UPDATE May 16, 10:30 a.m.

The Senate GOP walkout continued Tuesday. For the 11th straight day, no quorum was established to meet. Two Republican senators attended the Tuesday floor session of the Oregon Senate. Along with 16 Democrats, the tally of 18 senators present was two short of the required 2/3 quorum of the 30-member Senate.

Sen. Dick Anderson, R-Lincoln City, was in attendance. Anderson has only one unexcused absence - on Monday. 

Sen. David Brock Smith, R-Port Orford, was in attendance. He has four unexcused absences.

Sen. Fred Girod, R-Stayton, is on a long-term excused absence because of medical treatment.

The Senate's next floor session is 10:30 on Wednesday.

With Sen. Cedrick Hayden, R-Roseburg, not in attendence, he joins three other senators with 10 absences that hit the limit in Measure 113. 

No senators would hit the limit tomorrow if all Republicans do not attend.

Thursday would see six GOP senators hit the 10 absence mark, including Senate Minority Leader Tim Knopp of Bend, Sens. Bill Hansell of Athena, Lynn Findley of Vale, Suzanne Weber of Tillamook, Kim Thatcher of Keizer and Art Robinson of Cave Junction.

There is no Senate floor session scheduled for Friday and the schedule for next week has not been posted.


A constitutional crisis in Oregon loomed Monday as Republicans resumed a walkout to deny the Senate a quorum, stalling any votes in the chamber and shutting off the flow of bills to the House.

The ongoing walkout has also caused three lawmakers to accrue 10 unexcused absences, triggering a law that would prevent their reelection. 

After what was supposed to be three days of negotiations to head off a crisis, the Monday floor session at 10:30 a.m. had the lowest number of lawmakers present throughout the GOP walkout that began May 3.

Just 16 senators - all Democrats - were present, four short of the minimum of 20 lawmakers required by the constitution to form a quorum to meet.

Senate President Rob Wagner drew on the words of Gov. Tina Kotek, when she was House speaker during a previous Republican walkout, to describe the walkout's bid to override majority rule.

"This is about the corrosion of our democratic process," Wagner said.

House Minority Leader Tim Knopp, R-Bend, issued a statement Monday afternoon that the weekend talks were not "done in good faith." 

“I conveyed in discussions over the weekend that Senate Republicans will end their protest to pass substantially bipartisan budgets and bills that are lawful and constitutional and that will benefit all Oregonians,” Knopp said. "Democrats are instead using their slim majority to justify moving forward with an extreme, unlawful, and unconstitutional agenda."

Democrats hold 17 of 30 Senate seats and 35 of 60 House seats in the 2023 session.

Ongoing walkout

The walkout began May 3 as a final Senate vote approached on legislation to increase abortion access and transgender medical care rights. House Bill 2002 passed the House along mostly party-line votes after protracted debate. Coming up close behind is House Bill 2005, a gun control measure that also passed the House on a largely party line vote.

If the bills passed the Senate, the would go to Kotek, who has said she would sign them into law.

Republicans do not have the votes to defeat the bill on a floor vote, but can shut down all business by denying a quorum to meet. Oregon is one of four states requiring two-thirds of lawmakers be present to conduct business. In the Senate, that requires 20 senators to be present.

The boycott on Monday triggered a new state law that immediately bars three senators from serving another term. The three are:

• Sen. Dennis Linthicum, R-Klamath Falls, whose district includes a swath of southern Deschutes County, won't be eligible to serve another term representing  Senate District 28 when the seat is up for election next year.

• Sen. Brian Boquist, I-Dallas, would also be out of the running for Senate District 12, which covers a swath east of the coastal mountains and west of Interstate 5 that includes McMinnville and parts of Salem. Originally elected as a Republican, Boquist now identifies as a member of the Independent Party. He has supported the Republican walkout and generally votes with the GOP caucus on most matters. 

• Sen. Daniel Bonham, R-The Dalles, who made the jump from the House to the Senate last November, would not be able to serve a second term in Senate District 26, when the seat next comes up for election in 2026. The district runs along the south bank of the Columbia River from east of Troutdale to The Dallas and drops south to take in Welches and part of Canby in Clackamas County.

"Three senators have now unnecessarily disqualified themselves from a subsequent term in the Legislature," Wagner said. "I hope my Republican colleagues will remember their constitutional duty to come to work so we can resume doing the job the people of Oregon sent us here to accomplish."

Bonham said he would continue to join the Republican caucus in the boycott. He singled out HB2002, which would allow young minors to have abortions without parental consent.

“If Democrats thought we would facilitate an agenda that intentionally removes the rights of parents, they were seriously mistaken," Bonham said.

Boquist issued a statement that the actions against the senators violated state statutes laying out how and why lawmakers can be penalized. 


The trio will likely be joined by most or all of the 12 Republicans and one Independent in the Senate, if the title and "nature of committee" of a new political action committee registered last week with the Secretary of State is an indication.

