The Lege shows some spine and raises taxes; ORGOP heads explode.

Carla Axtman

Today in Salem, the Oregon House held an epic debate and vote on House Bill 3405, the bill to raise corporate taxes and House Bill 2649 which raises taxes on individuals earning over $125,000 and joint filers earning over $250,000 a year.

The O's Jeff Mapes put together a good live-blog of the event, which culminated in one of the more interesting votes of the session:

12:47 p.m.: The bill passes 37-23, with both Smith and Jenson voting yes and Schaufler voting no. A small surprise since the Ds had a margin of one.

Clearly, Hunt showed he could deliver. Now, both measures go to the Senate.

"Smith and Jenson" are Greg Smith (R-Heppner) and Bob Jenson (R-Pendleton). These two saved Oregon schools from even more massive cuts. Shaufler is a Democrat from Happy Valley, apparently unmoved by the bleeding in the education budget.

The Oregon Republican Party is now on the warpath against Jenson and Smith, too:

"I think they've left the team and it wouldn't surprise me if they have strong opponents in the primary" next year, said Oregon Republican Chairman Bob Tiernan.

On top of that, Tiernan said it was "probably likely" that the state GOP would actually wind up helping defeat Smith and Jenson in next year's party primary.

Tax activist Russ Walker, who heads the Oregon chapter of FreedomWorks and is vice chairman of the state GOP, has helped take out two Republican incumbents in past years who voted with Democrats in primary. Rep. Vic Backlund, R-Keizer, was beat in 2004 and Sen. Charles Starr, R-Hillsboro, lost in 2006.

"I swear to God they will not come back to this building," said Walker. Those guys are not reflecting the values of those who put them in those seats."

Yeah, cuz now is exactly the right time to put more anti-tax, right wing conservatives on the GOP ballot. Maybe Grover Norquist is ready to relocate to Heppner.

I wonder if that big vein in Russ Walker's head was pulsating when he made that comment. I'd like to have seen that in person.

No word yet if any veins are popping on the "D" side about a primary for Schaufler.

Comments

  • Boats (unverified)
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    All of the BO'ers are lock-stepping about "single payer" and hammering on Sen. Wyden, for some hastily drafted and new massive federal entitlement at the direction of Mr. Obama, but you expect the Republicans to not be displeased with "traitors" in their own ranks?

    What a world you live in.

  • Insider (unverified)
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    Oh boy, more right wing Republican legislative candidates on the way!

    That worked out so well during the last two cycles when the House R's nominated right wing wackos in Tigard, Woodburn, Sandy/Hood River, Troutdale/Fairview, and West Eugene/Junction City -- which opened the door for House Democratic candidates to win!

    Who would have thought that the 36-seat House Democratic majority might grow?

  • Boats (unverified)
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    Democraats are going to win Pendleton? Not in this state.

  • Insider (unverified)
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    Boats, just wait and see....Hood River and Bend last time....next stops: Pendleton and McMinnville!

  • Boats (unverified)
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    That's why the "treason" was in quotes. It's all in the eye of the beholder.

    Senator Wyden has been called a lot worse than a "brain user" on this blog. He merely stands accused of being a water carrier for Big Pharma and/or The Evil Health Insurance Corporations.

    Senator Kirsten Gillibrand isn't down with the whacko gun control fantasies of single trick pony Rep. McCarthy back in NY? First villify her in the press and then threaten a primary challenge. Heck, one could call it a "Lieberman Job."

  • Katie (unverified)
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    Schaufler is a DINO of the first rate, and the Party should find a qualified D to run against him. We've come too far as a state and a Party to have to deal with legislators like him.

  • Boats (unverified)
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    And there we have it. Tiernan doesn't like RINOs in his caucus and apparently peace, love, and understanding is not for Oregon's DINOs either.

  • steve (unverified)
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    The core of the republican party, and the people that resonate with their message, are scum. They seek to tear down our democratic institutions and system of government, and replace it with what? Something that they can't articulate. These angry white losers should be in mental institutions, not loose in society and certainly not in government. So two of their flock committed apostasy and voted responsibly, they should be commended for their courage, and given a place of respect in policy debates. The rest of that party must be ridiculed, scorned, purged, and crushed.

