Skip to Content

Salem stalemate sparks dueling Bend rallies


(Update: Rally concludes; added video)

Amid developments in Salem on the six-day-old stalemate over cap and trade legislation that prompted Oregon’s 11 Republican state senators to walk out and leave the state, dozens of their supporters and critics held competing rallies at the same downtown Bend street corner on Tuesday evening.

Organizers staged the rallies from 5-6 p.m. at the corner of Greenwood Avenue and Wall Street. Deschutes Republicans were there in support of the state senators, while Deschutes Democrats and Invisible Bend protested and urged the lawmakers, including Bend state Sen. Tim Knopp, back to work.

On one side of Wall Street, generally Republican supporters of the absent GOP senators held aloft signs that said, among other things, “We Love Knopp,” “Let Us Vote” and “Cap Kills Jobs.”

“No more taxes!” they chanted.

On the other side of the street, Democrats held aloft Tim Knopp wanted signs and others with comments such as “Lassie, Go Find Timmy!”

Their chants included “Do Your Job!” and “Back to Work!”

Connie Peterson, an environmental activist, said, ” In response to yet another day when Senate Republicans still haven’t shown up for work, constituents of Senator Knopp are demanding that he return to his job in Salem as our elected representative. We show up for our jobs — our senator should show up for his instead of running away to hide, breaking his promise that he would not do this again! ”

In short, legislators introduced House Bill 2020 to reduce carbon emissions. Supporters say the new cap-and-trade program would invest in environmentally friendly projects and regulate automotive fuels. And they say it could make Oregon a leader in the issue of climate change.

Those against it fear many people in rural Oregon, such as loggers and truck drivers, would be hit with higher prices and lose their jobs.

It was expected to pass, because Democrats hold the majority in both the House and the Senate. Gov. Kate Brown said she would pass the bill if it came to her desk. The House approved the bill last week, but the Senate cannot vote until the Republicans return to their jobs.

Democratic Senate President Peter Courtney said Tuesday morning there isn’t enough support within his party to pass what would be the second statewide cap and trade plan in the nation.

Reports have said most of the 11 Republican state senators have fled Oregon. Gov. Kate Brown late last week instructed Oregon State Police to find the state senators and return them to Salem, but their jurisdiction ends at the state border.

Knopp told Britain’s SkyNews in a video interview on Monday he had spoken on the phone with the OSP superintendent. Knopp said he was “polite, firm and is persistent (the Republicans) return to the state Capitol in Salem.”

“We have moved to border states for the duration of this session, ” Knopp said. “We are obviously hopeful we can have a bipartisan resolution to this political protest, but at the moment talks are continuing, and we haven’t heard any word that we are making significant enough progress for us to return.”

Without the return of at least two Republicans, the Senate does not have a quorum, which is required to conduct business.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

KTVZ News Team


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content