Kate Brown, the Democratic governor of Oregon, just sent the police after Republican senators.
The Republicans made no effort to hide their plan.
“In a few moments, I will not be in Oregon,” Sen. Cliff Bentz told the Oregonian.
— KVAL News (@KVALnews) June 20, 2019
The Oregon House of Representatives recently passed the bill but 10 hours worth of negotiations on the language between Republicans and Democrats in Oregon were unsuccessful in reaching an agreement.
That’s when the Republicans decided to ditch town.
“I do not believe the state police will be able to find any of our members,” Sen. Tim Knopp, a Republican from Bend, Oregon, told NPR. “So, instead of the Democrats putting efforts into finding bipartisan solutions, their answer is to waste state police resources to try and track down legislators and arrest them. It sounds more like a dictatorship than a democracy.”
OR State Senator @BrianBoquistGOP told OR Police Superintendent to “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.” if @GovKateBrown sends state police to bring GOP members back from their walkout.
— TalesFromAnExecutiveWashroom (@TWashroom) June 20, 2019
In response to the Republican exodus, Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney formally requested that Gov. Brown dispatch Oregon State Police troopers to round up the those rowdy GOP lawmakers.
The governor granted the request and called the GOP’s actions “unacceptable.”
“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,” Brown said, according to The Oregonian. “They need to return and do the jobs they were elected to do.”
The state constitution allows the majority party to “compel” the attendance of legislative members who are absent. It is a rarely used remedy.
Gov. Brown did not opine as to whether it was “unacceptable” when the Democrats did the exact same thing in 2001 to avoid a vote on a redistricting bill.
Herman Baertschiger Jr., Oregon Senate Republican Leader, said that Brown and Oregon Democrats were creating a one-party “dictatorship,” according to the Miami Herald.
“All we want is for the people of Oregon to vote on this horrible bill,” Baertschiger said, “Walking out is part of the conversation because the Governor is not willing to move on her position on the bill, and she is only representing Portland and the environmental community, not rural Oregonians.”
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