I don't know if Jeff Mapes was simply short on his column inches quota or if this is an homage to "balanced reporting". However you decide to slice it, the pearl-clutching tone of this piece borders on laughable:
She's been a consistent supporter of environmental causes and has been a close ally of unions and other groups that work tightly with Democrats in the Legislature. She acknowledges that she can't recall ever voting against a tax or fee hike that has made it to the floor.
In some of the Legislature's most contentious votes, she's sided with lawmakers from such Democratic strongholds as Portland, Eugene and Corvallis instead of with rural or suburban moderates.
Bonamici's record attracted little attention as she was easily elected to the House in 2006 and the Senate in 2008 and 2010 in safely Democratic districts.
But that's changed now that she's running against Republican Rob Cornilles in the 1st Congressional District, where independent voters in the political middle could play a decisive role.
Bonamici, who left the Legislature last month to pursue her race for Congress, rejects the idea that she stands to the political left of most of her colleagues. Instead, she says she is a pragmatic problem-solver who listens carefully to constituents and works in a bipartisan fashion.
"I look at each piece of policy and make a decision based on whether that particular bill is going to be good for constituents and good for my district," she says. "If I'm seen as someone who stands up for consumers and small businesses and seniors, working families, I'm proud of that."
But Republicans say that Bonamici, who lives in the Beaverton area, tilts more closely in her voting to the Portland side of the district than she does to the Washington County side.
"She's a Pearl District liberal and her voting record clearly identifies her that way," says Sen. Bruce Starr, R-Hillsboro. "Without a question she's more liberal than the rest of the Washington County delegation."
A Democrat who...(gasp!)...votes with a lefty bent! Quick! Someone get the smelling salts and shove the fainting couch this way. And please...Bruce Starr? He's been little more than a cypher in the state legislature, too busy whining about being in the minority to do anything that might actually, say, be helpful to his district. He wouldn't know bipartisan if it reached up and bit him in the ass, preferring the 4th grade style of referring to his "Democrat" colleagues.
I don't know why Mapes didn't just cut and paste the latest Cornilles press release into his column and leave it at that. It would have taken the same amount of effort as this piece. It also would have been more honest than writing up some pretend shock and awe about the fact that Bonamici votes the way that the constituents who sent her to the legislature expect.