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Klamath County Republicans

Klamath County
Republican Party

Name: Dennis Linthicum

Position:  Oregon Senator, Senate District 28

2016 Candidate Survey
1.  How long have you lived in Klamath County?

My wife, Diane and I brought our family to Klamath County over 20 years ago. We came to Oregon for affordable business opportunities, indescribable beauty and the rich rural lifestyle. Our children are now grown and married and they also live in Oregon.

2.  What is your current occupation? I am a software specialist and run a software development firm. Diane and I also market specialty food products from our own commercial kitchen and we run a small ranching operation in Klamath County.
3.  Are you employed elsewhere?  If so, do you plan on leaving your current job if elected?

If elected I will necessarily discontinue or limit the resources that I
currently devote to these other enterprises.

4. Family:  Married, single, children, etc.?

Diane and I have been happily married since 1980 (36 years). We have two children, who are also married and both of their families currently live in Bend, OR.

5. Have you ever been involved with a political party or organization while in Klamath County?  If so, in what capacity? Yes. I have been a Reagan conservative Republican since graduating from high school. I only became involved in local politics after a friend asked me to consider running for the Klamath County Commissioner Position #2. I am, and have been, part of the Klamath County Republican Central Committee, the RCC Executive Board and a Republican Precinct Committee Person.
6. Are you involved with any local organizations (clubs, churches, sporting teams, etc)?

I was a Deacon and Elder for Bonanza Community Church and have volunteered for youth focused organizations, like Klamath County 4-H.

7. What do you see as the most important issue facing Oregon at this time?

The growth in government is the single biggest problem. Government growth, in turn, hurts families, businesses, churches and all other facets of our community life because government needs more and more of our community’s limited financial resources. Although government tries to provide services that citizens desire as efficiently as possible, without direct financial ownership and responsibility projections are always too robust and expenses are rarely identified correctly. The “tragedy of the commons” occurs because private ownership and responsibility is missing. Costs quickly outgrow available revenue which then necessitates finding “new sources of stable funding.” There will never be “stable funding" as long as government growth remains unconstrained.

8. How would you address this issue?

By repealing, revoking and invalidating as many rules, regulations and mandates as possible. Our US Constitution is violated continuously by lackadaisical state legislators who ignore their responsibility for keeping the federal government in check. This is the core idea behind the principle for the distinct jurisdictional authority and separation of powers (more so than the three branches of government at any given level). State governments are sovereign entities and the state’s powers
are “are numerous and indefinite,” while the federal government’s are “few and defined.” This means the powers temporarily delegated from the higher state power to the subservient federal power could fit into a box, (i.e., an area “(not exceeding ten Miles square)” Art I, S.7, Cl. 18.

Citizens need individuals in government who will follow the historic form of limited government. Our constitutionally federated republic’s foundational agreement, the US Constitution describes how rules of our governmental authority. Following this rule book would in turn lead to a “more perfect union.”  

Each legislator and individual of the citizenry would do well to teach and remember the words of the Declaration of Independence which reminds us that “governments are instituted among men to secure [our] rights.” As an Oregon State Senator I will fight to protect your lives, your liberties and your property.

9. What is your philosophy on tax increases, bond measures, etc.? 

As a former Klamath County Commissioner I recognized that most public money is poorly spent. Vast amounts of capital, land and equipment are devoted to servicing the “needs of the citizen” while only a small minority of people actually gain any benefit from these expenditures. Government might claim grand schemes for servicing members of the the community but these plans rarely provide the hoped for returns.

10. What do you believe the role of state government is?

As I mentioned earlier, the Declaration of Independence describes for us several self-evident truths.  The most important being that “governments are instituted among men to secure [our] rights.” The rights referred to in this phrase are identified as gifts from our Creator. Government does not give us our rights, God does.  Therefore government’s responsibility is to protect and ensure our lives,
liberties and individual treasures which are derived from our own pursuits or labor. These are the results blossoming from the talent of our hands, the product of our minds, or the fruits of our labors.

11. What do you see as the function of a State Senator?

To protect the interests of every individual. Today, we think of “representing the people” as a single mass of representation. I think this is mistaken terminology because it invokes collectivist connotations and, as most people realize, can’t possibly be accomplished. However, an elected official has a duty, not to the public as a collective, but rather to the individual. The single, individual person is the smallest minority interest that demands representation. The individual has inalienable rights which governments have been instituted to protect.  Unfortunately, we mistakenly think Senators and Representatives are supposed to “bring home the bacon” to their district’s constituents. This is a fallacious idea because the bacon must originate from somewhere and the people who labored to raised the hog and cure the bacon are losing the fruits of their labor. This is another reason while self-governance is such an important virtue.
We must remember Adam Smith’s writing where he describes the butcher and baker provide meat and bread to the community because they are interested in their own betterment. This is the win-win of a free market economy. The community is better off because they now have meat and bread. The vendors received just compensation for their diligence and hard work. This means, their families are better off, too. This is the beauty of free-markets and voluntary exchanges, trades or transfers among community members.

