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Merkley talks of Iran, climate change at Redmond town hall

Senator also hosted events, answered questions in Madras, Prineville

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., held the first of three Central Oregon town halls Saturday morning at Ridgeview High School in Redmond, answering questions on a variety of topics.

Merkley began his remarks by recognizing the Latino Community Association, giving the organization an American flag that was flown over the capitol.

Merkley then answered questions from the crowd. Among the topics covered were climate change, mental health, the dangers of social media and the current situation in Iran, following President Trump's order to assassinate an Iranian commander, a move to which he strongly objected.

“What happened in Iran would be the equivalent of Iran assassinating our secretary of defense," Merkley said. "We need to work incredibly hard to emphasize that the president does not have the constitutional right to take us to war.”

As for climate change, Merkley asked everyone in the audience to "take a deep breath and hold it for three seconds."

"That air you just had in your lungs, and I had in my lungs is very different from the air when I was born," he said. "It has 33 percent more carbon."

When the talk turned to social media, the senator pointed out the tradeoffs: that technology can connect us as never before, but social media also can spread fake news, even prompt violence.

Merkley also held town halls Saturday in Madras and Prineville. He will host two more Sunday, in Gilliam and Grant counties.

Government-politics / News / Redmond / Top Stories

Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.



    1. He took the time to come to Redmond and talk/listen with people. Didn’t read from a script or tell you what you want to hear. I may not agree with everything he says, but he seems like he’s working for the good of the state and the country, and not for any kind of personal gain.

      1. Taking away personal rights, while making a bigger all controlling government is not good for the people, but I guess you can say it’s good for the “State”

    2. Keep laughing as your children burn and drink poisoned water. Sounds funny, right? Ask the folks in Harney what their water is starting to look like. You really are that stupid, aren’t you?

      1. Wow. The children are burning. I thought that was suppose to happen when the ozone layer was destroyed. And what do you care about people in Harney county. You don’t like us gun toting bible thumping country folk very much.

        1. Well, obviously not your children. I’ve heard tell that you gun toting bible thumping country folk usually marry your kin, so I suppose you’d have to worry about many a genetic disorder first. I also like to stay one step ahead of stable geniuses like y’all and yours so I keep one of these here eyes on the goin on’s in all kinds of places. It’s amazing what an edumakashun can do for ya!

          1. Since you are obviously into incredibly rude rebuttals of other people’s comments…..How about you take your (most likely Colifornicating) attitude back to where you came from.

      2. Harney County….once the most prosperous County and all of the state. In recent times no less. Even more so than Multnomah or Washington County…. then the government stepped in

        1. Again, it’s just obvious that you’re poorly educated. I would hardly call, over 40 years ago “recent times”. Here’s an interesting little excerpt from the Oregonian for you. Wrong again, but you must be used to it by now.
          “ Nearly half of the county’s jobs — 45 percent — are on public payrolls. No other county in 2013 derived a greater share of wages from the government than Harney County, said Josh Lehner, an economist who has researched rural Oregon for his job at the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis.

          The federal government’s role is particularly large. It accounts for 12 percent of jobs but 20 percent of all wages earned outside of farms.

          “If you take federal away, you might as well finish making us a ghost town,” said Jan Cupernall, of Burns, who sits on the local historical society board.”

  1. Merkley compared Soleimani to Pompeo? That is his first ridiculous mistake. The 2nd is calling Soleimani’s attack an assassination. So did Obama assassinate Bin Laden? Trump made a clear and direct call. The fact that the left is condemning him for it shows how they have lost all credibility and talk purely out of politics now.

  2. As a side note… Politicians should never use numbers as they typically do not understand them as it relates to their arguments. The air we breathe is .04% CO2. So if the level went from roughly .025 to .04 that would be an increase of 33%. That is a ridiculously small amount and has little to no effect.

  3. Did anybody else see what Ron wyden’s wife’s store did to the homeless on the sidewalk in front of her business? HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How come we won’t see this on our news, it’s pretty local after all? I think somebody is protecting somebody…. if Trump’s wife did this to the homeless you guys would come UNDONE

    1. Because progressives are caring compassionate people when it comes to spending other people’s money. Besides, she is much more equal then the rest of us shlubs.

  4. Merkley is such a moron!! He doesn’t even understand geography. “What happened in Iran would be the equivalent of Iran assassinating our secretary of defense,”. Our great President took out a terrorist in IRAQ, not Iran. We must get this dimwit out of office. He is so stupid that he is dangerous.

  5. Does Merkely think the austere military expert, Soleimani, would not kill Pompeo if he had the chance? The dead guy goes around killing US soldiers and citizens all over the world. If he would, he could, but now he can’t because he’s dead.

  6. Did he spell out why he disagreed or just politicize the situation to criticize Trump?

    Was it really an assassination of a political adversary or the killing of someone who has and will kill Americans? It has been reported that both Presidents Bush and Obama considered killing him, but they didn’t. Well times have changed and if in fact we had good evidence he was planning on killing US diplomats, then we had to kill him first. So, far as consequences go, we have a much stronger economy and military – Iran is going to bear the lion’s share of consequences. Let’s not negotiate out of fear of the unknown – this is what makes us weak. Let’s also not support Iran in order to undermine President Trump for political gain.

    1. “Is Iran really the greatest threat we face? Who’s actually benefiting from this? Why are we continuing to ignore the decline of our own country in favor of jumping into another quagmire from which there is no obvious exit?” ~ Tucker Carlson, Jan 3 2020

      1. Funny that somebody like the left that wants to do away with the second amendment, implement college safe spaces, get rid of the Electoral College, and any other number of anti-American crap would quote somebody like tucker

        1. I have a CHL, do you? Please explain how electing government officials by majority of popular vote is anti-American. You did not even try to argue with Tucker’s points and instead changed the subject, as expected.

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