How to ask me a question? Send me an email RobertsforCD2@gmail.com
What would you do on your first day as an elected Congressman?
I’d use my new super powers to schedule an appointment at the Center for Military History in DC to view the captured offensive Nazi art, not to worry I’m Jewish, meant for Hitler’s Linz Fuhrermuseum. Reflect a little on the greatness of the USA and secretly thank my supporters that put me in my new position.
The second thing I would do would be to shut down the 2nd Congressional District’s office in La Grande which serves no one and refocus the wasted monies there towards legislative efforts; then I’d go to work!
The Bayonet to the eye is the stuff that makes me smile and want to say ‘Murica!
Is there sales tax in Oregon?
This seems to be a state secret known only to Oregon residents and unknown to the rest of America. No, we don’t have sales tax here so come visit and buy a new TV or anything else you need; Best Buy, Costco, Walmart. You name it we’ve got it… tax free!
What are your top 3 priorities?
Forestry, Forestry and Forestry! We have to go back and redouble our efforts to restore forestry on federal lands and enact specific legislation to restore the historical prosperity base that Greg Walden has been unable to execute on for the last 18 years. Money generated from forest work raises wages, prosperity and opportunity throughout our communities whether you work in the industry or not. Monies from production go directly to local employees, cities, counties and the state to alleviate our tax burden to pay for local services like schools and police through local revenue generation instead of federal handouts. Most importantly it restores pride in Oregon! We don’t need to be great again we’re already there, we just need to be better.
Are you a Constitutionalist?
I love this question just because it’s thrown around so much. Although some people seem to make a career of it it would be tough to be a legislator and write unconstitutional legislation without sealing your political fate. Frankly I believe people who claim to be ‘Constitutionalists’ or ‘pro Constitution’ have no clue what it means but it sure does sound good. This is law school 101. I have read law books, am well versed in litigation, not an Attorney but I do know what it means. To put it in the simplest of terms if you don’t know the case of Marbury v Madison of 1803 you are simply not allowed to talk about Judicial power; it is the law so to speak.
Don’t be fooled by the title this is the most important case in the history of the Supreme Court and it has Star Wars analogies too so gather the kids around the computer and have a listen; it’ll all make sense in about 30 minutes. This may be one of the greatest American stories ever told and it should answer your question. Short answer is unless your name is preceded by the word ‘Judge’ and assigned to your courtroom you have no ability to determine whether something is ‘Constitutional’ or not.
What is your position on Gun Control?
In Oregon guns are big business so anytime you talk about limiting guns you’re talking about eliminating someone’s job; a job that pays well and is liked by the people that possess them. My job is to make jobs and raise wages not take jobs. Additionally I’m a gun owner and occasional hunter and I don’t like the idea of anyone limiting my ability to own what I want to and I don’t feel threatened by anyone that has guns. If you’re for gun limitations then let the Governor jump on that political grenade at the state level where it’s been fairly effective in other states. At the Federal level I’d have no interest in considering it.
The AR15 myth, explaining for a friend: The old faithful AR15 issue about what a rotten hunting gun it is, how its good for nothing except war etc. Contrary to popular beliefs it’s an excellent hunting gun especially for a smaller person and there are many different varieties that can be purchased whether it’s barrel length and twist or standard accouterments that change cost and purpose. These guns and their ammo can be purchased inexpensively, they’re not big and heavy so if you want to go to the range and shoot, if that’s your thing, then you can do that. It’s a fun gun to own. Most importantly is the notion that you can go hunting with a monster magazine and lay waste to everything that flies walks swims or crawls. If you choose to do that you would be breaking the law and conservation crimes mean zero tolerance. You can only hunt in the state of Oregon with a maximum magazine size of 4 rounds plus 1 chambered round equaling 5 rounds for any centerfire rifle. For bird hunting 3 rounds max. Translation: Rifle 4 round mag & Shotgun 3 rounds, 1 chambered or not and the weapon must have a plug.
Sorry to burst your bubble but guns without restrictions are here to stay at least at the federal level. Lets worry about things that are slightly more important in the District like providing our fellow citizens with opportunity and a pay raise instead.
