Oregon’s 2020 legislative “session” is history with virtually nothing to show for its scheduled 35 days, thanks to the taxpayer-funded walk-out by Republicans. The GOP legislators walked off the job to prevent passage of the cap-and-trade bill, but of course, their not showing up for work meant the demise of scores of other important pieces of legislation. These include bills that could have resulted in more affordable housing, an earthquake early-warning system, mental health clinics, wildfire resilience for the state’s forests and communities, secure storage of firearms and free breakfasts to more than 100,000 additional children.
Will the GOP tactic hurt candidates next November? It certainly should, and media coverage indicates it certainly will. Take a look at some of the analysis:
- The Oregonian called the walk-out: “Republicans’ grievous miscalculation”
- The Register-Guard opines: “Aborted Legislature fails Oregonians”
- And the Mail-Tribune concludes: “Walkout shortchanges Oregon voters”
The “grievous miscalculation” was also covered in the national media; this Vox story is one example: “Oregon Republicans are subverting democracy by running away. Again.”
Then there’s the walk-off’s telling backstory, reported by the Associated Press, which explained why Republicans were refusing to return to Salem unless Democrats allowed the cap-and-trade bill to go before Oregon’s voters:
“Doing so would likely have generated a ‘no’ campaign paid for by the deep-pocketed fossil fuel industry. Since July, Oregon Republican legislators have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from corporations and industry groups, including the fossil fuels industry, according to the Oregon League of Conservation Voters.”
Read the AP story here on the KATU website.
How deep-seated is this partnership between Republican lawmakers and corporate interests? This article, published last June in The Nation, is revealing and alarming: Behind Oregon’s GOP Walkout Is a Sordid Story of Corporate Cash.
All these articles will dismay you, but you’ll also feel determined to ensure we see big changes come November.