Bipartisan Bill Would Ban Senator Dallas Heard From Main Republican Party | Oregon Politics
A newly proposed bill would bar Dallas Heard state senator R-Myrtle Creek from holding office in the Oregon Republican Party while simultaneously serving as an elected state representative.
The drafters of the bill argued that there were potential conflicts of interest associated with holding both party and legislative positions, but Heard told the News-Review on Thursday that the bill would take away from the people have the right to choose their leaders for the party and the legislature.
“Why should people have the person they have chosen to serve them in one or the other position snatched away without having to choose themselves, but through the choice of a few elitists from both parties in Salem ? ” Heard said.
Senate Bill 865 was introduced in the State Senate on Wednesday by two of Heard’s Republican colleagues, the Senses. Lynn Findley and Bill Hansell, and by Senate Democratic Majority Leader Rob Wagner.
The bill would also impact State Senator Dennis Linthicum, R-Klamath Falls, who is the treasurer of the Republican Party. In addition to lawmakers, the bill would prohibit governors, Supreme Court justices, and other elected state officials from becoming incumbents of any political party.
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Elected officials who broke the rule would be billed $ 250 per day.
Heard has served as Chairman of the Oregon Republican Party, which is a separate entity from the Legislature, since February.
Responding to speculation that the bill’s introduction reflects a growing division among Republican lawmakers, Heard compared it to a family conflict.
“There are always quarrels in every family. So there is really nothing new about it. Doing a good job often creates adversaries. It’s just the sad world we live in,” he said. -he declares.
Heard has been at the center of controversy on the State Capitol more than once in the past year, particularly over COVID-19 security restrictions.
In March, he pledged to vote ‘no’ on every bill until the Capitol building is reopened to the public.
In December, he took off his mask in the Senate, to protest against COVID-19 safety rules.
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During a demonstration at the State Capitol on January 6, in which protesters called for the building to be reopened to the public, Heard said this about state leaders as he gestured to the State Capitol.
“Don’t let any of those stone temple punks out there tell you they’re better than any of you.” Believe me, I work with these fools. None of them are half as good as any of you and you have to bring the power to them, ”he said.
OPB reported Hansell and Findley said in a joint statement that they had been contacted by voters inside and outside the Republican Party who feared mixing party politics with legislative politics.
“Suddenly some votes are considered official positions of all Republicans in Oregon when they are not, and vice versa. There are potential conflicts of interest and ethical considerations, and we have a responsibility to ensure that the integrity of the legislature is not in question, ”Senators said.
There’s no guarantee the SB 865 will eventually pass, but if it does, Heard said he would challenge it on principle.
“My goal is to represent my constituents to the best of my ability in the fight for their freedoms and rights in the Senate, then my goal as Chairman and Party Leader for the State of the Republican Party is to help the Republican Party . to move forward and be more or less the same, to be a party of integrity, honesty, transparency and a group that represents freedom and liberty for all, ”he said.