How can you be an effective leader without any prior political experience?
There are many examples in American history alone of people who were underestimated and deemed ‘unqualified’ and then turned into political success stories and assets to their community and country. Frankly no one who’s running for the District 2 seat has any true political qualifications other than the incumbent nor is there anyway to prepare for the position no matter how hard you try. Your first year will likely be spent equally learning the process as it will be trying to get something done so it all boils down to resolve. What can I do to help you help yourself? Lets make one thing clear, there’s not a single thing that one man or woman can do for anyone in Washington DC. There’s no I in team so I come with a team and just like in baseball the game isn’t over until the last pitch is thrown. Unfortunately this process can be a game and we will never give up, if we lose we’ll just come back and throw the ball across the plate harder. As President Obama once said the fresh ideas to run the country were to come from him. In the same vein the ideas have to come from me. It’s up to my team to implement and manifest those ideas and make them viable so they provide the support needed to the District 2 constituents AND all of the people of Oregon when necessary but without exception the people of District 2 and their interests must come first!
Part of my job is being the head district cheerleader to make our dreams come true. That means living in DC and making friends with fellow congressional leaders. Doing things the old fashioned way like shaking hands, slapping backs and kissing babies. The fundamental process of producing legislation from this state is hard enough as is and if we just want to be weekly DC commuters and live ten feet from the state of Washington then we’re going to continue to get what we’ve always gotten.
What is your position regarding net neutrality?
It’s no doubt that the internet has long been viewed as a utility and subject to regulation and of course the new rules are just another example of poor thinking by the current administration and of course anything Greg Walden is fervently for makes me immediately suspect but nevertheless with the long history of regulation going back to the inception of the internet in the 70s I’m confidant that once new rules go into effect the major streaming providers we know and love will escort this issue to the nearest courtroom with very deep pockets. With historical regulation precedents in mind I really don’t believe any of the current rules will stand up to Judicial Review from the lowest court to the top so I’m not worried about this being a long lived concern.
How do you feel about the Trump tax cuts?
I’m very suspect of anything positive coming from such a huge all encompassing bill that was drafted overnight but I’m not going to let it get me down or even worry about its effects. I believe in personal responsibility and self reliance. This bill has been laid out in front of us, it’s likely that the masses won’t see much if any positive effect and that the tax cuts will be passed on to ‘the rich’ who pay the bulk of the countries taxes. We also know that big business has said they aren’t likely to reinvest so if you sit around and wait for a new job or the raise this administration has promised you and are just along for the ride then good luck with that. With the reality and precedent of previous efforts to minimize corporate taxes and a return of funds stored abroad being proliferated to the shareholders as dividends
its your job to position yourself to take advantage of the coming tax cuts by investing in America. The easiest way to invest in your country is to buy stock; anyone who can put $100 dollars in the bank can invest in the stock market. Even the President has suggested this and that’s one of the few things I agree with him on. If your not rich position yourself to become rich and when you get a return on your investment you can count that as the ‘raise’ you were promised and then you can pay more tax just like the wealthy do. As hard as it is to believe I like to live by the phrase that ‘no one ever went broke paying taxes’.
You and only you are responsible for your own prosperity!
What are your thoughts on Clearcutting?
There are 3 types of cuts and none can be legislated. They are geographically specific and the responsibility belongs to the foresters and biologists of the land manager. In the case of the 2nd District the majority of federal land is managed by the USFS and BLM. Clearcuts, although mostly done on the west side of the state where there is a higher percentage of Douglas Fir are not as prolific on our east side but where they are appropriate can only be maxed out at 1000 acres or 1.5 square miles with adequate buffer zones under the Healthy Forest Act of 2003. These cuts are quickly replanted after the resources are harvested. It is hardly a demolition derby when it comes to clearcutting, it may not be pretty but it is the least invasive way to cut down a tree in the forest. In specific Oregon legislation we may have to reduce that number just because it seems big and nobody wants to do the arithmetic to put it in a perspective they can understand but in the alternative we can probably decrease the distance of buffer zones to appease the environmental zealots and still make Forestry viable and lucrative enough for the logger without having to cry and beg for federal funding dollars . So do I like clearcuts? Of course I do!
