I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas. Mine was fun. My family is a little unique. So since we only get my nephews every other Christmas Eve due to a divorce in the family, we take the off years and after church we drive down and spend the night at Spirit Mountain Casino. This was one of those off years. So Christmas day morning my Mom, Dad, brother, his wife, and I are eating breakfast at the Cedar Plank Buffet there in Grand Ronde and my dad starts telling us one of his stories. I have learned so much from Dad over the years. The man is truly my hero. He has great stories and wonderful rules to live by. This Christmas morning was no exception. He tells my brother and I the story of my Great Grandfather Roy and a gentleman named Carl Dick. When my dad was a kid, he worked for the family business that my great grandfather had started. One day Carl Dick came in to buy some parts and Roy said to my Dad, “Don’t trust that Carl Dick! The man is a Stovepiper!” My brother and I look at my dad as he tells this story and we say, “What the heck is a stovepiper?” Well my dad explained it. Mr Dick grew potatoes. And what you do when you are stovepiping potato farmer is you stick a stovepipe in a potato sack when you begin to fill it. Then you put all the good potatoes on the outside of the stovepipe and all the rotten ones on the inside. Once you have the bag full, you pull the stovepipe out. What happens next is the guy buying the sack thinks he is getting whole bunch of good potatoes, but instead he is paying for bag half full of rotten spuds. Then it hit me. Our Congress is filled with “stovepipers.” Our Senators and Congressmen write these bills up and present them for approval. But they go through committees and get modified, concessions are made, and things get added. Many of these additions are not even related to the original bill. Suddenly what started out as a great sack of potatoes gets rebagged and stovepiped. In other words, it becomes very bad piece of legislation. Then when it is presented for final approval, One party votes it down. They see the stovepiping going on. The other party votes for it because it’s often their rotten potatoes in the sack. They each blame the other for not compromising and nothing gets done. My belief is simple. If you can’t sell your ideas without stovepiping them, then you shouldn’t be selling them at all. We the people deserve only the best potatoes. The rotten ones need to be left with the pigs. My name is Brian Heinrich and I am running for US Congress in the 1st Congressional District of Oregon.