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County Commissioners 2/8/22 through March 2nd

Monday’s Land Use Hearing on Feb. 28 was a “clash of two American dreams” according to Josephine County Commissioner Darin Fowler as he listened to a small business owner and a neighbor argue over what is and isn’t allowed in a rural residential zone.

“One (American) dream is to have a peaceful retirement and the other is to create a business and feed your family and feed your passion,” said Fowler after listening to comments during a public hearing. The hearing was about an appeal a neighbor filed after the county Planning Department approved Curtis and Dana Pearce’s metal tool fabrication business in their back garage on Gordon Way North. A neighbor alleged the business was a potential nuisance and brought increased traffic into a rural residential area, further deteriorating a dirt road there and creating a dust problem in the summer. The Pearce’s maintained they met all the requirements for a Type III use in the residential zone in order to get the approval of the county. Curtis said his business bloomed from “tinkering in his shop” with tomato cages to a licensed business making uprooter and weed wrench tools for gardeners, which he said were like fence post pullers but for woody plants and weeds.  He said as his business grew he had no complaints until his recently retired neighbor moved onto his property down the road. Brad Mathis mostly complained about the road deterioration, accessibility to emergency vehicles and how the business prevented him from the peaceful enjoyment of his property.

Curtis said he has approval of his local fire company who said there was no problem with access. Another neighbor testified on the Pearce’s behalf, saying their business was hardly notice and noise in the neighborhood came from everywhere, from people taking out trees to dogs barking.

Commissioners finally concluded along with Fowler, that they had limited jurisdiction over land use and zoning and don’t deal with road easements on private property and that the Pearce’s business, with mitigations, was allowed on their property. Commissioner Herman Baertschiger did advise the Pearce’s to get something done about the dusty road as a good will gesture to their neighbors. The Land Use Hearing lasted 1 ½ hours.

Wednesday’s Weekly Business Session was dominated by a report by Kevin O’Brien of the Illinois Valley Watershed Council who gave a long and detailed update on board restructuring and discussed several restoration projects the Council has planned. He told the Board, “There is no higher priority than water theft by illegal grows” and said everything possible must be done to stop this.

Commissioner Dan DeYoung thanked O’Brien for the useful information, then complained that every time the Board tries to do something about illegal grows we get “an outcry from the public to leave cannabis alone.” He went on to talk about the destruction and trash left behind by illegal growers until Chair Baertschiger told him to yield to others who might want to speak. O’Brian talked more about how illegal ag practices were “tearing the valley apart.”

“We’re very much for sustainable cannabis but dead set against circumventing the rules,” he said.

Baertschiger said he’s had “long conversations” with the Governor and Speaker of the House about the problem but that it’s frustrating being a commissioner “since all taxation is held with the state and water rights are preempted by the State of Oregon.” He said this limits their ability to help at the Commission level of government.

After their next agenda item, approval of a grant for mental health help, Baertschiger opened the meeting to comments from the public.

Regular caller Judy Hinkel called in complaining about having her First Amendment rights violated because the Illinois Valley News, a private business, wouldn’t print her notices, then breathlessly announced that elite psychopaths were running the world, hospital ventilators kill and how millions have been killed by vaccines. She said all those involved, including the IV News, would be held accountable and urged people to rise up.  Craig Hinkel also called in to use his three minutes of fame to complain about free speech and being censored by the local media.

Mark Seligman called in to refute the latest board insult to him and continued to accuse the Board of things the Board disputes every time he calls in.

When it was the Commissioner’s turn to comment on the commenters, DeYoung continued his years-long argument with Seligman then segued into complaining about the Grants Pass Daily Courier. Fowler’s response to Seligman was “he makes me tired” and said he thought it was odd the media wouldn’t take the Hinkel’s money for an ad.

Baertschiger said he respects citizen comments and said while some Chairs might put up “sideboards” he’s “pretty liberal” on that and said he thinks everyone should be able to have their say as long as they don’t threaten anyone.

Commissioners went on to talk about the news the recall against them had failed.

