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  Oregon Senate    

Story by Marty Smith - Story Source
Published on Monday March 15, 2021 - 12:55 AM
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GOP lawmakers have yet again walked out of the Oregon Senate. If I kept not showing up to my job, I'd get fired. Are there options to stop this obstructionist move and expel senators who don't do their jobs? —Tim

There are always options, Tim. In theory, you could send the state police to drag them into the chamber by force. During the 2019 GOP walkout (not to be confused with the 2020 or 2021 walkouts), KGW asked one truant senator, Brian Boquist, about this very possibility.

Boquist—perhaps the only man in America who enjoys looking like Ted Cruz—replied that troopers had better "send bachelors and come heavily armed," as though the legislative session were some kind of straight-to-video Braveheart sequel.

A more apt cinematic parallel might be the episode of Seinfeld where George hides from a girlfriend he knows is about to dump him: "If she can't find me, she can't break up with me!"

Republican state senators know they don't have the votes (nor, lest we forget, the popular mandate those votes would represent) to block Democratic priorities in the chamber. So they just go AWOL any time they see a piece of legislation they don't like. If they can't find us, they can't outvote us!