Oregon Republicans Cave On Grand Bargain!

The three day special session ended Wednesday. There is nothing we did this week that couldn’t have waited until the February regular session when these issues could have gone through the regular committee process. Why would a state legislator oppose the Governors”Grand Bargain” when my small businesses would save thousands of dollars in taxes from its tax cuts? Is it because Republicans are caving on their principles and joining Democrats in raising taxes on the poor and elderly? Or, is it because it would give a boost to Governor Kitzhaber’s expected re-election campaign? Actually it is neither. It’s because it doesn’t solve the PERS problem that is robbing teachers from classrooms, taking cops and firefighters off the streets and causing criminals to be released, all of which hurts Oregonians. This back room deal only kicks the can down the road. This is especially true when you consider that Democrats and their union bosses are counting on Oregon judges, (enrolled in PERS) throwing out the savings in this deal, leaving the damage to Oregonians continuing into the future.
I fear Republicans will have settled for a few crumbs from the table while allowing Governor Kitzhaber and the Democrats to escape blame for the PERS disaster. So HB3601 passed after Speaker Kotek broke several Dems arms to get the vote to pass the net tax increase bill. 10 Republicans voted in favor of this bill and here are their names. Davis, Esquivel, Gilliam, Huffman, Johnson, McLane, Parrish, Smith, Thompson, and Weidner. Shame On You ALL!! Republicans gave Democrats cover on PERS and raising taxes on the poor and elderly, and nothing will change in the minds of the voters and Republicans will have missed their chance to bring long term change to Oregon’s politics because they stood on their principles. PERS is a long term problem that requires a long term political solution which will only be possible when voters figure out that they must elect judges, legislators and governors who solve the problem for the good of Oregon. Republicans helping pass a”Grand Bargain” will not make that a reality.


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