In front of the Oregon State Capitol, small groups of demonstrators fought for their position. There were woodcutters who spoke out this morning to vote against the Cap and Trade Act. And there were young climate activists who said that legislation was crucial to preserving the world they would soon inherit. The political drama that took place on Thursday in Salem, however, lacked some crucial components.
Namely the legislators.
Inside the House of Representatives, the chambers of the Senate were conspicuously quiet. When the clerk called Roll, a third of the room's seating was empty. The Republicans faced a democratic superiority determined to pass bills to combat climate change and resorted to one last political arithmetic: no senators, no votes.
Senate Democrats can not achieve quorum without their eleven GOP colleagues. and its legislative agenda comes to a standstill. So the Republicans fled. They left the state and reportedly raced across the border to Idaho.
But the State Democrats, who controlled the Legislature and the Executive, had their own last resort ̵
Brown ordered the Oregon State Police to track down and assemble every lawmaker on the street. However, this order empowers the authorities to put the elected officials in patrol cars and drive them back to the Capitol. The ministry said it would instead opt for "polite communication."
The governor accused the senators of giving up their posts in the face of a potentially historic vote. She said she would put Oregon at the forefront of the national fight against global warming.
"It is absolutely unacceptable that the Senate Republicans are turning their backs on the voters they must honorably represent here in this building," Brown said in a statement. "They have to go back and do the jobs they've been chosen to do."
But the Republicans in Oregon said a boycott is the only way to stand up for the people who elected them. They spoke of an increasing gap between the ultraliberal urban enclaves of the state and the vast rural districts with proud libertarian currents.
"The protest against Cap and Trade by today's resignation is our constituency and exactly what we should do," said Republican Senate leader Herman Baertschiger Jr. said in a statement. "We will no longer stand by the majority party and be bullied by it. Oregonians deserve better. It's time for the majority party to consider all Oregoners – not just those in Portland. "
Sen. Brian Boquist, one of Baertschiger's colleagues, sent a warning to all search parties who might be looking for him.
"Send bachelors and get heavily armed," Boquist told the state police superintendent. "I will not be a political prisoner in Oregon, it's that simple."
Critics of the Cap and Trade Act strongly oppose this because they say it would disproportionately and adversely affect rural communities in Oregon According to the plan, greenhouse gas emissions would be limited and companies producing carbon would have to buy emission credits, and over time, the state would reduce the number of available credits, thereby reducing allowable emissions.
Likely to pass on the extra costs to consumers and fuel prices would rise A burden on industries such as trucking and logging.
The two sides spent hours clearing their disagreements on Wednesday and, as Brown said, "reaching a dead end." Baertschiger called the Negotiations "fruitless."
It is the second At this meeting, the Republicans resigned in the face of a stalemate. But last month, the Democrats were able to backfire them with a legislative carrot rather than the staff of the state forces officer.
The episode plays another role in the bizarre history of the country, where police officers chase lawmakers who have refused their jobs.
In the late 1970s, a hunt for apiary was launched in Texas for absent senators. A Washington Post story said: "The beehives of the Texas killer bees are undisturbed today. After four days of the blockade, the worker bees call the heroes of Alamo, the queen, bees are monitored around the clock, and the bumblebees just try to defend themselves.
The killer bees appeared to be twelve liberal senators who fled to sabotage the legislature's legislature and block a bill that they opposed. The worker bees were the legislators who stayed behind, while the queen bees were the women of the missing men whose homes staked out the Texas Rangers or bumblebees as they searched for the senators.
About 10 years later, Robert Byrd (DW.Va.), US Senate Majority Leader, ordered the Capitol police to search for a group of Republicans who had escaped to block the reform of electoral campaign funding. Senator Robert Packwood, also a Republican from Oregon, barricaded himself in his office. An official story was told. After the officers had gone through, Packwood made a deal with them: he would go with them, but they had to carry him first into the chamber, a theatrical protest.
More recently, a group of Wisconsin Democrats left the state to thwart a 2011 anti-union bill. The police were also sent to search for them.
In Oregon, as the authorities sought his republican counterparts, Senate President Peter Courtney issued a request from the chamber floor.
ground, "said Courtney, according to the Associated Press. "I need you, the legislature needs you, the people of Oregon need you to say goodbye to a budget so they can take care of our citizens."
But many were already on the way out.
The Oregon reached a budget shortly after seven o'clock Thursday when he flew out of the state.
"In a few moments," Senator Cliff Bentz told the newspaper, "I will not be in Oregon."