Reporter's Notebook

The art and science of the interview

Oregon2020 – Jack L Esp

leave a comment »

These transcripts are presented to help users quickly find information they are searching for within the interview. Keywords may be searched using the CTL-F function. The software used provides a very rough but phonetically accurate transcription and for the most part, punctuation is omitted. Human speech patterns, being unique, make reading the interview transcript more difficult than listening to the interview audio file. It is recommended that users use the transcript and audio file together. For more information, visit the Candidate Interview Project at http://Oregon2020.business.site.

This is a transcription of the Jack L Esp interview

DM – Don Merrill
JLE – Jack L Esp

00:00 DM – I’m Don merrill and I’m talking with Jack L Esp Mr Esp is a Republican who is running for state representative in Oregons 21st District which includes part of Marion County or as Salem residents call it home Mr Esp welcome

00:13 JLE – thank you

00:14 DM – you have some political experience working with former Gov. setting up political advocacy organizations and working with constituencies but you’ve never been elected to public office and my first question is is why now

00:30 JLE – why now for the last several years I worked with Oregon citizens lobby a group that works at the capitol during session meeting once a week there going over the bills talking to the legislature dealing with what’s going on and trying to influence it during that time I’ve noticed that with the current administration the direction of our state is not going in the direction I feel it should be specifically it leaving businesses behind theyre moving out of the state which reduces employment opportunities for the citizens of Oregon

01:08 DM – can you elaborate on that a little bit when you talk about business of moving out of state why do you think the moving out of state what is the state doing to contribute to businesses leaving

01:16 JLE – okay let’s look at Portland here rocking Rogers when they raised the minimum wage to $15 many of the restaurant type businesses just flat had to close they couldn’t cover the difference in the increase so I think were three or four Portland I know rocking Rogers had two or three outlets here that they closed down and shut off the gross receipts tax is going to because it starts started what 15 days ago 14 days ago it’s going to be catastrophic to many businesses inasmuch as it was a tax on the gross not on the net and in some situations it threw organizations into a loss situation right there and several have closed down I noticed norpac out here North of town is trying to sell having trouble what with that was the cause I don’t know but it may have been I know the automobile dealers Association its hitting them very hard because when you’re talking $30,000 cars up to a hundred thousand dollars cars doesn’t take many sales to exceed that $1 million level

02:23 DM – well let me ask you what do you say to people who might present counterargument which is for someone who is living in the portland area or the Salem area utility company requires a minimum payment every month whether you use a maximum amount of electricity or not, same with the water same with the gas food for daily minimum requirements for survival rent when you add all those together transportation and not including anything have to entertain or any kind of Lifestyle enjoyment you have to make a certain amount of money just to be able to survive what do you say to people who say that the the mandatory minimum wage is necessary in order for those people to get by

03:03 JLE – I historically the minimum wage is in positions start up position positions that young people are starting in myself in high school I was working minimum-wage not after I was married they are start up jobs to give prospective employees or current young employees a entrance into a field and a entrance of work experience and work history of their reliability as an employee within the country company I mean and once they get that then they can move up but there has to be a place to start and most of these people are a large percentage still living at home they don’t have alls those expenses you just mentioned

03:50 DM – Lets move on you were born in Billings Montana you moved Oregon when you were six you worked on a farm as a kid you paid your way through school you ended up with two jobs where you say you were able to put your college education work you do a lot of work for the hospital industry including here recently most recently becoming a consultant and along the way worked for the governor on state budgeting laws you joined on the Oregon citizens lobby and you helped create the greater Hermiston area tea party what was it about the tea party that attracted you what was about your life experience up to that point that made you realize that the tea party was where I wanted to put my energies and my experience

04:30 JLE – the tea party was looking at conservative values at keeping the cost government down representing the people not the government too much of our society now is government controlled you look at it in many of the bills that are being passed you can look at it in the actions that are going on that we are leaning more and more to a socialist form of government where the government controls everything

