Expel Greg Walden from Congress!

His Republican House tax giveaway will kill Oregonians

Is it just me? Or are others asking the same existential questions? RYFKM? Tax breaks for the rich? Tax increases for Oregon’s workers, educators, firefighters, cops? Who benefits? Uncle Phil? What programs get cut with a trillion dollars less in taxes? Let me guess.

Expulsion sounds kinda radical, right? But there are others who’ve been expelled or who have quit while facing expulsion. I remember my first year in office (1995) when U.S. Senator Bob Packwood resigned after a senate ethics committee recommended his expulsion due to his gross sexual misconduct and his attempts to enrich himself through his official position.

It’s hard enough to re-elect good members of Congress, like our local hero Congressman DeFazio. But bad members of Congress are really hard to get rid of once they get elected! 

Turns out you can can’t impeach them or recall them. The House can expel a member but that requires two-thirds of the members present and voting. Granted, it’s a pipedream to think that Republican speaker Paul Ryan will throw sidekick Greg “Repeal and Replace” Walden under the bus. That doesn’t mean we Oregonians shouldn’t demand expulsion based on Walden’s outright attack on us and his failure to explain why he sided with rich donors and not his constituents.

There are no specific grounds for an expulsion in the U.S. Constitution; expulsions in both the House and the Senate have generally concerned cases of perceived disloyalty to the United States, or the conviction of a criminal statutory offense which involved abuse of one’s official position.

Greg Walden’s one-two tax punch hitting Oregonians harder than most other states is treasonous and an abuse of his political position. He just granted a Republican donor class tax giveaway financed by screwing most Oregonians, whether they’re Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, non-affiliated or whatever. He and Paul Ryan decided that excluding our state and local tax exemptions and creating a 10-year trillion-dollar deficit that will eliminate affordable health care, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security is good public policy. All for the rich. Walden and Ryan have blood on their hands. 

The best current evidence that Greg realized that he really screwed the pooch (literally, not figuratively — he committed a terrible mistake) is his current avoidance of the tax topic and his leadership role nationally in attacking Oregonians as a member of Speaker Ryan’s leadership team.

The Oregonian reported that Walden was totally silent on the effect of his proposed tax breaks on Oregonians, even after Gov. Kate Brown and her challenger Knute “Maybe I’m a Republican” Buehler both confronted Walden with the need to preserve the federal deduction for state and local taxes. Otherwise, the Oregonian reported: “[Walden’s] proposals could substantially increase taxes for thousands of Oregonians.” Also, in Walden’s last newsletter, sent a week after the Republicans passed their deformed tax “reform,” there was nary a word about it. Expulsion is too kind!

While we’re at it, let’s expel Cedric Hayden, state representative, House District 7. He’s one of the three morons causing us grief here in Oregon by causing a special election on Jan. 23 on Ballot Measure 101. I hate it when politicians can’t even be honest, even if they don’t admit they’re wrong.

Despite the crises at the federal level — whether it’s Jerusalem, Judge Moore or the looting of our federal lands — we have a huge special election coming up here in Oregon that we gotta pay attention to: Ballot Measure 101 on Jan. 23, 2018. Hayden and two other ultra-conservatives put this measure on the ballot at the bequest of their rich donors to attack healthcare in Oregon.

Voter turnout is critical. We can only hope that the anger and despair over the national picture doesn’t discourage turnout among progressives. We need to turn the anger into “yes” votes on Measure 101. We need to do what voters recently did in Virginia and New Jersey. Angry Democrats turned out and won.

There’s so much at stake. Measure 101 protects healthcare coverage for one in four Oregonians, including 400,000 kids. Voting yes means also protecting Oregon seniors and people with disabilities. The voter registration deadline for the Jan. 23 measure is Jan. 2, 2018.

Speaking of 2018: The Oregon Legislature convenes on Feb. 5, Oregon election primaries happen on May 15, and the general election is Nov. 6. And, hopefully Art Robinson wins his primary and is defeated for the fifth consecutive time by Peter DeFazio. Maybe there is a god.

Former state Sen. Tony Corcoran of Cottage Grove is a retired state employee.

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