Oregon has a citizen legislature so members would bring real-world experience, insights and knowledge to public policy.
Sen. Shields and I could not be further apart on political philosophy, but I truly respect and appreciate his knowledge of the issues surrounding health care and insurance.
Your criticism of Sen. Shields follows a bigger issue of the growing practice of Salem moneyed interest groups using political power to exclude legislators—the people’s representatives—from closed-door deals on major public policy.
Sen. Shields not only had a right to ask questions, he had the responsibility to get information on back-room deals being made on vital health policy.
I have had the honor of serving as Sen. Shields’ vice chair of the Senate Committee on General Government, Consumer and Small Business Protection, where I disagree with him on most major policy. But with that said, I respect Chip’s integrity, and that is one quality of Sen. Shields that should not be questioned by your paper.
The Rogue of the Week should have been given to the individual who fed you the story, not the public servant attempting to have vital policy discussed in an open public forum.
Sen. Larry George (R-Sherwood)
GOING TO BAT FOR FRITZ
Your article [“Fritz’s Labor Pains,” WW, Feb. 15, 2012] referenced that some union members are angered with Commissioner Amanda Fritz about the city’s change to overtime rules. Their anger is misdirected at Commissioner Fritz and should be directed at me. In a public City Council session on labor negotiations, I stated that it defied common sense that city workers should receive overtime pay without working a full 40 hours in a week.
The characterization in the article that changing this practice is a “rolling back of benefits” is out of touch with reality. I firmly believe that most people would agree that one should work 40 hours a week before receiving overtime. I was pleased that common sense prevailed and the union and council ultimately agreed that overtime should be paid to those who work over 40 hours in a week.Dan Saltzman
Portland City Commissioner
A DIM VIEW OF ASSAULTS
If your wife or daughter were forcibly penetrated [“‘G-ing’ in the Spotlight,” WW, Feb. 15, 2012], would you consider it to be no big deal? If this happens to a member of my family, the perpetrator will, at a minimum, find it difficult to re-offend without the benefit of the offending digit or appendage.
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