Having failed to elect a Republican as governor in November, conservative Oregonians’ chances of escaping their state’s downward spiral from progressivism yet remain as a state senator has introduced a measure to help redraw state lines as part of the “Greater Idaho Movement.”
Examining the breakdown of votes by county, it’s no wonder that newly-elected Gov. Tina Kotek’s (D) victory over former Oregon state Rep. Christine Drazan (R) was a severe letdown for the eastern portion of the Beaver State. While less than four percentage points separated the candidates at the state level, the margin was as wide as 70 points in the rural areas favoring the GOP nominee and prompting state Sen. Dennis Linthicum (R) to introduce Senate Joint Memorial 2.
Filed last week, the measure makes specific note of the counties that have already begun working toward cutting ties with Oregon and redrawing lines to take roughly 65 percent of the state’s land to join the far more conservative Idaho.
“Whereas voters of 11 counties of eastern Oregon have approved ballot measures regarding making eastern Oregon a part of Idaho, and Wallowa County will vote on this in May 2023, and these counties are four-fifths of the 15 counties of eastern Oregon that might vote on this issue…” the measure began before citing previous border adjustments along with voter and Constitutional support for such action.
A bill inviting Idaho to begin talks with Oregon on the potential to relocate the state line they share was read on the floor of the Oregon Senate yesterday.
— Citizens for Greater Idaho (@GreaterIdaho) January 10, 2023
Linthicum’s measure concluded in part, “…we, the members of the Eighty-second Legislative Assembly stand ready to begin discussions regarding the potential to relocate the Oregon/Idaho border, and we invite the Idaho Legislature, the Governor of Idaho and the Governor of Oregon to begin talks on this topic with this Legislative Assembly.”
Matt McCaw, spokesman for the Greater Idaho Movement, described to the Daily Mail, “Eastern Oregon is culturally, politically, economically much more similar to Idaho than it is to western Oregon. Our movement is about self-determination and matching people to government that they want and that matches their values. In Oregon, we’ve had this urban-rural divide for a very long time.”
“Our proposal is to take that border between Oregon and Idaho, which was set almost 200 years ago in a very different time when there was only 50,000 people in the state of Oregon…it made sense then, it doesn’t make sense now to have that border because that’s not were the cultural divide is,” the spokesman explained.
McCaw further argued, “The policy and the government that works for western Oregon, that western Oregonians want, does not work in eastern Oregon and it’s not what eastern Oregonians want.”
Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) expressed his opinion that the move was a long shot as both states and the United States Congress would have to agree to the change. “There’s a lot that needs to happen before moving the border is within the realm of possibility.”
Likewise, the Democratic state Senate President Rob Wagner has signaled advancement on the border change was unlikely. Regardless, McCaw expressed, “We have been to the legislature in Idaho, we have a lot of support in legislature in Idaho for this idea. They see the benefit of bringing 400,000 like-minded people into their state. It makes Idaho stronger; it gives people the government they want and it’s a win-win for everybody involved.”
McCaw’s sunny outlook on the Greater Idaho Movement neglected to account for the shift in tax revenue and the apportionment of representatives and electoral votes between the two states were the border to be changed.
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