Bill Currier, chairman of the Oregon Republican Party, wants to recall Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat. If Brown showed contempt for limits of the state constitution by abusing her power as governor, who would be against recalling her?
But she has not. The recall is harebrained hyperventilation.
Currier’s argument for recalling Brown has layers. He said she has “threatened to usurp legislative power with executive orders to implement her failed legislation, deciding single-handedly what is best for Oregon.”
What has she actually done? Brown was disappointed that cap-and-trade legislation, House Bill 2020, died. She believes it’s critical for the state to reduce greenhouse gases to tamp down wildfires, protect the ocean from acidifying, prevent declines in agricultural yields and more. And what she said she would do is: “I am also directing my staff and agencies to explore alternative paths in case these collaborative approaches do not lead to successful legislation. This includes the use of my executive powers and direction of state agencies.”
We have editorialized against HB 2020 and believe it was flawed for a number of reasons. But Brown has not actually done anything to violate the state constitution.
Currier also criticized passage of a bill that would enable the state to issue driver’s licenses to unauthorized immigrants. Yes, voters overturned a similar law when it was put on the ballot just a few years ago in 2014. But Brown did nothing to abuse her power by signing into law a new bill passed by the Legislature.
Currier criticized the state’s new hidden business sales tax, passed by the 2019 Legislature and signed into law by Brown. We have editorialized against that tax. Oregon taxes should be broadly based and not hidden from consumers. Voters rejected at the ballot a very similar tax just a few years ago. Again, what did Brown do that violated the state constitution? Nothing.
Brown’s leadership of the state is grounds for debate, criticism and sometimes even praise. She does things Currier disagrees with. She does things we disagree with. That’s no reason to go all hide-the-children and recall her. It’s reason for Currier and the rest of the GOP to convince Oregonians they have a better plan and, therefore, to elect their candidates.