Shortly before Democratic Gov. Kate Brown ordered Oregon State Police troopers to force the Republican senators back to the Capitol on Thursday, state Sen. Dallas Heard, R-Winston, was driving out of the state with grumpy kids in the car, and telling The News-Review he feels Democrats are out of control.

Eleven Senate Republicans had walked out of the Capitol on Thursday morning so there would be no quorum for the Legislature to take action on a climate bill. The Republicans said they plan to continue their strike through the end of session June 30, effectively killing all remaining attempts at legislation.

Troopers were dispatched Thursday to bring the senators back in handcuffs if necessary, but most, like Heard, were expected to head out of the state.

Thursday afternoon, when The News-Review reached Heard again, he had arrived in that undisclosed other state. And he had pretty sketchy cell service.

But he had plenty to say about the governor’s actions.

“It feels like tyranny on parade,” he said.

Heard said he’s had some discussions with law enforcement officers, and he doesn’t believe they’ll comply with the governor’s order. But either way, he doesn’t plan to go back any time soon. Even if the governor were to call special sessions later in the summer, he said he wouldn’t attend.

“I’m willing to sacrifice whatever it takes. If I can get people to stand with us, it’s worth it,” he said.

He said he’s personally more concerned about the Democrats’ plan to fine the missing senators $500 a day, which he said would be harmful to his ability to take care of his family, than he is about the possibility of being dragged to the Capitol.

Heard called the governor’s actions hypocritical.

“We’re talking about a governor who herself walked out and protested the legislature back in 2001 and denied quorum back in the waning days of that legislative session, and here she is the governor now using the state troopers of this state as her own personal police force,” Heard said.

He said the Democratic party’s absolute hold on the Oregon government has left them drunk with power. These are the types of actions that dictators take, he said.

He said it’s unlikely that he’ll be found where he is.

“I’m not really worried about all that. I’m more worried about the precedent that’s being set here, and I’m going to be eagerly watching to see if the people wake up and say, ‘Enough,’ or if they’re going to show me that they really just don’t care anymore and they deserve whatever comes to ‘em, which’ll be sad. But I don’t think that’s what’s going to happen,” he said.

Oregon State Police said in a press release Thursday afternoon that the Oregon Constitution allows the governor to take the action she did.

“Oregon State Police serves the Governor in her elected role as leader of Oregon’s Executive Branch of government, and she has now given a lawful directive which OSP is fully committed to executing,” it said.

It also said it has helped resolve similar situations in the past with the help of diplomats from both sides of the aisle, and that it is having polite communications with the senators because patience and communication is its first, preferred option.

Brown released a statement saying she took the action because the Senate had come to an impasse.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that the Senate Republicans would turn their back on their constituents who they are honor-bound to represent here in this building. They need to return and do the jobs they were elected to do,” it said.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

(23) comments


Agriculture and the Timber Industry and explicitly EXEMPT from this legislation. Get the facts and get Heard out of the Senate! He needs to do his job.


Timber industry is never coming back like it was in the 60s and prior, fortunately the people who think it is are getting too old to hold office anymore.


The Republican Senators are properly doing their job by blocking this economy crippling bill in the only way that is open to them. If this bill is good for Oregonians, we would get a chance to vote on it. Regardless of your party affiliations and leanings, no one should want to encourage mob rule with no checks and balances. By subverting the initiative petition process with the "emergency clause" this is exactly what has happened to us in Oregon.


So you are saying you support Anarchy? That is exactly what these Republican criminals are promoting.


It's the same thing the democrat criminals did when Kate Brown was in the senate and she was senate leader. What's your point?


Anarchy is lack of a centrallized government, failing to see how this qualifies.


In a democracy, even a Democratic Republic, the majority wins the vote, are you people asking for it to be different? Are you not citizens of the USA, we the people, the majority or Oregon, vote her in and are happy with our choice. We the people, do this, please come back to the good ol' USA, the Great USA. You all sound like you want to live in a 3rd world country.


Well, how about the governor take the high road here and send this bill to the people for a vote?


It's a republic, true democracy is as oppressive as communism.


Clearly, if you want legislators who don't show up for work, you will vote for Heard, and other Republicans.


Not if they support Trump I won't.


Brown has got to go....she is out of control...along with her ridiculous tyrannical henchmen...


Yeah. Tyranny is expecting people to show up for the job they were *elected* to do; it's classic tyranny.


As a conservative I can say, they are doing exactly the job I elected them to do, and that is to resist this out of control governor by THE SAME MEANS that she advocated and used while the leader of the Senate.




The republicans can not stop any bill from becoming law as they are outnumbered. They just want the CAP AND TRADE bill voted on by the people not just the majority DUMOCRATS..


Nowhere in the article does Heard elucidate on what about the climate change bill he and the other GOP senators objects, only that the $500./day fine hurts. What is truly out of control is the GOP's continual dodging of serious debate to acknowledge and remedy human-caused climate change.


Please. With leftists, there is no debating. The governor knows if this bill goes to the people it won't pass.


your misspelling of Democrat says it all. If the republicans would pick someone that is willing to work with the people, not just the right, you might see a change. I've voted republican in the past because it was the right person for the job, none of your current ones in office are effective and have done nothing since being elected. They don't talk to the people, they talk to "their" people, this is what is wrong with both parties. Pick leaders, not politicians and you will indeed see a change.


Running and hiding from responsibility is childish. That's not standing up, that's being a coward. Democrat or Republican, you're all the same. Go back to Salem and do your job.




If you went to work every day as a manager, and met with your other managers and boss who continually disregarded what you or your staff thinks, what would you do?


Considering the people who voted for them don't want this, them doing this to cancel the vote pretty much lines up with what they were elected for by the people who -did- elect them. Just saying.

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