I plan to focus on being snarky about local politicians here in Salem, but when state officials do outrageous stuff, like confirm a howling lie, hey, I'm happy to cast a Snark in their direction.
Today the AP is reporting what was obvious to wildlife lovers and environmentalists who opposed HB 4040, the bill recently passed by the Oregon legislature and signed by supposedly progressive Governor Kate Brown.
"AG Rosenblum: Wolf delisting bill likely moots case" says:
Download Oregon AG: Wolf delisting bill likely moots case - Washington Times
Two weeks after the signing of new legislation that upholds in state law the delisting of the gray wolf as endangered, Oregon’s top attorney has now launched an effort to end wolf advocates’ lawsuit once and for all.
Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum filed a notice with the state appellate court on Monday, using an attached copy of the new law, House Bill 4040, as justification for why wolf advocates’ complaint against the state is likely no longer relevant.
This is what conservative lawmakers hoped to accomplish with HB 4040 - among the most contentious bills of the year - and what environmentalists had feared. In December environmentalists sued state wildlife officials over their decision to remove the gray wolf from the state’s Endangered Species Act list, saying the decision was premature.
...That’s where HB 4040 - backed by the Oregon Cattleman’s Association and others concerned with wolves’ attacks on livestock - comes into play.
HB 4040 essentially says the commission did everything it was supposed to do by law in reaching its final decision to delist. That’s the very thing wolf advocates want re-examined, but with the Legislature’s seal of approval now established in state law, their “challenge is likely moot,” Rosenblum wrote in Monday’s court filing.
Rosenblum’s filing - submitted about a week after the wildlife commission began revising its wolf management plan - stands in contrast to the way HB 4040 was initially portrayed at the Legislature in early February.
In hearings, GOP lawmakers in the Oregon House repeatedly denied claims that the intent was to end the lawsuit.
“Does this basically prevent litigation? … and the answer that I have come up with, or the answer that I could find was, no it doesn’t,” Rep. Greg Baretto, a Republican who helped sponsor HB 4040, said during a Feb. 12 House floor session when the bill was up for vote.
“They can still have their day in court. But what this does is it’ll allow the Legislature to affirm or agree with this commission, this Fish and Wildlife Commission, that has basically approved delisting, and that is what this bill does.”
Rep. Chris Gorsek, a Democrat, was among the first vocal critics, who followed Baretto’s comments during that February floor session by saying, “I’m concerned that the Legislature is being asked to step in a process that could involve any endangered species … it’s not about the wolf, it’s about due process.”
So legislators lied about the intent of HB 4040 and what it would do. Namely, allow the Oregon legislature to cut off judicial review of the scientific facts backing up a decision to delist wolves as an endangered species.
This is the kind of crap right-wing anti-environment politicians in Congress like to do.
So it was deeply disturbing to a progressive like me to see Democratic Governor Kate Brown and Dem state legislators going along with the Oregon Cattlemen's Association dream to make every wolf in this state a dead wolf.
I took Brown to task about this in "Open letter to Oregon's Governor from a pissed-off wolf advocate." Now I'm even more pissed.
So now the Oregon Cattlemen's Association, which considers that the only good wolf is a dead wolf (I know this, because my wife has testified at numerous legislative hearings where ignorant ranchers in cowboy hats have said as much), is thrilled with your signing HB 4040, while environmentalists like me are outraged.
Well, Ms. Brown, I hope your campaign for another four years as a Democratic governor of this state gets lots of money from the Oregon Cattlemen's Association and their Republican friends, because I don't feel like giving you a dime.
When you signed HB 4040, this was an insult to sound science, transparency in public policy-making, your progressive supporters, and this state's environmental community.
You chose political expediency over doing the right thing. Sure, I understand this is the way governing works, but I don't have to like it, or approve of it.