05:03 DM – Let me ask you a question about that about I’m thinking about political candidates for president right now in the 2016 election there was a lot of attention paid fact that Pres. Trump attracted a base but a lot of people in his base also attracted Bernie Sanders and Bernie Sanders is an avowed socialist so explain that to me a little bit

05:29 JLE – there are parts of the socialist system their wonderful in fact the social system itself is not bad until the people up above run out of money the basic difference I think is that one side feels that healthcare is a right all people have the right to healthcare the other side says it something you earn you work for now there’s a happy medium there but prior to Medicare and prior to all the socialist medicine we have right now 90 some percent of those people were cared for either by church private organizations or emergency rooms the law in Oregon is anybody with an emergent situation has to be treated in the emergency room by law or hospital lose license urgent care treatment goes to our urgent care centers now once the urgent I think what’s that law started getting enforced about emergency room scene urgent patient or critical patient urgent patients they can refuse I mean nonemergent I think that’s when your urgent care centers came in and broadened this field and that was good but today go to the urgent care out in Kaiser I took my wife there for a follow-up we sat there for over two hours no treatment no nothing we talked to them and we finally left the urgent care is getting just as bad with the federal government saying with all these social programs and everybody has a right to medical care yet the reimbursement by the government for these medical care for doctors is one in the 30s percents uh say that they charge hundred dollars which is more than the charge for a office visit they only get paid $37 I think it is there’s not monetary incentive for young people to go into being physicians you’re only going to get the ones that are really committed to humanity otherwise were getting thousands millions more people into the healthcare system with fewer doctors

07:41 DM – there’s a lot to umpack there and we don’t have time but I want to move on I want to move on sadly I want to move on you worked in the hospital industry for nearly 50 years what was about the work that kept you there for 50 years

07:53 JLE – well some of it was stupidity the turnover in hospital management is was extremely high when I was working there that’s when the stupidity comes from other than that I I enjoyed the work I enjoyed the challenges and felt that I was doing something for humanity yes I’m a conservative but I still have interest in humanity and how things should be

08:23 DM – it’s interesting that you say that so then are you saying that that there is an inate conflict in conservative thought between humanitarian behavior and the market

08:32 JLE – I wouldn’t say there’s a conflict within conservative thought but when the ultra-progressive yes which are usually far right Republicans there too far out there

08:46 DM – when you say ultra progressive you meant ultra conservative

08:48 JLE – no I meant theyre called progressives they

08:51 DM – far right conservatives are called ultra-progressive

08:56 JLE – I know it sits wrong with me too but that’s how it is and they arent for the people most conservatives are for the people and but their for it in a different way than the liberal is

09:11 DM – okay you you met a lot of people didn’t have healthcare considering the problems Americans have Americans have had with the millions of people who don’t have access to affordable healthcare what would you do to solve that problem

09:25 JLE – well 30 years ago and today are two different situations today our main problem is the lack of qualified physicians to see people all these new people have been brought on to healthcare through the social programs I ran into some physicians that I didn’t feel were competent to be doing what they were doing maybe theyre rushed through school maybe they thought it going to be a lucrative particularly I don’t know but the biggest thing now is that were short on physicians uh theyve change the laws recently to where a nurse practitioner is almost a physician and can treat totally on her own their own it isnt all women the physicians assistant he’s reviewed by a physician but the physician doesn’t oversee everything to answer your question directly physicians we need more physicians and to do that we need the government to start paying a fair share. Im gonna throw something at you you havent asked for but when I did that study in 2005

10:40 DM – this is the study we were talking about before the interview where you brought together on your experiences and looked at I think like nearly 60 hospitals

10:47 JLE – 57 of the 58 in Oregon and combined them and looked at their bottom line and this and that and the thing that jumped out to me was the fact that of their gross charges they wrote off over 50% due to these contractual adjustments mostly Medicare and Medicaid

