Oregon Climate Walkout Left Republicans in Hiding, Statehouse in Disarray

In Environment, States On
- Updated

SALEM, Ore. — One by one, Oregon’s 11 Senate Republicans fled their state with little more than spare underwear and their passports. They disappeared into Idaho cabins and motels with canned goods and at least one burner phone. They parked borrowed cars outside hideaways to throw off anyone on their trails.

Democrats swiftly sent state troopers after their missing colleagues. They shared outlaw posters on the internet, pleading to the public for help. “Wanted: fugitives from justice (and their jobs!),” the signs read, accompanied by a lineup of photographs of the Republicans. “Have you seen these people?”

So it went in Oregon over the past week as a battle over a climate-change bill plunged the state’s capital into disarray, sending Republicans escaping across state lines and leaving Democrats, who usually control Salem, paralyzed, without enough lawmakers present to pass the climate bill — or anything else.

It was only the latest example of how nasty the political discourse has grown across the nation at a point when either Republicans or Democrats dominate the conversation in nearly every state capitol. Divided control — and compromise — is rarely seen.

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Common Ground
We don’t need to search any further for common ground in our country. We have it.
We all want the same things – a safe, prosperous, free, democratic nation with opportunity for all. At the same time, we will all be harmed if our democracy, our free press, our Constitution and our core American values are threatened. We will all certainly be harmed if reckless behavior triggers any number of potential armed conflicts.

None of us know how this will all play out so let's make a deal. Let’s get up to speed on the issues, establish some facts, take action and watch what happens together . . .