By Joseph Snook
(US~Observer) – Oregon is the only state that currently does not have the power to impeach its Governor.
Although it doesn’t happen very often, the last state to impeach its governor was Illinois, ousting Democrat Rod Blagojevich in 2009 for corruption. Blagojevich was later convicted and sentenced to 14-years in prison.
Leading the push to change Oregon’s impeach power is Rep. Jodi Hack. She sponsored House Joint Resolution 10 which states the Governor could be impeached for, “malfeasance in office, corruption, neglect of duty or other high crime(s) or misdemeanor(s).” If passed, the House of Representatives could lead the move with a three-fifths vote, followed by a hearing in the Senate, requiring a two-thirds vote before ousting a governor.
Although Oregon can currently recall a governor, it is noted that the Legislature should also have the power to impeach, as a secondary form of protection.
This issue arose when Oregon’s previous Governor, John Kitzhaber’s integrity came into question when he reportedly colluded with his fiancée. She allegedly, “violated ethics rules or criminal laws in advising him about clean energy issues while serving as a consultant on the topic” to which he was, or should have been aware of. He resigned shortly after when most of his own party distanced their support for him.
Replacing him was appointee Kate Brown. She was formally elected during the last election cycle, and is currently Oregon’s 38th Governor. Although she is married to a man, she’s known as the Nation’s first openly bi-sexual governor. She is also known as no fan of the second amendment.
If Oregonians really want to protect the confidence of the office of Governor, the passage of HJR 10 should be welcomed with open arms.