The New Hooley: Liberal Firebrand?

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.

Hooley She sponsored a resolution demanding that the White House cooperate with congressional investigations.

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."


  • (Show?)

    The button I wear during an election for Darlene says

    "I'm HOT on Hooley!"

    Way to go Darlene!

  • Dave O'Dell (unverified)

    What could be more important to our democracy than upholding the rule of law? Impeachment should never be off the table.

    Good for Darlene Hooley, my representative.

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    Darlene is one of the sweetest, nicest people in public life that I have ever known, AND she proves that being sweet and nice does not prevent a representative from being diligent about carrying out her Constitutional duties.

    Darlene ROCKS!

  • SteveO (unverified)

    Now it's Defazio's turn.

  • Admiral Naismith (unverified)

    Seems to me, vehement opposition to the Scrappy Doo Administration (now at 28% approval, with net positives isolated in parts of Appalachia, Utah, Idaho and West Texas) is pretty dang middle of the road.

  • anon (unverified)

    Go, Darlene, Go!

    Now this is the type of leadership we want to see - that we in fact must demand from our Representatives!

    A good start...but there is much work to be done.

  • anon (unverified)

    I mean, fer chrissakes, if you're going to take impeachment off the table - you better trade it for something. Like getting your whole damn agenda passed.

    Pelosi traded it for NOTHING. NOT. SO. SMART.

  • Bill Whitlatch (unverified)

    I have sent letters, emails and made phone calls to her office on a variety of issues.

    Her office has always been responsive.

    I don't see her actions as liberal or conservative; just doing her job and a damn fine one at that.

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    Seems to me, vehement opposition to the Scrappy Doo Administration (now at 28% approval, with net positives isolated in parts of Appalachia, Utah, Idaho and West Texas) is pretty dang middle of the road.

    Darn tootin!

  • james r bradach (unverified)

    Thanks Rep. Hooley! I heard my Rep. on the radio on Thursday saying that the President and the Vice President need to be held accountable. When and how?...And why? are we even talking about the same things here? I happened to have been in D.C. on Tues. and witnessed Kucinich present his resolution. Hopeful start, till I saw our friend, with his vote, providing cover to Mr. Cheney. I am under no illusion that this is going to be a pleasant thing for the party or the country but to continue to ignore it is a disaster for both.

  • DH Fan (unverified)

    Darlene truly represents the best of what Oregon has to offer. She is one of the only Reps that makes it back every weekend to meet with constituents and listen to what her voters are saying. She may have a tough race against money bags Erickson, so I strongly encourage everyone to support her as much as possible!

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)

    Not one to break up a self-congratulatory back-slapping, but let's review Darlene's record for just a minute:

    • Hooley voted not once, but twice (2001 and 2004) with the republicans on the Bankruptcy Overhaul requiring partial debt repayment by individuals (but not corporations).

    • Rated 38% by the US COC, indicating a mixed business voting record.

    • 55% by CURE, indicating mixed votes on crime and rehabilitation including more and longer mandatory sentences.

    • Voted YES with the republicans on allowing school prayer during the War on Terror

    • YES on implementing US-Australia Free Trade Agreement and on implementing US-Singapore free trade agreement resulting in more jobs lost oversees (I truly believe DeFazio is the only one who gets this issue!)

    I could go on, but you get the picture. Yes she votes more with the dems but frankly she is a fence-sitter. And the few times I've heard her on KPOJ in the morning she was blasted by the listeners after she hung up.

    And does Erickson even have a chance again? No. The man is a complete moron and simply lists the latest Hannity talking points when asked a direct question. Of course I love the fact that all of Erickson's signs and handouts avoid the term "republican."

    But come on - liberal firebrand? Hardly.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    HR333 is the opportunity to put accountability on the table. It is clear that the Shrubbery will stonewall any effort that does not hold a hammer over their heads.

    To Scott in Damascus: Hooley's record is no flaming progressive, but remember that she represents a minority Democratic district [unless registration has changed significantly recently], and that Democrats in her district are not as progressive as those in the Metro area or Eugene.

  • anon (unverified)

    The most fun I had last fall was going into the Pacific Lumber on Lower Boones Ferry and raising a very loud stink about their gigantic Mike Erickson sign and what a scumbag I thought he was, and that I would never patronize that store ever because of it.

    Plenty of customers heard it. The employees said - well it's a free country and we can put up a sign if we want. And I said - it's a free country and I can come in here and complain to you about it. I told them they were alienating the community and stormed out in a huff.

    Hee hee.

  • jaybeat (unverified)


    Good for you. If more customers voted with their mouths and their wallets, I bet more business would at least think twice about proselytizing to their customers. (Though, of course, they can still take the profits from whatever you buy and give to their favorite scumbag.)

