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Wow, busy day at the Oregon Legislature. With lots of back and forth and back room chatter going on the kicker tax (the deal that was "set in stone") increase dies.
First some big props to Sens. Ted Ferrioli, Larry George and the entire Republican Senate caucus. Now the best way to get at a Rainy Day fund will be to rewrite the entire package.
While the entire Republican Senate caucus deserves a shout out and we don't want to diminish the stand they took as a whole, we do want to also say that special thanks needs to go to Sen. Larry George who provided a much needed political leadership and to Sen Frank Morse who provided much needed intellectual leadership.
Good job men.
As we mentioned earlier Oregon taxpayers also owe a great deal of thanks to Russ Walker and FreedomWorks for their hard work. Walker was working the legislature HARD on behalf of taxpayers.
Finally a few more observations from me.
First is the strength of Sen. Bruce Starr. I knew he had it in him, I have known the Senator since before he was a Senator and he is really beginning to re-assert himself. One capitol insider said excitedly "it's like we have a new guy." Well I might not say "new," because I have always felt that Bruce (and I'll take some flames for this)is a great guy, however I am totally jazzed to hear that Bruce is BACK.
Secondly word is that Rep. Wayne Scott is in reeling (sp?) from this. First is that folks in his own caucus were already ticked off at him BEFORE this whole charade and now there are even more that are frustrated with his leadership. Then there is the fact that the Democrats cannot be sure they can even negotiate with him. There is now this lingering question as to whether or not he even speaks for his own caucus now.
Ok, that's all for now, my internet connection at the Red Lion hotel is HORRIBLE. Anyone who has ever traveled knows the frustration of trying to cover fast moving events and then LOSING AN ENTIRE FREAKING POST!.... sigh... Now I have about a hundred emails to get to.
There is tremendous discontent over the current proposal and it may very break down.
Currently two of the strongest proponents for the tax increase are Sal Esquival and Dennis Richardson. Who, oddly enough come from two of the most conservative districts in the state.
By mid-day today the tax deal had died. Efforts are underway to save the deal led by Wayne Scott, Richardson and Esquival. The House was supposed to be debating the kicker tax hike issue on the floor today at 2pm. However the House and Democrats both ducked back into caucus. Presumably so that Scott and Richardson could twist some arms some more.
Meanwhile Freedomworks and the Republican Senate are fighting to kill the tax increase. Special thanks goes out to Sen. Frank Morse for holding strong.
Kudos where kudos are due.
We will be updating you as we hear from inside the legislature.