Oregon Governor Sent Troopers Searching for Rogue Republicans

I don’t normally support when political parties bend/break rules or laws. And although the Democrats have become expert at it, they sure don’t like it when someone bends/breaks a rule or law they want enforced. Still, there may be situations where bending/breaking rules may be appropriate.

For example, what happens when the majority party gives the minority party no choice on major legislation that will affect the voters for the next 30 years? If you haven’t heard, according to oregonlive.com, in response to Oregon House Bill 2020, a Democrat carbon cap-and-trade scheme, Elvis has left the building—okay, not Elvis, but the Republican senators had left the state capitol.

They’d not only put Salem in the rearview but they also left The Beaver State itself, to prevent a vote by denying the Democrats the needed quorum. Clever? Shady? Probably a little of both. Necessary? Though it’s not a settled issue for me, I’m leaning that way. At least, I understand their motivations.

The extreme-leftist (Portland area) Democrats in the Oregon legislature, along with Democrat Governor Kate Brown, attempted to shove an expensive global warming “green” initiative down the voters’ throats. The Democrats called it an “emergency,” even though, for some odd reason, only the political left were in the throes of a full-on freak-out about human-caused global cooling, no…global warming, no…wait…climate change.

The Democrats in neighboring Washington State also attempted to pass a similar “carbon-zero” initiative, which would have driven up energy prices with no tangible benefit to the people. The only benefits go to a leftist political party’s gaining more power over the people.

Fortunately, in Washington, the state put I-732 to a vote of the people, as government should with any major, sweeping legislation. Washingtonians wisely voted it down. Even in that leftist state, the initiative garnered only 42 percent support.

Oregon and Washington are similar in that they are largely rural, conservative states ruled over by heavily populated, liberal urban centers, primarily in the west. There are no electoral colleges for state elections, so the protections the political minority enjoys in federal elections are somewhat absent at the state level.

Although, with states, unlike the nation, if people have had it with leftist oppression, they can move to another state. Moving to another country is not so easy. But some states, like the Oregon Democrats attempted, can and do impose a sort of mob rule. Just look at the mad dash Californians are making from the ruling Democrat mob to Republican states like Texas.

KVI Radio host Lars Larson lives in Washington but works at a station in Oregon. According to Larson, during a recent interview with KVI colleague John Carlson, Oregon Dems weren’t particularly interested in how the voters felt about this far-reaching carbon tax. Larson said the Democrats weren’t interested in putting the initiative on a ballot because they knew the voters would reject it.

WashingtonExaminer.com explains how cap-and-trade taxes work: “Carbon taxes are basically a tax on your daily existence. They make everything more costly and will hit low-income families and small businesses the hardest. On a day-to-day basis, people rely on energy for transportation to work or school, to heat their homes, and to conduct other basic functions of daily life. A carbon tax makes all of that more expensive—in some cases, prohibitively expensive.”

The Oregon Republican senators only split the state after Democrats refused to compromise on any of the more radical and economically injurious provisions of the carbon tax plan.

The lack of Democrat support for a public vote on the issue made the grandstanding statements by Oregon Democrats even more disingenuous. For example, Gov. Brown, after granting a Democrat senate request to sic the state troopers on the Republican senators who’d absconded, said, “It is absolutely unacceptable that the Senate Republicans would turn their back on their constituents who they are honor-bound to represent here in this building. They need to return and do the jobs they were elected to do.”

By the way, not sure Oregon troopers were all that interested in nabbing any state senators. Nothing good ever comes of dragging cops into politics. And, though she has the power to direct state law enforcement responsibly, politics is the only reason the governor chose to misuse the cops.

Honor-bound to represent their constituents? It seems to me representing voters by using a creative, albeit dubious, method to prevent a quorum is representing their constituents. After all, the senators skedaddled despite threats of arrest and daily fines.

Sen. Ginny Burdick (D-Portland) was as equally disingenuous when she said, “The Senate Republicans’ walkout is a slap in the face to all hard-working Oregonians, particularly to those in their districts. The taxpayers are paying them to do a job for their constituents and they are not doing that job.”

The carbon tax is the real slap in the face, Senator Burdick. By keeping their hard-working, taxpaying constituents from suffering your exorbitant tax hikes, it seems the senators were doing the job their constituents are paying them to do.

You can hear the Democrat frustration oozing from their comments. They could already taste the power grab it was so close. The Republicans employed a controversial means to protect their constituents from having something the Democrats knew the people didn’t want rammed down their throats.

Many Republicans such as Sen. Cliff Bentz (D-Ontario) represent constituents who own “energy intensive, trade-exposed” businesses. Bentz mentioned a cement plant in his district for which the new carbon cap-and-trade plan would raise “costs not imposed on the competition in other places such as China.”

Normally, so unequivocally “fair-minded,” the Democrats seemed thoroughly unconcerned with fairness. They expressed only a deep reverence for a stupid carbon tax, which will dramatically affect the average Oregonian’s quality of life—with the middle class and poor taking the brunt of the political assault.

I keep saying this, but…Hey, Democrats! America (in this case, Oregon) is not your personal chessboard, and Americans (in this case, Oregonians) are not your pawns.


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Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at www.stevepomper.com.

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