Salem, Ore. — Republican state senators in Oregon haven’t shown up for work since last Thursday after they went into hiding to block Democrats from voting on climate bill. State Democrats even made a wanted poster, evoking the days of the wild west.
One outlaw senator, Brian Boquist, took it to the extreme, telling Portland station KGW-TV, “come heavily armed.”
“I’m not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It’s just that simple,” he said.
Democrats hold 18 Senate seats but need 20 senators in order to conduct business. The legislative session ends at the end of the week. So, Gov. Kate Brown said she had no choice but to send the state police to find them.
Protests and counter-protests have been ongoing. Militia groups in neighboring Idaho, where many of the senators are believed holed up, have taken to social media. One posted an ominous note on Facebook, saying “this is what the start of a civil war looks like.”
Oregon’s top law enforcement official this past weekend warned of “a credible threat from militia groups coming to the capitol,” forcing a planned session to be cancelled.
CBS News had a FaceTime call with state Sen. Tim Knopp, who is currently in Idaho. He insisted they’re “doing the right thing.”
“It is absolutely outrageous and Oregonians should be furious. This is unacceptable. In Oregon, this is not how we solve problems,” Brown said.
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