Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wayne Scott possibly violating House Rules--uses legislative office to solicit campaign support

Much has been made of the deteriorating relationship between Dem House Majority Leader Dave Hunt and GOP House Minority Leader Wayne Scott. Scott claims that all of Hunt's motives are political and that he thinks its safe to say that they don't respect each other.

I doubt Hunt would say that he disrespects Scott. But I do think that Scott is doing everything he can to undermine this legislative session.

Its no secret that Scott is very unhappy being in the minority. The loss of power and control has grated on the point where it appears he may have broken the House Rules (PDF page 3--see House Rule 19.20 regarding the solicitation of campaign contributions during session).

Recently, Scott sent out a letter to supporters. Both pages of this letter appear below. Click on them individually to enlarge them.

The verbage at the bottom of the second page is unmistakeable:

As we look to the future, I hope I can count on your support for our efforts to return sensible leadership to Oregon's Capitol.

In reality, Scott could claim he means something other than money when he says "support", so I doubt anyone will actually make a formal complaint with the House Clerk. But its quite obvious that he is asking them to open their wallets for his PACs and for the Oregon Republican Party.

While Scott didn't use any taxpayer money for the letter..its also clear he's using his post as Minority Leader to collude with other legislators, his PACs and the Oregon Republican Party to send out hit-piece mailers.

Its not as if Scott hasn't already been caught colluding with Freedomworks. And while Scott would like everyone to believe that its simply coincidence that the hit mailers against Democrats just happened to fall THE NEXT DAY after he had a bill manipulated via procedural bullshit--those of us watching the legislature know better.

Beginning at the start of session with a negotiated deal on limits on gifts from lobbyists to attempts to yank the K-12 funding bill out of committee before the May revenue forecast came out, just so they could use them as press release and fodder for hit mailers, Scott has been a dishonest broker with the House Democrats.

If the Oregon media really wants to make note of a deteriorating relationship, its looking in the wrong place. It isn't with Hunt and Scott. Its with the Oregon Republican Party and Oregonians.

We send our legislators to Salem to deal with legislation--not use the legislature as a de-facto campaign office. Unfortunately, Wayne Scott has abandoned all pretense of being a legislator. He's in full campaign mode from his office in the Capitol building. And his Republican colleagues in the House are falling right in line to do it with him.