What would Reagan think?

As I watched the House impeachment hearings unfold the last couple of weeks, I began to wonder what Ronald Reagan would have thought if he magically returned from the grave and found himself in the audience. The greatest Republican president of the modern era built his foreign policy reputation on his strong support of the American military and his fierce opposition to Russia.

What would he make of Republican congressmen attacking one of the witnesses, a career military officer, for wearing his uniform to the hearing? Or questioning the loyalty of the same soldier who was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in Iraq?

What would Reagan think of Republican congressmen pushing a discredited conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 U.S. election? What would he think about Republicans continuing to push that theory even after Russia expert Fiona Hill forcefully explained that the conspiracy theory was created and propagated by Russian security services and that by promoting politically driven falsehoods it would clearly advance Russian interests?

Watching the hearings, Reagan would have found himself very confused. He would have left wondering what had happened to his party and asking, “When did Republicans stop being American patriots?”

Heather Staten

Hood River

‘Death to plastic’

Listen up America:

For years we’ve been bugged by plastic bags at the supermarket. A few months ago, my wife saw a guy at Roseaurs with fabric bags and she asked him where he got them. Net Zero, he said. They’re fabric bags (picture a window screen only made of fabric) and they’re in three sizes and for $24, you get 12 of them. We don’t have to use those clear plastic bags on rollers that you pull off one at a time. The checkers can see through them. They have a drawstring to close the top and you can tie a tag on them for bulk purchases like granola. We use them for tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, etc. Think of this over a year’s time.

Death to plastic!

Also, if you want to buy muffins only they’re in those awful clear plastic packages, you can ask for a paper bag. One other thing: Stop using those damn plastic water bottles. Use one if you have to and refill it!

Thank you and goodbye!

Al Brown

Hood River

Deal with drug prices

Can’t afford meds?

Well, sorry, the relief that was in sight for runaway drug prices has been killed by Rep. Greg Walden.

HR 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act would allow the federal government to directly negotiate lower prices with private companies in Medicare’s prescription drug program. Trump would need to sign off on the bill once it reached his desk — no problem, as he was previously in favor of it.

Things changed. Walden met with Trump recently to convince him against HR3. Trump’s subsequent Tweet: “Pelosi and her ‘Do Nothing Democrats’ drug pricing bill doesn’t do the trick. FEWER cures! FEWER treatments!” closely mirrored Walden’s earlier published statement that controlling drug costs in this way “will drive out innovation and result in fewer cures.”

Walden’s motivation is clear by now. He’s been leading the charge for years to maximize profits of his generous “donors” in the pharmaceutical and health products industries, at the expense of us constituents (and all Americans in need of accessible, affordable healthcare).

Rep. Walden received the most campaign money from the pharmaceutical and health products industry in the last election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. So far this cycle, he has taken the third highest total from the industry of anyone in the House, despite his plans to retire at the end of this session.

You’ll recognize these names — Abbot Labs, AbbVie, Amgen, Astra Zeneca, Biogen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, Eli Lilly, Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Sanofi. They’re all pharmaceutical companies. Their PACs are Walden’s “contributors,” with relationships going back to 1998. Over $1 million in “contributions.”

Some of the prescriptions I take have increased as much as 500 percent in the past 10 years!

Future candidates for the 2nd District should expect questions on how they plan to deal with drug price controls. Voters will now be very tuned into who makes contributions and how that will influence drug policy.

Debby Chenoweth

Hood River

Jaime for SOS

We had the pleasure of having Jamie Mcleod-Skinner back in Hood River this week to hear her talk about her run for Secretary of State. Jamie is already known to many of us here, but what I did not know was how well suited her background, experience, and qualifications are to be our Secretary of State.

How many of us even know what the role of SOS encompasses? The SOS is next in line for the governorship, maintains the archives for the government, registers businesses, is responsible for elections in the state, conducts audits to make sure our tax dollars are spent effectively and sits on the State Land Board.

From her first job managing reconstruction projects in Bosnia and Kosovo to her experience in elected office and her experience developing programs that help underserved communities get resources and representation they need, Jamie’s experience in management and implementation, knowledge of local government systems and big perspective on how to make government work for all of us ensures that she can start making changes that help Oregonians from day one.

For this statewide job, we also need someone who has an in-depth knowledge of the state and knows what makes Hood River County different from Washington County and different from Lake County. Jamie has traveled more than 50,000 miles all over Oregon in the past few years, listening to countless numbers of folks from all walks of life.

For a job this important, we need someone we can trust who has all of our backs. Jamie is that person.

Sarah Bellinson

Hood River

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