Portland’s ABC News affiliate reports:
“I don’t think you’re going to see us anytime soon.” That’s what Herman Baertschiger Jr., the Oregon Senate Minority Leader, told KATU News reporter Dan McCarthy in a phone interview late Saturday regarding the 11 Republican senators who walked out in defiance of House Bill 2020, the cap-and-trade bill.
He also addressed the GoFundMe account set up to help the senators cover the $500 per session missed fine they are incurring and other expenses.
It has raised over $36,000 in two days, but Baertschiger said they can’t use any of it. Per state ethics laws, all political donations must be tracked through ORESTAR, the Secretary of State’s campaign finance accounting system.
Media Matters reports:
The National Rifle Association’s lobbying division urged its members to thank and support an Oregon state senator days after he threatened to shoot local law enforcement. The state police he was threatening had been sent to collect Republican legislators who are refusing to vote on a climate change bill.
Republican state Sen. Brian Boquist responded by warning that law enforcement should “send bachelors and come heavily armed,” adding that “I’m not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It’s just that simple.”
The lawmaker later doubled down, saying his threat wasn’t “thinly veiled” and reiterating he is “not going to be arrested as a political prisoner in Oregon period.”
Democratic state lawmakers in Oregon cancelled Saturday’s Senate session out of fear for their personal safety.
In protest of the cap and trade proposal, local right-wing activists planned to demonstrate at the statehouse Saturday, and anti-government militia groups reportedly planned on joining them. The recommendation to close the Capitol then came down from the state police.
The Oregon Republican Party chided Democrats for suspending Saturday’s session, writing on Twitter that their real fear was that “Republican voters may show up.”