TaDa!! It Was Senator Kate Brown (D) - Portland
Posted also at Jaybird's Nest
On August 5, 2005 I asked the question here [and on August 8th here], with respect to House Bill 3486 (Oregon's "Megan's Law", creating a state-wide web site to list predatory sex offenders), "who is it that opposed this bill?" I sent emails out to 4 separate Oregon state legislators, two prominent Republicans and two prominent Democrats. I asked them what happened to House Bill 3486, and I further specifically asked them who it was that was playing games with it. It was bottle-necked somewhere in the Senate, and it looked like it wasn't going to even get a vote, even though it had broad bi-partisan support. I wanted to know who was behind the logjam. I got two responses to my emails. The two Democrats are the ones who responded, and they told me that at the last minute, on the eve of adjournment, the bill was voted on and passed. Unanimously. But nobody, not the Democrats, and not the Republicans, nobody, told me who it was that was playing games with it, i.e., who it was that had stalled it in the Senate, making the brinksmanship necessary.
Thanks to Bill O'Reilly of "The O'Reilly Factor" on FOX News, now we know, or at least we have a strong clue. Turns out that State Senator Kate Brown, (D) - Portland, Chairperson of the Senate Rules Committee, had played games with, tabled, and ultimately killed a companion bill to Megan's Law, Oregon's version of "Jessica's law," which, if enacted, would've established mandatory minimum sentences for sex offenders, particulary when the victim was a child. Yep, Kate Brown killed it.
Steve Doell, the head of Crime Victims United, and who was a guest on Bill O'Reilly's program Thursday night said that there were powerful people --people with influence-- who'd gotten to and held sway with Senator Brown. It has been said that Brown was against the bill because it treated family members and strangers the same. In other words, apparantly, Brown believes that a parent or uncle or other family member who rapes a child should get off easier than when a non-relative rapes a child. Wrap your mind around that. Try to feature why Brown, or anybody else, might think thataway. And when you're ruminating about it, bear in mind the component of "powerful people" getting to her and influencing her.
THe Oregon State Legislature official website provides a nice little bio of Senator Brown. A more sterotypical standard issue leftwinger would be hard to find.
Lars Larson intimated on his radio show that Brown has strong ties to the gay and lesbian community in Portland, that it's that community that comprises her support base. Larson says that the sex offender bills were opposed by factions within the gay community, and it was from within that faction within that community that the influence was brought to bear on an accomodating Kate Brown. Larson theorized about a "chickenhawk" who has legally adopted his boytoy. You get the picture. And it didn't seem that Larson was talking about a hypothetical chickenhawk with an adopted boytoy, but rather a real live case.
Whatever. Be all that as it may, and whatever her motives, it nevertheless appears that it was Senator Kate Brown who worked to oppose House Bill 3486, "Megan's Law," and she also opposed and managed to successfully kill "Jessica's Law," which would've provided tough mandatory minimum sentences for sex offenders against children.
And I'm wondering what it is that Senator Brown has on her colleagues in the legislature from both sides of the aisle where nobody wants to finger her for who she is and what she does.