Rep. Peter Buckley oposition to veterans boosts opponent

[Oregon War Veterans Association Release]
OWVA Endorses Independent – Pete Belcastro for HD05

SALEM– Oregon War Veterans Association (OWVA) has chosen Independent Candidate, Pete Belcastro for State Representative over Peter Buckley (D) for Southern Oregon’s House District 5, which includes Ashland and surrounding communities. Belcastro, an Ashland radio personality, a past Southern Oregon University professor, and father of an Iraqi War Veteran is a much better candidate for OWVA’s legislative agenda. During the 2007 legislative session, Peter Buckley, who serves as the Chair of the House Education Committee refused to hear the education bills written by OWVA and other veteran’s groups.

“We have never seen such obstinacies toward our issues, as we saw by many of the committee chairs, including Buckley,” OWVA’s Director, Greg Warnock said to Belcastro, in a meeting today, in Salem. “OWVA wrote 12 bills to help the troops, their families and veterans. All of our bills passed through he Veteran’s Affairs Committee, but most of them were killed in the secondary committees, including all of our bills that were forwarded to Buckley’s committee on Education. We definitely need a change in HD5.”

Two of OWVA’s bills (HB 3199 and 3200) proposed funding for the Oregon Youth Challenge Program (OYCP). OYCP is the most successful at-risk educational program in the State of Oregon, but they do not have the facilities to meet the needs of all available applicants.

HB 3200 added funding for an additional 30 female students to enter the program. Currently, each class is made up of 60 boys and 30 girls, who spend 6 months in a residential facility near Bend. OWVA wanted to equalize the proportion of girls and boys who attend the school.

Buckley wouldn’t give the bills a hearing, so they died in his committee.

For more information about OWVA visit

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Posted by at 05:38 | Posted in Measure 37 | 15 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Provo Nova

    Of all the groups to ignore, why veterans? Buckley should be more accomodating.

  • Alan

    Kudo to Belcastro. Tough district, however.

  • Peter Buckley

    If you are interested, here is the email I sent in response to OWVA:


    I found the two bills, history below. At no time was a hearing on these requested by you or by any of the sponsors of the bills or any members of the Veterans Affairs or Education Committee, Democratic or Republican. If a hearing had been requested, it would have happened. There was not support for these bills from the Veterans Affairs committee, so why you are using these two bills to target me is baffling. I am the son of a veteran of WWII and Korea and have strongly supported efforts in our legislature to assist veterans, in health care, in education, in financial assistance, across the board. I don’t appreciate the fact that you didn’t even have the courtesy to discuss these bills with me before endorsing my opponent.

    HB 3199 By Representative NELSON; Representatives BRUUN, FLORES, GARRARD, KRUMMEL, Senator FERRIOLI (at the request of Oregon War Veterans Association) — Relating to Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge Program; declaring an emergency.

    3-8(H) First reading. Referred to Speaker’s desk.
    3-14 Referred to Veterans Affairs with subsequent referral to Revenue.
    3-22 Work Session held.
    3-29 Without recommendation as to passage, be referred to Education, and then to Revenue by prior reference.
    Referred to Education by order of Speaker.
    6-28 In committee upon adjournment.

    HB 3200 By Representative NELSON; Representatives BERGER, BRUUN, FLORES, GELSER, Senator FERRIOLI (at the request of Oregon War Veterans Association) — Relating to Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge Program; appropriating money; declaring an emergency.

    3-8(H) First reading. Referred to Speaker’s desk.
    3-14 Referred to Veterans Affairs with subsequent referral to Ways and Means.
    3-22 Work Session held.
    3-29 Without recommendation as to passage, be referred to Education, and then to Ways and Means by prior reference.
    Referred to Education by order of Speaker.
    6-28 In committee upon adjournment.

  • Crawdude

    Buckley is only showing his anti-military, anti-patriotic American stripes. The same stripes that most liberals are hiding but still wear, unfortunately the voting public have short memories.

