By now most area voters know about the two efforts to recall Gov. Kate Brown, and as the effort gains steam lawmakers on both sides of the aisle should take notice.
The recall effort is serious and, while it is directed at Brown, the underlying theme is simple: Many voters don’t feel their concerns are being addressed. That’s not a good thing for a democracy.
It is especially troubling because the recall effort — which is legitimate and proper — will take attention away from important matters that lawmakers, and the governor, need to address.
Local recall organizers are already out in force, and judging by the current dominate political climate, they will probably get plenty of signatures. Eastern Oregon, after all, is a rational Republican stronghold.
Organizers justify the recall effort on Brown’s support of cap-and-trade legislation — which evaporated during the last legislative session — a new law that gave undocumented immigrants the ability to get a driver’s license and Oregon’s status as a sanctuary state. The list, of course, doesn’t stop there, but readers can get the gist of the underpinning philosophy of the effort.
We don’t oppose the philosophy of the recall effort. We support the ability of citizens to seek redress for their perceived grievances. However, the more important question is why residents of this great state are so eager to kick off such an effort.
Clearly, many do not feel their concerns are being addressed by their elected leaders. Like it or not, Brown represents the entire state, not just special interest groups or voters in three of Oregon’s most populous counties.
The same holds true for the Democrats that hold a supermajority in the Legislature. Yes, they are beholden to their constituents — we get that — but they also should put a much higher priority on their obligation to the entire state. Doing that, we understand, can be a pretty difficult maneuver, especially when voters who elected you are clamoring for action, regardless of the consequences.
Yet the founders designed our system to be one where lawmakers perform in a way to cool down the often angry sentiments of the body politic. Lawmakers should always take to heart the concept they work for all the people, not just a select few.
The effort to recall Brown may not gain as much traction as supporters hope. However it shakes out, we hope the message that lingers is lawmakers — and the governor — need to listen carefully to voter concerns.