Dear reader, I think I got off on the wrong foot with the congressman from eastern Oregon. May need your help.
As you remember, I was inspired by my congressman, Peter DeFazio, to take action and resist the Republican/Trumpistanis! I reasonably assumed that the most important Republican in Oregon today is Congressman Walden from the 5th congressional district. I found his website, on which he assured me that email was “the quickest and easiest way to get in touch” with him.
Being the shy wallflower that I am, I emailed him in late March and asked him to let me interview him for this column. And for good measure, I also emailed his press guy, Andrew Malcolm — a man so important he has two first names. Anyway, being the shameless ex-political whore that I am, I tried to charm Andrew. I pulled out every slimy name-dropping drool in the book.
Here’s the actual March 25 email, sent the day after Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan announced he was pulling the Ryancare/AntiObamacare bill because they didn’t have the votes to move it. Now we all know that Greg was Ryan’s lead man on developing this failed plan. And, as you’d guess, I wasn’t necessarily unhappy with that failed outcome! But I tried not to gloat:
Hello, Mr. Malcolm,
I served with Greg in the Oregon Legislature back during the Pleistocene era (1995). As a Senate majority leader he treated me well; especially being that I was a lowly freshman minority whip in the House at the time.
Anyway, I’m a retired geezer now, and I write an occasional column for the Eugene Weekly. I would appreciate the opportunity to interview Greg either by phone or in person. (I assume after yesterday, he’ll have a lot of free time on his hands… just kidding). I realize I’m not a constituent, but we spend a lot of time in Bend because my brother-in-law owns East Bend Liquors.
Anyway, you have my email. My phone number is XXX-XXXX. In addition to the Republican health insurance Trump debacle, I’m curious what Greg sees with Trump’s tax reform and its impact on Oregon companies like Nike, Intel, etc.
Thanks for your help. If you need a character reference, my longtime buddy Pete DeFazio will verify I am indeed a character. I understand, of course, your office may not think much of the characters Peter hangs around with.
Despite my meticulous manners, I have not received any response as of Palm Sunday, arguably the most hopeful Sunday of the year for many of you. And Passover begins the next day, for Christ’s sake! So maybe, dear reader, you can send an email or call and ask to leave a message for Greg.
Don’t be deterred if you’re not a “constituent” of Greg’s because you don’t live in his congressional district. We Oregonians are all Greg’s constituents. Just as when he served in the Oregon Legislature, he took a congressional oath of office to represent all Oregonians, not just the ones in his predominantly Republican district.
Like I said last week: There’s a reason why Oregon has elected only one Republican member of the U.S. Congress since Jeff Merkley defeated incumbent Senator Gordon Smith in 2008. I believe Greg has a lot of questions to answer. Is it true that 400,000 Oregonians would have lost health care coverage by 2020 under the plan you created for Speaker Ryan’s consideration? Why? Is it true that two-thirds of all Medicaid spending goes for services for seniors and disabled citizens? If so, why create such a plan? Is it true that, per capita, Oregon is the worst hit among all the Medicaid expansion states! Why would you do that? Finally, Greg, seriously man, are you guys thinking of trying another repeal plan? Really?
So help me out: Please get in touch with Greg. I just happen to have his contact info:
You can email him by going to his website, walden.house.gov. Otherwise, here are his district contacts: Medford Phone: 541-776-4646, Bend Phone: 541-389-4408, La Grande Phone: 541-624-2400. The Washington, D.C. office phone is 202-225-6730. For all press inquiries, contact Andrew Malcolm phone 202-225-6730.
On April 13, Rep. Walden held his first town hall in Bend since 2013. It didn’t go well. But it’s a start. However, I remain undaunted. I will contact Greg and the mysterious man with two first names again. Stay tune.