Fowler – “I want to report there weren’t enough signatures. I thought it was a pretty weak effort anyway. Especially without being specific. Trying to tie COVID around our necks is so vague since we have no authority over any mandate, we have no authority to compel anybody to do anything, and I wouldn’t want to. I want people to have the freedom…I’ll argue with you about vaccines if you like but the main argument I want to have is about mandates. And if you’re going to mandate I have to do something my immediate response is I don’t think I have to do it and will always be that and that’s very American, that I have the freedom to choose. And I used to be able to trust I could get good information from my government and that I could get good information from my doctor but now my government has taken a turn and decided to work on emergency orders instead of consensus and using the process and using the legislature. We have a dictator in Oregon, California and Washington that have done so many things that the courts would not allow if the courts hadn’t been chosen by them. If the judges hadn’t been chosen by them. Over the past 30, 40 years in all these states. And so I think it all comes down to the mandate and I don’t think the Commissioners should have ever mandated anything for the citizens of our county and we didn’t. We chose to let them choose and we tried to get them the best information we could even though some of it was confusing, conflicting and goal posts mounted on wheels that changed every week. And so it has been frustrating, I think we navigated it well. I do hope this mask mandate ending will really bring back that feeling of normal this spring and summer because I’m sure some folks are gonna wear masks, and that’s great, that’s your freedom to choose, that’s what it should’ve been in the first place for everybody. But, because you believed what science was being spoon-fed to you, you didn’t make a very educated decision. You just took, lock, stock and barrel, and it was very upsetting for me to watch Americans choose mandates over freedom. And so I, um, appreciate these meetings and the ability of our public to say whatever they want but that doesn’t mean we have to agree with em, they just have the freedom to say it.”

DeYoung didn’t talk about the recall but did go on and on about a meeting he had with ODOT concerning Highway 199 improvements. “I sat in yesterday with 199 project with ODOT. By the way the majority of the 199 project would be a rendition of Alternative A which was turned down by the city council probably 8 years ago maybe? Maybe a little bit longer than that? Closer to ten maybe even 12 years ago. But anyway, over the long haul 199 needed complete revamping. They started out basically just beyond the college to I guess somewhere in the Midway range, Midway Avenue, and Phase 1 was brought in almost to Hubbard Lane, and then Hubbard Lane to Dowel and then the final phase was Alternative A which was Dowel to Tussey Lane. And that required a realignment of the intersection of Redwood Avenue and Allen Creek Road which would be very invasive to the Josephine County Fairgrounds. It also would have a heck of an impact on all the businesses out there as it would put a bulb-out, basically it would move the intersection north, oh I’m going to guess 150 to 200 yards into Fairground’s property and the associated lanes to that, that’s one of the things in there. But there’s also that third lane element that we brought up and one of the ways the third lane element, a commuter lane if you will, that we could get that done now rather than start it as a new project would be to dust off Alternative A…it’s always been on the shelf as the third phase in that revamp of 199 so it is still on the shelf. It is still funded to a certain degree cause we’ve been working with ODOT to figure out what the extent of that remodel should look like. I had a real hardy discussion on it yesterday. And I voiced my opinion that the realignment of that Allen Creek Road and Redwood Avenue should be associated with the fourth bridge if and when that ever comes in as  part of that project not as part of the third lane, commuter lane and travel along I-5, excuse me 199 and Redwood Avenue. Lot of studies done, there’s a lot of information given out yesterday, real good reports to be honest with you, but um, at the end of the day it will come to the Board of County Commissioners for their approval but this is all in the lap of the City Council. How that turns out in that particular thing, that is within their jurisdiction, not ours. Although, one thing that ODOT needs to understand, City of Grants Pass needs to understand, it’s still part of Josephine County so we do have a voice in the room. You can’t just count us off. I think Mr. Baker said ‘well, doesn’t matter what you think,’ I’m paraphrasing here, ‘it doesn’t matter what you think because it will be the City’s decision.’ It’s in the City’s TSP (Transportation System Plan). This is just the starting of it but I think what we’re all interested in is improving that situation out there on 199 for the people that live out there in that Redwood District. And that’s not going to get any smaller out there residential wise or otherwise. That is the way that Grants Pass is going to grow and our residential community will move out to that area.”