  • PB supporter

    It’s unfortunate that OWVA has decided to twist reality and endorse Belcastro, a complete political opportunist and self-serving megalomaniac. In contrast, Buckley proudly displays a wall size flag in memory of a family service member in his Capitol office. I know Buckley and he’s a patriot and a strong supporter of our troops. OWVA may have known that if they had bothered to visit Buckley, but I guess they didn’t.

    OYCA is a great program and they received a 9.2% increase in the per student funding from the Legislature in 2007. It’s too bad OWVA is using OYCA as a political weapon. Our veterans and OYCA students deserve better.

    • Greg Warnock


      OWVA is the fastest growing veterans group in Oregon, and we raised $410,000 for use in our political campaign and charitable efforts this year. We are bi-partisan. We funded the “Save Christmas Project” in 2006. We have paid for funeral expenses for families of troops killed in action. We advocated for the Family Relief funds for ODVA and the Military Department. Our legislation is second to none- and until 2007, very well received.

      One of my own sons is a graduate of the Oregon Youth Challenge Program.

      Pissing us off, with “twists of reality” is not a good idea.

      • PB supporter

        Um, kay…so you’ve got a PAC. Congratulations. I also noticed that there was 1 Democrat sponsor our of 12 in the bills that you listed. 1 out of 12 does not make something “bi-partisan”. Maybe you would have gotten farther if you were. Seriously, Buckley is one of the easiest people in the Leg to work with. The fact that you weren’t successful in getting out of his committee says more about you than it does about him.

        Furthermore, I noticed that the Veterans committee passed both of your bills out “without recommendation”…usually good bills with bipartisan support come out of their originating committee with a “do pass recommendation”. Any reason why you couldn’t at least muster a favorable recommendation from the Veterans’ committee of all places? I don’t doubt the good you’ve done for our vets, but I do question you’re “second to none”. Looks like you’ve got a ways to go with the attitude.

        • Anoner

          Is PB the same as Athletic ?

        • Anonymous

          Who are you? I’d like to know. If I have something to say, I put my name all over my comments- good or bad.

          Vets don’t appreciate cowardice.

          HB3199 and 3200 were not veteran bills, but because they had our name all over them they were assigned to the HVA committee by the speaker’s office. They should have gone directly to Education. That is why they passed without recommendation. Read the bills and tell me they are not good bills.

          • Anoner

            Your name is actually “Anonymous” ? You are a real Einstein, that is for sure.

          • Greg Warnock (^^ Anonymous)

            I guess I forgot to actually add my name, thinking that it would just present -as it does on some of the other blogs I write on. Sue me.

            Greg Warnock
            [email protected]

  • Greg Warnock

    Here are the follow-up emails…

    On Oct 14, 2008, at 10:13 AM, Oregon War Veterans Association wrote:

    Representative Buckley-

    I find your abrasiveness in this email interesting, especially since you did not yet hear back from me about the issues or the attempts to contact you about the bills in question, through your staff, or hear from me about the three meetings I had with the Speaker’s staff (Dimitri) and one meeting with the Speaker himself about these bills and your committee’s disinterest in hearing them.

    Your staff was difficult to work with. I could not get a meeting with you, so I went to the Speaker’s office. And that, Representative is part of the problem. Staff mimics the way you think. Since we were unable to speak directly to you, their representations made your perspective clear.

    In this email, you seem to have considered only your own perception of the issues. Your rhetoric of support is not validated by your actions- even in this email.

    Frankly, since you are an incumbent, a different response from you might have lead to a further discussion about the possibility of a co-endorsement- or some sort of other option. But now, after reading this email, and seeing your personalized hostility toward us, it is my assessment that we made the correct choice in endorsements.

    Our bi-partisan legislative successes and the bi-partisan friendships that we have established since 2002 are well known. We have worked will with most members of the legislature and will continue to do so. The only time we have had difficulty is from last session, when several legislators seemed to negate the value of veteran sponsored legislation- as trivial or less important than the priorities pushed by their favorite lobby members.

    You sir, were seen as one who favored certain other partisan concerns and lacked understanding of our proposals or issues. This, by the way, is not merely an OWVA perspective. Members of your own caucus agree with us.

