In response to Rep. Greg Barreto’s letter of July 12, in my opinion Mr. Barreto showed a lack of political savvy in his decision to vote “no” on the transportation bill.
It was a very well known fact, prior to this legislative session, that passing a transportation bill was a very high priority for the Democratic majority in both houses of the legislature.
With that knowledge it appears as though Representative Greg Smith and Senator Bill Hansell knew that a transportation bill was going to pass, so they got on board. Their constituents were rewarded with $32,000,000 to be used for transportation projects in District 57.
Mr. Barreto chose not to get on board and his constituents in District 58 were punished for that decision. In politics, as in life, sometimes you have to just hold your nose and do something for the people who are counting on you, even when is something you don’t agree with. It appears as though he couldn’t get past his ideological views in this instance.
I did do some investigation into his letter and it is true that the East Oregonian was in error when they reported that he had been lobbied by the mayor of Pendleton. (Editor’s note: Mayor John Turner clarified to an East Oregonian reporter that he lobbied legislators, but did not directly lobby Barreto.)
He was, however, incorrect in his statement concerning Nancy Pelosi’s statement about the Affordable Care Act. He quoted her as saying, “We have to vote for the bill to see what’s in it.” He is wrong about what she actually said. Although I am not a Pelosi fan, I am a fan of the truth.
Her statement was actually, “But we have to pass the bill so YOU can find out what is in it — away from the fog of controversy.” Mr. Barreto’s version is one that has been used by the “far right” folks for about seven years now. For those of you that want to check it out for yourself, you can find it on YouTube.
If I remember correctly, Mr. Barreto stated several years ago that if he couldn’t make a difference or have an impact in Salem that he would get out. I sincerely hope that he will carefully consider his statement since his impact has been minimal in Salem and somewhat negative to District 58.