June 20 news item 1: “Gov. Kate Brown today released the following statement on the Oregon Senate’s request for assistance of the Oregon State Police to bring back the Senate Republicans:
“After many hours of well-intentioned, respectful negotiations on Wednesday, the Senate has come to an impasse. The Senate Republicans have decided to abandon their duty to serve their constituents and walk out. Brown is preparing to call a special legislative session on July 2 if Senate Republicans follow through with their threat to walk out of the Capitol to stall a major climate change bill” (The Oregonian).
June 20 news item 2: “Despite scientists’ increasingly urgent warnings, the Trump administration ordered a sweeping about-face Wednesday on Obama-era efforts to fight climate change, easing restrictions on coal-fired power plants ...” (The Oregonian).
At stake is the fate of House Bill 2020, aka the carbon-cap-and trade bill, which logging and trucking industry folks generally oppose for its perceived impact on jobs.
Whatever happens with 2020, any carbon reduction policy change in Oregon feels moot given the widespread harmful effect of news item 2: The manipulated weakening of the EPA in the past two years is near the top of the list of disappointing, damaging impacts of Trump “leadership” and Congressional inaction.
As to item 1, the Oregon Senate GOP men and women made real their walkout threat on Thursday morning — see story, page A5.
The GOP went to the brink of the same threat in May over state education funding. It was hard to witness then and now, sadly, that the GOP repeating the stunt: A carbon copy of a political misstep.
Political principles are important, but this has turned into political petulance. Witnessing, again, the duly-elected leaders choosing to remove the chance of a quorum for discussion of an issue, just because the party doesn’t like a proposal, is a disservice to all Oregon citizens.
Witnessing the potential spectacle of elected leaders being returned to Salem by uniformed police, and (see page A5) certain GOP Senators leaving the state to avoid such an escort, marks a sad day in Oregon politics.(We tried to contact Hood River Republican Sen. Chuck Thomsen Thursday but he was unavailable for comment.)
Leaders, starting with Thomsen, should get to the Chambers and stay there and do their jobs, and vow never again to “walk out” — until the last strike of the gavel and business is formally concluded.