    Perhaps if you win this election, we will have another opportunity to evaluate your willingness to support veteran sponsored legislation. We will keep an open mind.


    Greg Warnock
    Oregon War Veterans Association

    —– Original Message —–
    From: Peter Buckley
    To: Oregon War Veterans Association
    Cc: Pete Belcastro
    Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 10:38 AM
    Subject: Re: Explanation, Please


    My staff is and has always been instructed to set up meetings with every advocate for any bill in front of my committee. I have one staff member in the Capitol, Andrew, and he is very well known for his courtesy and respect. Mr. Belcastro has worked with Andrew as well, and can also attest to his character. In addition, at no time was I contacted by the Speaker’s office to inform me of any issues concerning your proposals. And again, at no time did any member of the legislature, including the sponsors of your bills, ask me to hold a hearing. I have no idea how the communication broke down on this if you did indeed approach Andrew, the Speaker’s office and other legislators, since not a single person came to me to ask for a hearing. And my experience with Andrew is that he never refused a meeting with an advocate and not told me about it.

    I can count on one hand the number of bills I did not hold hearings on if requested to by an advocate or a member of the legislature. Your bills are not on that list, since I never received a request for a hearing. I am firmly opposed to vouchers, for instance, yet I held a hearing a a voucher pilot project when requested to do so by my Republican vice chair.

    You are attempting to label me as an enemy of veterans, and I resent that greatly. My record is clear in support of veterans, I’ve personally gone to bat for veterans in my district. If there is personalized hostility involved, Greg, it is yours, not mine. The fact that you could not get the support of the Veterans Affairs committee is key here, and I have no idea why you want to try to pin the blame on that for me. You never contacted me personally on this, and the first I hear from you at all is with a statement slamming me as something I am not.

    I believe I will win this election. And when I do, if you desire to bring forward issues to my attention. I will respond, as I always have with advocates for every issue, particularly veterans’ issues, with respect and consideration.

    Rep. Peter Buckley

    —– Original Message —–
    From: Oregon War Veterans Association
    To: Peter Buckley
    Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 11:46 AM
    Subject: Re: Explanation, Please

    Representative, I am not sure how the communication broke down either. The bills were supported by the Governor’s staff- after all.
    General Caldwell gave me the data info for the bills, and would have supported them in committee. He and I both tried to see them move ahead, especially 3200, which was a priority bill for us.

    Dimitri and the Speaker were very aware of our position. All of the veteran groups were frustrated that our vet bills passed the HVA committee, but most of them died in the secondary committees. We even went to Chip Shields about a few of our bills to see if he would request pulling them from secondary committees- including HB 3199 and 3200 and hear them in Ways and Means. You can note our frustrations from our blog site, where we posted a couple of our press releases.

    When we approached your Republican Vice Chair, we were told that you would not support the bills because OEA wouldn’t support them. We asked him to suggest a hearing anyway. He agree to talk to you. I requested meetings through him twice.

    Sir, we put a lot of work into those bills, and they are good bills. To imply that I am lying about my advocacy and tenacity about getting them heard in your committee is absurd- and inflammatory. Everyone knows about my tenacity and passion regarding our issues.

    I am considering the facts as I know them. We are not trying to make enemies, but find support for our truly bi-partisan supported legislation. OWVA has endorsed 75 candidates this election cycle. (see attached voter’s guide) We work well with most legislators and staff members- of both parties.

    If you do win, we will be happy to share our concerns and issues with you.

    Best regards,

    Greg Warnock

  • Alan

    The next time you want to contact a lawmaker and the staff give you the brick wall, try a more different method to talk to lawmakers directly like…telepathy. Then again, you might not like what you find.

  • Peter Buckley

    I am in communication with Greg, and we’re working to make sure this kind of communication breakdown never happens again in the future. I am a strong supporter of veterans’ issues, my record speaks clearly on this, and my door is open. I hope the heat on this can die down now and we can actually find ways to work together to make progress in 2009.

  • Anon

    The biggest factor here is that Greg Warnock is a bad lobbyist. Unfortunately, veterans have to suffer because of his inept lobbying.

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