Repub­li­cans cam­paign to re­call lib­eral gover­nor

Ore­gon fil­ing cites ‘long line of abuses’

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - BY VALERIE RICHARD­SON

The Ore­gon Repub­li­can Party started a re­call cam­paign against Gov. Kate Brown, a Demo­crat, af­ter a con­tentious leg­isla­tive ses­sion in which she sicced her state troop­ers on run­away Repub­li­can leg­is­la­tors fight­ing her cli­mate change agenda.

The re­call pa­per­work, filed by Ore­gon Repub­li­can Party Chair­man Bill Cur­rier, ac­cused her of ig­nor­ing or over­turn­ing the will of the vot­ers on driver’s li­censes for il­le­gal im­mi­grants and on tax in­creases, as well as deny­ing ci­ti­zens protection from “the do­mes­tic ter­ror­ist threat known as An­tifa.” “Gov. Brown has sub­jected the peo­ple of Ore­gon to a long line of abuses of power while at the same time re­fus­ing to ad­dress their le­git­i­mate con­cerns,” the re­call state­ment said. “She has fos­tered a toxic po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment that sti­fles mean­ing­ful dis­course. She has threat­ened re­tal­i­a­tion against her own ci­ti­zens when her po­lit­i­cal agenda is not suc­cess­ful in the leg­is­la­ture.”

Ms. Brown’s of­fice did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

Mr. Cur­rier said the party must col­lect about 280,000 valid sig­na­tures to force a spe­cial elec­tion on the re­call, which would likely be held in November or De­cem­ber.

Any gu­ber­na­to­rial re­call must be viewed as a long shot — only two U.S. gov­er­nors have ever been re­called, nei­ther in Ore­gon — but Mr. Cur­rier said Ms. Brown’s am­bi­tious lib­eral agenda has an­gered mul­ti­ple groups, in­clud­ing small busi­ness own­ers, log­gers, truck­ers, gun own­ers and op­po­nents of manda­tory vac­cines.

“We have a critical mass of vot­ing blocs right now,” Mr. Cur­rier said.

Ms. Brown said she was “not back­ing down” af­ter 11 Se­nate Repub­li­can leg­is­la­tors killed a Demo­cratic cap-and-trade bill by flee­ing the state for a week near the end of the leg­isla­tive ses­sion. Their ab­sence de­nied the ma­jor­ity Democrats the leg­isla­tive quo­rum needed to con­duct busi­ness.

The Repub­li­cans re­turned two days be­fore the ses­sion ad­journed June 30 to take care of other leg­isla­tive busi­ness.

The gover­nor later praised leg­is­la­tors for an “ex­traor­di­nary ses­sion.” She cited bills on paid fam­ily and med­i­cal leave, health care fund­ing and hous­ing, and the Stu­dent Suc­cess Act, which raises $1 bil­lion per year for ed­u­ca­tion by in­creas­ing taxes on the state’s high­est-earn­ing busi­nesses.

She also vowed to re­visit the cap-and­trade bill, calling it “un­fin­ished busi­ness,” and hinted at ex­ec­u­tive ac­tion.

“My col­leagues in the leg­is­la­ture and I were elected by Ore­go­ni­ans with a clear man­date to ad­dress the chal­lenge of cli­mate change,” Ms. Brown said in a July 1 state­ment. “We need to pass a cap and in­vest pro­gram that will achieve the state’s green­house gas re­duc­tion goals at the least pos­si­ble cost while con­tin­u­ing grow­ing our econ­omy.”

The Ore­gon re­call ef­fort is the sec­ond un­der­taken in the West this year against left-tilt­ing Demo­cratic gov­er­nors.

In Colorado, the sec­re­tary of state’s of­fice ap­proved pe­ti­tions for a re­call against Gov. Jared Po­lis, a Demo­crat who took of­fice in Jan­uary, but that cam­paign is be­ing led by grass­roots groups, not the state party.

Rep. Ken Buck, who heads the Colorado Repub­li­can Party, said party lead­ers would keep an eye on the am­bi­tious un­der­tak­ing, which needs 631,266 valid sig­na­tures to qual­ify for the bal­lot, a high hur­dle in a state of 5.7 mil­lion.

“Ef­forts to re­call Gov. Po­lis or any other elected of­fi­cial should be grass­roots-led and in­de­pen­dent of the state Repub­li­can Party. How­ever, we will eval­u­ate these move­ments as they pro­ceed, just as we do with any po­ten­tial re­call or elec­tion,” Mr. Buck said in a state­ment.

An­other two Colorado re­call pe­ti­tions tar­get­ing Demo­cratic state Sens. Pete Lee and Brit­tany Pet­tersen were ap­proved, cit­ing their sup­port for four hotly dis­puted bills in fa­vor of gun control, LGBTQ sex ed­u­ca­tion, anti-frack­ing rules, and the Na­tional Popular Vote ini­tia­tive, all of which passed.

A re­call ef­fort against Demo­cratic state Sen. Tom Sullivan backed by the Rocky Moun­tain Gun Own­ers fiz­zled in June af­ter meet­ing with na­tional Demo­cratic op­po­si­tion. Mr. Sullivan’s son Alex was killed in the 2012 Aurora the­ater shoot­ing.

A fourth Demo­cratic state leg­is­la­tor, Rochelle Galindo, re­signed in May amid sex­ual mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions, which she de­nied, af­ter the launch of a re­call cam­paign. She was later cited by Gree­ley po­lice for pro­vid­ing al­co­hol to a 19-year-old, ac­cord­ing to Colorado Pub­lic Ra­dio.

A for­mer Ore­gon sec­re­tary of state, Ms. Brown suc­ceeded Gov. John Kitzhaber, a Demo­crat, af­ter he re­signed amid an in­flu­ence-ped­dling in­ves­ti­ga­tion in 2015. She won a term in her own right in November.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS PHOTOGRAPH­S

Pro­test­ers op­pos­ing a Repub­li­can walk­out over a cli­mate change bill demon­strated at the Capi­tol in Salem, Ore­gon. When Democrats won a su­per­ma­jor­ity in the leg­is­la­ture in November, it seemed they had a clear path for their agenda.

Brown

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