Oregon Republicans struggled over the weekend between a series of poor choices that would determine their state and federal political fate for the next decade.
Earlier this year, Kotek gave the GOP an effective veto over the cards in return for a pledge that they would stop thwarting its legislative agenda with delay tactics – a move that enraged some DC Democrats, who were hoping to pull it off. party from their full control in Oregon. to bolster their slim majority in Congress in next year’s midterm elections.
But after none of the members of the redistribution committee could agree on a redistribution proposal, Kotek maneuvered around the GOP to push the Democratic card forward out of the committee – which had already passed the Senate from l ‘State – and up to the House.
The original Democratic plan cracked Portland like a pinwheel, creating five seats that strongly favored Democrats and a dark red seat in the eastern half of the state, currently held by GOP Rep. Cliff Bentz.
Republicans were furious at the overthrow and were considering denying the quorum until Monday’s deadline, a move that would send the card to a panel of judges, one from each of the current five congressional districts. Because Oregon has particularly high quorum standards, Republicans wield great power for a minority party.
Kotek, State Senate Speaker Peter Courtney and State House Minority Leader Christine Drazan consulted this weekend on a compromise proposal, according to a source familiar with their discussions. But when Kotek attempted a hammer strike in Saturday morning’s sitting, Republicans did not show up to the chamber.
Their departure would also have blocked the passage of their state legislative cards and left them with Democratic Secretary of State Shemia Fagan – an outcome Republicans in Salem don’t like.
Another deterrent: GOP lawmakers could face heavy fines for refusing a quorum.
Yet even the compromise card is not particularly favorable to Republicans. The GOP’s proposal created three competitive seats, a secure Democratic seat, and a secure red seat. In a good cycle for Republicans, the compromise card could give them control of two of the five seats.
“It doesn’t reflect Oregon and the way they vote. Full stop,” State Representative Shelly Boshart Davis, Republican member of the Redistribution Committee, tweeted Saturday of the compromise proposal.
The state Senate will have to approve the compromise card on Monday – a move that has been expected since its Democratic leadership worked on the proposal. Democratic Governor Kate Brown will also have to sign it into law.
This new map would place Democratic Representative Kurt Schrader’s home in the state’s most competitive district, but even then it still favors Democrats.
Schrader could also choose to run in the state’s new 6th arrondissement. This seat, allocated to Oregon in a new distribution, leans more democratic and includes part of the former territory of Schrader.
Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio is a big winner under the card – his seat in western Oregon is getting less competitive. Blumenauer and his colleague Democratic representative Suzanne Bonamici will keep their dark blue quarters.