Writing in today's Oregonian, Jeff Kosseff notes that Darlene Hooley, known for moderate politics and a low profile, has lately been taking the lead on issues decidedly not middle-of-the-road:
She has not ruled out impeachment proceedings, and she was among the first to talk openly about the possibility.
She led a call for a congressional hearing to examine whether Vice President Dick Cheney improperly interfered in the Klamath Basin water crisis.
Last week, she introduced a resolution calling for the resignation of Nancy Nord, acting chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The issue that stands out most sharply among those items is impeachment--an issue Speaker Nancy Pelosi won't even discuss. But Hooley, who describes herself as "practical" ("I'm happy with half a loaf, if that's what you can get") sounds more unflinching when she talks about impeachment:
Article I of the Constitution "says we have to do oversight, which means we need the cooperation from the president in order to do that," Hooley said. "When you do oversight, and when you gather the information, and when you hold people accountable, it may lead to impeachment. It may not. But it is absolutely one of the powers given to us that I don't think we should take off the table."