The effort to recall Sen. Chuck Thomsen has collected “a few hundred” signatures in its first week, according to petitioner Lara Dunn of Hood River.
“The response has been very positive,” said Dunn, a member of the Hood River County Transportation District Board, “Many people have thanked me and said they want to support the effort.”
Dunn filed the petition in early March in response to Thomsen’s decision to join fellow Republican legislators in walking out of the Legislative short session and leaving the state over the GOP’s disagreement with the cap-and-trade proposal, which died for lack of a quorum to act on it.
Thomsen said, “Anybody can be recalled for anything. It’s a free country, but I really don’t think I should be recalled for fighting to get the cap and trade bill on the ballot. I took a stand to protect my constituents’ right to see what’s on the bill and how it affects them and their right to vote on it.”
Asked why he and fellow party members did not remain in Salem to argue their case, Thomsen said, “We’ve debated the bill for a couple of years but when you have a super-majority like (the Democrats) do, they don’t bargain, they don’t modify, so we kept pushing for ,‘Just send it to the ballot, we’ll never agree on it. Why not not let the voters take a stance on it?’ So that’s my stance.”
Dunn has until June 2 to collect and submit at least 9,025 valid signatures from active electors in Senate Dist. 26, which takes in Hood River County and portions of east Multnomah County and northeast Clackamas County.
Dunn said, “I just filed it last week, and some people have already started collecting signatures. I’m still getting all the paperwork in order to arrange for more people to help.
“I’m reaching out to a network of friends and colleagues who believe that Sen. Thomsen broke his promise to us by refusing to do his job,” Dunn said. “Lots of people want to help. We’ll publish a website soon where people will be able to download and print a single sheet petition to mail in, and also where people can sign up to volunteer to help collect signatures.”