Senator Jeff Kruse
R-Roseburg, District 1

Phone: 503-986-1701    900 Court St. NE, S-315 Salem Oregon 97301
Email:     Website:

 Working Hard For You


Friday, January 30, 2015





There was one subject area I had decided I wasn’t going to cover in my newsletter, and that was the potential ethical and legal violations of the Governor and his fiancée.  That changed yesterday when I was asked to do an interview on the subject by KGW TV from Portland.  I figured, at that point, since I agreed to share my thoughts with them I should share them with you.  I was busy last night and didn’t watch the news broadcast, so I don’t know what portion of the interview they used, so I will share with you the basics of what I said.


First the release of the information Wednesday of an additional $118,000 paid to Cylvia was not alarming, as it just added to an already significant amount of money she was paid by special interest groups.  The fact that she was even paid a dime by outside groups while serving as the Governor’s energy adviser should have been enough.  I went on to say that the Governor has been doing a very good job of avoiding handling this issue for 9 months, which would be understandable from his position as the facts in the matter might have cost him the election.  The people of Oregon deserved to know the truth and he has up until now done a good job of avoiding it.  John and Cylvia are a couple and because of that John cannot claim ignorance to any of these activities, including lying to the IRS. 


At that point in the interview I pointed out it was not the job of the Legislature to investigate these activities.  These issues are now in the hands of the Ethics Commission, the FBI and hopefully the Attorney General.  I honestly don’t know what penalties or sanctions might come out of this, but I do know the members of the Legislative Assembly will be watching with interest.  I also pointed out we will be in Salem to do our job, which is separate from the Executive Branch by its very nature.


I went from this unplanned interview in the afternoon to a planned one last night.  KATU television in Portland has a show that airs Sunday morning at 9:30 am called “Your Voice Your Vote”.  I was on this program several months ago with Senator Prozanski talking about the proposed gun bills for this Session.  Last night I was paired with Senator Courtney, the Senate President, and the topic was in general what to expect of the Session.  I am not going to go into any of the details of the subjects we covered at this point for two reasons:  first my Chief of Staff has told me she will be able to post the whole program on Facebook, and second these are subject I will cover in greater detail in future newsletters.


What I want to do instead, at this point, is talk about relationships; specifically mine with my fellow Legislators.  I have been asked what I think I can accomplish now that I am a member of the super minority party.  My answer is I think I will be able to accomplish the majority of my agenda, because I have been working with Democrats on these issues from the beginning.  What many people don’t know is the majority of the work we do is done in this manner, no matter which party is in control.  Over the years I have been one of the chief sponsors of a significant number of bills that have made major changes in programs or policies or even created new programs.  Very few people know about these because, when we had our final product, they were not controversial and therefore didn’t make the news.


The program I taped with President Courtney is probably a good example.  We clearly do not agree on many issues, but there are also a significant number of issues we do agree on. What you will see is a very civil discourse and the fact is we have a great deal of respect for each other.  I do know that if I have an issue I need to talk to the President about, his door is always open to me as mine is to him.  I have the same sort of relationship with the Speaker of the House and most members of both Chambers.  The reality is almost everyone who comes here to serve wants, from their own perspective, to try and make things better.  In my opinion, some people are absolutely dead wrong in what they want to do, but I will defend their right to advocate for what they believe in.  I have been fortunate, over the years I have been here, to be able to get past the politics and get to know my fellow legislators as people.  Things just work better if you can find common ground (even if it just a small sliver of land) as a starting place. 


Having said all of that, I need to close with this.  The Governor and the majority party do have an agenda that I believe will be disastrous for our state and I will do everything I can to try and stop it.  While this will indeed constitute a small part of our work, it may consume a majority of our attention.  We start next Monday, and over the next few weeks I will detail these issues.




Senator Jeff Kruse







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