What’s in a name? We are all given a name at birth and that name stays with us for the rest of our lives. Though some choose to change their names, particularly if you are an artist like Madonna, Prince or John Wayne. Our names define who we are. They represent our heritage, our lineage, our history. Some names are so famous, all you need to hear is the last name and you immediately know who they are, like Jordan, Gates, Reagan or Kennedy.

In the ranching community, there are several old-time names that you know just by mentioning their last name. One such name is the Skinner Ranch. The Skinners have been in Jordan Valley Oregon since 1863. It is a seventh-generation ranch headed up by Bob Skinner. Bob is a past president of the Oregon Cattleman’s Association and the current president of the Public Lands Council. Bob and his family have spent countless hours and much of their own money defending and promoting their livelihood and communities that they and many other ranching family’s support. The Skinner name is known from the State House to the White House.

I have known Bob and his family for years, they have an impeccable reputation known for their honesty, integrity and work ethic. That is why it is so troubling that in the political race for Oregon’s second congressional district Greg Walden’s opponent who happens to have a hyphenated last name with Skinner in it is falsely implying that she is a local girl. You see, last fall in her travels she took a selfie in front of Bob’s family ranch sign then posted, “As she prepares for Thanksgiving that she is very grateful for her family.” Then she ended the post #jordanvalleyoregon.

OK, I get it, if I ever see a road sign or a pub in my travels that says McElligott I am going to stop and take a picture. Heck in my library I even have a copy of Dr. Seuss’ “McElligot’s Pool.” Even though he left a “t” off the end of the name. But I am not going to post it for the world to see and imply that I am somebody that I am not. Bob Skinner recently wrote Ms. McLeod-Skinner a nice letter requesting that she remove the picture of his ranch sign from her website. As of last night, it was still there. Her website boasts of ethics and integrity, but I find the act of posting a selfie of someone’s personal property without their permission and implying that they are close family very unethical and lacking integrity. Not removing the picture when asked just solidifies that opinion.

Congressman Greg Walden, on the other hand, doesn’t have to pretend to be someone he is not. He lets his record speak for itself. Walden, as he is known in Oregon’s second congressional district and in Washington, D.C., has worked hard for Oregon. He and his staff have spent countless hours on the Blue Mountain Forest Plan trying to get it right for all of Oregon. He has championed forest fire funding, transportation and health care issues. I have had the opportunity to see him work in Washington, D.C., and the respect he has garnered from both sides of the aisle.

Don’t be fooled by what you see on a website. Remember not everything on the internet is true. When you fill out your ballets this November vote for the candidate that has integrity and ethics. Vote Walden.

Matt McElligott

North Powder, Ore.

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