BEND, OR -- There was a War of Words on Peace Corner in Downtown Bend, Tuesday evening, when 'Indivisible Bend' and 'We The People' faced off across the intersection of Wall and Greenwood. Suzanne Butterfield, who protested on the Indivisible Bend side of the street, says the 11 AWOL Republicans should be ashamed of themselves. "Do not walk away from the process. People have died for our democratic process and it angers me that they would do this." She has served as an elected official, and she's disappointed the Senators have taken this action. "You show up and vote, and you can argue until two in the morning, but you don't run away."
On the other side, 'We the People' lifted voices and signs in support of Bend Senator Tim Knopp. Stephen Williams says he applauds Knopp's walking out of the Legislature. "We don't want this Cap and Trade bill; it should come to the people to vote. This is a major bill that will completely cause businesses to leave Oregon, so Tim Knopp is representing me, and representing the majority on the eastern side of the Cascades"
Bend Businessman Jamie Sawyer also stood with 'We The People' in support of Senator Tim Knopp, and says Knopp's opposition to the Cap and Trade legislation is common sense. "Something that almost devastated our business a long time ago is extreme thinking and extreme measures that financially affect the whole economy, and it's not a good route to go."
But Freddy Finaey-Jorget says he's active with 'Indivisible Bend,' even though he isn't yet old enough to vote, because legislators should be held accountable by the people they represent. "If somebody in our democracy, that we elected as our civil servant, as our employee, when they walk out of office, and don't come back because they're too scared to do their job, that's a problem."
Indivisible Bend's stance is, by being absent, Republicans are keeping several important bills from passing, 'We The People' believes Knopp's refusal to return is part of his right to practice his freedom of conscience. Cathy Temple supports Knopp's decision to walk out in protest of Cap and Trade. She says the other side just doesn't get it, “I really do not believe that they understand what this will do to the Oregon economy. And I'm concerned about the climate, too, but this is not the way to handle it."
Wednesday marks seven days since Oregon's Republican Senators walked out of the legislature in protest of the Controversial Cap and Invest climate bill.