    I think Darlene is pretty darn principled, though, to be fair, we are awfully spoiled in that regard here in the Beaver State. (Well, except for what's-his-dipshit. Oh, yeah, Greg I-never-met-a-Bush-proposal-I-didn't-vote-for Walden. And then there's our Senator from Toxic-Spill Industries. But hopefully he won't be our Senator much longer.)

    She does, I think, represent what could become the future of the Democratic majority--a mixed rural/urban/suburban district, where, if you ask people about issues, they are overwhelmingly aligned with the Democratic Party, but where, historically, Church, NRA and right-wing talk radio have led to a lot of them voting with the Repukes. Elected folks like Darlene can change that.

    Darlene in '08!

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)

    Darlene Hooley is acting as a representative of the people should act in Congress. We need more doing the same thing so the people can wrest the Democratic Party away from the oligarchy operating the left wing on the corporate bird of prey. Why doesn't Nancy Pelosi put impeachment on the table? Because along with Bush, Cheney, Lieberman, Boehner, Schumer, Feinstein and others she is part of the corpocracy that has taken over the government and they don't want the people reclaiming the republic.

  • Mike (unverified)

    My only problem with Hooley is that she only seems interested in my opinion during election season. After the election, I never hear from her until the next election.

  • LT (unverified)

    Darlene Hooley has been an excellent advocate for veterans--from a great staff who can help when others can't seem to find a way to help, to advocacy for veterans --- incl. full funding of the budget for veterans, to help for military families with nowhere else to turn, to budgets and legislation.

    We can only hope that whoever gets the US Senate nomination will do as well discussing the issues in the fall campaign and acting on them if elected.

    Personally, as far as I am concerned, this next year isn't about what various candidates have done in the past. If we can get more public debate about Sen. Webb's idea of as much time at home as deployed, Cong. Patrick Murphy's updated GI Bill of Rights, the Dole-Shalala Wounded Warrior Comm. (credit to Steve for putting the whole official title on his site), TBI, and all the other issues on both the US Senate candidates's websites, we will be in great shape.

  • Chris (unverified)

    On trade, Hooley has been pretty bad. She voted for the Peru Free Trade Agreement last week. She only voted against CAFTA when she was threatened by an independent run for her seat by trade activist Mitch Besser.

  • Misha (unverified)

    "After the election, I never hear from her until the next election."


    Are you kidding?! I used to work for Darlene, and she might well be the most responsive member of Congress in the country. She commutes back and forth from Oregon to Washington, D.C. almost every week and she holds events and meetings with constituents and community leaders just about every time she is back in the state. (Since the new Congress has stepped up its voting schedule, Hooley may have been back in Oregon somewhat less frequently in the last ten months, but her record over the past decade is extraordinarily responsive.)

    Plus, Hooley's staff is probably the most aggressive in the state in terms of reaching out to community groups, attending meetings and events on her behalf, etc.

    Interested in what she is doing in Washington? Do a Google News search and you'll find 26 news articles from the last month alone covering her work in Washington. If that's not enough, go to her website. You'll find 30 press releases since October 1st documenting her work in Congress. (30 press releases in a month-and-a-half!)

    If you're not hearing from Hooley and her staff between elections, you must be hiding under a rock.

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    Rule of law is both radical and conservative, it is bedrock small d democratic, small r republican, and small l liberal including "classical liberal" libertarian / free market economic conservatives.

    In this matter, Darlene Hooley seems grounded in that principle and also appropriately cognizant of the fact that what is at stake is the Bushites are going after congressional prerogatives and the balance of power.

    It is not that Hooley is any kind of firebrand but that Pelosi, Hoyer, Reid et al. are so narrowly focused on short-term political gamesmanship that they are unwilling to stand up for the fundamentals, and worse, actively try to obstruct others. This is one of the places where the media confuse opportunism with moderation.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)


    I often write to Darlene, and she often writes back with reference to what she is doing on an issue - not with the empty posturing I usually get from G. Smith.

  • Eric Stepp (unverified)
    From Mike: My only problem with Hooley is that she only seems interested in my opinion during election season. After the election, I never hear from her until the next election.

    Maybe you should participate in her conference call this evening. From her website:

    "Congresswoman Darlene Hooley (OR-5) will host a “town call” conversation with constituents on Tuesday, November 13 at 6:45 p.m. PST. Constituents are invited to call toll-free 1(866) 447-5149 and enter access code #13340 beginning at 6:45 p.m. PST on Tuesday to participate in the conference call. The conversation will include brief introductory remarks by Hooley about the legislative accomplishments of the 110th Congress. Following Hooley’s remarks, constituents will be able to ask questions about the war in Iraq, immigration, health care, energy independence and other issues before Congress."

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
    <h2>This is all a bunch of Hoo(l)ey.</h2>
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