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To the Right of Reality

Democrats should pay attention to right-wing media since most of it is aimed at denigrating Democrats by Rush Limbaugh wannabes who use outrage to sell air. If Democrats knew a tire shop in town advertised on a program that ginned up hatred of them, called them communists and riled up listeners by lying about Democratic politicians and voters, would they do business at that shop? They do if they don’t know. There is a malevolent force running through our community and as distasteful as it is, we need to pay attention and push back or continue as easy marks for bloviating talk show hosts endangering a third of the population here for the sole purpose of enriching unconscionable people.

A sample of this week’s pernicious propaganda on KMED
There’s a reason why Measure 113 was put on the ballot. That’s the one the Democratic majority in Oregon’s state legislature believes is necessary because the minority party’s base doesn’t exactly operate within the boundaries of how most people define sanity.

Measure 113 says legislators who have 10 unexcused absences during a legislative session disqualifies them from running for another term. The legislation is aimed at the use of the walkout as a way of denying a quorum and ending the vote on key legislation. District 28 (Klamath Falls and southeastern Oregon) Senator Dennis Linthicum called the legislation “evil” on KMED’s Bill Meyer Show last week. For some reason, Meyer believes Linthicum is an expert on ballot measures. Meyer had Linthicum on to explain the state measures after telling his listeners to vote no on all of them. Linthicum said 113 is supported by Democratic “useful idiots” like the teachers’ unions, then interrupted his review of the measure to berate public school teachers saying, “they aren’t teaching reading, writing and arithmetic anymore, they are teaching our kids to be drag queens.”

On 112, which takes the word “slavery” out of Oregon’s Constitution and the use of involuntary servitude as a criminal punishment, Linthicum was outraged. He said this would lead to paying crooks for being on a work detail. He didn’t mention that prison work crews are sometimes used to help fight fires. In 2019 Linthicum got in trouble for saying that designating slaves as three-fifths of a person wasn’t racist. According to the latest Census, Klamath County has .09 percent Black people so he probably didn’t think he’d lose voters with that remark, but his Black colleagues in the Senate were upset.

Of course both Linthicum and Meyer slammed Measure 114 which proposes a more detailed permit process and longer waiting period to take possession of a gun after purchase. Linthicum revealed that he believes if this passes George Soros will fund candidates to run against every sheriff in the state who says he won’t enforce the measure. He also believes Measure 114 is part of a Democratic plot to close down small businesses such as gun shops and transfer all the wealth to “the big boys” so the economy will collapse making it easier to take the country into socialism.

On Measure 111 Linthicum really went nuts. This is the Measure that calls for an amendment to the state’s constitution that says affordable healthcare is a fundamental right and obligation of the state. Linthicum says healthcare is an individual’s responsibility and the government should stay out of it because universal healthcare just makes it easier to sell more “junk” to people like COVID vaccines and makes it impossible for people to get what really cures COVID such as Ivermectin. If you go to the hospital you’ll have to follow “Fauci protocols” he said without explaining what those are and added that if this measure passes it will aid in creating transgender babies. It is not a right to have healthcare, Linthicum says, and the government shouldn’t be responsible for providing it. Meyer added people just want the “free candy” Democrats offer in these measures.

On October 25 Josephine County Commissioner Herman Baertschiger returned to Meyer’s Tuesday morning lineup with his take on the ballot measures. He’s against all the state measures but indicated he wouldn’t object to the local Measure 17-110, legalizing psilocybin locally, but it should be prescribed by a doctor and used under medical supervision, not just assistants.

When Meyer said, “the sales tax is going down isn’t it,” Baertschiger said that puts funding for law enforcement in a “difficult spot.” He defended the 3 percent seasonal sales tax as the solution that “rose to the top” during town hall meetings. A lot of Republicans attended those meetings and appeared to support the sales tax over a property tax levy. However the Josephine County Republican Party pulled the rug out from under the Commissioners by recently announcing they were against it. Baertschiger didn’t indicate he had any other plan for funding the sheriff. He just repeated his old stories about how the timber receipts that used to fund the county disappeared and that there are no “magic piles of missing money” in the budget that some people think are there, including sheriff candidate Jonathon Knapp. He invited Knapp to sit down with him in his office and go through the budget and see for himself how lean it is.

Before concluding the timber receipts conversation Baertschiger took the opportunity to bash retiring Congressman Peter DeFazio for pushing a bill that would divide timber receipts up with some of the money going to environmental preservation. Meyer and Baertschiger decried the “ganggreens” for funneling money into environmental projects because they don’t work anyway.

Baertschiger and Meyer concluded Tina Kotek will probably win the race for governor because it’s hard to beat the fact that Democrats have 280,000 more registered voters in the state than Republicans have. He tried to gloss over his endorsement of Betsy Johnson by saying he thought that would get Democrats to vote for her but both admitted at this point in the election Johnson is losing support because “everybody is running to their corners now and that’s not good for people with conservative thinking.”

Both Meyer and Baertschiger did hint at trouble to come if the Republican Christine Drazan loses by a narrow margin. Baertschiger blamed “ballot harvesting” for Democrats’ dominance in the state, while Meyer allowed that Democrats go through nursing homes getting ballots to “harvest.” In Oregon “ballot harvesting” simply means that someone other than the voter can take ballots to a drop-off site and it is legal. They both hinted that a narrow win by the Democrat will go to the courts and there will be recount after recount.