Two Oregon Senators who left the state to block a certain bill from being passed are saying that the media treatment them differently, compared to the coverage that Texas Democrats are now receiving.
How we got here: Around 50 House Democrats from Texas left the state for D.C. in protest of an election bill that they claim would make it harder to vote in the state. Republicans argue that the bill would ensure election integrity and safety.
The Democratic lawmakers denied Republicans the quorum needed to approve the new voting restrictions with a little under a month left in the special legislative session that was called largely for that purpose.
But, they’re not the first lawmakers to try to break quorum in a similar manner. Republicans in Oregon similarly walked out in 2019 and again in February 2020 in protest of a climate change proposal aimed at cutting.
The story: While the events are similar in some aspects, the media gave Oregon Republicans and Texas Democrats different treatment.
Vox accused te Oregon Republicans of “subverting democracy” and called the lawmakers “a handful of white people from the far-right” who “are holding the state government hostage.”
“It is an extraordinary escalation of anti-democratic behavior from the right, gone almost completely unnoticed by the national political media,” the outlet wrote at the time.
When Texas Democrats fled the state, Vox attacked the election legislation as a “bill that led Democrats to literally flee their homes,” and claimed “Republican lawmakers have the luxury of going about their normal lives in Texas.”
The Washington Post defended Oregon Democrats, arguing that they made compromises on the legislation and suggested that Republicans were unwilling to do the same. This week, the Post published an op-ed on the Texas Democrats’ decision to leave, that said “Texas Republicans are trying to force Democrats to participate in a democratic process intended to undermine that very democratic process.”
The New York Times article about the Oregon Republicans said the lawmakers “disappeared” and that Democrats in the state were “struggling to figure out a path forward amid the threats of a changing climate.”
“Texas Democrats fled the state on Monday in a last-ditch effort to prevent the passage of a restrictive new voting law by the Republican-controlled Legislature, heading to Washington to draw national attention to their cause,” the Times wrote.
What they’re saying: Oregon State Sens. Tim Knopp and Dennis Linthicum described the media’s treatment of Democrats as a “political circus.”
“The national media is a mouthpiece for the Democratic party. There’s example after example of the media treating Democrats differently than they treat Republicans,” Knopp told Fox News.
“That’s just obvious with the way they treat the previous administration, with the way they’re treating the current one. It is clear the Texas Democrats are engaging in a political circus in order to raise funds. We didn’t attempt to do anything like that,” he added.
“Although they [Democrats] kept attacking us for leaving the state and we argued for minority rights, today all of the sudden, they’re on the other side of the wave trying to argue that it’s perfectly appropriate to support minority rights and they have the right to flee.” Linthicum said.
Knopp also claimed that the majority of the public did not support the legislation they protested.
“The public were very much opposed to the cap and trade policies which in that bill were very expensive, inefficient, and complicated. Generally, the public is in favor of ballot security, voter ID, and making sure the elections are fair and the count is accurate,” he said.
“Notice what they did, they didn’t flee to Oklahoma or Louisiana. Where they went to was Washington D.C. This is all for domestic political consumption,” Linthicum added.
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