Oregon Republican Party chairman Bob Tiernan today filed ethics complaints against House Speaker Dave Hunt (D-Gladstone) and Ways and Means co-chairman Peter Buckley (D-Ashland), alleging
that the two engaged in "vote buying" to ensure passage of a state income tax increase Tuesday for wealthier Oregonians.
The Oregonian reported
today that Democratic leaders offered Rep. Greg Smith (R-Heppner) a package of big-ticket projects that would benefit his Eastern Oregon district in exchange for Smith breaking ranks with Republicans on opposition to a personal income tax increase.
“This is the kind of ‘pay for play' politics which Oregonians hate,” the GOP's Tiernan said in a statement on Thursday morning. “Our Ethics Commission complaint against the Speaker is intended to expose the pork barrel practices of the Democrats in Salem which have made Oregon one of the highest taxed states in the country. The practice of trading government money for votes to pass tax increases shows the lengths the Democratic controlled legislature will go to advance their liberal agenda and it must stop immediately.”
Hunt spokesman Geoff Sugarman says the speaker has not yet seen the ethics complaint.
with statement from Hunt:
“This complaint is baseless, groundless and frivolous.
“Bob Tiernan doesn't like to lose. He lost this week on the floor of the House and the Senate on an important public policy issue that offers real solutions to some serious Oregon problems. Now that he has lost the policy battle, he has turned to the political battlefield, one where he feels much more comfortable," Hunt says.
“With two weeks to go this session, we will continue doing the work the people of Oregon elected us to do in balancing the budget, bringing fairness to our tax system and protecting core services including education, health care and public safety.
“It is a shame that in perhaps the most bipartisan session in recent history, the chairman of the GOP and his minions are still playing politics as usual.”