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Post Election Thoughts

Monday, November 10, 2014

Republicans seize control of both U.S. Senate and House. Mitch McConnell, 72 years old is poised to be the Majority leader of the Senate with a possible 54-46 majority if the remaining two undecided races fall in the Republicans favor. John Boehner will likely remain Speaker of the House with a majority not seen since 1928.

The old saying, “Be careful what you wish for.” comes to mind. When you are not in the majority, it is easy to criticize the programs of those in charge. In Boehner’s case, even though he has held the Speaker’s gavel for the last two years, Harry Reid, soon to be former Senate Majority leader has managed to stifle anything passed from the Republican led House. So, with Republicans in charge, what will they do with the prize they worked so hard to achieve?

I suspect in Congressional leadership caucuses, several topics of conversations are on the agenda:

How do we govern to regain the respect and confidence of the American people?

Are we truly willing to govern in a bi-partisan fashion?

What are the policies we should be passing to reflect America’s change in leadership?

How are those prioritized?

The old proverb is probably appropriate here: “If it sounds too good to be true; it probably is.

Big deal! Unless of course you happen to live in a state where it is a big deal.

In Oregon, control remains firmly with the Democrats. The hope for a Republican Governor in Oregon was dashed because not enough Republican and non-affiliated voters cast their ballots for a change in leadership. Even though last minute revelations about the incumbent’s fiancée’s troublesome past were splashed all over the TV, newspapers and social media, calling into question his office’s ethics and judgment, it obviously wasn’t that important to voters.

Recreational marijuana legalized in Oregon. “Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em” might be a bit premature because the legislature has to decide how the new recreation should be regulated and then the Oregon Liquor Control Commission has to write rules. This will be entertaining to watch!

The Democrat and Republican parties still control primary elections. Ballot measure 90, the so-called Oregon Open Primary Initiative, was soundly defeated at the polls last Tuesday.

Food sold in stores won’t be labeled unless the specific manufacturer wants it to be, which most likely the way it should be. We don’t necessarily want to get into a scientific debate, but there are some common sense issues that have been overlooked.If you’re going to write a law, but exclude certain foods, don’t bother. Either all foods should be labeled designating GMO ingredients, or they shouldn’t. Period. If manufacturers want to label their food as “Contains No GMO”, then do it. Great marketing strategy. I’m sure sales will go through the roof! The legislature is likely to see legislation in the next session that will re-kindle this issue so fasten your seat belts. Will be an interesting continuation of the discussion.

Illegals can’t get licenses. People living in our country who cannot prove citizenship will not be able to apply for and receive a special driver’s card. Even though a bill was passed in the 2013 legislative session to allow this, Oregon voters rebuffed the legislature’s action by an overwhelming margin. Immigration is an important issue nationwide that may be best left to the Congress.Eventually, something will have to be done.

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