DeYoung said he also heard about “Purple Heart Counties” at that meeting and directed staff to see what it takes to put up a sign. We already have a “We Support Veterans” sign at the entrance to the county he said.

DeYoung then disputed some arguments he’s been getting about putting the question asking if Josephine County voters would like to become part of Idaho and emphasized “it’s a non-binding question. We’re just seeking information. Hold your rhetoric and distain for County Commissioners.”

DeYoung’s last comment was about the recall. “I feel really good about being a Commissioner….less than 3 percent of the county responded to the recall. I feel really good.”

Baertschiger, keeping to his theme that Commissioners have no say about most of the matters constituents complain about said “I just want to reiterate, a lot of people I got email from were saying ‘will you require Smartmatic machines to be eliminated before the next election.’ There’s another example of a frustrated constituent who doesn’t believe in the voting machines. Well voting is, again and I think people are getting tired of me saying this even though it’s the truth, exclusively with the legislature. And that’s the federal Constitution says that. But, um, switching to a state senator from a county commissioner….I am extremely frustrated that over the years, even though we’re a home rule county, over the years the legislature keeps taking away our ability to govern our county. Just a few examples, look at land use, water rights, health care, voting, marijuana…Us three commissioners virtually have no say. We can’t…we don’t have a lot of say in any of that. And people are frustrated. They want changes and they expect us to do it at the county level but I’m afraid that the Oregon State Legislature has robbed our ability to govern our county the way our citizens in this county wants to be governed. And that’s very sad.”

The meeting was adjourned after an hour and 45 minutes.

Commissioners nodded through a long report by the Two Rivers Soil and Water Conservation District during their March 3 Administrative Workshop. Fowler took the role of Chair as Baertschiger “had a conflict” he said.

Conservation District projects include fencing off East Fork Williams Creek to keep cows from continuing to degrade the stream, a representative said. She had a grant for most of the cost for this project but needed $2,000 more. Fowler and DeYoung agreed to have Finance Director Sandy Novak find $2,000 for the project, which is being done with the cooperation of private landowners.

Human Resources Director JJ Scofield popped up with a request to end COVID leave for employees. He wasn’t sure when to end the special leave for employees who tested positive. Commissioners directed him to end it when the mask mandate ends. They also discussed the mandate that even if they start holding in-person meetings, they must honor requests from people who want to comment remotely so they have to make accommodations for that.

Novak made an appearance at Thursday’s meeting to discuss the infrastructure bill. She said it will come to the county in the form of grants they can apply for but because the grants are for things they normally apply for it will be hard to determine what is state money and what money comes from the infrastructure bill. However, she said the state will keep track of what they get and allocate. Novak told Commissioners she had no idea how much Josephine County will ultimately get but hoped some of it could be used for airport hangers and illegal grow contamination.

After calling the Infrastructure Bill monopoly money Fowler said his conscience doesn’t bother him for taking the money because he believes the federal government has shorted Josephine County O&C funds for years so this is theirs by rights anyway. DeYoung somehow compared taking the money to drinking water when you’re seasick but no one could figure out that metaphor. Realizing that, he went on to say his kids and grandkids will be paying for today’s infrastructure. Fowler asked if they should allocate the money “in house” or form a task force? DeYoung said they should wait and see how much they are getting, then went on to complain further about the money using indecipherable metaphors.

After approving a plot map for the River Meadows Subdivision off Leonard Road Commissioners noted that farmland in the Redwood area is being carved up for residential use but the land between Upper River Road and Lower River Road is designated by the state to stay in ag zoning “because the state doesn’t have the appetite to turn that into residential as some time we may have to feed ourselves off that land,” said DeYoung.

During Matters from the Commissioners DeYoung commented about the recall effort and hinted that if the recall group tries again he will be more aggressive defending himself against “slanderous” allegations, then invited them to come see him about their concerns.

