"We will not endorse these candidates," declared Doug Moore, executive director of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, on the eight Democratic senators who killed House Bill 2020, cap-and-trade carbon legislation in the 2019 session.
OLCV becomes the second major faction of the Democratic Party to punish its own for failing to fall in line. It is now targeting Democrats who voted to send HB 2020 to the Rules Committee, where it died. (The league issued its report card on legislators last week, giving incompletes to all senators who voted to kill the bill.)
The tactic echoes public employee unions' vow not to endorse or fund Democrats who voted for Senate Bill 1049, which increased public employees' pension contributions.
Significance in upcoming races:
OLCV's decision could influence the secretary of state's race. Sen. Mark Hass (D-Beaverton), now running for that office, won't get an endorsement from the league without legislative action on carbon in the February 2020 session.
Hass faces Rep. Jennifer Williamson (D-Portland), who was given an OLCV rating of 88 percent.
Two other Democratic candidates for secretary of state—former state agency director Cameron Smith and onetime Phoenix, Ore., city manager Jamie McLeod-Skinner—weren't in the Legislature and so don't have to worry.