Wyden: Western Democrats take the lead
In Oregon (and much of the West), there's been no bigger federal issue than "county payments". Those are payments that the federal government makes to rural resource-dependent communities in lieu of resource extraction. (Some great background, including the promises by Teddy Roosevelt and Bill Clinton over at BlueOregon.)
Anyway, the county-payments program should have been reauthorized in the 2005 congressional session - but it wasn't. In 2007, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) got it done - in partnership with Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) and Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM).
Senator Wyden spent the Easter recess traveling the rural parts of Oregon, praising the work of Western Democrats in the Senate:
"We got a huge, huge, huge victory on the floor of the Senate. Seventy-five votes in the Senate is an army," said Wyden. "I was hoping to get 55 bipartisan votes. Instead I got 75. Every Western state senator voted for the bill."
Wyden said he just completed a series of town hall meetings in small resource dependent communities in Eastern Oregon. Folks, he said, just kept coming back to the county payments issue.
If Wyden had his druthers, he said he would have had the county payments reauthorized last Congressional session, but Congressional leaders didn't understand the issues.
"In the last Congress, our leadership was from the south. They just didn't understand the county payments issues," said Wyden. "This year the leadership is from the West, and Westerners were more aware of county payments. We went in there this session to get it done. We will get it done as soon as possible."
Here's the rest from the Curry County Reporter.
Your Personal Note:
Hi, I'm doing 'Round Two,' of encouraging folks in Alaska and Idaho (and four other 'non-western,' States, to start Recall Campaigns against their Republican governors.
Contacting you through your blog is the only way we currently know how to reach you, so I hope it's OK.
The Big News since my first comments on these western 'Lefty Blogs,' is that such a Recall campaign has started in Nevada!! So, it can easily be started, as the people in Nevada have now demonstrated.
Complete details about this effort is on the URL I entered with this post, and our Home Page remains:
Our small but dedicated online activist group, also supports the Impeachments of Bush and Cheney, so the introduction of Articles of Impeachment yesterday in the House is a big step in making that real.
We've also joined on the bandwagon being pushed hard by MoveOn.org in attacking John McCains efforts to become President. McCain formally announced today that he was running so we 'formally announce,' that we oppose him and his 'Bomb Iran,' ideas.
An email sent to John McCain was posted today, responding to his speech today announcing his candidacy, on our Yahoo site, at:
Thanks for any effort you can put into these tactics and goals.
Keep up your good work for the West. I live in Arizona and our interests are easily ignored by D.C. Business still acts like they can use all the water in the world, build more and more houses and we're pretty much on track to be a desert wasteland soon enough.
Posted by: citizenbfk | Apr 25, 2007 1:36:24 PM
Posted by: hulikqw | May 15, 2007 8:40:14 PM
Posted by: Jesica | May 15, 2007 8:41:44 PM
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(and yes, we know that sometimes they're very, very wrong. Other times, they're right on.)