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Entries in Rep. Bruce Hanna (2)


The Public Policy Cauldron: What's Intractable and What's not


No less an important public figure than former State Senator Ryan Deckert, now president of the Oregon Business Association (OBA), used that term last week as he introduced Governor John Kitzhaber at the annual OBA Statesman dinner.

He said Kitzhaber, now in his third term as governor, has defied conventional political wisdom by taking on seemingly "intractable" problems such as education and health care reform.

Deckert's words contained a bit of irony because, at approximately the same time, police forces in Portland and Salem were removing so-called "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrators from overstaying their welcome in public parks and roads in the two cities. That group, like the right wing Tea Party, does not appear to be interested in solving intractable problems; they appear to want "their way or the highway."

Speaking of the Tea Party movement, in a column last week in the Oregonian, columnist George Will contended that, "in scale, Occupy Wall Street demonstrations-cum-encapments are to Tea Party event as Pittsburg, KA is to Pittsburgh, PA. So far, probably fewer people have participated in all of them combined than attended just one Tea Party rally, than of September 12, 2009, on the Washington Mall. In comportment, OWS is to the Tea Party as Lady Gaga is to Lord Chesterfield: Blocking the Brooklyn Bridge (or streets in Portland) was not persuasion modeled on Tea Party tactics."

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A Look at 2011 Legislative Leaders

Much has been written about the just-completed 2011 session of the Oregon legislature, but perhaps not enough about the key political personalities who drove the process and will be in charge when legislators reconvene next february.

Here's our take on key leaders:

Legislative leaders 

Sen. Peter Courtney (left) and Reps. Arnie Roblan and Bruce HannaThe three top presiding officers – Sen. Peter Courtney, D-Keizer; Rep. Arnie Roblan, D-Coos Bay; and Rep. Bruce Hanna, R-Roseburg – have received a lot of credit for the reasonable conduct of legislative affairs this session.  They deserve it.  Their personalities, very different individually, meshed well and they combined to avoid the acrimony of the 2009 session. No doubt the nearly even split in control – 30 to 30 in the House and 16 to 14 for Democrats in the Senate left no choice but to reach agreement or get nothing done. That left The Oregonian to posit that split control should be the new norm in legislative sessions.

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