The Myths, Lies and Deceptions Behind the Klamath Basin Agreements
By Lawrence A. Kogan
The Desired Implementation of the Klamath Basin Agreements
Klamath Basin groups claiming to represent the majority of Klamath Basin residents, such as the Klamath Water Users Association (“KWUA”) and the Family Farm Alliance (“FFA”), have long perpetuated the myth that the Klamath Basin Agreements will benefit ALL Basin residents. The evidence clearly shows that these groups will stop at nothing to keep this fraudulent narrative alive.
The Basin Agreements include: 1) the now-defunct Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (“KBRA”), originally executed by these and other parties in 2010, but which expired on January 1, 2016 because Congress refused to ratify it; 2) the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (“KHSA”), originally executed by these and other parties in 2010, but which they renegotiated and subsequently amended pursuant to secret meetings on April 6, 2016 after Congress refused to ratify it by January 1, 2016; 3) the Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement (“UKBCA”), originally executed by the tribes in 2014, which the parties are currently renegotiating; 4) the new Klamath Power and Facilities Agreement, executed by the parties pursuant to secret meetings on April 6, 2016 in an effort to resurrect portions of the now- defunct KBRA; and 5) the Wyden-Merkley Amendment (S.A. 3288) to the U.S. Senate Energy bill (S.2012) currently being evaluated by a U.S. House-Senate conference committee, which, if passed and enacted into law, would appropriate congressional monies to support certain activities in which local farmers would engage to fulfill the objectives of these agreements, as well as, specially designated irrigation-related monies (federal subsidies) to financially reward those supporting farmers.
This week the National GOP Convention takes place. Delegates from across the country will descended on Cleveland in order to nominate a Republican candidate to run for President and conduct other national party businesses.
Locally we do not have a convention but we do have an “event” of our own — liberals attempting a take over of the Republican party. At last Thursday’s local GOP meeting, the rabble rousers were in full force, holding bylaws in their hands and speaking with arrogance, as if they owned the place.
What this group of faux-conservatives hope to accomplish is a takeover of our local Republican party. If successful, expect your local GOP party to endorse candidates that are not conservative — matter of fact, the plan is to endorse candidates who are running as Democrats.
If you like mind-bending puzzles that can’t be solved, then I have a great one for you. Todd Kepple is seeking the State Senate #28 seat and Al Switzer the State Representative #56 seat as... Democrats. You read that right. What’s so odd about that? Well let’s start with the fact that both men are registered Republicans. You read that right as well.
Todd Kepple has made it abundantly clear that he is a Republican and wants people to know that. He also wants people to understand that he was forced to run as a Democrat. Huh? No one forced Mr. Kepple to do anything he does not want to do. The fact is Todd Kepple is seeking a powerful political position and it looks like he will do almost anything to get that power — even if it means confusing voters. “I’m a Republican running as a Democrat.” Like I said, this would be a mind-bender.
Al Switzer is no better off. He will be running as a Democrat, and as an an Independent — as a registered Republican! Yeah. I’m not exactly certain why Mr. Switzer didn’t just add the Pacific Green Party or the Progressive Party to his list of parties he doesn’t belong to while he was at it.
The British Exit, or Brexit, from the European Union shocked the world on Thursday evening. Even a few years ago the idea of the EU’s largest economic member leaving the European Union was only left to pub-talks in rural English neighborhoods — and that was only after a few good pints.
51.8% of England decided enough was enough and voted to leave the “comfort and security” of the European Union. But why? Upon examination the ideas our jolly ol' friends from across the pond took to heart are the very same ideas that founded America.
1. Sovereignty and Self-Governance: The British were tired of being told by far away officials that they could not influence one way or another what their immigration policy was going to be, what regulations they had to adhere to, what trade restrictions must be followed towards those outside the union, and so forth. In other words the Brits were tired of aristocrats on the continent telling them what they could and could not do. Sound familiar? Is that not what we want for ourselves here in Klamath and Lake Counties? To have more power locally rather than bureaucrats and politicians in DC and Salem deciding what we can and can not do with our land, our water, our timber, our agriculture? The American project is about local governance which enables real accountability, not centralized control without accountability.
Proponents of Dam Removal along the Klamath river continue to promise peace and prosperity if they get their way. But if you think about it, just the opposite will occur. Here are a few key points to consider:
Dam Removal will limit our ability to control water flow
Without the four dams along the Klamath river, water, once released from the Upper Klamath Lake head-gates, will flow uninterrupted into the Pacific. This means it will require more water from the Upper Klamath Lake in order to maintain stream flow levels. The end result is less water for local farmers and ranchers. Moreover, by removing the Keno dam, the ability to send water back into the Klamath Reclamation Project, is impossible.
Dam Removal will increase electric rates
During a time when many are struggling to make ends meet, unnecessarily increasing our cost of living is the last thing we need. The Klamath river dams provide the most affordable, most efficient and most consistent power to Basin residents. Removing this resource will only send electric rates for all rate payers higher, much higher.
