Today in the Oregon Legislature, I gave a floor speech on HB 4136 (click to read). I had a large poster to illustrate my point, and after asking permission to use my “visual aid” about 30 seconds into my speech I was stopped and asked to remove the poster. I apparently was “impugning” somebody in the room. Now what made this most interesting, and the media isn’t covering this was the fact that the Speaker, when she saw my poster said “I’m going to anticipate what you are going to say” and then had me remove the poster. I call that “preemptive impugnment” which is my own word…:)
My speech actually didn’t mention any names, party affiliation or individual persons. It was all about a bill that would lift the cap on “wrongful death” trials from the current cap of $500,000 to $1,500,000. Now I’m not entirely opposed to that, but what I do have a problem with is that trial lawyers will get a HUGE fee increase. Thus the poster.
As you can see it’s made out to Trial Lawyers for $350,000 from the Oregon Legislature. It’s not signed because my point was going to be “if we pass this bill, we sign this check”. You see, trial lawyers would make an additional $350,000 on average if a suit was capped at $1.5 million. You might also note on the memo line it says “1.2 million”. Well that is how much the Trial Lawyers have given to Democratic campaigns since 2013. Hmm…By the way, thanks to Orestar, you can search the records yourself and see who has received those dollars here: OREGON TRIAL LAWYERS PAC DONATIONS.
Democratic Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson was quite angry with me and that may be due to the fact that she is a recipient of and herself a trial lawyer.
Minority Leader Mike McLane was furious at the entire situation and fought hard for the poster to stay up and then spoke passionately about the bill.
Here are two articles concerning this story that are out so far:
If you REALLY wanna have fun, get some popcorn, sit back and enjoy the video from the session. (Note: the whole situation was about a half an hour as leadership from both sides debated in the speakers office. I just stood by my desk patiently waiting to hear if I was going to be able to finish my speech or not. So, we cut out a lot of the standing around stuff and just put together the “highlights”.)