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Senator Ron Wyden Stops by the Source 

Wyden hosting a Town Hall at Pilot Butte Middle School tonight

click to enlarge Senator Ron Wyden speaking to members of the Source on Friday, March 9. - CHRIS MILLER
  • Chris Miller
  • Senator Ron Wyden speaking to members of the Source on Friday, March 9.
Ron Wyden, one of Oregon's two Democratic Senators, answered a few questions from the Source's staff before heading to his Town Hall Friday night at Pilot Butte Middle School in Bend.

Here are a few of the things Wyden had to say.

On Net Neutrality:

"It’s really important for a community like Central Oregon, where technology plays a big role now and will play a bigger role in the future. So important for the small businesses. It is a small business country. If Mr. (Ajit) Pai (Federal Communications Commissioner) and his notion for the information aristocracy prevails, were going to get much slower speeds for information and possibly have information blocks all together."

On guns:

"The biggest single change in the gun debate in Oregon is the change going on in rural Oregon and the involvement of students in rural high schools.

"Our generation doesn’t think of this to do with Democratic or Republican, it’s either do you get it or don’t you? That would be a real game changer in the term of rural Oregon. To us it’s not about D and R’s at all, are you going to take common sense steps towards gun violence that don’t violate the second amendment but are going to provide an added measure of safety."

On the reality of an assault weapon ban:

"I think there's no place for these military-style weapons. I think the real question is, can we finally get air tight loophole free background checks for every single gun sold or transferred in America. That means gun shows, that means private sales, the reason that that's so important because if you think the big issue, as I do, is keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them, there's already millions of guns out there right now, what you want to do is make sure anytime one of them is transferred, sold or anything, that we actually have a background check that doesn't have loopholes and dodges and work arounds, and the like.

On the implications of the new tax plan:

"I said the Republican proposal for paying for infrastructure is flim-flam. What you got is the Republican leadership out looking under sofas, scrounging around for some spare change in order to pay for this because they just blew 2 trillion dollars largely to multi-national corporations."

On the tone in Washington:

"At the rate this White House is turning over—pretty soon the President's barber is going to be running American foreign policy."

On threats to public lands:

"Once you sell off your public lands for exploitation, you don't get them back. This is really high stakes stuff. We've been battling them over monuments."

On sage-grouse protection:

"Zinke, in his confirmation hearing, must have mentioned Teddy Roosevelt, that he'd be like Teddy Roosevelt six or seven times, there is a big gap between his record and Teddy's."

On pharmacy prices:

"The president said that he would lower (rural peoples') prescription drug prices, and he names the CEO of Lilly to head the dept. of health and human services and he basically raised the prices of everything he can get his hands on. "
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