“I had nothing to say. The paper said it all last night in the headline….I wouldn’t call it a failed attempt at recall because when you put in that much time and effort you’ll get something out of it. I don’t think anybody failed in this, they just didn’t get the signatures and it looks like they’ve vowed to come back and do it again….um you know the definition of insanity comes up that they used so much against us, you know doing the same thing over and over again to get a different income…outcome…but ah, you know, I’m not going to go down that road. I just appreciate the fact people want to get involved in their government. They’re concerned about what’s going on. I just want to caution that in the future um, I think that, um, I was remiss in not fact checking the allegations against me and not defending myself against those allegations. I won’t be that guy again. I’m gonna make sure what you’re talking about me, you can say anything you want about me as long as it’s the truth. If it’s not the truth it becomes slanderous. And I probably won’t just sit back and let it happen again. I will be very, very involved in the next process if that were to come to pass. And if it does it does and if it doesn’t it doesn’t. I have no reservations either way. I just thank you….I think it’s a great opportunity to participate in your government. There’s a lot of people that signed that petition that probably never even thought about it before. What do the Board of County Commissioners do? I would like to invite anyone in especially….I got friends of mine….I hear through the grapevine criticize what we are doing here but I never hear from them and our doors are always open. I’ve got a cell phone…I’ve got two of em…and you know you can contact us anytime and if you need an explanation as to what we’re looking at because we get a whole bunch of information I don’t think the public has the appetite or the patience to sit back and listen to all the information. So we’re open all the time you know there’s stuff in there that a that they accuse us of that, especially that 5.5 percent, you know that’s easily explainable. You just gotta come in and talk about it. If you don’t want to talk about it, just want to write about it and throw rocks in letters to the editor and um, that’s your prerogative, but I would appreciate it if you would extend to us the courtesy, I think we’ll call it the courtesy of comin’ and talkin’ to us and gettin’ it straight from the horse’s mouth, or the other end of it if it doesn’t suit ya. So, um that’s just what I want to say. You know, I’m semi relieved it’s over. You know I actually feel sorry for people that sat out there in the pouring down rain through the holidays and what not but you know you’re very in tune and come and see me. Not a problem. I’m not a bad guy. I’m not going to bite your head off or anything of the sort. But I’ll give you my opinion. You’ll certainly know what’s on my mind when you leave but I’ll know what’s on your mind too and that’s the good part. It’s called a healthy exchange. So the invitation’s open. The ball’s in your court,” said DeYoung.

Fowler took the opportunity to say what a wonderful Commissioner DeYoung has been, then had an announcement:

“And so this brings me to an announcement I want to make, um, and it’s time sensitive. I have changed my mind about running for reelection. The deadline is next Tuesday, so those of you that may have not wanted to get into the race because there was an incumbent, now it’s wide open. The primary’s wide open so ah, please get your application in if that’s what you would chose to do. There was many factors that contributed to this decision. I talked with my family and friends and lots of prayer and I really have enjoyed volunteering at the city and at the county for what’s been almost 13 years. And representing you as commissioner has really been the pinnacle of my enjoyment because I’ve met a lot of folks I might not have met otherwise, out in the Williams Valley but especially out in the Illinois Valley and up in Wolf Creek. Met a lot of good folks who are fighting for their community. I just have to choose to refocus on my contracting business and a new business that I’m starting with my daughter and my wife, and so uh, when my wife and I decided to have me run for commissioner we knew that it would be a pay cut for us but we just didn’t know that we were gonna sell our house and buy another and have a huge remodel on our hands and it just turned into a lot. And so I’m gonna end my service at the end of this calendar year and I will not act as a lame duck. I will be an active commissioner and stay engaged and help my successor be successful whoever that is by trying to hand off things well and so I will look forward to maybe serving in the future too. I’m only 55. I got some miles in front of me. So we’ll see if it comes up again in my life but I have enjoyed it and I will stay active when I feel it’s appropriate. So that’s my announcement and so I appreciate you electing me and supporting me,” he said.

