Our representative to the Oregon House of Representives is Kevin Cameron, a Republican originally appointed to replace a thoroughly disgraced and indicated GOP member whose name escapes me at the moment. I have little doubt that Cameron has done and will do better, since the bar is set so low that if it were any lower he’d trip on it.
This is not to say I’ve been very happy with the work he’s done thus far. His pet legislative project was to kill NFL Sports Action, the only legalized pro football betting game in the United States. Despite its modest revenues, its fans were loyal, and they hated to see it go. (It is also one of the few games of chance I ever considered playing, mainly because it wasn’t entirely a game of chance.) Apparently betting on pro sports was a barrier to the NCAA bringing their basketball tournament to Oregon (meaning Portland), and now Oregon (meaning hoteliers and restaurateurs, the association of which Cameron is the past president) will get a one-time cash infusion as the NCAA tournment holds a couple games in the Rose City in 2008 or 2009. I’m sure it’s a net loss except for Cameron’s friends and business associates.
This latest rainy day fund drama in the legislature was a particular black eye for Cameron. Either Cameron was totally out of touch which what was really going on or the GOP sacrificed him to the media wolves. First, when the GOP was against the rainy day fund, Cameron trumpeted it as a tax increase. He was noticeably silent when the Republicans were overwhelmed by public opinion and the next day reversed course. His latest email newletter, without any irony, calls it a step forward and touts his presence at the Governor’s signing ceremony.
So either he’s a man of no conviction (which is a almost the definition of a politician, I suppose) or he’s the GOP gopher, trotted out to take one for the team because his opinion matters so little. Either way, I ain’t impressed.