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BEND, OR -- Eastern Oregon State Representative Greg Smith (R-Heppner) is expected to pitch the idea of annexing several eastern Oregon counties to Idaho, in the upcoming legislative session. He cites a disconnect between Portland area legislators and rural counties. 

 

Oregon Congressman Greg Walden (R-Hood River) tells KBND News the idea is not a far fetched as one might think. “People scoff at these ideas when they don't understand what underlies them. And the issue here is that people feel like your voice doesn’t matter when you're in eastern Oregon because the population is in Portland and they wag the whole dog. And people get tired of that, so they look for alternatives so their voice is heard and respected.” He adds, “I’ll tell you the sentiment out in much of eastern Oregon is that they’d rather be connected to Idaho than to Portland. I understand that. Yeah, when you feel like the fix is in against you with your own government [that] you’re paying for, and nobody understands or cares about what you’re going through, there’s a huge level of frustration that is just kind of ignored by those on the west side.”
 
Although, Walden admits the possibility of eastern Oregon and eastern Washington counties seceding to Idaho is remote. Fifteen years ago, Rep. Greg Smith’s idea of eastern Oregon counties forming a new state received no response in the legislature.
 
Rep. Smith originally spoke about his idea with the East Oregonian newspaper, in September. Read more HERE.  A La Grande farmer has started a Yahoo Group to garner support for the plan. 

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