I’m also a fan of variable retention and restoration thinning. Although thinning is the most labor intensive and the least productive when it comes to turn timber into finished lumber. Whatever it takes and wherever it’s appropriate to save our forests, resources, wildlife and restore a prosperous economy to Oregon.
A big problem is infected and beetle infested trees. These have to come down and I don’t care what becomes of them whether they are ground in situ and treated and the sites replanted or used for biomass when feasible although beetle kill blue dyed pine is beautiful as seen in the picture below and its use is something we need to capitalize on. A healthy forest is a happy forest and a happy and healthy forest equals quality jobs, tax monies that get proliferated in the local communities replacing begging for federal handouts to run schools, counties & cities and LESS FIRE! If you somehow think that utilizing the forest for commerce is selling out to the timber industry or being anti environment you might as well think of yourself more appropriately as anti environment and pro forest fire.
Why didn’t you run as a Republican?
To be frank it would be likely I’d lose at the primary level and I’m not a big fan of the exclusiveness and intolerance that’s exhibited by the current Republican Party. The Republican Party I joined in 1983 was totally unrepresentative of the party that bears its name today. Deep down I’d rather be a Republican Congressman but it wouldn’t affect my voting in as much as being an Independent won’t affect my ability to lead.
Do you support Marijuana?
I can’t say I’m a huge fan of marijuana and although its become quite a blight in Southern Oregon it has contributed to the state economy and created jobs. I do like the fact that we aren’t using public resources like police officers, jails, judges and courts to enforce laws that no one cares about. My one word to marijuana users is if you want to smoke your dope be responsible with it. Don’t smoke it in public, around kids or other innocent people and don’t reek like it when I’m in 7 Eleven getting a slurpee. Aside from that I have no quarrel and wouldn’t get tied up or vote for anti marijuana legislation at the federal level. Think of me as neither your ally nor your enemy and respect my personal opinion in as much as I respect yours.
Do you support renewable energy?
Well it all depends how renewable it is. The war cry of the uninformed environmental crusader is solar and wind and if those were the only options I’d say no way only because of their proven ineffectiveness. Even energy scholars like Senator Merkley get caught up in this one and there’s enough precedent of failure in President Obama’s terms alone to set the standard for why these alleged forms of energy don’t work. I’m more in depth on this issue on my Energy & Science page but to be short and sweet if you want to put a solar panel on your roof to balance your energy costs I’m all for that. If you want to go chasing single digit megawatt farms with a weak link to the power grid or think that 100 square miles of solar panels plus a fraction of that in batteries is somehow going to electrify the entirety of the USA then you’re in dreamland. If it was possible it would have already been done. Now if you’re talking true renewable & reliables that are energy dense like geothermal, hydroelectric and nuclear options then that’s the kind of stuff that gets me a lot more excited for the future.
Who is your favorite politician?
Fair question, I don’t like to think of politicians as rocks stars, status symbols but they do need to be role models. They are only people elected to serve on behalf of the populace and should do so without any fanfare. I loved Ronald Reagan and the original George Bush. Today I love to listen to Jerry Brown because he’s not a young guy but still sharp as a tack and a closet conservative. Probably my favorite politician was not a politician at all but a King known as “the peoples King”, the late King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej. He even inspired my Siberian Husky’s pedigree name and in addition the King was born in the USA so there’s that! Below is a quick vid of him in his younger days building reservoirs for his people in the North East of Thailand who had unstable water availability to grow crops, feared communist insurgents and other issues like a wild tiger population that favored eating people for lunch. You can see why he was well ahead of his time and loved by the people of Thailand during his 70 year reign.
I’m a big fan of Senator Merkley too. Not so much for his voting record or his penchant for wearing flannel shirts in public but his dedication to serving and staying in contact with his constituents including having a town hall in every county of the state at least once per year. If this was me I would’ve asked ‘Professor’ Wehrum if he was aware that NASA was the agency that put men on the moon….6 times! But that’s me.
