Taxpayers Association of Oregon
Headline humor aside, when it comes to the problem of Oregon’s institutional politics which deprive voters of fresh choices and new ideas, Congressman Peter DeFazio is the king. Most members of Oregon’s congressional delegation has served in the same seat since the 1990’s..
#1. Suzzanne Bonamici — since 2012
#2. Greg Walden — since 1999
#3. Earl Blumenauer — since 1996
#4. Peter Defazio — since 1987
#5. Kurt Schrader — since 2009
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden — since 1996
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley — since 2009
Congressman DeFazio has served since 1987 in the same seat calling into question whether politics has become so institutionalized as to deprive the public of actually having much of a voice in the process.
Ask yourselves what has happened to the federal deficit during their tenure? Except for Walden, how many of Oregon’s delegation have offered ideas to reduce the deficit? Institutional politics protects the institution over the public’s well being.
This also applies to the Oregon Legislature where the Senate President Peter Courtney has served in the Legislature since 1980. How has the Public Employee Retirement System fared under Courtney’s 40-year stewardship? Once again, institutional politics protects the institution over the public’s well being.
Come next year, we need to have a renewed debate over the effects of institutional politics and the corruption it invites. We need to have a debate over term limits. We need to have a debate over the public’s access to our own elected leaders in the age of COVID.
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