  • LT (unverified)
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    It is all about the primacy of "the private sector" over public institutions. But aren't they sometimes linked? The fast food place near the school, the cafeteria or convenience store on the comm. college campus, the day care center near the public school where teachers who are parents leave their young kids during the school day, not to mention how many public employees buy food, clothes, gas, etc. from private businesses. And they wonder why they have so many fewer seats than when Measure 30 passed!

    Loved this line, "Maybe Grover Norquist is ready to relocate to Heppner. "

    A neighbor of mine decades ago loved the phrase "I got a real picture of that". I'm guessing Norquist wouldn't know how to react to small town life. And didn't someone once run against Lynn Lundquist in the primary and lose?

    If Republicans want to be the ideologically pure party, that is fine. Do they realize that winning general elections means winning over some of the folks not registered in either major party? Or do they even care?

  • Boats (unverified)
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    They seek to tear down our democratic institutions and system of government, and replace it with what? Something that they can't articulate.

    That thing that you cannot articulate is called freedom.

  • District 5 Constituent (unverified)
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    Carla,

    You should check out Ways & Means Co-Chair Peter Buckley's floor speech on the revenue bills:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0eFl4s4dpM

  • District 5 Constituent (unverified)
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    Forgot to make the above video a link.

  • Jesse O (unverified)
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    Hopefully Schaufler will be kicked out.

    Here's the reminder: Bob Jenson saved the ability for the state to fund public schools, public safety, and protect Oregon's most vulnerable.

    If it weren't for Jenson (and to a lesser extent G. Smith), the Democrats centerpiece - the largest single challenge of this session is the budget, public services, and the recession - would be stifled by Mike Schaufler.

    He's Dave Hunt's darling, but he needs to be sent packing. We can win that district with someone who has a backbone and is a productive member of the caucus.

  • Cafe Today (unverified)
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    Schaufler cannot be primaried in that district.

  • Jesse O (unverified)
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    The idea that someone who uses public funds for personal gain - paying for lobbyists' dinners - can't be primaried if the state Democrats put their minds to it is ridiculous.

  • Miles (unverified)
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    I think if someone in Schaufler's district doesn't like his vote and wants to challenge him in the primary, that's great, go for it. I think if the state Democratic party tries to engineer a primary challenge because they're pissed that Schaufler disagrees with the rest of the caucus, we're no better than Russ Walker and the GOP purists. I expect my legislators to think for themselves, even on key issues for the party. Schaufler made his own decision on this -- the wrong decision, for sure -- but we can't simultaneously praise Smith and Jenson for their independence while ripping Schaufler for his.

    Kudos to Hunt for being flexible enough to lose a member and gain others from across the aisle. That's something past Democratic leaders have struggled with.

  • Ms Mel Harmon (unverified)
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    I agree with Miles. We must be careful not to become the very thing we criticize and mock in the opposing party---a group of people who kick out anyone who doesn't agree with them on every issue/vote. One of the main traits of the Dem Party is that we are supposed to be inclusive with many voices and ideas. Yes, we have a Party Platform, but legislators are still allowed to---and should---vote their conscience. We can disagree with their votes, question them about their motives/reasoning, but to try and remove them from office because we didn't like how they voted on one particular piece of legislation is short-sighted and does not serve the Party or the citizens of Oregon.

  • marv (unverified)
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    Is it time for a Doctor Phil moment? The taxes are evil contingent represented by Boats (today's phony name) must have noticed that eliminating taxes is eliminating civili zation. They are fine with that. As an example, if you don't like a women's right to reproductive choice just start blowing up clinics and killing doctors. That is fine with these idiots.

    Next on there list is freedom. And they are destroying it right along with the rule of law and the Constitution.

    Thanks to Walden and the other fascists.

  • Boats (unverified)
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    Aww jeez. Would I be more authentic were I to go by "Merv" or "Stanislaus" or "Pedro?"

    I take it since I automatically find common cause with the murderers of abortionists that one can also assume you are a cheerleader for Abdulhakim Muhammad?

