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Out-of-Power Liberals Can't Cooperate

January 13, 2011 J

One of the biggest surprises of the November elections – and one that mirrored the national results – was the election of a right-of-center majority on the Lane County Commission. Lane County’s reputation is as the 2nd most liberal area of the state, fueled primarily by Eugene and the University of Oregon, so having a conservative majority is a real accomplishment for the Tea Party movement.

The victory of former AFP Lane County Chapter Leader Jay Bozievich in the western part of the County was key. Bozievich joins with former Springfield Mayor Sid Leiken – also elected in November – and returning Commissioner Faye Stewart on the 5-member board.

Predictably, the change in the Board has led to some freaking out by the returning more liberal members, Pete Sorenson and Rob Handy. Not only are these two Commissioners engaging in predictable liberal name-calling, but Wednesday they dissented in a routine vote to delay appointment of an interim Sheriff for a week to take more public comment. The irony is that Sorenson and Handy had demanded a delay in what should have been a routine vote to go ahead and appoint the interim Sheriff precisely because they wanted to allow for more public comment. So they were for the delay before they were against it.

These two Commissioners bear watching by AFP Lane County Members. Next week, they are joining with Environment Oregon to take public comment on a local resolution supporting a ban on plastic grocery bags, the cause du jour of the environmental movement. This comes on the heels of revelations that the environmentalists have been lying about the impact of plastic bags all along.

It’s troubling that Commissioners Sorenson and Handy could not bring themselves to vote for something they supported simply because the Board majority also supported the idea. Their inability to cooperate on routine matters is unprofessional and is not the kind of behavior Oregonians want to see in their elected officials. An attitude adjustment for Commissioners Sorenson and Handy is clearly in order.

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