Shut up and showboating: Mitch Greenlick can’t stop demeaning women

By Reagan Knopp — 

UPDATE 2: Oregon Catalyst has obtained the text of an email sent by House Speaker Tina Kotek to legislators and staff. It is attached below.

UPDATE: Reports from the State Capitol indicate that House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) has indicated she will remove Greenlick as Chair of the House Committee on Health Care (however he will remain on the committee as a regular member). Additionally, Greenlick will be removed completely from the House Committee on Conduct which he also chaired.

The original story is below.

Since 2003, Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland) has been a State Representative. During that time he has amassed significant power and influence; specifically as Chairman of the House Committee on Health Care. It is only recently that his disrespect and demeaning behavior towards women has finally come into public view with two incidents in as many weeks.

First, Rep. Denyc Boles (R-Salem) was essentially told to shut up when attempting to make comments in a committee meeting. OPB explains:

Greenlick’s leadership of the committee was also criticized…after a hearing in which he asked state Rep. Denyc Boles, R-Salem, to cut short her comments on one agenda item so the committee had time to call up a bill she supported.

Boles spoke about the incident on the House floor two days later.

“I understand that I’m part of a 22-member Republican caucus … but I have to tell you what I didn’t expect was that my ability to represent 67,049 in my community would try to be silenced,” Boles said. “And I certainly didn’t expect that as a female leader in this state, part of this esteemed body, that I would effectively be shushed by my committee chair. “

OPB | Feb. 20, 2019

It’s important to note Boles is an assigned member of the House Health Care Committee chaired by Greenlick. Members like Boles sit on committees specifically to ask questions and comment on legislation.

Yesterday, in another meeting of the same Health Care Committee, Greenlick chose to demean Rep. Christine Drazan (R-Canby), labeling her thoughtful comments on the need for professional conduct by legislators as publicly “showboating”.

Below you can watch the publicly available video of the incident.

OPB again provides a written account:

In the more recent incident, Greenlick laid into a representative of the pharmaceutical industry testifying against a bill that would require drug companies to give 60 days’ notice before increasing prices.

A short while later, Greenlick apologized for losing his temper. State Rep. Christine Drazan, R-Clackamas County, pressed the matter.
“I would just like to say that we have been through extensive training about equity and a respectful workplace,” Drazan said. “What I have seen today troubles me deeply … . What I saw today was an expression of power in a way that demeaned other people … that I feel is absolutely inappropriate.”

Greenlick responded that he would prefer Drazan expressed her concerns in private rather than “showboating.” The meeting quickly came to a close.

OPB | Feb. 20, 2019

House Republican Leader Carl Wilson (R-Grants Pass) has called for Greenlick’s resignation or removal as chair of the committee. House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) has refused to take action.

Former State Representative Julie Parrish (R-West Linn) mentioned briefly in a tweet that this behavior “is not new”, confirming what sources inside the State Capitol have also alluded to: Mitch Greenlick’s backwards treatment of women has long been a problem.

Greenlick had previously made snide comments about female legislators during the 2011 session.

Voters won’t have an opportunity to hold Greenlick accountable. He announced his retirement earlier this year.