KTVL photo United States Representative Cliff Bentz answers questions Tuesday at a Jackson County town hall.
U.S. Representative Clifford Bentz, the Republican who represents Oregon’s second congressional district, held a town hall Monday afternoon at the Jackson County Expo that drew about 175 people representing a variety of political views.
Bentz began by providing residents with a summary of his conservative credentials, which include being “pro-second amendment” and “pro-life,” but against “raising taxes” and “overspending” by the government.
Receiving a high draft lottery number during the Vietnam War and ending up not having to serve always makes him “embarrassed.” The public service is, among other things for him, a way of “trying to catch up”. Bentz explained.
He also said that while he supported the political ideas of former President Donald Trump, “Trump’s personality was not mine.”
Bentz took office this year after winning the November 2020 general election and had previously served as an Oregon state legislator. He sits on the House’s Natural Resources and Judicial Committees.
When asked why he was supporting Trump after claiming the election was stolen, Bentz said Trump’s policies were “excellent,” such as protecting water for farmers and reducing the “tsunami. of immigration â.
Someone in the audience interrupted Bentz shouting, âIs that a difficult question?
He replied that he was on the floor of Congress “when people broke into the Capitol” and that it was “one of the saddest things I have ever seen”.
Bentz then explained that he voted against certifying the results of the Pennsylvania election, but voted to certify Arizona’s results because he said the latter state’s results were valid.
Another person asked him to verify that President Biden won the election.
âJoe Biden was certified. He’s the president, âsaid Bentz
COVID-19, climate change and (illegal) cannabis cultivation were among the topics discussed.
Questions relating to climate change were raised frequently.
Bentz proudly said he left Oregon a few years ago in a legislative session, along with other Republicans, to retain a quorum in the state Senate so that there could be no of voting on a cap-and-trade bill that he saw as bad for the state because it would have put Oregon companies at a disadvantage compared to other states.
However, he also explained to the audience that the conditions – particularly drought as well as the increase and severity of forest fires – exemplify climate change.
Bentz said he “didn’t want to squeeze” the state’s economy because changes in the environment wouldn’t be apparent for decades and global solutions would be best, albeit difficult.
In addition, he said, “the only replacement for coal is nuclear”.
He then pointed out that the Federal Infrastructure Bill just approved by Congress includes significant financial support for existing nuclear reactors and so-called ânext generationâ nuclear reactors, in order to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Bentz assured a resident, who said she supported him because he was against the vaccination warrants, that he was against them as well as the mask-wearing warrants.
He pointed out that he was vaccinated and added that one of Trump’s biggest successes was Operation Warp Speed, the federal effort to accelerate the development of COVID vaccines.
Bentz also said he was working with local law enforcement to stop drug cartels from carrying out their illegal marijuana grow operations.
He took note of a letter dated November 5 that he sent through his office to Attorney General Merrick Garland about the problem facing southern Oregon and asked for help with end the illegal activity. He called for each of the four affected counties – including Jackson – to be staffed with 20-person teams per county to help local law enforcement “identify illegal crops, eradicate those crops, and then prosecute the criminal leading those crops. illegal crops â.
Bentz also said he believed Republicans would likely win congressional seats after the November 2022 election. Democrats back some ideas he called “the nanny state in the extreme.”
One example of this he offered is the Infrastructure Bill’s requirement to install unspecified technology in new cars that would prevent drunk drivers from driving their cars like a breathalyzer. He also asked how it would allow people trying to drive while high to smoke marijuana.
“Biden introduced himself as a moderate and became (US Senator) Bernie Sanders,” he commented.
He admitted that infrastructure legislation contains “good things”, such as funding water storage and ensuring that the country’s bridges are safe to cross.
After the meeting, Bentz was asked how communities could help find a solution to the current problem of illegal marijuana cultivation plaguing the area.
“The system we have is inadequate for the magnitude of the problem you have,” he replied.
Along with an earlier suggestion at City Hall that people can change course by eliminating Democrats, he said local communities could help find the money for additional app, although “everyone is looking for someone. another to pay “.
There are other agencies that could help the region resolve this issue if the Attorney General does not, such as the FBI, National Guard, Homeland Security, and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Zones program of the United States. US Drug Enforcement Administration, Bentz added.