The tragic deaths of 17 students at a Parkland, Florida high school is a grim reality we must all face. Besides the obvious tragedy, once again this mass-shooting brings up political rhetoric claiming guns are bad, therefore guns should be banned. The idea of keeping children safe while at school is one in which all Americans can agree. However, banning guns from law abiding citizens runs contrary to a foundational principle that as Americans we have a natural right to protect ourselves — in other words, the right to bear arms.
A month later after the Parkland shooting, #MarchForOurLives protests took place in several cities across the United States. Organized and funded by Left-wing groups, students took to the streets in anger against our current gun laws, including the Second Amendment.
The following is the speech I gave on the Floor of the House of Representatives on March 2, 2018 to stand up for small businesses in Oregon.
SB 1528 effectively eliminates the tax benefits from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Bill passed in Congress. SB takes those dollars intended to boost small business and slurps them up into the State Treasury. As long as liberal Democrats run this state, there will never be enough of your money in their pockets.
Happy New Year. I wish everyone a 2018 full of prosperity and happiness. As we ring in the new year Oregon’s political world begins with a bang.
Right out of the chute Oregonians will asked to decide the how best to fund Medicaid in a citizen-led ballot measure in a January special election. Just after Christmas you received an Oregon Voters Pamphlet and then right after New Years your ballot will arrive in the mail. All this effort is for a single issue that you, the voters of Oregon, get to determine. The question at hand in Measure 101 isn’t whether we fund Medicaid. Measure 101 is about how we fund Medicaid — whether we should create a new tax on some people’s health insurance policies to pay for Medicaid.
Note the word “some”. Only some people are subject to this new tax. Those people include Oregonians who pay full price for their own health insurance, including those who just bought healthcare for 2018 at Healthcare.gov; nearly 12,000 college students who buy their own health insurance as a requirement of attending an Oregon university; small employers (under 50 employees) which include businesses and non-profits; and our Oregon public school districts. Voting YES on Measure 101 will also lock into statute a provision that insurance companies are allowed to pass these taxes along to ratepayers, effectively creating a new sales tax on health insurance. Local hospitals will be hit with a .7% tax on their net revenues which will translate into higher healthcare costs for patient hospital visits.
Another Thanksgiving has come and gone, and immediately onto Christmas we trod only to soon-be eclipsed by celebrating the new year. However, before we leave this moment of Thanksgiving I would like to share a brief though or two. First, I hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving with friends and family. It is important we have those deep, rooted connections with one another. It is those strong familial ties that build strong communities; and from strong communities come strong States — and a strong nation.
Almost all emotional coaches tell us that gratitude is the attitude that allows us to be truly happy. Those who are thankful for much are usually the ones with the least worries, the ones with whom bitterness finds no home. And data shows those who are full of a thankful spirit also tend to live longer, healthier lives.
Thanks to a Facebook share by Oregon House Republican Leader Mike McLane, I just finished reading the original Thanksgiving Day proclamation given by President Abraham Lincoln form 1863. What is fascinating is that the midst of one of our nation’s darkest hours, with the country about to split into two, President Lincoln made time to declare this first proclamation of Thanksgiving for all Americans. One lesson learned from Lincoln’s action is that even in severe crisis, lasting good can be created.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
It was an honor to serve as State Representative for Oregon’s 2017 Legislative Session. This session was intense — the inner workings of state government are challenging when serving in the minority party. I am proud to represent people in House District 56 located from Keno to Lakeview.
Fortunately, I went to Salem with two important tools: principles and courage. I cast 249 No votes on the House Floor (second most) and never missed a floor vote. I was one of only two legislators out of 90 in the House and Senate, who made this accomplishment. It is an important job, that requires an incredible amount of time, energy and mindshare — a job which I take very seriously.
Below is a brief summary of the session.
Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown recently released her new budget for the next two years. In summary, her plan calls for:
- Increasing taxes on alcohol, tobacco, hospitals, insurers and some corporation owners.