Do you have a term limit set for yourself?
Yes, 3 terms is my max. I would be 54 upon taking office and after 3 terms leaving at 60 I think I’d be pretty much done with the working life and getting the OR2 district back on track so a younger leader could take over.
What are your thoughts on the current administration?
I’m not a fan of the Trump administration but I do find values and opportunities within it that are redeeming towards the re-invigoration of Forestry and Conservation needed in the OR2 district, specifically Southern Oregon’s need for logging, forest management and saving the life of the Spotted Owl. Without the current President and his Appointees any belief that these kinds of goals could be accomplished would be completely frivolous.
Will you have a full time home in DC and Oregon?
I absolutely will, I won’t be a part time DC citizen. I’ll go there to live and make solid friendships as I believe all success is based on human relations with my contemporaries and still have my home in Medford to come back to.
What is the salary of a US Congressman?
$174,000 dollars per year but I’m not doing it for money; I’m in it for state and country. In addition I plan on contributing 5% of my income towards payment of the national debt and hoping Warren Buffet’s offer to match that and a little more is still open.
Do you have a pet?
Two dogs, my best friends!
Can you get rid of Kate Brown?
I get this one a lot and I’m not sure why. Kate Brown is an employee of the state and elected officials can’t easily be ‘gotten rid of’. If you have a beef with the way she’s handled her position then in the same election I’m urging you to vote for me I urge you to vote against her.
Kate Brown at Willamette University.
Wake me up when this is over but the apologies and poor me’isms start just a few minutes in. No mentions of personal responsibility, self reliance or all the hard work she went through to become a successful woman and Attorney. This is the kind of stuff that makes my head want to explode and ps Attorneys always make a good living regardless of their gender.. cry me a river.
How do you feel about Oregon’s Wolves?
As an animal lover and environmentalist I think they’re fantastic. Fortunately they belong to the people of the state and as a federal employee I would have little to say in how they’re handled. Although they’re managed by the USFW we need to let them be ruled by the laws of the state and the people they belong to. No different than how we have to apply the states laws on federal lands to the preservation of the spotted owl. I do believe there is an issue between the state and ranchers who’s livestock sometimes turns into their feed-stock. These ranchers need to be appropriately compensated for their losses because the value of a Wolf to the community is priceless, the value of a cow can easily be put into fair dollar numbers and the amounts they’re being reimbursed with are not fair nor are they properly expedient. Lets not gip the ranchers and pay them what they’re owed for their property so they in turn don’t take on an adversarial role towards a wild animal that does what its supposed to do.
What are your feelings on Racism?
Well that depends what you mean. Figuratively I believe racism exists only in the minds of people who believe it hinders them from accomplishing things. I know there are racist people but they have no power over any person who may be subject to their thoughts and consider themselves a part of a class that’s subject to racism for whatever reason i.e. color, race religion etc. We live in the USA where anything is possible and can be accomplished by anyone if you put your heart and soul into it. Those kind of boundaries that distinguish races just don’t exist anymore so if you believe your part of that class then wash your head out and don’t wait for somebody to do something for you, get busy and do something for yourself.
Literally, if you’re a practicing racist then I think it’s the best way to fast track yourself into stupidity.
Can you give me 5 people you’d take a selfie with and 5 that you wouldn’t?
Fantastic question, something clever I might think of here goes:
1. Andy Cohen
2. Barack Obama
3. Caitlyn Jenner
4. Spencer Pratt/Shannon Elizabeth (tie)
5. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
1. Donald Trump
2. Hillary Clinton
3. Vladmir Putin
4. Kim Kardashian
5. The Naked Cowboy
It was brought to my attention during one of my radio stints with Bill Meyer on KMED Radio that during Greg Walden’s last town hall in Medford the crowd was rather unruly as you can see in the video above, which I was unaware of, and I’d like to reflect my thoughts on what the problems are that relate to the public’s relationship with the Congressman and the problems in the 2nd District.
