Ex-Senator Qutub: Kitzhaber veto of anti-mail theft bill

John Kitzhaber veto of anti-mail theft bill showed his true colors
By Former State Senator Eileen Qutub

The experience of serving with John Kitzhaber as Oregon State governor was one of utter frustration. The man was one of the most stubborn people I have ever had the (dis)pleasure of working with.

Just one of the many examples is the Senate bill I sponsored (SB440) in the 1997 Legislative Session at the request of a Federal Postal Inspector. The bill basically made stealing mail a crime in Oregon. You might ask, is it not already a crime to steal mail? Well, yes, but it is a federal crime and local or state law enforcement cannot arrest someone or prosecute them for stealing mail, that has to be done by Federal authorities.

After hearing heart-wrenching testimony from individuals who had checks stolen from their mail boxes, and with local law enforcement’s endorsement of the measure, the committee passed the bill, the legislation went to both chambers and passed. Then it met with Kitzhaber’s (Dr. No) veto pen. No explanation except that word was he didn’t like the sponsor (me). Good reason don’t you think?