Let’s get this straight: Sen. Brian Boquist did not threaten anyone. When he said, “send bachelors” and “come heavily armed,” he was responding to a threat from the executive branch and Democrats — that any senator who walked out again would be put in “leg irons, handcuffs, chained to your desk in an orange jumper” (Marja Martinez, Fox 12 Oregon, June 27). This hyperbolic threat called for a hyperbolic response, and it should be obvious that neither was meant literally.
Boquist was saying that if any attempt was made to kidnap him, arrest him, or otherwise unconstitutionally restrict his freedom of movement, he would resist. Put more simply, he was told that he would be brought back by force. He responded that it would take a whole lot of force to bring him back. Note who was on the offensive and who was on the defensive in this scenario. And that police are armed and can use violence at their own discretion.
Additionally, the Oregon Constitution is very clear on separation of powers; it states that each branch of the government must handle its own affairs, and because constitutional provisions override a conflicting statute that authorizes state police to enforce governmental regulations, Gov. Brown should have refused Sen. Courtney’s request to activate OSP and Courtney should have engaged Capitol police, as was properly done in the Democrats’ 2001 walkout (Kyle Sammin, National Review, June 28). Instead, Senate Republicans were being treated like criminals, and Boquist wasn’t having it. Hyperbole notwithstanding, I salute him.
Corvallis (July 4)