11:08 DM – so it sounds like youre saying the hospitals arent making any money either

11:11 JLE – those 57 hospitals had a bottom line of 1.7% at 57% write off 50 some percent right off means that if everybody paid fair share billed charges hospitals could cut their rates in half Overnight and keep the same bottom line

11:30 DM – and why can’t everybody able to pay their fair share do you think

11:33 JLE – Medicare Medicaid reimbursement Medicare like I said his paying hospitals around 50% theyre paying doctors and lab ancillary services in the 30s well who’s paying the difference the people and insurance companies that don’t have contracts reducing charges

11:54 DM – ok we need to move on you support or you’re a member of number right-leaning organizations including restore our Constitution got your six firearms liberty Oregon and conservatives dog libertarians about that last one

12:09 JLE – the what

12:10 DM – conservative dog libertarians

12:12 JLE – I’m not a member that I have no idea what it is so

12:14 DM – it was one of the organizations that you showed that youd supported on your facebook page

12:21 JLE – ok Im not I mustve been under a different name

12:26 DM – ok well the point I want to make I think sometimes people dont see the connection between conservatism and libertarianism so I was going to talk about a little bit about how their similar but how theyre different

12:40 JLE – this is changing daily yearly back when I was a young man that was after the covered wagons the Democrat party represented the workingman the Republican party represented those little more comfortable now over these years the Republican Party is moved down to representing the workingman more than the uppercrust the Democrat party has moved to socialism are actually called the Democratic Socialist party

13:16 DM – youre saying the Democratic Party in the United States is actually called the Democratic Socialist party

13:22 JLE – in many cases and at one time my information is that it was originally called the Democratic Socialist party now they are turning more and more to socialism what you want to call it that healthcare for all and all these programs that the Democrat candidates are talking about are all leaning towards towards the socialism socialist attitude the Republicans have not gone that far yet that’s the big difference that I see in the two parties

13:55 DM – I saw on your Facebook page that you support suicide prevention efforts the the VA’s is about 20 veterans a day commit suicide in US last April Northwest news network reported that suicide is the biggest cause of death in Oregon jails meanwhile Salem’s homeless problem is national news what do you think are the conditions that make people take their own life and speaking from your own experience what do you think needs to be done to help reduce the suicide rate

14:28 JLE – probably on the top that list is the fact that Oregon has closed nearly all of his mental health facilities throughout the state there’s very few left these people need help they need most of all somebody to talk to you mentioned the homeless problem 30% of those people want off the street but they’re on there because of drugs alcohol or a minor mental problem they need help to get off the streets I know of a personal instance where an ex drug addict got back on drugs was on the street he was lucky his family got behind him and he got into one of the social programs in Oregon he is now and has been for over a year a security guard at Intel he’s one of that 30% suicide I think in my opinion can follow the same route but they need access to help our VA program I don’t think is fulfilling that need as much as it could and that’s why we have so much high such a high rate in our ex servicepeople for the other 70% of homeless I’m asking anybody that has the answer to let me know

15:49 DM – tomorrow the joint session of the judiciary committee will start hearing on a new a new gun legislation in the capitol Although the hearing will only allow invited testimony the website advance liberty asks members to make a strong showing do gunowners feel the legislature isnt hearing them or seeing them and that’s why they want supporters to pack the hallways

16:11 JLE – dirct answer yes because our legislature for the aboth state and national for extended period of time have been trying to get control of the guns you look at every socialist regime across the world thats one of the first things they do get control of the guns the Second Amendment flatly says they need those guns to protect themselves against government it doesn’t say anything in there about the Indians the criminal its specifically states to the government now I think it goes beyond that to criminals and stuff and protection at home but the gun control is a liberal wish list on top of it

