Thursday, April 16, 2015

Oregon: House Majority Leader facing petitions over background checks legislation

House Majority Leader Val Hoyle (D) is facing a recall petition filed by a gun shop owner (and chairman of Junction City planning commission) over her support for background checks and short-term drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants.The firearms federation has said that there may be five senators and a number of state representatives who will face petitions over their vote.

Petitioners need about 3600 signatures (15% of votes for governor in the district) by July 13. Oregon has an interesting statute that prevents recalls in the first six months of a term for most officials, but the clocks starts for state legislators five days into the session.

The article claims that no legislator has ever been recalled in Oregon. This is incorrect -- there were successful recalls in 1935, 1985 and 1988 (unfortunately, my old article on the Oregonian recall -- which bizarrely has the op-ed editor's byline -- is not available anymore). Oregon also does not have a replacement election -- a new legislator is picked by the county commission, so that adds a whole other layer to the fight.

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