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Newspaper Article

    Circumventing Oregon's constitution

    BY Gene McIntyre
    01/31/2007
    by Gene McIntyre on 1/31/07.

    Oregon's 25th House District representative is Kim Thatcher of Keizer. Representative Thatcher wrote a guest opinion in a local weekly newspaper that appeared in that journal's January 26, 2007 edition. Her article was titled, "Circumventing Oregon's constitution is not in the best interest of the state."

    The article's title is a bit presumptuous but then Representative Thatcher may not have crafted it; newspapers typically do that for guest opinions and letters to the editor. What motivated her to put pen to paper or, more likely, fingers to keyboard, was a recent majority vote by the 2007 Legislature to adopt Senate Concurrent Resolution 1, the Annual Sessions test."

    It is Representative Thatcher's opinion that the vote by the 2007 Legislature "circumvents the spirit and intent of out state's constitution". I don't pretend to be an expert on Oregon's constitution but know that it's accurate beyond argument that the Oregon Constitution has been amended many times before (Facts can be disconcerting to some; nevertheless, the Oregon Blue Book, if accurate, reveals that the Oregon Constitution has already been amended 84 times).

    Further, is the representative certain that the original group of sixty elected delegates who met in Salem and drafted the document in 1857 thought they had put together a perfect piece of work? That they thought it would never need adjustment, based on circumstances, through a rather lengthy period, adding up in 2007 to one hundred and fifty years later? Whatever the case, her remarks suggest she thinks Oregon's founding fathers viewed their work as the absolute, final word in the matter of a state constitution.

    Maybe the representative has contracted a longing-for-another-era syndrome where she's so fundamentally conservative that living in contemporary times and facing up to modern challenges is just too much for her. Perhaps, she's come down with a syndrome where she longs for a time when making legislation was an all-male job that she's found is too demanding on her? Maybe she just wants a return to the days when the female American typically stayed home to have babies and do household chores.

    Then, again, there may be another explanation. Representative Thatcher is a Republican and her party lost in the last election. Do you suppose it's possible, even though, of course, highly unlikely, that her guest opinion was politically motivated?

    Kidding aside, Representative Thatcher's position on this subject may be much more insidious than mere theatrics between mainstream Republicans and Democrats. It would appear now, as it has since she was first elected, that she solely represents and is wholly dedicated in her legislative work to the ultra-conservative FreedomWorks agenda and not to those outside its membership in her district or to the state's residents as a whole. Therefore, when anything that does not cut taxes, prevent taxes and eliminate government services, like the much needed experiment in trying to make it more efficient and effective by way of trying the annual session approach to getting the job done, she simply says "No!" . . again.