Political Briefs: Mannix swings through John Day

The Eagle/HEATHER SHEEDY Gubernatorial candidate Kevin Mannix shakes hands with Jim Barker while Joan Silver (left) and Charlotte Barker wait their turn to meet the Republican candidate.

JOHN DAY - Kevin Mannix, Republican candidate for Oregon governor, stopped in John Day for a rally July 25.

"This campaign is emphasizing reform in state government, and providing our communities with hope in the future," Mannix told the Blue Mountain Eagle following his rally.

Mannix, a practicing attorney for 27 years with extensive legislative experience, said he is committed to reducing government regulation by 50 percent. Another goal is reduction of the capital gains tax from 9 to 5 percent to encourage investment in the state.

"We have the second highest capital gains tax in the United States, and that is a barrier to getting people to invest here," he said.

Mannix, who was dubbed a "consensus builder" by the Salem daily newspaper, the Statesman Journal, said, "The governor is the one elected official who represents all the people, and serves a counterweight to any interest group. To me there is no such thing as an urban-rural divide."

Mannix said he would support the state's "natural resources heritage and future."

"I will champion reviving and growing forestry and ranching and farming. I will go out of my way to champion our rural communities," he said.

Smith to host town hall forum in Burns; local stop canceled

BURNS - Senator Gordon Smith, R-Ore., will host a town hall in Burns on Thursday, Aug. 8. The meeting is 4 p.m. at the Harney County Senior Center, 17 South Alder Ave. Smith will address a variety of economic, health care, and agriculture issues. He will also focus on the Harney County economy, health care for the uninsured, and prescription drug coverage for senior citizens.

Smith will also address the issue of western wildfires. Smith recently cosponsored a bill that urges the federal government to fully implement the Western Governors' Association's 10-year strategy for reducing wildland fire risks. The plan, signed in August 2001, aims to reduce the overabundance of hazardous forest fuels on federal lands that place these forests at high risk for catastrophic wildfire. He is also working to obtain $950 million for fighting fires and forest rehabilitation.

An announced meeting with Smith scheduled for Aug. 7 in Canyon City has been canceled due to scheduling conflicts.

Wyden prepares for E. Oregon tour in early August

CANYON CITY - During a swing through Eastern Oregon next weekend, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., will hold several Town Hall meetings. Residents are invited to the public meetings to discuss issues of local and national importance and to share their concerns for the current legislative session.

Scheduled stops include the following:

Sherman County - 2:30-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, at St. Mary's Parish Hall, 800 Barnett St. in Wasco.

Harney County - noon-1:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, at the Harney County Senior Center, 17 Alder Ave. in Burns.

Baker County - 2:30-4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, at Baker Senior Center, Community Connection of Northeast Oregon, 2810 Cedar St., Baker City.

Grant County - 5-6:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, at the Guernsey Building, 120 S. Washington St., Canyon City.

New legislation defines, fights eco-terrorism

SALEM - Over the past decade Oregon has emerged as an epicenter of eco-terrorism, a pervasive form of violent criminal activity used to force social and political change outside of the law and the U.S. system of democratic self-government, reports Sen. Ted Ferrioli, R.-John Day.

Ferrioli, working with Stop Eco-Violence!, an Oregon-based non-profit organization, unveiled a new legislative initiative calling for a broad governmental effort to address the growing threat eco-terrorism poses to schools, farms, government institutions, businesses, research centers and local communities.

In kicking off the effort, Ferrioli introduced eco-terrorism legislation to lift the statute of limitations for prosecution of eco-terror crimes, define eco-terrorism with state statute to protect civil liberties and directly link Racketeering Influences and Corrupt Organizations statutes to eco-terrorist activity.

A press conference announcing this call for expanded governmental effort to better safeguard individuals and communities against eco-terrorism, plus new eco-terrorism legislation, was held July 25.

Ferrioli represents Oregon's District 30.

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