12. Regarding jobs or new businesses – how to you intend to “attract” new business to the Basin?

Government can not create job opportunities as efficiently as private industry. I don’t think there is any valid reason to push the government sector into a competitive game where it is the least efficient operator. Government can, however, lessen the regulatory burdens, rules, regulations, fees, taxes and paperwork so that business have a better chance of generating profits which will create jobs and generate attractive opportunities for others.

13. It has been said by some businesses who have looked to expand into the basin, that there is not a sufficient or qualified labor force to support them.  How would you address this issue?

The labor force has become too accustomed to government intervention. Unfortunately, this has created economic disincentives for individuals who might be considering a move to a new location or changing from one job opportunity to another. Government intervention destroys the normal decision making process by introducing abnormal incentives which have unintended consequences. This is counterproductive.

I believe government intervention should be drastically reduced or eliminated.  People must be allowed to control their own futures by making accurate and well informed decisions about opportunities or options.

14. It has been said by some retail businesses looking to expand that there is not the population or enough potential spend in the basin to support another retail shop.  How would you address this issue?

I was a commissioner when Costco declined to buy and build in Klamath County. The main reason given was that discretionary income for the 150 mile radius service area was not high enough to warrant a Costco enterprise.

This appraisal occurred before the city’s school bond measure ($36M), the county’s school bond measure ($30M), the extension service taxing district, and currently the trapper taxing district.  

Government must learn to leave money in the pockets of the hardworking people who are simply earning the rewards of their own labor. Taking more money through taxes for “economic development,” schools or other “desired
services” only destroys the possible options for the future of the community.

People must be allowed to succeed economically. Their successes will get communicated to all other observers or entrepreneurs. As those people realize that there are opportunities and profits in the Klamath Basin and they will seek out those opportunities. This is the root and branch of economic freedom.

15. We know that the voters in the state of Oregon voted to legalize marijuana.  What do you think about marijuana?  Is it something that should be legalized for recreational use? For medicinal purposes?  Should there be any regulations on it?

Marijuana for medical purposes should be via prescription just like all other dangerous pharmaceutical products. I disagree with recreational marijuana but I realize that there is a strong push across our country for this sort of experimentation. I think there is room here for a moral argument – Why do people want to be “stone or high”? What is attractive about being in a state of physical and mental impairment due to voluntary intoxication? People may present answers to these questions like, “Because…” But this is not sufficient.

The likelihood of serious impairment and/or exorbitant costs for some tragic circumstance that might occur can’t be justified by demanding license. A civil society requires civil behavior. This must originate from each of the individuals participating in America’s experiment in self-governance. My worldview would not only allow the most individual freedom but it would also demand the most personal attachment to all responsible parties.

16. Recently there was a protest in Malheur County over federally controlled land. Currently the federal government controls around 59% of property in Klamath County.  What is your position regarding federal government controlling state and county lands?

I was one of the first Oregon County Commissioners to join with the American lands Council in an effort to to organize state legislatures to demand that the federal government divest itself of all public land holdings. Oregon’s local citizens can better manage our forest resources than any number of non-native foresters who might rotate in and out of Oregon during their tenure in a federal bureaucracy.

Most of Oregon’s federal lands were grabbed by Pres. Teddy Roosevelt using Executive Orders. Starting with Crater Lake in 1902 and continuing through 1908 Roosevelt gathered vast forest acreage despite complaints by Oregon’s own senators and representatives. Today’s state legislature should step up to the plate and demand accountability and independence from the crushing federal policies which harm and destroy Oregon’s forests, watersheds and wildlife habitat.

18. Do you agree with the dam removals?

No. Dams are an extremely important source for inexpensive hydro-electric power generation. Today, hydro power is still the best, cheapest and most truly renewable source of electricity in the world. Solar and wind energy simply can’t compete with hydropower unless the false economics of federal subsidies and tax-credits are introduced into the equation. Without these massive interventions these solutions are economically deleterious.

The National Hydropower Asset Assessment Program identifies 4.8GW of hydro power that could be installed in Oregon. We should make using this inexpensive power widely available rather than destroying the existing resources that are currently in production.

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