On first glance the results of last Tuesday night’s election might seem puzzling. How could a conservative like Tom Mallams lose by a 2-to-1 margin and yet conservatives like Linthicum and Reschke win by wide margins? Why did the Predator Control ballot measure pass and the marijuana one fail? Those were some questions we wrestled with until we looked closer at the races and the data. Below are some truths that will help make sense of what happened in May’s primary election.
Principle #1: Voters preferred non-incumbent candidates in non-partisan races. Whether it was the two Commissioners’ races or the Sheriff’s race, it was clear that voters preferred someone new over someone currently in the job. Current Commissioners Mallams and Bellet were both beat by political new-comers Boyd and DeGroot. While Mallams was significantly outspent, the only difference in the Position #1 race was that Boyd was able to secure over 50% of the vote and not have to run again in November. DeGroot is the favorite against incumbent Bellet. It will be interesting to see if the trend of “throw the incumbents out” in non-partisan races continues this fall and onto 2018.
For the Sheriff’s race Martin Rowley was seen as Sheriff Skrah’s substitute. Voters clearly preferred the two outsiders: Kaber and Lewis. Kaber and Lewis will have run-off election in November to see who our next Sheriff will be.
If you have not voted yet, you still have time to fill out your ballot. At this point DO NOT mail it but drop it off at the County Clerk’s office by 8pm tomorrow night.
Even if you don’t know who to vote for Dog Catcher Position #15, you should still vote for those people you do know and want to support.
Three of those people that should be on your list are: Tom Mallams, Dennis Linthicum and Werner Reschke.
On Tuesday April 26th at 9:00 A.M. there will be a brief presentation of the “In God We Trust” plaque from the people to the County Commissioners. This event is open to the public. In February the Klamath County Commissioners approved the sign on a vote of 3-0 after overwhelming support by local residents.
There are now 616 city and county offices all over the U.S. displaying the National Motto — that is 100 more than when residents in Klamath County began this project last year.
- Write letters to editor at the H&N to show your support for Dennis and Werner.
- Follow Dennis and Werner on Facebook.
- Sign up for their E-newsletters on Dennis and Werner's website.
- Be vocal with your friends and neighbors about what great representatives Dennis and Werner will be for our area in Salem. Share this web page and our newsletters with everyone you know through social media and email.
- Pray for strength and encouragement for Dennis and Werner.
- Donate to Dennis and Werner. If everyone just gave $10 it would make a B-I-G big difference.
Evil prevails when good men (and women) do nothing. Let’s do something and actively stand behind these conservative candidates! If we do not, we only have ourselves to blame.
The problem with the KBRA/KHSA is that they both promoted special interests over the interest of the people. While these groups (Tribes, some farmers and fishermen) got what they wanted, the burden (aka the cost of this agreement) would fall on Pacific Power rate payers and tax payers. This is always how special interests work — benefits for the few at the table, and everyone else ends up with the bill.
Now think about the write-in candidates that challenge Dennis Linthicum for the State Senate and E. Werner Reschke for State Representative. A group of self-appointed people met in private to draft candidates. When their decision had been made they began to sell these people as the best way to move forward in Salem. Sound familiar? Once again, this is not the will of the people, but the will of a special interest group who are angry there is not a liberal or Democrat in the race they can support. Therefore they have drafted two write-in candidates, with R's on their name badges, but who have policies that align well with liberal ideas, not conservative ones. It is no coincidence advocates for the KBRA are also the same people who have drafted these write-ins.
On Tuesday, former Klamath County Commissioner Dennis Linthicum and local businessman E. Werner Reschke filed to run as State Senator and State Representative. The following day, State Senator Doug Whitsett and State Representative Gail Whitsett decided not to run for re-election and withdrew their names from the ballot.
The Herald and News is busy trying to kick up dust in a rain storm as they are out beating the brush to find anyone who will say that the process was unfair, that it was unethical or it was illegal — anything to support their view, which is any conservative in office is a bad thing. However, nothing could be further from the truth. From where we stand Linthicum and Reschke will be excellent replacements for the Whitsetts. Their political views are nearly identical. If you were planning this election cycle to vote for either Whitsett and were not upset that they were likely to be unchallenged, then you should have no problem supporting and voting for Linthicum and Reschke, who are now in a very similar position.
Those that say this process was unfair are the ones that didn’t think to run against the Whitsetts. Apparently Linthicum, who has run against an incumbents previously (John Elliott in 2010 and Greg Walden in 2014), and Reschke decided the risk was worth the $25 filing fee. The fact that they waited until the last moment is actually a shrewd strategy, certainly not unethical. Perhaps those who are complaining and were not courageous to step forward, also are not savvy enough to be your Representative or Senator. If they were so timid to be this easily out-played, how would they fare in Salem — where the professional politicians live?