BEND, OR -- U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) was in Bend Monday evening. It was his second Deschutes County town hall in two months. It was a more subdued crowd than what Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) saw at his Bend town hall, last week, but the audience raised many of the same concerns, including healthcare and foreign policy.
Wyden addressed several hundred people at Summit High School, discussing recent aggressive action taken by President Trump against North Korea and Syria. "If your foreign policy is mostly reactive in nature and you're trying to figure out what's going to sound good for the 'press story of the day,' that then plays into your opponents hands. That makes it easier for the Kim Jong Uns and the Assads to try to figure out how to take advantage." He's also concerned about the economic ties between China and North Korea. "The numbers are really stark; the trade has expanded dramatically, dramatically between China and North Korea. It's what's really keeping the North Korean economy going. So, there are objective measures that make sense for the long term; and that's what I'm hoping we'll see in American foreign policy."
There were also questions asked about public lands. Senator Wyden said he would not support a transfer of Oregon's federal lands to the state or counties. He says the public would be the big loser in such a deal.
And, Wyden talked about his efforts to push for a speedy investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. "This goes right to the core of whether people feel that their government is legitimate; that their government represents them and not the powerful and the special interest. As your guy on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, I will not let this get swept under the rug."