DeYoung spent the next ten minutes or so saying what a wonderful Commissioner Fowler has been.

The meeting lasted nearly an hour.

The Herman and Bill Show

KMED Radio March 1, 2022

Just before Josephine County Commissioner Herman Baertschiger’s regular Tuesday appearance on The Bill Meyer Show Meyer interviewed Jo Rae Perkins, favored to win the Republican primary to become their candidate running against Sen. Ron Wyden. She ran against him last time he was up for election. Meyer asked her about her involvement in QAnon, which he called “the greatest psyops out there. Perkins said main stream media was a psyops and said while she didn’t agree with everything QAnon promotes “it’s like reading a mystery and it says think for yourself. Do your research and go think for yourself.”

When Baertschiger finally came on they talked about the Oregon State Legislature as “slime” and lamented the fate of Travis Boersma’s Flying Lark, which didn’t open after the Oregon State Racing Commission decided the gambling machines he wanted were illegal. The facility is built on Josephine County Fairgrounds land Boersma leases from the county but Baertschiger didn’t know how that was going to work out. He said he did know Boersma was looking at options but “I’m not at liberty to talk in depth about that.”

After that brief exchange about local matters, the conversation turned to Ukraine for much of the remaining discussion. Baertschiger and Meyer used the Russian invasion of Ukraine to bash Democrats, call it “politics” and declare they didn’t think it would have happened if Trump was president.

Bill – Ukraine…as Vice Chair (of the state Republican Party) what do you think?

Herman – Well the whole thing is you have one country invading another country. That’s bad. Now they’re startin’ to talk about nucular (sic) weapons that’s like really bad. But let’s talk about the politics because the politicians are gonna spin this…..

Bill – Yeah, yeah, cause that’s what I’ve noticed it seems like everyone’s just rushing out to get in front of the camera with their latest way to show affinity I guess, is what they’re trying to do.

Herman – Well, I think what the Democrat strategy is to villainize Putin as much as they can and then as we get into the election cycle for the president they’ll try to tie Trump to Putin. That’s probably the strategy there. And then, um, the Republican strategy on the other side is, you know if we were in charge this woulda never happened to begin with…

Bill – And I would agree with that view. I think had it been President Trump there’s absolutely no doubt that President Trump despite his amazing strengths and flaws, I mean cause we’re all human there, I don’t think Putin would have done this because I think Putin would respect another crazy Ivan with respect. I think President Trump would’ve been much more unpredictable then say Joe Biden. I mean Joe Biden has been predictably weak from day one on most matters.

Herman – Yeah and it’s easy to predict him especially if you have access to the teleprompter before he speaks…Bill interrupts – Ha Ha Ok. Herman – It is interesting because I watch the President and what he reads off the teleprompter cause I know it’s not in his own words and, and what they’re doing is, you know, is ‘poor Ukraine democracy, democracy, democracy, which Ukraine isn’t a real good example of democracy.

Bill – You see I am so glad that you brought that up. It’s being intellectually honest because I’m hearing everybody talk about Ukraine and why we have to defend democracy in Ukraine. Zelensky imprisoned his opponents! Do people understand that? I mean, that’s happened and the opposition has really been repressed there in Wash…..in, in…in Ukraine, well in Washington too for that matter. This talk about protecting Ukrainian democracy is pretty thin gruel. It just amazes me Herman how this is getting spun in politics.

Herman – Well it is and then I’m just you know and then at the end of the day it sounds like we’re given em a lot of help but we’re not, but we’re still continuing to send Putin great big checks for his energy, you know.

Bill – Yeah

Herman – Ya know? Bill laughs. Herman – I’m just like ‘come on Mr. President. What is going on here? You keep…..

Bill interrupts – But is there any wonder why people are so confused about this alright now? And let’s be honest if the Democrats are going to say Putin equals Hitler alright? And by the way I think what’s going on in Ukraine is a tragedy right now I think it was avoidable in some ways. In many ways. But I’m not in the state department so I had no choice to where they’re takin this but, ha ha ha, you know when it comes right down to it there is, um, well there aren’t any great guys in this argument are there? Right? No great people.

