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Your View: Walden's tenure was less than successful

Rep. Greg Walden apologists tend to ignore the almost complete absence of actual legislation and planning that one should expect of their national-level officials. It’s sad to see this paper join their ranks. Lets stress test their analysis.

Greg was elected 11 times and the district is large. We can check that box off. Now, to accomplishments: the Mail Tribune says the list is “sizable.” I’ll see if I can find some “size.”

Using the editorial board’s example, our tanker base was saved from extinction and a move to Klamath Falls thanks to Greg. Reality says no.

Government looks to cut costs yearly. Tanker bases are easy targets because of seasonal use. Fortunately for Southern Oregon, the Medford tanker base will never fade away, and here’s why: The weight-bearing capacity of the runway at Klamath Falls is 315,000 pounds, Medford 400,000 pounds. It boils down to asphalt thickness. Not only can a Very Large Air Tanker (DC-10) not launch with a load out of Klamath, it’s equally too heavy to land there. Medford is the only tanker base north of Sacramento that has VLAT capability and hence why it is used with gusto.

On to the VA; caring for American heroes is the federal work he was elected to do. Accolades for doing your job are the new participation trophy for politicians.

To his credit, Greg announced his retirement. In the meantime he’s still touting imaginary successes and comparing himself to his historical hero Teddy Roosevelt during Bull Moose Party days. He’s equally going down in flames as the Bull Moose Party did, albeit 100 years later.

So what has Greg done? Well, not a lot.

Despite huge federal exposure opportunity, District 2 residents still earn 14% less than the statewide family income average of $53,270 pre-COVID. Both unacceptable coupled with rising cost of living increases.

In 2018 we spent $52 million in the Medford district on food aid. In 2019 we blew through that number by September.

Forest work? The 2nd District congressman is the state’s federal forester. What do we have to show for the last 22 years of forestry besides lost jobs, closed mills and a million new burned federal forest acres statewide?

Despite ample funding and political opportunity to bring communities together to reimagine criminal justice services and mental health/addiction services, nothing has yet been started.

Should we expect to see the Greg Walden Wilderness, Bridge, Rest Stop or an aptly named Portland ballroom used for fundraising? Safe money says no.

Calling Greg a success all depends upon your perception of ... success.

Mark Roberts lives in Medford.

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