    Eliminating taxes is not the elimination of civilization, I view it as a necessary step to keeping our potentates in Congress and in Salem in line with the reality that folks don't like their bills for government going up every year without regard to their own bottom line.

    Besides, it has been amply demonstrated that civilization can be eliminated piecemeal just through plain policy choices, such as not enforcing the southern border, ripping off shareholders by abrogating their security interests and handing them over to the parasites who helped to kill off the host, etcetera.

  • marv (unverified)
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    Boats by any other name is a fascist.

  • Sid (unverified)
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    I love it - when the economy is in the toilet, you can always count on democrats to come out swinging for new taxes.

    Why can't the government learn to live within its means like the rest of us, instead of constantly looking for new taxpayer revenue streams?

  • marv (unverified)
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    The "economy" is in the toilet for who? When thirty years of supply side deregulation and criminality forcing wars on innocent people comes home to roost it is the advocates of more of the same who start to cry first. Sid or Boats are those people today. Billion stolen by Halliburton and KBR. Hundreds of offshore accounts for Citi Bank. Fraud and corruption beyond belief and they say give us more.

    God help us with thesse idiots. I have had enough phony Republican bastards to last another hundred years. Begone!

  • RyanLeo (unverified)
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    Boats,

    About as lock step as those nitwits who think listen to Rush Limbaugh religiously, tune into O'Reilly and Hannity every night, and believe that small town America is the real America right?

    Go back to NW Republican, Victoria Taft, The Oregon Catalyst and all the other conservative blogs where they will accept your neanderthal drivel.

    Those who visit political blogs (of any stripe) are true believers and trying to come in here and throw your antithetical opinion around will never change anyone's mind.

    Thank you for reinforcing why I cannot stand people like you.

  • Boats (unverified)
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    "Marv" by any other name is a communist. Neener neener. The childish name calling is intended to impress whom again?

    Barack Obama is busy making Halliburton and KBR look like pikers after stealing GM and Chrysler from the secured bondholders of those two corporations, but he is from that cesspool of corruption called Chicago, so why would anyone expect good faith and fair dealing from a politician hailing from there?

    And since Oregon is a one party state, it is natural to come here to challenge "conventional wisdom." The thin skinned sensitivity worthy of a wretched burn patient was rather unexpected from folks in a period of rather unassailable ascendance I must admit.

    With Kate Brown busy regulating the initiative system to all but uselessness, what are you worried about exactly, open revolt?

  • Admiral Naismith (unverified)
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    Why can't the government learn to live within its means like the rest of us, instead of constantly looking for new taxpayer revenue streams?

    Sorry, that dog don't hunt for the Republicans any more. Not after they controlled the White House AND the legislature and went on a spending binge that would make LBJ blush crimson blotches of shame all over his jowls.

    I guess the government's going to spend a lot no matter who's in power. The question is, will you support the Democrats, who are brave enough to raise the revenue to pay for their spending, and take the heat for doing it? Or the Republicans, who prefer deficit spending and teach America that they can have everything they want and not have to pay for it? Which of those positions is the fiscally responsible one?

  • Ms Mel Harmon (unverified)
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    "Why can't the government learn to live within its means like the rest of us, instead of constantly looking for new taxpayer revenue streams?"

    I truly wish the Republicans HAD controlled spending. Then the Democrats wouldn't have to come in and clean up their mess....again. Now the Dems will spend at least 8 years (hopefully more) in control and get things shipshape again and then when the inevitable happens and the Rs come back into power, they'll give everyone tax cuts and run up a huge deficit fighting yet another war/s somewhere and we'll be back where we are now.

  • BTW (unverified)
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    Schaufler isn't "anyone who doesn't agree with them on every issue/vote."

    Schaufler is the single Democrat - with a much easier district than many - who did not have the spine to stand up for schools, public safety, and protecting Oregon's most vulnerable. These two bills were the most important votes of the session, and he ran away. Without Bob Jenson, we'd be slicing hundreds of millions of dollars from care for Oregon's most vulnerable.

    He also has a record of going south on many other key Democratic issues.

    We deserve better.

  • Cafe Today (unverified)
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    Jesse O -- That article is about campaign cash, NOT public funds. Big difference.

