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Statesman Journal: Oregon delegation pledges visibility


Schrader, Merkley say they will continue to meet public

January 11, 2011- Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., pointed a finger at two of the nation's most well-known political commentators in the wake of the shooting of an Arizona congresswoman.

"The right-wing media has fueled a horrible outcome. They fed this vitriol," Schrader of Saturday's shooting in Tucson, Ariz., where 20 people, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., were shot. Giffords remained in critical condition Monday. Six were killed, including federal Judge John Roll.

Schrader specifically blamed conservative talk show hosts Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

"I hold them personally responsible. I don't know how they can sleep at night after this," Schrader said.

He added: "This is a horrible comment on where we are going as a nation. Hopefully, people will wake up."

As for his own security, Schrader said his staff has already started looking at procedures.

"I imagine we'll probably be doing something different," he said.

When asked whether each member of Congress ought to have a Secret Service detail, the 5th Congressional District representative said, "I don't think Congress will take that."
Members of Congress are "pretty strong" and will not be deterred from doing their jobs, he said.

"You don't run for office unless you've got a pretty thick skin."

Schrader said that if he or other members were to retreat into a shell, it would be a victory for terrorists.

"They are not going to intimidate me," he said.

Still, threats against him are not at all unusual, and "whack jobs" sometimes show up at his public meetings and scare constituents before being shown the door, Schrader said.

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