'Sabotage mission': Oregon GOP senators burned for walk-out over LGBTQ+ and abortion rights
Oregon Senate Republicans forfeited the opportunity to take over the chamber in November by choosing to push anti-abortion and gender-affirming care legislation over voters, Rolling Stone reports.
Per Rolling Stone, the state GOP even raked in a financial boost from "national GOP donors" like billionaire and Nike founder Phil Knight but, instead, the Senate Republicans last month staged a walk-out over "a proposal that would have expanded protections for abortion access and gender-affirming care."
Orginally "claiming they were walking out in protest of the fact that bills were no longer written at an 8th grade reading level," State GOP Senator Tim Knopp "led the Republican caucus on a sabotage mission that has disqualified 10 of its 13 members — one-third of the Oregon Senate — from running for reelection next term."
Last month, Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) reported, "In order to make their point, the right-wing lawmakers chose to "walk away from the Capitol, denying the Senate the 20-member quorum necessary to conduct business."
Referring to Knopp, Executive director of the ACLU of Oregon Sandy Chung said, "He's leading other Republican senators down this path. The question is, do the other Senate Republicans actually understand, fully, the consequences? … They may be drinking the Kool Aid and thinking they have really good arguments to challenge this measure that was passed by the voters."
Chung emphasized, "There's no way that the Republican senators can win by actually engaging in our democratic processes, and so it very much appears they're willing to, basically, burn everything down … I don't know what winning is when you burn everything down."
Rolling Stone reports:
The high-profile walkout could have a political benefit for Knopp, who is widely viewed as unlikely to be reelected in the district he currently serves next year. (There is recent precedent: Republican Christine Drazen, former minority leader in the Oregon House, parlayed publicity she received leading a 2020 walkout into a bid for governor last year.) What remains unclear is how the rest of the 'Oregon 13,' as they are calling themselves, could benefit from a decision that torches their eligibility for reelection. Five of those lawmakers’ terms will expire next year, four others are not up for reelection until 2026. Only one, Sen. Bill Hansell, has publicly announced he is not seeking reelection.
State Democratic Sen. Floyd Prozanski told Rolling Stone, "From the very beginning, when Rob Wagner was announced to be the next president of the Senate, the response from Tim was just over the top, very caustic, not a bipartisan approach, and made it very clear that he was not going to be able to or would be willing to work with him."
Rolling Stone's full report is available at this link (subscription required).
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