Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Even if you do not wish to vote as the majority of your constituents would ask you to regarding HB 2020, you have a job to do and that is to show up and vote.

(Editor's note: this op-ed was written during the absence of Republican legislators from the final weeks of Oregon's Legislative session. The writer lives in Senate District 13, represented by Sen. Kim Thatcher, who also represents Wilsonville)

Dear Sen. Thatcher,

I am confused as to why I am presently not being represented in the Senate while the Senate is in session. From my view, we live in a democracy. No one is "strong holding" the Republicans. Voting happened as it should in this state, in our country. You and all senators and representatives were elected to do a job for Oregon.

Even if you do not wish to vote as the majority of your constituents would ask you to regarding HB 2020, you have a job to do and that is to show up and vote. Vote "no" on it, if that's your agenda. But, for goodness sake, show up!

What Republicans are doing is destroying our American democracy. The fall of America rests on the party that believes it is above the law, above duty and honor, starting with President Trump and his lies and criminal associations, all the way down to what you and your Republican colleagues are doing now. Somehow you believe that, unless Republicans are in the majority, you do not have to abide by the structures of our government.

We voted fair and square. We trusted you to do your job.

My father was a World War II vet. He was a commander of a tank unit under Gen. George Patton and known as one of "Patton's Ghosts." My dad's right leg was shot by a German bazooka. He had to be left behind during the enemy fire. The Germans found and tortured him. The Allies discovered him in a barn with a tourniquet on his leg; he was barely alive. He was transported to a field hospital in France, where his leg was amputated. He survived.

My dad fought to save this country and our ideals, and sacrificed so much. He was a lifelong Republican, too. And I respected his views, though I grew to disagree with him.

He would be ashamed of his party if he were alive now. All he fought to save and preserve in this country — freedom for citizens to vote, fair representation, honorable work and duty to service — is being spit upon by today's Republicans.

I am appalled that you are not showing up to do your job, Sen. Thatcher. So many of your constituents get up every morning and show up dutifully for their jobs, even when they might disagree with their boss or have difficulty with a co-worker, and here you are, cowardly hiding away from your co-workers and your responsibilities. Is that leadership?

Oh, and can I have my tax money back that is your salary for the days you are absent? Will you, with all the fiscal accountability issues you champion, track the waste of tax dollars caused by senators not showing up to do their jobs?

I am glad that there is a way to recall senators.

That you disagree with HB 2020 is one thing, but to debase our American democracy — a democracy so many have fought, died and suffered to protect — is beyond shameful, is heartbreaking and, frankly, is downright frightening.

Jane Bicquette is a rural Sherwood resident and the daughter of Robert J. Bickett, who was commander of a tank platoon, 5th Armored Division, U.S. Army, during World War II.

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