Herman – No but you know I get tired of bein’ thought of as stupid. I mean you listen sanctions, sanctions, sanctions. Well Putin’s been livin,’ the Russians been livin’ under sanctions. They know how to live under sanctions. You know?

Bill – Putin is practically sanction proof and he’s been working to make his country that way. He goes ‘oh well it’ll hurt a little bit. So what. People want my natural gas.’ That’s essentially the way Putin’s gonna look at the world and I don’t blame him.

Herman – Well and then they say, ‘well we’re gonna lock up the oligarchies’ money in the United States.’ Now you don’t think they seen this comin?

Bill laughs.

Herman – You don’t think they probably already figured out how to get their money outta here? Laughs You know I just….I really get tired of, of you know of just giving me the information that they want us to know.

Bill – That’s all they give us is the information they want us to know.  And it’s so interesting you bring that up because as I watch the Ukraine coverage, it’s pretty much the same thing too. It’s like what they want us to know, what they want us to believe, and we know for the most part what tends to control most of the media. That’s just the reality Ok.  Why don’t we set that aside for the moment though because it is crazy? Do you think this is going to be a big deal? I mean Americans have pretty short memories. Is this still going to be an issue you think in the November elections by this time?

Herman – Um, oh yes. Absolutely. It’s just like I said. They’re gonna try to tie Republicans to Putin and then the Republicans are going to try to say, you know Biden didn’t do anything to help the Ukraine…and then you know you’ve got all those underlying things. I call em cannon fodder, you know with Biden’s son, and Ukraine I mean, my gosh this is just a basket so interwoven it’s just ah, you scratch your head and just wonder what in the heck is really going on?

Bill – And there’s ultimately, I wish I know what the conspiracy machines were doing behind the scenes in some respect Herman because there’s all this, pardon me, how interesting the COVID narrative falls apart and then oh looky, what happens? Now it’s probably just a coincidence but I’ve gotten to the point where is there ever really a coincidence these days? I don’t know.

Herman – Well you bring up a good point because the polling has been very bad against the Democrats on COVID. It’s like a burning tire hung around their neck and this certainly extinguished that burning tire. It changed the narrative, changed the problem. Changed the tragedy. Change, change. You know. Move on and it’s all about strategy. It is politics in a big way Bill.

Bill – Indeed it is.

Herman – Yeah unfortunately at the end of the day though people are losing their lives, their cities, uh, destruction, displacement of human beings. All of the suffering and yet the politicians are still playing politics.

Bill – And I’m glad you bring up the aspect of politics because whether we want to admit it or not Ukraine has been playing that chess piece in essentially what do you call it a proxy war, really, between NATO, United States and Russia and it’s been this way for a long, long time. We had the coup which we ended up supporting and helping to install a puppet government that was more to our liking back in 2014 and Putin’s upset about that…kind of like Spy vs. Spy really.

Herman – Yeah…but you know if you study history I would like to point out that anytime you have one country invading another European country usually doesn’t have a good ending.

Bill – No and we can’t even predict where this is going to go. I’m just hoping it doesn’t end with a mushroom cloud but fortunately if you’ve ever read the strategic relocation the rogue valley ends up being in a pretty good location. For fallout. So there it is. Try to find a little bit of sunshine in a dark cloud. OK. Laughs. What’s going on in Ukraine. We’re pretty good with the prevailing winds.

Bill – Herman before we take off here you’ve spent a lot of time in the state legislature. What would you make out of this current state session? And this short session has just been scratchin my head and listener after listener emailing me and emailing me urging the people to walk out. I’m seein the sponsors on that stupid bill, you know that’s going to help take care of you know the, the workers in the busted marijuana farms, etcetera, etcetera. Aye yi yi. I mean do we have any adults in the room at this point. In the state legislature. How do you see that playing out? We got a few days left of this carnage.

Herman – Yeah, you know that’s House bill 4074 makes a law that says if you’re a victim of slave labor that you need to report it to the authorities…laughing.

