Senator Jeff Kruse - February 13th, 2015 - WOW!


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


FEBRUARY 13, 2015




This is the end of the second week of the Session and my third newsletter counting the one I did the week before we started.  Once again I find myself starting off with comments about the Governor.  The rumors have been running rampant all week.  As I write this it is 6:00 am in the morning and there may actually be more to tell by the time you read this than I know now.  I have been interviewed by numerous radio and TV stations on this subject and my message has remained the same, even as more allegations have surfaced.  I wanted to share with you the basic content of what I have been saying.


The issues have clearly been a distraction, but for the most part we have stayed focused on doing the job we were sent here to do.  One reason is we do not have the ability to do anything relative to the current situation.  We did discover, for example, that the Oregon Legislature does not have impeachment powers.  Actually it came as a surprise, but then we have never been in this situation before.  A number of state officials have now called for the Governor’s resignation, but if you will notice they are all Democrats and I think they are doing it for political cover.  My position and the position of other Republicans in the Legislature is different.  This is America, and a person in innocent until proven guilty.  At this point in time no charges have been filed.  What I want is a full and complete investigation so all of the facts can come out.  The people deserve nothing less.  In the end I really don’t think things will turn out well for the Governor, but he does deserve his “day in court.”  Additionally I don’t want to see any political maneuvering that would prevent all of the facts from coming out, so basically I want the process to work the way it was designed to work.


For the rest of this newsletter I would like to talk about something positive, because government can actually do some good things.  In this case I am referring the issue of dredging in the small ports on the Oregon coast.  The majority of this work, especially the channel dredging, is done by the Army Corps of Engineers.  While the funding for the major ports is in their base budget, historically the funding for the small port was done in Congress through “earmarks.”  When this funding solution disappeared we knew we had a crisis on our hands, because without this work these ports would not be able to operate. 


In the Oregon Legislature there is an unofficial subgroup called the Coastal Caucus, which is made up of the House and Senate members representing the coast.  For the last two years I was the Chair of this group.  This became our highest priority, and we have worked very hard to coordinate resources and activities at the local, state and federal level.  We had two major objectives.  The first was to secure the funding so the Corps could do the channel dredging and the second was to secure a portable dredge so we could also do the necessary work in the boat basins where the Corps big boat couldn’t go.


This has required a lot of coordination and cooperation between several federal and state agencies, as well as getting legislators at both the state and federal levels to understand the importance of this work.  We actually started down this road about two and a half years ago after a conversation I had with Congressman DeFazio after a town hall meeting in Brookings.  There were several times between then and now I wasn’t sure we could accomplish what we set out to do, but as of this week I can say with pride we have accomplished our objectives.


I will not bore you with the details, but I do want to give credit to those who are responsible for bringing this together.  First on the list is Congressman DeFazio.  Some might be surprised I would be giving credit to a Democrat, but the reality is the Congressman and I have worked together on several issues over the years.  I want to point out that when it comes to actually solving problems political labels can get in the way.  I also want to give credits to the Governor’s staff and the various agencies that were willing to step out of their comfort zone to make this happen.  I also want to thank the ports for being willing to trust that we could come up with a solution.  Last, but not least, I want to thank the members of the Coastal Caucus for sticking together to make this happen.


What we have accomplished is actually historic and will help ensure the economic viability of our coastal communities for years to come.  In light of everything else going on in Salem I just thought a little bit of good news might be welcome.




Senator Jeff Kruse







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