Letter to the Editor for June 21, 2017;

Greg Walden isn’t representing his constituents

Representative Greg Walden was elected to act on behalf of his constituents, the American citizens who live in the 2nd District of Oregon. District residents have been calling for equitable health care, financial responsibility, and honest representation. Unfortunately, Mr. Walden has not listened to the Oregonians he represents and has failed to fulfill the duties of his position.

On May 4, Mr. Walden voted for H.R. 1628, a revised version of the American Health Care Act of 2017 that he helped write, which will reduce health care benefits guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act and take health care coverage away from 24 million Americans. Even though the AHCA is not supported by the majority of Americans and, if passed, will eliminate coverage for thousands of his constituents, Mr. Walden continues to support this legislation.

On June 8, Mr. Walden voted for H.R. 10, the so-called Financial CHOICE Act of 2017. This bill amends the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, eliminating vital protections for consumers from speculative investments by banks, removing authority from the Financial Stability Oversight Council, and amending the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010. All these actions give more power to Wall Street and eliminate financial protections for American citizens.

On June 14, the Baker City Herald ran a story about Mr. Walden raising over $900,000 in campaign contributions. “Overall, the reports show Oregon donors provided less than half of Walden’s individual contributions. Political action committees … were Walden’s most potent source of campaign money. In all, Walden reported getting $527,292 from the political committees with just one — the PGE PAC — based in Oregon.” With this much influence coming from powerful interest groups outside his district, Mr. Walden will be pressured to listen to and act on the concerns of others, not the people he was elected to represent.

Citizens of the 2nd District must continue to stay informed, voice their concerns to Mr. Walden, demand that he act in their best interests, and vote him out of office in 2018 if he continues to put special interests above the well-being of his constituency.

Gretchen Stadler

Baker City