Please Join Us on March 2nd

Hello Fellow Democrats!

I am writing to invite you to our next gathering.  We will meet from 5 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2, at White House Coffee, 1702 Fourth Street in La Grande.

Here's a preview of our agenda.  As always, we welcome your participation and input!

  Old Business             
     Precinct Committee Persons recruitment
     Adopt-a-Highway project
     Draft Strategic Plan/Calendar

New Business
     Resolution regarding the Citizens United decision
     What Wisconsin means for all Democrats

We have seen historic events this past month from a peaceful revolution in Egypt to a bloody repression in Libya to the heartening resistance to Republican ideology in Wisconsin.  There are great opportunites for Democrats ahead and much work to be done.  Your help is needed and appreciated.  I'm looking forward to seeing you there!


Also, please note that all of our upcoming monthly meetings are listed on the event calendar on this website.



Glen Scheele
Chair, Union County Democrats

Don't Doom the Economic Recovery by Slashing Budgets

Our current economic crisis has many causes: launching two wars on borrowed money, passing huge tax cuts for corporations and wealthy Americans, expanding prescription drug benefits (Medicare Part D) without paying for them, and a financial collapse due to Wall Street's unrestrained gambling.

The Bush administration and its Republican (and Blue Dog Democrat) enablers in Congress set this stage.  In a mere eight years, they turned the Clinton-era budget surplus into a trillion+ dollar deficit.  However, their own culpability in this havoc has not hindered Republicans from laying the blame on President Obama and Democrats.  Republicans now act as if the economic crisis and the growth of the deficit simply popped into existence on January 20, 2009.

This sudden concern about deficits, stirred together with revenue shortfalls from our weakened economy, creates a crisis atmosphere.  The "crisis" gives Republicans at the federal and state level convenient cover to attempt draconian cuts to programs they dislike: Planned Parenthood, the WIC nutrition program, the EPA, public broadcasting, unemployment insurance, Medicaid, Medicare... the list in endless.

The cuts are proposed in the name of "sharing the sacrifice" and "fiscal responsibility." But the sacrifice is not shared and the cuts are not responsible.

Proud of Wisconsin Democrats

We are seeing history being made in Wisconsin this week. 

Soon after his election, Tea Party Republican Governor Scott Walker, enjoying control in both state houses, signed tax cuts into law.  Of course this has precipitated a crisis and now there is a looming budget shortfall.  Who could have guessed?

Somehow, though, the Republican solution is never to have corporations or the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes.  The Republican solution is always to pay for tax cuts to millionaires and corporations by slashing spending on programs that help the most vulnerable in our society. 

But the Governor has gone even further.  His "Repair the Budget" plan does more to strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights than it does to fix the budget.  He has threatened to call up the National Guard in the event of strikes.

To prevent this bill from coming to a vote all the Democratic senators left the state.  This denied the Republicans a quorum to conduct business. 

People from all over Wisconsin and from all walks of life have gone to the capitol to protest this egregious Republican overreach.  The public employees, union members, working folks, and Democrats in the great state of Wisconsin deserve our support and respect.

Get Real About Climate Change

A recent Letter to the Editor in The Observer betrayed a fundamental misconception about climate change. 

The writer claimed that since there were heavy snow storms occuring in the US it must mean that global warming is a bunch of baloney.  She painted an amusing picture:  Al Gore, Nobel Peace prize winner for raising global warming awareness, is stuck in a snowstorm, denying the reality of the blizzard all around him.

The misconception is that our local weather today is an indicator of global weather long term.  It is not.  Weather is a complex, dynamic system.  Distant, unseen climate forces can have widespread and persistent consequences.

Because of this misconception the letter writer simply brushes aside decades of scientific research as "baloney".   As a result, she is denying the reality of climate change around her. 

The picture that the scientific evidence paints is not so amusing.  Greenhouse gasses are at the highest levels in history.  These gasses cause steadily rising air and ocean temperatures.  Human activity, particularly burning fossil fuels, is mostly to blame.  If this decades-long trend continues unchecked, the environmental impact will be widespread and devastating.

The evidence is overwhelming and no reputable climate researchers dispute it.  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), NASA, and the NOAA - to name but a few organizations - have mountains of peer-reviewed research documenting the facts of climate change.  Even the Pentagon and the CIA now consider global warming a grave national security threat.

