The youngest legislature ever...

KATU has a round-up on the start of the new legislature. They're taking note of the large number of members of the legislature under 35 years old. The story includes interviews with Brian Clem, Ben Cannon, and Sara Gelser.

(Hat tip to the Bus.) Discuss.

  • (Show?)

    Hmmm... The story by Melica Johnson says there are five legislators under 35. But my count includes the three interviewed - Clem, Cannon, Gelser - but also three more: Tina Kotek, Tobias Read, and Chris Edwards.

    Or did someone have a birthday recently?

  • Jefferson (unverified)

    (Pretty sure Tina K. just turned 40. That's still pretty darn young -- and she participated in the "Magnificent Future" event we did at campaign launch time.)

    Of course, of key importance is not the age -- it's the quality. But as we've learned with Supreme Court justices...quality folks starting younger can offer more quality years. And these folks are darned talented.

  • Bert Lowry (unverified)

    Jefferson hit the nail on the head. The great thing about this set is not how young they are; it's how smart and dedicated they are. And they're just getting started.

  • Rep. Peter Buckley (unverified)

    Bert is right on the mark--this is an outstanding group, each one of them very impressive. They are going to have an impact this session and for a long time to come. I'm very glad they are in Salem--they are fantastic to work with--and I'm grateful to everyone who helped get them elected (with special thanks to the Bus Project).

    There is new energy in the building, without a doubt.

  • (Show?)

    Hopefully some of these new leaders will help people like Rep. Buckley shake things up and bring some of the more entrenched leaders on board with a strong reform agenda.

    Democrats have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change how politics in Salem operates. But I must confess to a great deal of skepticism at the Majority Leader's comments that the $900,000 that the lobby has given to Democrats since the election "Won't influence him one way on policy" -- particularly with all of the $5000 and $10,000 checks that companies like Wal-Mart and Philip Morris have paid out to Future Pac since the election.

    I remember Wayne Scott saying last year that contributions don't influence him on policy. I didn't believe him when he said it. Granted, I'd rather have the current leadership in there than the old regime, but the lobbying reform package was movement in the right direction, but means little unless we also change how our campaigns are financed.

    I haven't seen much traction among leadership in either chamber for debating campaign finance reform -- despite the fact that Oregonians passed the toughest campaign finance law in the country in 2006. This, despite the fact that Democrats have taken the reins of power based largely on a platform of restoring public control over our legislative process at the expense of the lobbyists and corporations that currently dominate in Salem.

  • Darrell Fuller (unverified)

    I've tried several times to watch the story and it stops in the middle of the story. Anyone else having this problem. Any suggestions on how to see the whole story? I even went directly to the UTube sight and had the same problem. Troubleshooters welcome!

  • Jefferson Smith (unverified)

    Sal -- cheers to the call for campaign finance reform. And it's a cross-cutting issue -- polls well across party lines and philosophies.

    <h2>(Dunno about the YouTube weirdness.)</h2>
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