16:59 DM – so can I ask you a question so I I read through the legislation I read through the proposed legislation and and and as I’m sure many gun owners have too and I’m also sure many of those gunowners many of those same gun owners already use trigger locks lockboxes but I saw on another website that the goal was to fight everything in the proposal including even the wording of the bill’s title is is it that opponents may think some of the ideas are good and even use some of the ideas themselves but they just don’t want to be told to do it

17:36 JLE – I can’t speak for anybody besides myself but I think that is part of I’m a gun owner I’m a concealed weapon permit own carrier I can carry I don’t like how they address

17:51 DM – just out of curiosity are you carrying right now

17:52 JLE – no I am not if I go to the state capital I’ll be carrying

17:56 DM – why just out of curiosity just curious why youre not carrying for this interview but you would be carrying if you walk into the state capitol

18:02 JLE – Because the state capital is more ready target for the people that are OK I’m going to say unstable is best word I can get what I don’t see where anybody unstable is going to come in here they dont even know were meeting for one thing if they knew I was having a political interview that would up the odds but not that much

18:24 DM – right I just always assume concealed carry means you carry because you can also time

18:29 JLE – I carry when I feel I need to I carry it when I go to church how many of these attacks have been in churches so that’s how I look at it but these you referred to the way these some of these bills are written take the assault weapon ban part of it number one they can’t define an assault weapon number two they tried the bill last bill started at five round magazines went up to 10 when they presented okay I have a 1920 something 22 17 round magazine its an assault weapon its illegal I have a 9 mm pistol stock is an eight round magazine next is a 17 round magazine that’s an assault weapon OK locking safe at all times what goods that gonna do you at 3 o’clock in the morning if somebody breaks into your house with a gun and you have to say hold it a minute while I go and unlock my safe and get my gun

19:31 DM – a lot of what I’ve read on conservative blogs and websites blame Democrats and Progressives for for almost all the problems the country is facing right now and you know we don’t go through it because I’m sure most people know what’s on the list but do you think that’s true I mean is there anything you think conservatives and liberals can agree on I mean I know its a broad question but anything

19:55 JLE – yes no group is 100% wrong on either side or 100% right I’m not right all the time but there are times if we sit down and talk we can say yeah you got a point that I haven’t thought yeah well we can do this we can do that and we can I’m not saying compromise cause I’m not a person for compromising that much but educating and listening is what is missing and what we need to do is listen to the other side talk to them talk through these problems some people you’re not going to get to change at all you know they’re dead set in their thought

20:41 DM – like the ultro progressive you talk about

2042 JLE – the ultra progressive the ultra liberal it’s like the old saying don’t confuse me with facts my mind made up but yes there are places where we can come together I an idea that I don’t like that someone else has I sit down and talk with him and they point out some things you know that’s not a bad idea maybe we can change it a little bit this way but through that dialogue and I think that’s what our legislature should be doing they should be sitting down and talking their differences out

21:17 DM – this is sort of related to the Oregon legislature has been having get along problems of its own whether it was sexual harassment accusations that caused Senate President Peter Courtney to remove Sen Jeff Kruze’s door in 2018 or Sen Brian Boquist warning OSP to send bachelors if they try to bring him back to Salem after he and other lawmakers walked in 2019 the atmosphere here hasn’t always been collegial do you feel collegiality is important to get people’s business done or do you think stirring the pot a little bit sometimes keeps things interesting

21:56 JLE – interesting is the wrong word in my mind I don’t think we can agree on everything all the time were going to have friction from time to time and that is good in my opinion we need to have opposition to these bills because if they just go through theres gonna be a Bunch of ill fought matter in them if their opposed and discussed and worked out theyre going to be cleaner bills and better for the population

22:23 DM – that leads me to this if you get elected you’re going to be in the state capital and legislators tend to listen to their constituents first which is what gets in trouble with colleagues because they tend to lean more toward local issues than to coalitions that try to get state business done how will you balance the needs of the state and the needs of people who put you in office

