll tell you what, he didn’t build this to make money with it. You know what he built it for? To have fun. And hopefully it will make enough money to support horse racing, including the purses, because he has been adding to the purses so this whole thing is all about horse racing and supporting it and funding it.

Bill…..I know he’s incredibly passionate about that. Even more so than coffee, really when it comes right down to it.  I mean Dutch Bros has really been the means to an end. You know, here. To work on this.

Herman…. Yeah….you know he looks at, you know he’s done really well at Dutch Bros. it’s a windfall. It’s great. And he’s gonna, you know, he’s gonna spread the money around.  People don’t believe that and you look at all the articles the Oregonian….these billionaires, they always start with billionaires, I mean to be honest with you he’s the poster child for white privilege in a lot of people’s eyes. And it’s just unfair because he’s just trying to do something really good. It’s fair you could call it a legacy, but so what? It’s good for the county. It’s good for the people in Josephine County and it’s good for people who enjoy horse racing. It’s gonna be an awesome facility and it’s so sad what’s going on and I actually told him the other day that I really feel bad that you’re having to go through this political charade

Bill…. But that’s just…..say you, you may not be able to approve it, but something tells me this has to be political in nature or otherwise, something tells me if this were being redone, if Travis were having this Flying Lark in Portland instead, something tells me it would have sailed through and nobody would have said a word. Now to be fair though, we are just a few miles away, it’s not that far, you get to Exit 99 in Canyonville and Seven Feathers Cow Creek, which I’m also very supportive of. Right. Can we all get along on something like this? What does your gut tell you on this?

Herman…. Well, I think we should, you know, all get along on something like this. I mean there are two different types of facilities. You have to remember that Travis has only limited to, I believe it’s 225 historical racing machines, so he can’t expand he’s limited. So, I don’t see how that is a big threat. And I heard the tribes come out this is going to cost them $100 million or whatever.  Well, I can assure em I’ve seen the…that’s not possible….225 gaming machines is not gonna cost em 100 million dollars.

Bill…. But to say that it’s not competition wouldn’t be fair either. I mean it certainly is.…there’s a limited amount of recreational or gaming money available within the system there so I can understand why they would look at this askance… (Herman interrupts…absolutely)…Bill…look at this cross-eyed, certainly,

Herman…. But there’s also competition within the tribes, so um, you have that. I know the Cow Creek Tribe is in opposition of the Coquille Tribe that is trying to build a facility in Medford so there’s all of that kind of stuff but there is a lot of politics. There’s been two bills introduced in the House for this upcoming session that would basically ban horseracing and historical horse racing machines.

Bill…. Oh you know that’s just an arrow at Boersma’s heart isn’t it. That’s all it is. That’s pure politics.

Herman…. Yeah…they’re gonna have to navigate that you know.  Unfortunately, he’s caught up in politics. I’ve been afraid of this for quite some time and it’s come to fruition.

Bill…..Well, thanks for being on.  Anything else you’d like to say?

Herman…. Don’t believe anything you read.

Bill…and thanks for joining this (in a deep, spooky voice) ….RIGHT WING RADIO SHOW….he he, he he….har, har, har, har.