  • Cafe Today (unverified)
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    BTW-- "We deserve better"? Do you live in Schaufler's district? Ever spent much time out there? Anybody who thinks they (or anyone else) are going to primary Schaufler out of that district has drank way too much Bus Project kool-aid.

  • Carla Axtman (unverified)
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    Hmmm...Cafe Today, you're practically throwing down a challenge with them "fightin words"......

  • Miles (unverified)
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    These two bills were the most important votes of the session, and he ran away.

    BTW, you're implying that Schaufler agreed with the tax hike but lacked the cajones to vote for it. Can you show some evidence of that? My read is that Schaufler didn't think this was the right tax hike at the right time. I think he's wrong about that, but I'm not going to impugn his motives without some evidence, because I consider myself a better person than Russ Walker. Progressives need to hold ourselves to a higher standard, so please post some evidence that Schaufler didn't vote his conscience.

  • 90% (unverified)
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    If Schaufler is unwilling to raise personal income taxes on taxable income above $125,000 for single filers ($250,000 for households) to pay for critical social services for the most vulnerable Oregonians, than he is representing the wrong district. While Schaufler's "tag" is D-Happy Valley, 90% of his district is in outer southeast Portland. His district includes Lents & Powellhurst Gilberts, ranked the lowest in livability in a 2007 audit study. The only folks who will see even a meager income tax increase are his Happy Valley households who have a taxable income over $250,000 (as of 2007 the median income in Happy Valley was $90,000). Meanwhile, the other 90% of his district, which is full of Section 8 housing, adult foster care homes, and the most vulnerable population in the Portland-metro area, rely heavily on the services that Schaulfer was willing to let fall by the wayside. Of ALL legislators, Schaulfer should have voted for the services that his vulnerable constituents rely on.

    The reason Schaulfer can get away with voting against his constituents' interests is that he has no accountability. His district has one of the lowest voter turn-outs in the state. He does not send out emails, hold townhall meetings, and has not updated his website since 2007.

  • RyanLeo (unverified)
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    Boats,

    Keep on talking because I am getting my friends and colleagues to read comments like yours and other wing nuts who comment on this blog. While they are reading it, I am grossly exaggerating how much of a nut bag you and most Republicans are. Many of them are agreeing with me and are opening up to the idea that the Republican party is now full of a bunch rural right-wing reactionary Whites who believe that their small town America is the real America.

    Keep on talking.

    Politics is a game of persuasion and perception. Your comments on this blog are a gift to Democrats and those who I share your comments with.

  • Karma Trumps Dogma (unverified)
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    It's about time!!! This calls for some actual celebration .

    And on that note, I assume Hal/Wunder Blunder had to empty his copy buffer here, which must have been summarily deleted. Thanks, and, again...

  • Boats (unverified)
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    Boats,

    Keep on talking because I am getting my friends and colleagues to read comments like yours and other wing nuts who comment on this blog. While they are reading it, I am grossly exaggerating how much of a nut bag you and most Republicans are. Many of them are agreeing with me and are opening up to the idea that the Republican party is now full of a bunch rural right-wing reactionary Whites who believe that their small town America is the real America.

    Keep on talking.

    Politics is a game of persuasion and perception. Your comments on this blog are a gift to Democrats and those who I share your comments with.

    You're preaching to the choir? How wonderful for you.

  • josh speed (unverified)
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    Miss/Mister Insider,

    One look at the OreStar campaign accounts for D’s and R’s in the Portland/metro areas you mentioned above and its clear to see how much D’s outspent their R opponents by. Additionally, factor in an election year with hotly contested primary campaigns, W-fatigue (the Right’s LBJ) and MAJOR shifts in voter identification and you get results where losers win. By the way, I’m a strong D that doesn’t like the fact that a lot of these Freshman office holders are kids with no life experience. They should run to real careers rather than running for office. Makes me think that they might not have an identity if they lose their seats next time around. BTW Why wasn’t Wingard knocked off? Oh, thats right, ‘cause his opposition was peopled with Dem consultants and staff that acted no different than a Chuck Adams would. I honestly hope Insider is not a paid legislative staffer. I knew we could expect this type of snottiness from the Jim DeMint staffers, but from our own? C'mon.

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