22:52 JLE – interesting question I you havent mentioned but I ran a year and half ago against the same opponent I was with the Salem Republican women they asked me to come talk to them and I opened up with the statement that realize that those of us or those of them that are at the state capital we are not only representing the peak constituents in our district were also representing the entire state of Oregon and that just got a few mouths dropped open I’ve never heard that before the point is my prime constituents prime concern is to listen to his constituency and then see how it applies to the entire state you can have a constituency that was made up and I’m just gonna tap Nike again, of 80% because theyre so large of the constituency works for Nike and they want a Bill that’s great for Nike but would be devastating for the rest of the state now do you support that kind of bill see thats the question that they have to face and they have to answer that my answer is in a case like that I try to make this pleasant as I could for the constituency been afraid I’d have to go for the whole state

24:13 DM – last may the statesman Journal reported that Salem city managers recommended putting $700,000 to support homelessness program for the city’s 1800 homeless this past November the paper said the city spent more than $5 million on police and fire services dealing with the homeless and in December the city Council voted to prevent the homeless from what it called public camping in public spaces the ban dispersed them throughout the city with no real place to go meanwhile a promised warming shelter is not up and running you’ll be certain serving the state but youll also be accountable to your constituents how will you show them your dealing with this very local problem of homelessness

24:58 JLE – that problem is one I touched on earlier the first thing they say get rid of the 30% that we can help get them back up in productive your questions really dressed in the 70% how are we going to deal with those people now this dispersing them they were down there in front of arches on commercial liberty at payless or riteaid they all moved there that block is solid homeless tent to tent As of two days ago the government throwing money at it is not the answer the government doing a plan first is the answer like I said to you earlier you give me an answer now be happy to get take it

25:53 DM – It’s kind of tricky subject though because of the timing is the problem because while you study the people still suffering

25:59 JLE – yes but you can’t put a dead stop to everything some things take a period of time to work through instantaneous results is not very practical well maybe maybe some temporary housing and I mean temporary where theyre identified theyre given X number of days to get through a program if the programs provided at the end of that X days theyre out that my solution to most social problems their a hand up not hand out

26:38 DM – what do you bring or what do you lack that you think gives you an edge over experienced politicians

26:46 JLE – what do I bring is the common man’s background I’m not a rich person fact last time I ran I had a whole $1281 to spend on my campaign and I got 37% of the vote were my opponent spent $74,000 so I’m a common man a workingman I’ve been out in the public Brian Clem will be finishing his 14th year with this term as state representative hes a career politician I will not be for a couple reasons but I will serve one or two terms and that’s it now Brian and I have a few differences if you look on my website Jack Esp for Oregon 2020 .us on that link or on that website I believe I put Brian’s voting record if not contact me and I’ll be sure to get as I have posted of how things he has voted for that I would definitely vote against and one thing he voted against that I would’ve voted for he is much more liberal he is antibusiness anti-gun for two quick ones

28:01 DM – is there is there anything that I havent asked you that you want to mention before we finish

28:07 JLE – yeah I’ve got a little personal grudge on the way the Oregon school system is running is being handled Oregon spends more than the national average per student they have one of the lowest graduation rates in the nation were already spending more why are we throwing another $1.2 billion a year at the school system when they don’t even know what theyre going to do I would recommend in that rather than just throw more money at it which seems to be the Democrat answer to many problems such as homeless like you mentioned earlier why dont they do an actual study analyze the Oregon school system how it works what it’s doing and compare that the top two or three in the nation and see what the big differences is

29:08 DM – well Mr esp I really have enjoyed this conversation I’m don merrill I’ve been talking with Jack L esp Mr. Esp is a Republican who is running for state representative in oregons 21st district which includes much of marion county and much of the state capitol Salem mr. esp thank you for your time

29:25 JLE – youre welcome

Written by Interviewer

March 4, 2020 at 10:25

Posted in Scratchpad

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: