Three recall efforts against Oregon State Legislators were announced this week. The recall was prompted by the Legislators’ support of SB 941 which requires background checks for all private gun sales in Oregon.
A Hillsboro man, Benjamin Busch, claimed to have submitted recall petitions against Rep. Susan McLain (D-HD 29-Hillsboro) and Sen. Chuck Riley (D-SD-15- Hillsboro). While The Riley recall petition was filed April 14th, 2015, as of April 17th, 2015, no recall petition had been filed against McLain. And in a direct challenge to the Democratic Leadership, a Gun shop owner from Junction City filed a recall petition against House Majority Leader Rep. Val Hoyle (D-HD-14-Eugene) on April 14th, 2015.
Rep. Hoyle is thought to be a target partially due to her courting the support of gun owners- or courting them to not support her opponent- in the 2014 general election. Her support of background checks could have been considered a betrayal.
The Washington County organizers of the recall for Sen. Riley also raised Senator Riley’s support for a more robust modification of Gain Share than is supported in Washington County. Riley’s position on Gain Share modification has raised the ire of the business community in his District and the Gun bill opponents believe their recall effort against Riley could receive financial and political aid from the Washington County Business community.
Gun enthusiasts successfully recalled two state legislators in Colorado after Colorado had adopted a law requiring background checks and limiting the size of gun magazines.
According to a 2013 Pew Research Poll, 81% of all Americans support background checks for all gun sales.
Rep. McLain’s House District is part of Sen Riley’s Senate District. Riley’s position on Gain Share makes him more vulnerable than Rep. McLain. The fact that there is no recall petition against McLain yet could be an indication that the petitioners may be focusing their efforts on Riley hoping to raise funds from the business community in their recall efforts. And, remember Riley won the 2014 election for his seat by a mere 221 votes out of almost 40,000 cast while McLain won her district easily.
The other clue that Riley is a prime target for recall is the initial petition for recall named a local resident as Treasurer of the recall committee. Today an amended filing named Carol Russell as Treasurer. Russell, in spite of some serious allegations of civil (and possible criminal) fraud, is still a go to Treasurer for many Republican candidates and committees, and is also the Treasurer for the Hoyle recall committee.
Recall supporters will have to get almost 6,000 signatures of voters in their respective districts to force a recall vote for Riley, and almost 3,000 signatures to force a recall for Hoyle or McLain. While that may make Hoyle or McLain the easier target, paying for signatures is the smallest cost associated with a recall. The recall election is however, expensive.
The Oregon Constitution states that if a legislator is recalled, the office is vacant, and it’s filled in the manner provided by law. So if a recall suceeds the seat is considered vacant and the County’s Democratic Party would nominate three Democrats, forwards them to their County Commission, and the Commission would select one of the three. THe Washington County Commission is dominated by business conservatives. And the Lane County Commission also isn’t a hotbed of the tea party. So, it’s really unlikely the pro firearm rights petitioners are going to get their wish even if they are successful with the recall. They are unlikely to get a more gun friendly legislator. So the ultimate result won’t be a change in policy. It will just be more taxpayer expense to have what amounts to a gun enthusiast desire to punish a couple of legislators.
The real potential benefit in all this mess would be for Washington County government and the City of Hillsboro. Sen. Riley is the rare Democrat in Washington County who doubts the fairness or wisdom of Gain Share. It’s almost a sure thing that if Riley is recalled, at least one of the three candidates the Washington County Democrats name as his replacement (Most likely all three) would be a big supporter of retaining as much Gain Share money for the local governments as possible. (Think Tobias Read, type). And the Washington County Commission is sure to select the candidate who has the “best” position on Gain Share. Even if that candidate wanted to ban gun sales all together.Share on Facebook