[Updated 9/26/2014] We are reposting some previous articles written about Gov. Kitzhaber’s “Grand Bargain” from the 2013 Special Session.
With the end of the ‘Special’ Session of the Oregon Legislature you have to feel like Gov. Kitzhaber has seen his last hurrah. The Special Session started off as PERS Reform to help fund Oregon schools. Somehow Pro-GMO legislation was added to the mix and it was downhill from there. The unions will challenge the PERS cuts is court and have a fair chance of having them reversed by the Oregon Supreme Court as has happened with other similar legislation. The Pro-GMO bills that were included to gain Republican support angered environmentalist and exposed several Democratic lawmakers who had taken First PAC/Monsanto donations just before the start of the Special Session. So you have to ask…What was so Grand about it? If the PERS reforms get thrown out while Gov. Kitzhaber and the Oregon Democratic Party anger their base who wins? Monsanto?
Christian Gaston at oregonlive.com points out that “Public employee unions, environmentalists and tax activists were incensed,…”. That is quite the trinity of voters to have angry at you and two of those are pillars of Demcratic support in Oregon and especially Portland. Who’s left to offend? Pet owners and bicyclists? They are probably a member of one of those groups as well.
It is hard to image Gov. Kitzhaber announcing he is running for reelection after how this Special Session played out. And several OR Legislators, especially blue ones, are going to be putting out fires and hoping this doesn’t come back to haunt them in 2014.