To the Right of Reality 2-7-23

Read as a PDF

People listening to Josephine County Commission Chair Herman Baertschiger repeating his homeless story on The Bill Meyer Show on KMED talk radio are probably getting tired of it. Meyer should gently let him know his story is starting to sound like a bad recording. During his January 31 call-in to Meyer’s show, Baertschiger repeated his story about visiting homeless camps and discovering the people there liked living that way. He launched his story in response to an editorial in the Grants Pass Daily Courier about how Mayor Sarah Bristol was learning first-hand about homelessness by volunteering in a warming shelter.

Baertschiger said the paper never gives him any credit for having visited homeless camps when he was a state legislator, but apparently the only insight he came away with is, “they don’t want to be like you.”

“There was a nice lady at one of our meetings and she’s very passionate about helping the homeless and all the things she wants to do and on and on and I listened to her and then I said to her…and she’s kind of new at this…but she really wants to help and then I said always remember, they don’t want to be like you. Ok? So a lot of people fall into this homeless place and say ‘oh, oh all I gotta do is get those people to be like me and we won’t have a homeless problem.’ Well, they don’t want to be like you.”

Meyer pushed back slightly by telling Baertschiger about a homeless man who got that way through an injury that kept him from working and he did want to get back into living like the rest of us. Baertschiger’s response was “…one thing I would caution you and anybody else, um, you have to really verify these stories cause you’d be surprised that sometimes they’re not exactly how they’re quoted to you.” Baertschiger said he’s heard a lot of stories over the years from people playing “the victim card,” then went on to talk about how he managed to create a good businesses because he didn’t make many “mistakes” on his way up. He said he tells young people those who make bad choices along the way won’t end up as successful as he is.

Meyer rerouted the conversation by praising Baertschiger for getting so much information out on Josephine County’s website. This launched another repeated story about how the Board considers newspapers “antiquated” and that’s why they put all their legal notices on-line where you can sign up to be notified each time the county drops a new notice.

“…and my kids, I don’t think have ever picked up a newspaper in their lives,” said Baertschiger.

Previously, Baertschiger and Commissioner John West voted to switch the county’s legal notices from the Daily Courier to the weekly Illinois Valley News with a much smaller circulation. After spending more than a year complaining about the Courier’s coverage of county news, it was apparent yanking the Courier’s significant source of income was retribution, but Baertschiger is now saying the Board, consisting of three senior citizens, wants to “modernize” the way people get their information.

Baertschiger said the future of newspapers may be to sell by the article instead of selling subscriptions. “I was even talking with Richard Emmons of the Josephine County Eagle a few weeks ago about this and there needs to be a way to purchase by the article because not everybody’s gonna pay five or ten bucks a month for every Substack they want or every newspaper subscription they want because you’ll get to the point where it’s hundreds of dollars a month if you’re trying to get behind the paywall…you need to be able to pick and choose a little bit more.”

Baertschiger was back on Meyer’s February 7 show after Meyer tried to get callers to respond to his criticism of Sen. Jeff Merkley’s visit to Medford and Grants Pass. He pointed out that Merkley didn’t win in Southern Oregon, that Jo Rae Perkins (a QAnon nut) won and that no one from the “conservative world” goes to see Merkley. Meyer tried to gin up people to go to Merkley’s townhall meetings and scream at him like the “gray ponytailed Indivisibles did when Greg Walden held town halls.” No one called in about Merkley. They had other concerns to talk about.

By the time Baertschiger came on the conversation started with the new newspaper in town, the “Rogue Valley Tribune.” They both expect it to appeal to the conservative base in the area. They went on to declare how wonderful the conservative commissioner from Curry County, Court Boice, will be in the statehouse. Boice does not have a great reputation in Curry County, however… https://wildrivers.lostcoastoutpost.com/2021/apr/6/letter-reveals-former-curry-county-emergency-servi/ and Curry Commissioner Chris Paasch Threatens Lawsuit Against Fellow Commissioner and the County Over Alleged Email Claiming Corruption; Offers to Drop Suit if Boice Resigns | Wild Rivers Outpost | Del Norte, Curry Counties (lostcoastoutpost.com) Boice was appointed to fill a seat in the House after the former District 1 Rep. David Brock Smith was appointed to fill a vacant Senate seat.

Meyer asked Baertschiger why Josephine County didn’t get its request to restrict hemp growing licenses granted. Baertschiger said it’s the state’s fault the request didn’t get sent to the right state agency. It went to the Office of Emergency Management when it was supposed to go to the Agriculture Department.

The duo then found common ground in attacking Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s Democracy Agenda, which is basically about making it easier to register to vote by automatically registering people who sign up for the state’s health care program, stiffening penalties for people who harass election workers, and extending the vote to certain people in prison. They went on to discuss the horror that Fagan inflicted on the state by appointing Molly Woon as Election Director. Woon has an impressive resume which includes her work in communications for the DPO and the senate majority office.

“She was the architect of the motor voter law,” said Baertschiger.

Baertschiger noted Republicans spent so much time and money trying to get a conservative governor when they should have concentrated on the Secretary of State position, which has control of elections. Both Meyer and Baertschiger conceded that Democrats are in the majority because they’re much more organized than Republicans in the state. “The silent majority is their demise,” said Baertschiger.  “If every Republican spent 10 hours a year and contributed $100 we could turn this state around,” he said.