On this mini 2005 Election day, it’s not too early for me to be anticipating the joy that I’ll feel when, 365 days and a few hours from now, I go out to get the newspaper and read “Minnis defeated—Dems take back Oregon House.”
Yes, I realize that in clean, green Oregon, politics isn’t supposed to be personal. But Karen Minnis, the oh-so-Republican Speaker of the House, sets herself up for personal attacks with her penchant for playing the Red Queen.
In the 2005 legislative session she repeatedly refused to allow the House to vote on bills that had passed the Senate, often with significant Republican support, just because Minnis wanted to brandish her imperial scepter and intone “The Queen has decreed, this shall not pass.”
Democracy, representative government, bipartisanship? Not in the House Republicans’ playbook.
It’s time—way past time—to get adults in charge of the Oregon House of Representatives. We’ve had to suffer through a childish legislature for too long. It’s embarrassing that this state has a House Speaker who throws temper tantrums when she doesn’t get her way and swears like a longshorewoman at colleagues who disagree with her.
The Oregon House Democrats have issued a challenge: work 10 hours for Democratic candidates in 2006. That isn’t much, really, considering the payoff. Most Oregonians got screwed by Queen Minnis in the last session. A final tally puts the score at 24 for House Republicans and special interests, 0 for the interests of average citizens.
I moved to Oregon in 1970. I remember when Republicans in this state brought Oregonians together to fashion innovative solutions to our problems. I remember the bottle bill, wise land use planning, keeping beaches open to the public. I remember Tom McCall and Mark Hatfield.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had any similarly pleasant memories of the present-day Oregon Republican leadership. They’re divisive, addicted to power, and dance to the tune of special interests. We need to show them the door in 2006.