Dear Mr. Bentz...An Open Letter

As published in the East Oregonian:

and the LaGrande Observer:

The Honorable Cliff Stewart Bentz

United States House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr. Bentz,

Joe Yetter here. Ballots will arrive in the hands of Oregonians next week and they have the right to know where candidates stand on issues that directly impact their lives. Unfortunately, it appears that you are unwilling to stand before voters in a debate.

I had hoped that I would not need to write this letter, but your campaign has repeatedly failed to respond to my team and to several chapters of the League of Women Voters, all offering a debate or town hall. Furthermore, you appear to have backed out of the televised debate proposed by NewsChannel 21 KTVZ out of Bend. You have left me no choice. I have made it abundantly clear in interviews and public statements that I am prepared to debate you anywhere and at any time.

We share a moral and ethical responsibility to allow voters from across Congressional District 2 to compare our perspectives on issues and our legislative priorities directly. Your constituents deserve to hear why you voted the way you did in the past and how you plan to vote in the future, if re-elected. They deserve to hear why you voted against veterans' health care, when you voted no on the PACT Act. The voters deserve to hear why you voted against reducing inflation, allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, and fighting climate change when you voted no on the Inflation Reduction Act. They deserve to know why you chose to vote against capping the cost of insulin at $35 per month when you voted no on the Affordable Insulin Now Act.

We should discuss these issues and more, in front of the voters, before they decide which of us to send to Washington D.C. to represent them and their values. It’s the least we can do. I hope that you will respond directly to my Campaign Manager, Hogan Sherrow at with a proposed time and date for a debate.



Joe Yetter is a retired Army Colonel, Physician and Teacher who currently runs a small farm in Azalea with his wife Lee. He is the Democratic Candidate for Congressional District 2.