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Politics & Government

Idaho Militia Offering Help To Missing Oregon Republican Senators

Andrew Selsky
A man walks by the Oregon State Capitol in Salem. Republican state senators there have fled from Salem after refusing to vote on a bill to combat climate change. Some of them have left for Idaho.

The head of an Idaho militia says his group is working with some of the Oregon Republican senators who have fled to Idaho in protest of a bill to combat climate change.

Eric Parker, president of The Real Three Percent of Idaho, told Boise State Public Radio his group has both been helping the Republican senators and connecting them with sympathetic Idaho elected officials.

“We’re doing what we can,” he said.

Oregon Senate Republican spokeswoman Kate Gillem told the Oregonian that the senators “are not with any militias and are not accepting their help.”

The bill these senators are refusing to vote on would create a cap-and-trade system to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation, manufacturing and utility sectors, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. The proposal barely passed the Oregon House.

The Real Three Percent of Idaho are close to several Idaho lawmakers, including Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin (R), who caused controversy when she posed for a photo with members of the group in support of a member serving time in federal prison for his role in an armed standoff with federal agents.

Parker would not say which Oregon legislators are hiding out in Idaho or which politicians are supporting them.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) has authorized the state police to bring the senators back, though they would not have jurisdiction outside of Oregon.

One of the state senators, Brian Boquist, seemed to threaten violence against police if they try to bring him back.

“Send bachelors and come heavily armed,” Boquist said in a television interview. “I’m not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It’s just that simple.”

The Oregonian reports Senate Democrats will meet both Saturday and Sunday and that they should stay within an hour’s drive of the capital, Salem.

Parker said his group would help protect them if asked.

Find Heath Druzin on Twitter @HDruzin

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