Let me say this about that

By Gene Klare

July 4, 1997

THE RULING REPUBLICANS at the Oregon Legislature keep demonstrating over and over that they're incapable of running the Salem legislative store.

Republicans have been in charge of the Oregon House of Representatives since 1991, the Senate since 1995, and their legislative merchandise keeps getting worse and worse. The not-so Grand Old Party (GOP) has failed to meet the needs of working Oregonians, school children, college students, consumers, retirees, credit union members, and the tens of thousands of wage-earners deprived of health care by greedy employers.

Some Republicans have tried to fairly and faithfully represent all of the people in their districts but they are in a minority.

WHEN THE 1997 SESSION started back in mid-January, the GOP leaders bragged how they'd complete their work by May or early June. Those right-wingers could never complete their work because they're blind to its scope. It'll be no surprise if they're still in session by the time this sees print on the Fourth of July.

TRENT (VACANT) LOTT, the Mississippi Republican who succeeded Kansan Bob Dole as the majority leader in the U.S. Senate, masquerades on TV as a legislator concerned about the interests of working people. But his phoniness is unmasked by his dismal voting record on worker-related issues. The scorecard compiled by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) shows Lott with a 14 percent pro-worker voting record. That means he votes against workers 86 percent of the time.Which puts him in the company of other anti-worker Republican senators like Orrin Hatch of Utah, Bob Smith of New Hampshire, Slade Gorton of Washington, Phil Gramm of Texas, Jesse Helms of North Carolina, Dirk Kempthorne and Larry Craig of Idaho, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Connie Mack of Florida, Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, to list some of the worst.

TWO REPUBLICANS with Pacific Northwest backgrounds have been picked by religious right multimillionaire Pat Robertson to serve as highly-paid front men for his so-called "Christian Coalition."

Donald P. Hodel, 62, former Oregon Republican Party chairman and a secretary of both the interior and energy departments in the Cabinet of union-buster Ronald Reagan's presidency, will be the coalition's president. Hodel will succeed Robertson, who slides over to chairman of the board, meaning he'll still be in charge, pulling the strings of his appointees.

Randy Tate, 31, of Puyallup, a one-term congressman from Washington State, will replace Ralph Reed as executive director of Robertson's extremist congregation.

THE TELEVANGELIST'S coalition is headquartered in Chesapeake, Va., near Virginia's Great Dismal Swamp. Reed, who's been the public face of the coalition, plans to be a political campaign hustler in Atlanta, down in Republican House Speaker Newton Gingrich's bailiwick.

Since leaving Washington, D. C., Hodel's been living in Colorado, dispensing advice as an energy consultant, capitalizing on his experience as a Nixon-appointed director of the Bonneville Power Administration and as Reagan's energy secretary.

Long ago in his native Portland, Hodel lawyered for the Georgia-Pacific forest products behemoth before it moved its headquarters to Atlanta. Hodel was a 1950s Grant High schoolmate of Robert Packwood, who went on to notoriety as a Capitol Hill diarist.

THE LINKS between Robertson's religious right organization and virulently anti-union groups such as the National Right-to-Work (for less) Committee were detailed in the United Auto Workers' Solidarity magazine in a 1995 article titled "The Religious Right and Labor." It was written by Russ Bellant, who has researched right-wing movements for a number of years. The UAW article made these points: "...Over the years, labor and religion have formed strong ties in their mutual quest for a more humane and just society. Many union members are active in their churches, synagogues, and mosques, because they are well aware that when it comes to being your brother's and sister's keepers, labor and religion have much in common.

"That's why it's distressing to see a vocal minority of right-wingers who are now using religious garb to cloak their anti-unionism..."

The Washington Spectator newsletter reports that "a group of clergy from various denominations" formed the Interfaith Alliance in 1994 to oppose the "intolerant religious conservatism" of TV magnate Robertson's coalition. Retired CBS TV news anchor Walter Cronkite, in speaking for the Interfaith Alliance, was quoted in the Washington Spectator as saying that he's "sure that the Christian Coalition does not speak for the great majority of men and women of faith in this country."

Based on their records, Hodel and Tate should be right at home at Robertson's coalition. Big contributors to Robertson's political-religious activities have been anti-union employers such as the Coors Brewery family, one of Hodel's clients in his adopted state of Colorado.

ROYAL ALVIN MOTLEY of Sandy, a construction superintendent who belonged to the United Brotherhood of Carpenters for more than 55 years, died June 3 at 88 of causes related to his age.

He was born in the eastern Oregon community of Halfway on May 11, 1909. He married Frances E. (Judy) Cross on Aug. 29, 1931 in Baker. They moved to Portland in 1942 and to Sandy in 1974. He was a member of Carpenters Local 247.

His funeral was held June 7 at Bateman Carroll Chapel in Gresham with burial at Finley Sunset Hills Cemetery west of Portland. Survivors include a daughter, A. Jolean Boyer of Boring: two sons, Gary of Gresham and Dan of Salem; a brother, Lester of Baker City; a sister, Rena Green of Hayward, Calif.; 10 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Contributions in his memory can be made to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association or to the American Diabetes Association.

MAXINE L. GABBY, a 37-year member of Portland Office and Professional Employees Local 11, died April 28 at an Aloha foster care home following a stroke. She was 83.

She spent her career working as an office secretary and bookkeeper for Carpenters Local 226, which is now part of Local 247.

She was born on Feb. 18, 1914 in Cheney, Wash. She attended the University of Idaho at Moscow and a music school in Seattle. She later studied nursing in Chicago and also attended a business school in Portland after moving here in 1940.

Miss Gabby was active in the Calvin Presbyterian Church in Tigard. Memorial services were held there on May 8 with arrangements by Young's Funeral Home of Tigard.

One of the speakers at the memorial service, Leo Larsen, a retired financial secretary of Locals 226 and 247, praised her dedication and concern for the union's members.

Survivors include a brother, Charles E. Gabby of Lewiston, Idaho; a sister, Mary Dodge of Leavenworth, Wash.; and 12 nieces and nephews.


Home | About

© Oregon Labor Press Publishing Co. Inc.