The Republican Assault on Social Security

The Republican assault on Social Security is driven by a conscious campaign of misinformation and disinformation. 

Social Security is perhaps the most successful and popular program ever enacted by our federal govenrment.  It has protected millions of workers and their covered family members against loss of income from the retirement, disability, or death of the wage earner. 

The insurance program is funded by payroll taxes and does NOT impact the deficit.  In fact, the Social Security trust fund can pay full benefits through 2037.  Even with NO changes, the program can still pay about 80% of all expected benefits going forward.

But deliberate misrepresentation of Social Security is allowing calls for severe cuts in benefits and raising the retirement age to gain traction.

For example, Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama recently proposed increasing the Social Security retirement age "every several years" because "deficit reduction" is the top priority on the congressional agenda.

This fear-mongering about deficits is a favorite tool of Republicans to justify attacks on vital social programs they oppose.  They exploit the perception of crisis to strip funding from education, health care, nutrition, unemployment, assistance to families in poverty -- the list is endless. 

As citizens we must educate ourselves about Social Security.  You can start by reading an excellent fact-based response to Sen. Shelby at

Join the Walk for Warmth

It’s a cold winter. As I write this the wind is howling and the snow is swirling. But I’m lucky – despite a hammering by this recession, our family is still able to afford adequate heat for our home.

Not everyone in Union County is as fortunate. Rising energy costs and loss of earnings means more and more families are faced with stark choices between heating the house or buying groceries.

An Introduction and an Invitation

Hello!  My name is Glen Scheele and I am honored to serve as the new Chair of the Union County Democrats.


My wife and I have lived and worked in Oregon for more than 30 years, mostly right here in the Grande Ronde Valley.  We feel privileged to have raised our three children in this wonderful community.


I’ve always been a Democrat and active in politics.  But in recent years I decided to take an even more active role in light of the grave challenges we face.


Our nation has been at war for a decade.  We are in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  Millions of our fellow citizens are unemployed.  Millions have lost their homes.  Reckless gambling by Wall Street and banks has decimated the modest savings of our working families.


Decades of relentless, well-financed conservative attacks have eroded faith in a common purpose.  As a result, Republican themes – Privatize! Deregulate! Shrink Government! Cut Taxes! -- have gained traction. 


Yet these policies are failures.  For proof we only need to look at how much more precarious life has become for ourselves and for millions of our fellow citizens after decades of pursuing these policies.


There is a saying: “In crisis is opportunity.”  Unfortunately for some it’s an opportunity to enrich themselves or cynically grab for political power.  Corporations are earning unprecedented profits, yet continue to ship jobs and investments overseas.  Wall Street and Big Banks are earning unprecedented profits, yet refuse to ease access to credit or help struggling home owners.  Republicans have decided that to win the next election they must make Democrats fail, no matter the cost to average Americans. 


I believe Democrats see different opportunities.  Tough times mean a chance to leverage smart public spending to rebuild, to modernize, and to jump-start our economy.  A reckless financial economy can be reined in once again serve the real economy.  Corporate excesses can be addressed with sensible regulations that benefit workers, consumers, and our environment.  The many families being saved from impoverishment by Social Security, Medicare, and the new health care reform will make the case to further strengthen those programs.


At times, I’ve been overwhelmed by the challenges and felt powerless to address them.  I found that by teaming up with my fellow Democrats I no longer felt powerless or overwhelmed.  Democrats are ready to stand up, to speak out, to work, and to fight for what is right. 


As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”  Won’t you please join us to hasten that day?

Come and get 'em - lawn signs, rally signs and bumper stickers

Union County Democrats have lawn signs, rally signs and bumper stickers for...

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden
-- lawn signs, rally signs--nifty to put in your home or office window, bumper stickers and literature

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber
-- lawn signs and bumper stickers

Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler
-- bumper stickers and campaign literature

Contact the Union County Democrats. Let us know what you materials you need to show your support.

Jean Falbo for State Representative

Jean Falbo for District 57The campaign of Democratic Candidate for Oregon State Representative in District 57 invites you to visit their website. You will learn about Jean Falbo's qualifications and goals.

Check it out.







2010 Fair Booth Straw Poll Results

We conducted an opinion poll of visitors to the Democrat's booth at the Union County Fair. Here are the results:

2010 Fair Booth Poll Results

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