Sometimes we get a nugget of information that surprises us during the 50-some endorsement interviews we conduct as part of the process in forming our election recommendations.
Take yesterday for example.
Our schedule included a morning interview with U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader
(D-Ore.), who's seeking re-election to a second term in Congress. And our afternoon included an interview with state Senate President Peter Courtney
(D-Salem), who was coming in to talk up Measure 71, which would require the Oregon Legislature
to meet in annual sessions with limits on those sessions.
Schrader served in the state Senate before winning his congressional seat in 2008 and was co-chair of the powerful budget-writing Ways and Means Committee. So we asked Schrader, who earned a reputation as a state lawmaker for being independent of his party caucus, at the end of our interview about his first term in Congress if his state legislative experience gave him any insight into the merits of Measure 71.
"I'm not a big proponent of annual sessions," Schrader said. "It's an opportunity for too much mischief."
Courtney, who mounted a spirited defense during his interview about the annual sessions
measure put on the ballot by the Democratically-controlled Legislature, chuckled when we told him about his fellow Democrat's opposition to the idea.
"I'm going to put him over my knee and spank him," Courtney joked.