- Making deep cuts to other programs and holding back money sought by social services and universities.
- Protecting funding for K-12 education.
As I said during the campaign, and I will say again, the problem with Oregon’s fiscal problems does not sit on the revenue side of the ledger. At last count the Oregon Treasury Department received record levels of revenue, yet the governor believes that increasing taxes is still an acceptable solution. We just saw Ballot Measure 97 go down in defeat. The clear message from Oregonians is they do not believe raising their taxes is the answer to Oregon’s fiscal problems.
Suppose for example, Nike reported they sold a record amount of shoes and apparel for 2016, yet the company lost $1.4 billion. Would you think they needed to sell more shoes or that they should raise their clothing prices? No. Any first year business student would point to their cost structure as being the problem. Budget cuts would be made immediately to get back to a state of sustainability.
Klamath Falls, OR — E. Werner Reschke is proud to receive the endorsement from the Oregon Firearms Federation PAC for State Representative. As an NRA member, Werner is delighted to win the support from Oregon’s leading 2nd Amendment rights organization.
“Werner Reschke is exactly who we need in Salem to protect our gun rights. He will stand firm to ensure our 2nd Amendment rights are not further attacked and work to restore the rights we have lost under one party rule.”
—Kevin Startett, Director Oregon Firearms Federation PAC
Klamath Falls, OR — The Taxpayer Association of Oregon has endorsed E. Werner Reschke for State Representative. The Taxpayer Association of Oregon is one of the lead organizations fighting against Ballot Measure 97, a proposed $3 billion/year sales tax on Oregon’s most successful businesses.
In response to the endorsement, Mr. Reschke said,
“From the moment I first learned about Ballot Measure 97 I was opposed to the idea of yet another tax on Oregon businesses. As a business owner I know Ballot Measure 97 is exactly the wrong thing to do in order to create an environment where Oregon businesses can succeed and therefore create more jobs for Oregonians. The problem in Salem is not on the revenue side of the ledger but on the cost and spending side. This ballot measure does nothing to address the root cause to Salem’s fiscal problems. Instead Ballot Measure 97 only encourages more tax-and-spend behavior.
Our country was founded on the truth of a Creator who gave humanity the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The Founders then constructed a constitutional government of, by and for the people to protect those natural rights. The Founders continued with the Bill of Rights which included free speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, the right to bear arms and so forth. Then the 10th Amendment assigned the rest of governmental responsibilities, not expressly written in the Constitution, to two groups: State governments and the people.
51 of the 55 founders (93%) held a Christian worldview. This overwhelming super-majority believed in a higher power over government. They also believed the only fair government is one limited in size and scope, subject to the people it serves.
In Oregon this is not the case. State government cranks out thousands of new regulations each year. In addition, over the past nine years State revenue has increased 28% to record levels. Oregon’s government continues to grow and yet this is not enough.
A principle the Founders used in forming our great nation was “equality for all, special privilege for none.” King George was well known for his favoritism towards the well connected in Britain at the expense of the colonists in America. When forming a new government the Founders wanted to ensure such favoritism in government was eliminated. However, we have strayed far from this founding principle. Obamacare is a modern day example. Nearly 2,000 pages granting hierarchy of special privileges.
Another example, more close to home, is the KBRA, KHSA and other associated hydro-electric power plant (dam) removal plans. While hydro-power provides consistent (24/7/365), affordable power for everyone, the Democrat led Oregon Legislature, Obama Administration and local allies seek to change all that. Their energy policy seeks to significantly reduce hydro-power and coal-power, replacing it with green power. The end result will be a remarkable increase our electric rates. But fear not, if your use of electricity falls within a government approved special class then you will not have to pay full price like everyone else — a special privilege.
Does this Democrat energy policy follow the Founders “equality for all and special privilege for none” principle? Absolutely not. Will this new energy policy reduce Oregon’s carbon footprint? Absolutely not. Will this new energy policy enhance government power by transferring wealth from all of us to the government and government approved special groups? Absolutely.