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Monday, November 18, 2019

Environmental Score Card for Clackamas Legislators

by Peter Toll

Democratic legislators in Clackamas County got high marks from the Oregon League of Conservation Voters for their 2019 votes on 14 pieces of legislation.  
And there’s a new wrinkle this year as OLCV gave an “incomplete” grade to Republicans  who walked out on a key climate change bill rather than vote against it.
On the Senate side, Lake Oswego’s Rob Wagner tied with Happy Valley’s Shemia Fagan with 94 percent.  Kathleen Taylor, of SE Portland, came in with 88 per cent. All three Republicans fared poorly, earning incompletes.  
A hint of their performance can be gained in looking at the 2017 session.  Alan Olsen, of Canby, didn’t vote appropriately on even one bill. He got a goose egg.  Chuck Thomsen, of Hood River, earned 29 percent then, and Kim Thatcher, of Keizer, who represents Wilsonville in the State Senate, had just 33 per cent two years ago.
Over in the House, newcomer Rachel Prusak, of West Linn, voted perfectly—100 percent.  Other high performing Democrats included:
Mark Meek, of Jennings Lodge, and Courtney Neron, Wilsonville, each with 94 percent.  Next were Andrea Salinas, of Lake Oswego, and Karin Power, of Milwaukie, both 88 percent;  Anna Williams, Hood River, 86 per cent; Jeff Reardon, outer SE Portland, 81 percent, followed by Janelle Bynum, of Happy Valley, 75 percent, and Margaret Doherty, with one precinct in our county, at 69 percent.
Republican House members representing our county—all two of them—didn’t do well at all.  Rick Lewis, of Silverton (representing rural south county), had 38 percent and Christine Drazan, of Canby, the new House Minority Leader, had 25 percent, voting the right way on just one in every four bills that counted.
Environmentalists are a powerful voice in Salem.  Just a few years ago they ran a surprise primary attack on a Democratic House member from Happy Valley and beat him.  The winner, Jeff Reardon, had no general election opponent and won.
OLCV is one of the oldest legislative groups keeping an eye on the environment.  More information can be found at their webpage.