Bill – Yeah, I know. If I were a slave laborer inside a Mexican drug cartel in Josephine County, sure I’m going to report that to the state then taken out back, get shot in the head and get buried. In a ditch. You know? It’s pretty simple. That’s the way life, life works that way.

Herman – Yeah I went through that bill kinda fast this morning you know and there’s other things in there. If the commission issues a license to a marijuana operation and they happen to be within a thousand feet of the premise the commission may allow the marijuana retailer to relocate. There’s that in there. Then there’s some money stuff in there. And the money that’s what kinda irritated me because it sounds like legislature gives 6 million dollars more to uh…

Bill interrupts – …..to fight marijuana grows. It’s giving us the impression that its fighting illegal marijuana grows but it doesn’t really fight that. It doesn’t really help that at all does it?

Herman – No, no. Lemme read it. Here it says outta the general fund the amount of 6 million dollars for deposit into the illegal marijuana enforcement grant program and then it says for the purpose of responding to humanitarian crisis associated with unlawful marijuana cultivation and distribution operations. So what that tells me is they just now took away more money that coulda went to law enforcement to humanitarian.

Bill – And aren’t they trying to make it say this is for law enforcement? Herman exactly. Bill wasn’t that the deception that was being done with this? This bill because this is about something Josephine and Jackson County could apply for right? But it’s not about really paying for law enforcement. At least I don’t think it is.

Herman – Well what it does is opens up the enities (sic) that can apply for the money through the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission so originally the only ones that could apply for it were law enforcement. Now all of these non-profits, anybody that’s gonna help with the humanitarian crisis associated with marijuana they also can apply for those same dollars.

Bill – So you could see Allcare Health as an example or Asante or someone else that is doing some kind of treatment program for people involved in this. They could vacuum up some money. Right?

Herman – And at the end of the day what we really need is law enforcement. We do. That’s what we need. That’s what law enforcement says what OLCC says, that’s what the department of agriculture says

Bill – Then why wouldn’t the legislature say that’s what it needs and instead it wants to send money to humanitarian victims of the drug cartels, the illegal grows. Why are they doin that Commissioner?

Herman – Because they’re smarter than everyone else. That’s all I got. I mean I see legislators, Republican, Democrat it doesn’t matter, sign on to so many bills in this short session and I just scratch my head and I wanna ask em, did you really read all those bills? You know? I used to tell, I used to tell freshman legislators be careful what you put your name on, you don’t want to be the proud parent of an ugly baby. And that’s what can happen. You sponsor a bill and then that bill changes as it works through the system and now you’re stuck with your name on it. I’ve always said both in the House and the Senate if there’s a good bill you can sign on to it right up to the time you vote on it. You know, so wait, don’t sponsor that thing. You know it has a relating clause that can be amended every way…

Bill – Oh yeah stuff can be gutted and stuffed out of existence, out of recognition by the time you vote on it so you should never probably sign on until you vote. Yeah. That makes sense. Sure.

Herman – I just think there’s a lotta legislators up there that think this is like, ah, I don’t know, they just wanna be liked or something. It’s a social event and um it’s not. I mean some of this stuff is, it’s always crazy but you know I’m surprised that its even crazier now.

Bill – And what has surprised me even more is that it’s been signed on by so many Republicans this time around. I mean are Republicans trying to get loved in the state legislature? Cause I have to tell you when it comes to their constituents who write me all the time…it’s not workin’ Herman. OK? Just sayin.

Herman – You know, I think the Democrats do a little better job than Republicans but they’re also in the majority but they seem to rally around their base better than some Republicans do.

Bill – Yeah sometimes with Republicans it’s like herding cats. It’s true. It’s very true.

Herman – Well the dynamics are different when you have the majority. OK? So we have to understand that, but I tell people, you know this is a political process. You have to make it through the primary and the way you make it through a primary is having the support of your base and if you don’t have the support of your base you’re not gonna make it through the primaries. So, that’s how it works.

Bill Indeed it is.

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