Tag Archives: Oregon League of Conservation Voters

Editorials & Reporting Indicate 2020’s Failed Legislative Session Will Come Back to Bite Republicans in November

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 “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.

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:

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From the Left Bank
County’s Democratic State Senators Score High on Voters’ Priorities

By Peter Toll

State Senate Chamber

State Senate Chamber

Oregonians have made it clear state-wide that they live here or moved here because of our natural beauty, which is enhanced by equally clean air and water, some of the best in the U.S.

People say they are willing, in the same independent Oregon Values survey, to spend money to enhance those qualities that are hallmarks in their way of life. But that’s not all.

Oregonians are equally concerned about the quality of public education we are providing our children. They don’t like it, and they’re willing to pay more to improve it.

So how does that manifest with our Clackamas County legislators? We’ll look at the senators in this report and the House members in subsequent write-ups. Continue reading

County Democratic Legislators Score High on Environment

olcvlogoClackamas County’s Democratic legislative team averaged better than 83 percent support for environmentally important bills in the recent session, according to the Oregon League of Conservation Voters score card released this week. One of just a few legislators who voted 100 percent pro-environment was Carolyn Tomei, the veteran representative from Milwaukie.

Freshman Representative Shemia Fagan also received special recognition from the OLCV for exceptional service to her district, which includes part of northern Clackamas County. The Democrat with the lowest support level was at 78 percent.

At the other end of the spectrum, the highest percentage scored by a Clackamas County Republican was Bill Kennemer of Oregon City with 33 percent. All GOPers were at least 10 points lower with Vic Gilliam, who represents the southernmost edge of the county, coming in at 12 percent favorable.

Check out how your legislator did when it comes to protecting the environment.

Iconic Environmentalist Bill McKibben to Speak in Portland

Bill McKibbenWhile putting your calendar together, don’t forget the Clackamas Democrats’ annual Roosevelt Dinner Sept. 28 in Lake Oswego (details elsewhere on this site), and on Sept. 24 one of the earliest whistle blowers on impacts of climate change, Bill McKibben, will be speaking at Portland’s Newmark Theater in a presentation co-sponsored by the Oregon League of Conservation Voters and Powell’s Books.

And what a leap has occurred for McKibben — 20 years ago he was barely able to muster a handful of folks in a living room to hear his message. Now he’s in a 300-seat hall, and tickets are at a premium. Two “not to be missed” events in the same week.

From the left bank

By Peter Toll

Sherry HallNEW TROUBLES FOR SHERRY HALL AND OTHER ELECTION TIDBITS — Election controversy, appearances, and activities are attracting our attention this weekend in Clackamas County. Once again, County Clerk Sherry Hall is in trouble for a shoddy elections job. Some 800 Clackamas County voters in the Aurora Fire District, which spans the border between Marion and Clackamas Counties, didn’t get any information in their voters’ pamphlet on their district’s race this month. The Marion County voters’ pamphlet had the material, but not Clackamas. At least one candidate is scratching his head over this.

Voters in the River Grove area of Lake Oswego, that portion closest to I-5, are sometimes confused as to where to cast their ballot — on the Lake Oswego municipal bond measure or for directors of the River Grove Water District. Democratic volunteers working door-to-door for write-in candidate Larry Kitchen found several homeowners who said they were Lake Oswego customers and had never voted on a Lake Oswego water measure. One gentleman waved his bill in the face of the canvasser and said, “I’ve been paying these guys for 40 years and haven’t seen a ballot yet!” Volunteers contacted both Lake Oswego city and County Elections staff and brought this, ahem, oversight to their attention. Continue reading