Republicans clearly responsible for budget

In response to Jane Pluemke's recent letter to The Outlook (March 21) and her blame of the federal budget on the Democrats, I would disagree with her eighth-grade civics class instructor. If you google the budget process you will find that 'The President is therefore required to submit to Congress, by the first Monday in February, the administration's budget request for the upcoming fiscal year (which begins the following Oct. 1). To meet this deadline, the administration must begin preparing its budget request during the previous spring and summer.'

In conclusion, the budget was written by the president's staff and passed by the 109th Congress, the Republican Congress. I don't think that blind loyalty to the Republican Party and the worst administration and Congress in the history of our country is worthy of print. We need to undo the horrible abuse and decline of our democracy. The disregard of the Geneva Conventions and the elimination of habeas corpus are good examples.

Will Barnett


Mayor needs reality check on crime

It seems Mayor Shane Bemis, not having a thought in his own head on how to run the city, has hired himself an aide to - I don't know - do his thinking for him? Wonder what that is costing us? (Eric Chambers, assistant to the mayor, is making $60,000, as reported in the March 3 edition of The Outlook.)

Seems he is going to form a task force to study crime and how it affects the city's livability.

Tell you what Mayor Bemis, let me save you the energy.

When you have a train that delivers all the gangs to a city like ours, you need to have someone at the end of the line checking all their passes and if they don't have one, then keep them on the train and send them back to where they came from.

You may think that building all these beautiful high rises is going to encourage people to come to Gresham when this town is getting more and more gangs, well, think again. Pretty soon people will be afraid to come out of their houses, let alone go out to shop and eat.

And what about all this graffiti all over the place that is supposed to be cleaned up by the property owners? Sorry I don't see it getting done very fast. Think people are going to feel safe letting their children play in their own yards? I'm afraid not. Think you would like to walk down the street and have to dodge bullets in your own neighborhood? I don't think so. Think we don't know that when you call a cop if you don't hear a gun or see blood, the police are going to take their time getting to your cause? We're not all stupid in this town, we're just almost giving up.

Now tell me when you see a dozen or so teenage kids with their baggy pants, emblems on their clothes and head gear walking around the neighborhood at all hours, I'd say it's time the police took a stand, or are they just waiting to hear what your taskforce has to say?

arlene Easly


Bush responsible for poor budget, policies

I feel like Jane Pluemke and I need to restart 'Point - Counterpoint' on the Sunday TV show, '60 Minutes.' Jane, if you had been paying attention in civics class, especially for the last six years, you might have noticed that everything starts with the White House. In fact, most congresses since the days of FDR have taken their lead from the executive branch. While the neocon Republicans controlled the Congress, they didn't make a move unless Cheney, Rove and 'Dubya' issued the orders. The Democrats were shut out while the Bush administration slashed domestic appropriations so that they could give huge tax breaks his rich cronies, fund the senseless war in Iraq and do a bang up job destroying America's reputation with the rest of Planet Earth.

The budgets and policies that are in place right now, Jane, are the budgets and policies the Republicans put in place. The newly elected Democrats (and quite a few moderate Republicans) are scrambling to fix all the damage the neocons and the stooges in the Pentagon did. The main obstacle is Bush, who never vetoed a thing when his neocons were in power. But now that the Democrats are in power, he will veto every good thing this Congress tries to pass, leading this country down the path of total ruin. Finally, I am not imagining the scandals and investigations that are breaking daily in Washington. It seems that everywhere you turn, some Republican crony of Bush is up to his neck in graft or corruption charges. Up until this president, it has been generally agreed that Warren Harding (another Republican) was the worst president the country has had to endure. They're going to have to update all the history books in 2008 and place the 'Worst President' title squarely on the head of 'Dubya.'

Mike Mattingly


Walker earned his money with his work for county

I want to take this opportunity to respond to the March 21 Outlook article regarding my chief of staff, Gary Walker.

First, let me say Gary has been a most valuable employee and associate for my office and the people of District 4. Over my career at Multnomah County, Gary has served diligently and faithfully; providing direction, developing policy and managing my office.

There has been some question regarding his salary. Gary has earned everything I have given him. In my estimation, he is still underpaid. His salary and bonuses have always been approved by myself and within the constraints of our office budget. My office has never exceeded our budget and returns money back to the general fund at the end of each budget year.

Gary's work ethic and accomplishments have been invaluable to this office and to the citizens of East County. He will be greatly missed.

Lonnie Roberts


Multnomah County

District 4

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