Oregon state senators spoke out against the actions of the Texas Democrats who fled their state in protest of a recent voting law bill.
On Monday, approximately 50 Texas lawmakers fled their own state to block the state legislature from voting on two election reform bills put forth by the state Republicans. Despite various Twitter users slamming them for their behavior, the Texas Democrats received moderate to positive support from their fellow lawmakers and members of the media.
Speaking with Fox News, Oregon State Senators Tim Knopp and Dennis Linthicum discussed what they considered to be a “political circus” between the Democrats and the media.
“The national media is a mouthpiece for the Democratic party. There’s example after example of the media treating Democrats differently than they treat Republicans,” Knopp commented. “That’s just obvious with the way they treat the previous administration, with the way they’re treating the current one. It is clear the Texas Democrats are engaging in a political circus in order to raise funds. We didn’t attempt to do anything like that.”
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Knopp and Linthicum previously took part in a walkout of their own in 2019 in protest of a cap and trade proposal posed by the Oregon senate. Minority Republicans initially desired the proposal to be sent to the voters rather than being instituted by lawmakers. In addition, the Oregon Republicans noted that the proposal would drastically increase the costs of living in Oregon for the sake of combating “climate change.” When discussions between the Democrats collapsed, 12 Republican lawmakers ultimately fled their state to avoid providing the chamber with a quorum.
Despite the superficial similarities between their actions and the Texas Democrats, both Knopp and Linthicum remarked on key differences.
“Notice what they did, they didn’t flee to Oklahoma or Louisiana. Where they went to was Washington D.C. This is all for domestic political consumption,” Linthicum.
By contrast, Linthicum noted, he and other senators drove for hours across the border to Idaho, without the assistance of private planes or media support.
Knopp also remarked that the subject of both bills, by a matter of public opinion, are starkly different.
“The public were very much opposed to the cap and trade policies which in that bill were very expensive, inefficient, and complicated,” Knopp said. “Generally, the public is in favor of ballot security, voter ID, and making sure the elections are fair and the count is accurate.”
However, Oregon Republicans were regularly lambasted for their actions by the media in 2019, a contrast to the current opinion on the Texas Democrats.
“Although they [Democrats] kept attacking us for leaving the state and we argued for minority rights, today all of the sudden, they’re on the other side of the wave trying to argue that it’s perfectly appropriate to support minority rights and they have the right to flee.” Linthicum said.
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Texas Governor Greg Abbott has said that the Democrats who fled the state will be arrested upon their return to Texas. Nevertheless, Texas Democrats continued to receive positive responses from the media.
“It’s a predetermined opinion. When a Democrat does something as atrocious as it may be, they get praised for it. If a Republican does something of the same sort or less, they get put into the prison yard of public opinion,” Linthicum said.