1) There is no doubt that Greg Walden has alienated himself from the people he represents especially here in Southern Oregon where we have 52% of the voting constituency.
2) With the above in mind it is not ok to resort to cat calls and potty mouths to somehow think you are going to make the Congressmen become more aligned to your concerns and causes. Bad language and lack of respect are not appealing.
3) If you really want to be creative and get your point across then you should consult with a professional.. someone clever like me. The agree/disagree signs make a point but why not make one that says ‘BOO’ or borrow from Madonna of the 80’s and use ‘NOT!’ and when the Congressman says something you disagree with then raise those signs in all their glory but BE QUIET! I mean I want to be able to hear a pin drop. That is your Kodak moment and the shot that will be heard around the world and seen on every nightly network news show across America.
4) MOST IMPORTANTLY, I see a lot of tears here. The Federal Government is not your mom and dad. The Government isn’t even your friend. We cannot continue to think that somehow the Federal Government is our savior. The Government is not responsible for your city and county roads and state highways. The Government is not here to raise your child. The Government is not responsible for a drug problem and crime in the local community. We have to reset our minds and be responsible for ourselves, our families and our community.
What is the the Independent Party’s stance on abortion?
This is Oregon, people here care about money and the lack of it. I don’t know what the Independent Party stands for, I’m Independent, I define what I stand for and against.
Independent voters are typically disenchanted Republicans & Democrats what is your personal view on abortion?
My personal view is we need to start cutting down some trees and getting back to the practice of forestry, putting people back to work in the forest in high dollar jobs instead of watching them go up in flames every year.
With respect to people doing what they want to do in their own personal world, whatever they do is their business and not mine. The one thing I stand solidly for when it comes to people is that I don’t want anyone thinking they can’t be comfortable being who they are in America. That is an affront to the principles in the preamble and I’m going to take a wild guess and say Thomas Jefferson would stand with me on that one.
Signing on to the ‘no fossil fuels money pledge’.
Everyone who chooses to become a candidate will get barraged by emails asking you to sign the ‘no fossil fuels money pledge’. Translation: means you won’t accept campaign donations from energy generators that use fossil fuels. I am a huge fan of eliminating carbon emissions from the planet and I write about that extensively on my Energy & Science & Climate Change pages but there’s a reality that people who take the ‘no fossil fuels money pledge’ can’t wrap their head around and it’s very simple. How are we going to keep the lights on sans fossil fuels? Contrary to popular belief we use a lot of fossil fuels in Oregon and you can read all about it here straight from your own Oregon Department of Energy’s website. There’s worse news too. With this years low rain and snowpack numbers we can expect our derived amount of Hydropower to go down and the amount of coal we use to go up. We only have one coal plant in the state that is set to be shut down in 2020 and owned by Portland General Electric. Pacific Power is not the most carbon friendly of energy generators either but that doesn’t mean both aren’t our friends or not members of the community; it’s just business. Coal generators are in just as much of a hurry to get out of the coal business as the public wants them out but they won’t fade away. They’re still assets to the community and will find cleaner ways to contribute to affordable energy generation in the future. Unfortunately just because we don’t and ultimately won’t have a lot of coal plants within the state doesn’t mean we aren’t coal users. Out of sight and out of mind doesn’t count.
There’s worse news too. Not only is coal one of the worlds ugliest carbon emitters it’s leaves behind ash that is full of heavy metals and is radioactive. Not only is the excess ash radioactive but when burned it emits radiation into the atmosphere. It is literally safer to live next to a nuclear generating station that emits zero radiation than it is to live next to a coal fired generator. Natural gas emits CO2 when burned, burns cleaner than other fossil fuels, has high energy density and emits almost no particulates. So before we take the no fossil fuels pledge lets figure out how to take the no coal pledge first. Then after that we can figure out how to take the no oil pledge. Then after that the no natural gas pledge.
Being informed and making a pragmatic fact based decision versus one based on an emotional good feeling is always a winner.
Oregon’s Carbon Dioxide Emissions