The Bend-based political action committee has been formed to "Support Oregon's Senate Republicans who fight for and support constitutional rights," according to a filing last week with the Secretary of State. Calling the walkout participants "Oregon's 13," the Oregon's 13 Constitutional Defense Fund shows no contributions or expenditures. Currently, PACs can wait up to 30 days before reporting transactions. A website for the effort, oregons13.com, says it was "paid for by Oregon’s 13 Constitutional Defense Fund. PAC ID#22999" 

The PAC is listed as a "candidate controlled committee" affiliated with Knopp.

Many of the "persons associated with the committee" listed on the Secretary of State website are the same as The Leadership Fund, the Senate Republican's fundraising arm.

The director of the PAC is Bryan Iverson, the Prineville political consultant married to House Minority Leader Vikki Breese-Iverson, R-Prineville. Iverson handled the Republicans' House and Senate campaigns in 2022.

Iverson is also listed as the director of the Crook County for Better Education PAC, which backs a slate of conservative challengers to the school board's incumbent. He's also the director of Ag First PAC, which promoted Republican-backed positions on farming and ranching legislation. The PAC is affiliated with six GOP House members who are farmers, ranchers or in agriculture businesses. The groups includes Breese-Iverson, Bobby Levy of Echo, Mark Owens of Burns, Jami Cate of Lebanon, Shelly Boshart Davis of Albany, and Anna Scharf of Dallas.

The Oregon 13 PAC has Alayna Weimer as treasurer. Weimer operates Ignite Positive Changes LLC, a Bend-based finance, bookkeeping and human resources firm whose clients includes businesses as well as political campaigns. She also co-owns Herringbone Books in Redmond, which her husband, Brandon manages.

Weimer is among a dozen or so go-to treasurers for Republican candidates in Oregon, with a long list of current and former Republican clients. Many who hired Weimer also have Iverson as their campaign director. Weimer handles finances for Oregon Senate Republicans' The Leadership Fund and Oregon House Republicans' Evergreen Oregon PAC.

For the election on Tuesday, she handles finances for Bend-La Pine School Board candidate Nicole Fitch, Crook County for Better Education PAC, and individual candidate funds for Crook County school board candidates Cheyenne Edgerly, Jennifer Knight and Jessica Brumble. 

Other candidates include 2018 GOP governor nominee Knute Buehler, Deschutes County Commissioners Patti Adair and Tony DeBone, and former Oregon House members Cheri Helt of Bend and Jack Zika of Redmond. In 2022, she was treasurer for both Republican Michael Sipe's bid for House District 53 and his son, Sean Sipe's, campaign for Bend city council.\

The Oregon 13 PAC also lists Maddie Viens of Bend as "alternate transaction filer." Viens' LinkedIn account lists her as "bookkeeper/payroll specialist/campaign. She also is a realtor. Viens works with Ignite Positive Changes on campaign work.


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(12) comments

Myles Blackadder

Oregon Measure 113, the Exclusion from Re-election for Legislative Absenteeism Initiative, was on the ballot in Oregon as an initiated constitutional amendment on November 8, 2022.[1][2] The ballot measure was approved by over 2/3rds of Oregon citizens who voted: Yes - 1,292,127 (68.32%) to No -599,204 (31.68%). The Republican and Independent senators who walked out are now disqualified from running for office in the next election. These absent legislators failed to "faithfully discharge their duties" as senators. They refused to show up and work for the all the people of Oregon, as required by their oath of office.


What do you say to their constituents, who support their decision to shut these insane bills down?


I’d say that the majority of Oregonians support the right to abortion and transgender rights. Sometimes in a democracy you find yourself in the minority. What you do about it is get more people elected who share your values. What you don’t do is not show up for work.


The Democrats have done the same thing in the past. In regards to the bill, it is unlawful and unconstitutional.


But it is OK for the dems to push illegal and unconstitutional laws upon the people of Oregon?

robert Van Natta

My thought is this: Labor unions have a right to strike, why shouldn't legislators.?

Part of the legislative process compromise. Aborions are now widely available, and new laws aren't needed in that respect. One of the provisions in the package

appears to make it illegal to say in public that you oppose abortion. It seems

to me that this is a little over the top.

John Dunplay

Reminder to Sen. Wagthefinger, Oregon is a constitutional Republic as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution therefore it's not a democracy . As such,you have zero right to force laws UNconstitutional on the minority. The substance of SB348 and HB2002, 2005 have already been adjudicated in several federal district court and the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. Your efforts will cost the Oregon taxpayer an exorbitant amount of treasure to defend your action leading to a total loss to the State as these laws will be ruled unconstitutional on a number of grounds. So while you wag your finger at law abiding Oregon citizens, we will wag a flaming middle finger back at you.


I totally agree! Thank you for posting.




When the majority tries to cram something down the throats of the minority, this is where we end up. Walking out is the only choice the Republicans have to stop legislation that is strongly at odds with their constituents. They'll be voted out if they DON'T walk out. Democrats, why don't you try softening your position a bit? It doesn't have to be "my way or the highway." Consider making the bill more acceptable for all. Take out the trans stuff and I bet it will pass.


Maybe folks should concern themselves more with what's between their ears than what's between other people's legs.


Good comment.

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