MADRAS, OR -- U.S. Senator Ron Wyden held two local town hall meetings over the weekend. On Friday, the Oregon Democrat talked with about 150 people in Madras, including a large group of high school students (below, right) who were very interested in his stance on immigration and a border wall. Wyden told them he strongly supports increasing security at the border, "I have voted for over $100 billion in laws to promote border security. So, we’re talking here about the fences and having people on the ground, and drones and radar, and a variety of other things. I think the wall is a big mistake." He went on to say, "I think our country is better and stronger because of immigration."
The possible release of the Mueller report and how it could impact the President was one of the biggest topics of discussion. Wyden says he wants it made public, "Clearly, there should be what are called ‘redactions,’ if appropriate for national security. But, I think the public ought to know about it. I’ve made it clear that I’m prepared to go to the floor of the United States Senate to fight and make sure that document gets out to the American people." The comment was met with widespread applause, as well as one "boo."
One veteran asked about gun control legislation. He wants stricter punishments for criminals, but believes proposed bans on certain firearms go too far. He told Wyden, "As a legal, law-abiding citizen, I’ve never broken a law with these things. I’m being punished for something someone else did." Senator Wyden says young people tell him something needs to be done to prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands, "The way I read the Constitution, it doesn’t say the Second Amendment says that if you’re on the terrorist watch list or you have mental health problems, you should be able to get a gun."
Saturday morning, Wyden met with constituents in Bend at Summit High, but he canceled an afternoon event planned for Prineville, due to the winter storm.
Right: Madras Mayor Richard Ladeby waits to call on the next person, as Senator Wyden answers questions at Friday's town hall.