This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 3, 2003 4:03 AM. The previous post in this blog was One week from today. The next post in this blog is Don't let the door hit you. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Salem shuffle

A couple of recent changes in the Oregon Legislature are worth noting. Rep. Wayne Scott (R-Canby) has been named the new House majority leader, replacing Tim Knopp of Bend, who's leaving the Legislature after this term. The appointment is interesting, partly because Scott has only been in the Legislature for less than a year. Guess he's a GOP wunderkind.

Meanwhile, on the Dem side, Rep. Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene) has been promoted to the Senate to replace State Sen. Tony Corcoran, who resigned last month to take a bureaucratic job. Prozanski's replacement in the House will be named by the Lane County commissioners, presumably very soon.

Hasn't the Legislature already adjourned for this biennium, you say? Technically, yes, but they'll be back for tax reform in 2004 -- probably in crisis mode sometime in February after the state income tax surcharge goes down to defeat at the polls.

In the Bogdanski Influence Index, in which zero (0) out of 18 indicates the greatest influence over the 2003 session, Scott drew a 7 and Prozanski a 4. Seven's a fairly high number, which means that Scott voted no on a lot of important bills that became law.

Scott, Prozanski

Comments (4)

That is extremely interesting, that they'd elevate to majority leader a guy who's so new. They must have some really interesting internal maneuvering going on.

The "Bogdanski Influence Index" looks like it just says that the moderates held the power in getting the "crucial" legislation passed. In a a closely divided legislature that is what one would expect.

Which came first -- chicken or egg? Were they most powerful because they were moderate? Or were they labelled moderate because they were the most powerful in a divided legislature?

Interestingly, the liberal Dems (e.g., Gordly, Rosenbaum) were less likely to say no than the archcon Repubs (e.g., Close, and Miller who just went home rather than vote no 6 more times).

What do you think? They don't become moderate b/c they are powerful. Given the limitations of the date it's hard to make any definitive statement.

W/o knowing what bills the Oregonian considered in the list, I am going to assume that those bills had something to do with budgets and taxes with a few progressive substantive policy issues like PERS reform. These were all probably "contentious" issues that got "press".

Assuming the above...we have to consider what actually could make it out of the Senate. The only thing that could make it out of the Senate would be a bill that could garner the support of one caucus and few of the other party's moderates. By nature these would be compromise bills that would probably alienate the extremists from either party. But, in the House you would have the Dems seeing an opportunity to usurp the power structure and get bills passed with support of R moderates.

Thus, you see that in the house, most of the "influential" legislators are either moderate or come from swing districts. Likewise it is the same for the Senate. Save the Hannon anomaly. That can probably be explained b/c he often just likes to be obstreperous.

I do see your point though that they could be moderate b/c they are powerful. This has to do with the relative term of moderate. A moderate is defined by the extremes surrounding it, so it depends on what the position of the extremes are to determine a moderate. However, if you look at the legislator's records I think you would come to define them as a moderate as it would be defined over a period of say 10 years. There would be times when the moderates did not have as much power b/c party discipline was high or the numerical advantage was too great and thus having power would not define you as a moderate.

Just my thoughts of course.

Clicky Web Analytics