Eleven Oregon GOP lawmakers have basically told left-wing Governor Kate Brown to shove it. They reportedly left the state to avoid bringing a quorum to a vote on “cap and trade” (HB 2020). They’ve accused the Governor of only representing Portland, not the rural Oregonians in the state. So she’s sent the Oregon State Police to round them up and bring them back. One legislator told police to “send bachelors and come heavily armed.”
Oregon’s legislature has a Democrat “supermajority.” But even at that, the Senate needs two more GOP votes to have a quorum. They can’t vote on the carbon tax as long as a quorum doesn’t exist.
The GOP lawmakers want the carbon tax bill to be placed on a ballot so that all Oregonians can have a voice.
Both the Oregon and U.S. Constitution allow for senators to be “compelled” to attend when a quorum is needed, although it’s rarely used. Prior cases indicate that law enforcement can force lawmakers into vehicles and literally drag them into the senate.
Abraham Lincoln once jumped out of a window to avoid a quorum while he was a lawmaker in Illinois, according to KCPQ.
The Oregonian reports that the Republican senators have fled the state. Leaving the jurisdiction of Oregon all but guarantees that law enforcement will be unable to seize them.Blue Lives Matter
The Democrats say they will fine the GOP lawmakers $500 for every day that they are absent. But the Republicans are extremely unhappy that the Governor is leveraging her power over the State Police. One legislator spoke to the head of the OSP, Superintendent Travis Hampton, just after the GOP Senate leader Herman Baertschiger Jr said they would do whatever it takes to prevent the passage of the “greenhouse gases” (cap and trade) bill.
“This is what I told the superintendent. Send bachelors and come heavily armed. I’m not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It’s just that simple.” Brian Boquist
Oregon state senator @BrianBoquistGOP said if R's walk out to stop a vote on Cap and Trade and @OregonGovBrown sends state police to bring him back, they should be single and well armed. Your take? pic.twitter.com/Fcu8NXXl8h— Pat Dooris (@PatDooris) June 19, 2019
And so it begins. State Police to track down R’s who fled to avoid cap and trade vote. https://t.co/WqKQp2KOaI— Pat Dooris (@PatDooris) June 20, 2019
Confirming they are gone. This is their version of why. https://t.co/1jWCFEGVKY— Pat Dooris (@PatDooris) June 20, 2019
Oregon State Senator Brian Boquist is an Army Veteran. When asked if his statement was a thinly veiled threat, he said this in an email: “Nothing thinly veiled. I have been in political coup attempts. I have been held hostage overseas. I have been jailed politically overseas… Not going to be arrested as a political prisoner in Oregon period.”
Send single men that are heavily armed. In other words, they are ticked off at being forced to do the Governor’s bidding, forced to make it easy for the left to pass an egregious bill that would harm rural Oregonians. And they plan to fight the bill, right now by leaving the state so the police can’t drag them back.
For their part, the State Police said they plan to obey the Governor.
In a statement, Oregon State Police tells me they are fully committed to executing the governor's directive. "While we obviously have many tools at our disposal, patience and communication is and always will be our first, and preferred, option." #Q13FOX https://t.co/YhWyWiEXwf— Simone Del Rosario (@SimoneReports) June 20, 2019
A fund has been established for the Republicans who are defying the Governor, and it has raised over $20,000 as of this writing. The Oregon State Police have contacted other states, but they can’t physically lay a hand on the lawmakers without permission of the Superintendent.
Oregon GOP lawmakers are absolutely correct: leftists run the state of Oregon. The rural Oregonians are often – but not always – Republicans who hate the Antifa-loving wackos in Portland. And they are left out of decision making on a regular basis.
The Oregonian reported that Democrats effectively shut down the legislature by walking out in 2001 – and that lasted a week. No one called the police on them. The GOP lawmakers walked out of the legislature earlier in the year as well, police not involved. In the Democrat-controlled legislature, walking out may be the only option they have to prevent bills from being passed. We’ll see how long this one lasts.
Featured photo: Senator Brian Boquist told police to “send bachelors and come heavily armed.”