Oregon Governor Sends State Police After GOP Legislators
Republican leaders in Oregon and the Governor may be having a standoff at the OK Corral, but this one has shockingly threatening overtones.
Governor Kate Brown has been trying to push through a major climate change bill, one that Ag groups and Republicans say will hurt Oregon's Ag industry and taxpayers. In an effort to prevent it from happening, GOP Leaders left the legislature. Their departure left the body without enough members to carry on it's business.
Then Thursday, Gov. Brown released this statement:
“After many hours of well-intentioned, respectful negotiations on Wednesday, the Senate has come to an impasse. The Senate Republicans have decided to abandon their duty to serve their constituents and walk out. The Senate Democrats have requested the assistance of the Oregon State Police to bring back their colleagues to finish the work they committed to push forward for Oregonians. As the executive of the agency, I am authorizing the State Police to fulfill the Senate Democrats’ request. 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. They need to return and do the jobs they were elected to do.”
However GOP leaders including Senator Brian Boquist (Dallas, OR) have resisted. And Boquist is the one who said in response to the OSP threat:
“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.”
Boquist is a former veteran who has a formidable amount of national and international paramilitary training. While Democratic lawyers claim the OSP can assist the Sergeant at Arms of the Legislature to compel leaders to return to the capitol by 'arresting' them, Boquist says the state constitution only allows them to enforce existing laws, statutes and court orders.
As of Thursday, there were no further comments from Oregon State Patrol leadership or Senator Boquist. Gov. Brown is viewed by many in the state as being heavy-handed with her policies, and has pushed for many liberal and controversial pieces of legislation. Some say she's a female counterpart to Washington State's Jay Inslee.